(a) Cambridge. A glorious sunny day with only a slightly chill wind was spent walking around trying to find the punt rental. In contrast to Oxford, it is much more "towny" with it's colleges grouped together along the High Street instead of scattered 30 some odd places around the city. There are lovely public gardens along the back of the colleges called the "Backs." We didn't really do much other than the guys trying their hand at punting us girls down, then back up the river Cam. It was eventful, but in much more of a "you had to be there" way so I won't bore you with details.
(b) Italiano Birthday. Back in Oxford we went over to the St. John St. house to have Nathaniel's preemptive birthday party (since most of his friends will be out of town for break on his actual birthday). In order to have the party funded by the school we also called it a "end of term" party and I chose a theme that could fit both accordingly. Italian - mustaches required. We ate spaghetti (the boyo's fav), mozz tom and basil, had baguettes with oil and balsamic, and olives. The more equipped played poker, then later moved to the more theme appropriate game Mafia. For the cake I made a pasta frolla crust, filled it with almond pastry cream and topped with berries. Nathaniel didn't really like the singing or the cake but I think he ate about 100 raspberries so it was okay.
After a day in town I run about a half mile (pushing the stroller) to catch my bus, only to get a call from Jon while on my way home that some of the St. Clare students are going to a play in an hour and have a open place if I want to go. I couldn't say no but didn't have a sitter, or supplies for Nathaniel even if I found one that fast. With a lot of rushing, Joelle finally was able to take him last minute (she's a saint) and I ran to catch the bus to meet the others. Not until on our way did I realize that the play was in a town an hour away, not Oxford. I also didn't know that it was the Shakespeare play King Lear being played at the newly renovated (30 million pound renovation no less) Royal Shakespearean Theatre by the Royal Shakespearean Company in Stratford upon Avon (Shakespeare's birth and burial place). Classic. I couldn't have gotten more authentic than that without time travel. To be honest, I had never heard of that play before, but I appreciated and enjoyed it immensely. I laughed and cried and was frustrated and overjoyed in turn and am utterly impressed with that man's ability to arrange words. So inspiring. After all five(?) acts we drove home and I went to bed around 2am.
A whole lot of boring details, Nathaniel dropped off with his Swiss babysitter, we go to London to see the Decemberists at the Hammersmith Apollo. It was a grand venue and there was no one behind us. Never the less, we could still hear surprisingly well (thank you sound man) and had a great time dancing hip dances and laughing at the band. Because I hadn't taken into account the difference between "doors open" time and when the band actually comes on, at the end of the last song we ran down dark flights of the back exit stairs to the epic outro of the Mariner's Revenge Song and croud screaming. It was like we were really being eaten by the whale. Then sprinted through the Lon-derground to catch our scheduled train back home. We went to bed at 1:30.
I took the longest non illness induced nap of my life.
I've caught you up to real time now. I've cleaned and uncluttered and accomplished today to make up for yesterday and the previous busy week and to prepare for the arrival of a Bethel friend (from here) who is visiting for the weekend. Thank you for reading my longest blog ever. The End.