Back home in Cambridge for a few days, with ambitions to clear some of those irritating unticked pubs in Essex and London.

But Day 1 was a wash-out, literally, as Storm Franklin put paid to ALL trains from Waterbeach to London. Mind, it was worse in Rotherham;

Never mind ticks then, I had to get out for a walk, so popped to the station to see where I could get to.

Waterbeach is so dark these days, perhaps they’re part of that Dark Skies initiative.

My only option was Cambridge, wherever that is. Waterbeach platform has been extended recently to allow enormous trains without any passengers to stop there, in complete contrast to the Sheffield to Manchester line where it’s standing room only.

Here’s my Cambridge GBG revisit options, largely in a straight line from the station along Mill Road.

Oooh, the Free Press. Haven’t been there in years. Any chance of a Greene King Mild ?

Always interesting to stroll Mill Road, now a largely publess stretch of Middle Eastern eateries and grocery shops and the odd unwanted Sainsbury.

This is Greene King’s White Swan, where I (messily) ended the night of my retirement do 7 years ago.

No mild there, but surely the Free Press is the XX flagship ?

Reader, it was closed. When one of Cambridge’s most venerable and best known pubs is closed on a Monday, you know pub life has changed for ever.

Luckily, the Elm Tree is open, and thriving.

The Belgian beer crowd are in, but I stick to the Black Sheep, which I have recently declared the most consistent beer in England.

And so it remains, a classically crisp, dry pint as good as the Pedi when Mudgie came to town.

The Elm Tree gets the Postgrad crowd, the wooly hats and bants about head injuries the tell-tale signs, and tonight I get four (4) mates discussing Sunday School and stigmata.

I ask you, who would stay at home watching Emmerdale, when you can eavesdrop on Sunday School and stigmata ?

My octogenarian parents, that’s who, and I’d told them I’d be home within the hour. What could I squeeze in on the way back to the station ?


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