There have been plenty of visits there, but today I thought about this trip differently. It has been a hard few weeks and for those of you who know me on Twitter, you will be aware that I am currently off work due to stress. Cambridge was a chill-out day, a de-stress day for me. I was in quite a reflective mood and because of my increased levels of recent anxiety, felt that my senses were heightened all the more for this.
Therefore, I observed my feelings more on this day out. What would have passed me by without significance or importance seemed more urgent, more acute and hence the reason why I wanted to write about it. There were times when I felt quite exhausted trotting round and others where there was a window of joy and a sense of healing, when the old me came back.
The first was the sight of a very beautiful female husky dog. I can’t remember the exact breed now because at present my memory is shocking but she was three years old and we stopped and spoke to the owner, making a fuss of her at the same time. They say dogs can be therapeutic and this beauty with her soft magnificent coat certainly was. It was nice to talk to the owner and a chance encounter to talk to someone who was happy to talk back to a stranger: we moved on.
We hit the Lush shop, the eco soap and cosmetic shop my husband loves.The smell of all the perfume greets you as you walk in through the door. Some would find it too overwhelming and the riot of colour hits you with all the soaps and bath bombs out on display, but we love it. An unremarkable visit, I was waiting while my husband was paying for the purchase chosen, when one polite shop lady came up to me and the conversation started. In 10 minutes, we had discussed her fine arts degree studies, her previous employment for a larger company as a manager, the Lush company ethos, and had purchased a further anti-stress smelly for the bath. This lady was different. She had buss, drive, passion. There was something special about this women. I literally felt my zest for life and my strength return as we talked. Suddenly I was chatting like the old me and I asked her name which was Mandy and when we returned we would look out for her.
Feeling more cheery, we then hit the Apple Mac shop in St Andrews Street. Swish and elegant in appearance, this shop was busy. Zooming into the store with more energy I took one of the iphone’s on display and started to play. I managed to play some songs and some videos, look at maps and write a note. This was fun, and I only felt compelled to move on when my guy was politely hovering around my shoulder hoping we could make our way out to the next store.
Waterstones was next: the book shops are always a must when we come to Cambridge. We split up, at this point, and planned to meet in an hour. Hubby likes science and the environment. I head straight to social sciences, women’s studies, writing skills and religion. Sometimes, I look at nursing but I tend to leave this mostly alone, and on this ocassion most definitely did, as it was work related. It was tough to read much today. The academic writing books and critical thinking skills had a glance and I found the concentration hard, content to just mainly skim the pages and look at the covers.
We walked to King’s college having eaten at the start of the morning. I paid the £5 entrance fee to go in- having not been in for years and the “other half” went and looked in the National Trust shop. Camera at the ready I was able to take some shots without flash -that was the rules. There were candles, I lit one, paid my £0.20p and said a prayer for my loved ones and friends, remembering a Christian currently abroad and praying for his safe return. I gazed at the windows, looked at Rubens Adoration of the Magi Painting and tried to read the accompanying leaflet but got bored with this, just instead happy to soak up the light from the stained glass and adore the majesty of the place.
We took tea at Borders and browsed at some more books. Borders has a specific women’s social section which I enjoyed and then went back to our car using the Park and Ride bus. I looked at the gardens, the people sitting and walking. It felt like a sunday, the soft late afternoon light. Driving back I, as the passenger, fell asleep for a bit and woke up outside Tesco where we needed tea bags.
We came back to find a welcome meal had been prepared by our dear friend who had cared for our daughter all day whilst we had been out. This was a very welcome change and we had bought her some flowers to say thanks.
All in all a pleasant day and an enjoyable one.