Thursday, 8 October 2009

Monday night in Cambridge - Fresher week

Having re arranged the day off I had booked for Friday’s night out at Pink Punters into two half days, I was able to book into my room at 2pm and get out for some late afternoon shopping in Cambridge before meeting up with Mary for a meal and a few drinks in the evening.

It took me 90 minutes to get ready which was quite good for me. I had at the last minute purchased a new pencil skirt from Tesco’s which matched my jacket which I wore rather than the very tight skirt I had intended.

Dressed as though I was on my way home from a day in the office, I parked at the Grafton Centre and made my way to the shops.

My first port of call was Next and then onto Debenhams where I enjoyed searching through the racks of clothes including a beautiful prom dress in my size at half price – then reality stepped in! I did though try on and purchase two new tops and a skirt without the bat of an eyelid. In fact the girls couldn’t have been friendlier.

At Barrets I found the boots I had been looking for only to discover they had them in most sizes but not an 8 – I was gutted although my purse was somewhat pleased!

I checked out New Look and then picked up some face powder in Boots before sitting down for a coffee and some cake at the coffee shop close to the cinema complex. Sitting there on the mezzanine with my legs crossed sipping my coffee watching the world go by is as real as it gets!

With time running out I checked out a few more clothes shops, including BHS, mingling with the freshers and still not a raised eyebrow before making my way back to the car with my purchases. I felt really liberated and definitely on a high.

I even managed to cause a queue to form behind me when trying to pay for my car park ticket – juggling purse, handbag, purchases and loose change with nails !

Making my way across the city I stopped adjacent to the river and spent a quiet 10 minutes reflecting on where I was, watching the swans and the boats go by as the night descended. Life is good.

Parking in my usual spot I answered a call from my eldest – sitting there in a tight skirt and top speaking about my wife’s birthday later this week – who said they wanted to introduce video phones!

I walked over to the Pickerel Arms – our usual rendevouz where I made myself comfortable, legs crossed on a high stool in the corner of the bar sipping a large house white wine. Mary was on her way back from Norwich and would be there for seven.

Again, I was fully accepted by all those around me and had an entertaining chat with the bar staff whilst waiting – about French wine.

Bang on seven I was joined by Mary and shortly afterwards by our friend Liz. We spent the next hour catching up with the gossip and chatting away in the middle of a pub quickly getting full of freshers and the regulars.

Deciding on Spanish we made our way across the river and ate at the Spanish restaurant enjoying a centre table in a busy restaurant,We chose the Tapas option and had a really great meal. The ambiance was good and frankly we just enjoyed being there in a normal environment getting on with life.

One anecdotal memory of the evening was having been to the toilet, I was washing my hands and tidying my make up when a woman dashed in and into one of the cubicles. I had found to my discomfort that there was only paper in one of the three stalls and so without prompting passed the only roll under the door.

We exchanged pleasantries about how often this happens and then went on our way returning each to our own table.

After the meal, Mary took her leave as she had an early morning train to catch and I accompanied Liz to La Raza – a bar which hosts live music.

This evening it was a live mike night where the resident band – Chancellor of Vice – who were very good in their own right, were joined by singers, musicians etc to jam and play some classics (Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd, Superstition – Stevie Wonder, some tracks from The Commitments) There was some great music played from jazz funk, R&B, soul and blues with guys on sax, trumpet, six string bass and some great singers all doing their thing. Just wanted to get up and join the girls on the dance floor but for once my nerves got the better of me – though to be fair I wasn’t exactly dressed for dancing – I will return dressed appropriately – I already have in mind the dress I will wear.

The place was heaving – packed with a good cross selection of people including a fair number of freshers and other students and one ‘girl’ – me! the girls were brilliant and the dancing made me so jealous! Once again, no problems whatsoever even though the drink was flowing. The atmosphere, company, being out dressed, being accepted, all contributed to making the evening so enjoyable.

We stayed for a couple of hours soaking up the experience before the witching hour struck and we had to make our way back. Outside, we stopped to chat to one of the organisers who’s boyfriend played in the band and one of the bar staff about being out and about in Cambridge and the music and the evenings organised at La Raza. We were invited back to the next one which I definitely want to go to, circumstances permitting. What a great evening’s entertainment.

Making our way back to the car, our heels echoing on the ancient walls, the wind caressing gently our nylon clad legs, the skirt pulling – oops – stop it now!!, avoiding the mess from freshers and bodies staggering back to wherever, I had time to contemplate.

By now, some 10 hours in 4” heels was beginning to take its toll and the 1 mile stroll back to the car finished off my feet! (still aching the following day!)

I dropped off Liz on the way back to my hotel arriving back at turned 1pm. Another great evening (and day) out in the real world – what a blast!


  1. Hi Emma,
    What a fantastic read. I really enjoyed it. 10hrs in 4 inch heels I doubt whether I would last 10 minutes. I can comment on here again yay!!!
    Karen xx

  2. > still aching the following day

    Bringing back happy memories though? :)