Meet the Parents: Cambridge, UK

4 Jul

You’ve seen the movie and the sequel. Meeting the parents of your offspring’s girlfriend/boyfriend is fraught at the best of times, despite best intentions.

Cram those six people in a narrow wooden boat powered by a pole and you have a recipe for disaster and the decimation of wildlife.

At Tristan’s urging we did exactly that in Cambridge on Sunday. These photos tell the story.

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Happily our punting expedition didn’t mirror the movie. No one fell in, had a tantrum, rammed other craft, or ran over defenceless ducklings. The worst that happened was our punters leaving the pole behind in the mud a few times.

Lunch at the refurbished Tickell Arms was the reward. All the oldies, including friends from Kobe days, Anne and Steve, had experienced the old Tickell Arms when the original Mr Tickell was in situ. Those were the days…Can’t print some of his goings on.

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A pleasant day had by all. Thanks for organising Tristan.

Here’s the last stanza of the poem, ‘The Old Vicarage’, we struggled to recall:

Ah God! To see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester!
To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten
Unforgettable, forgotten
River smell, and hear the breeze
Sobbing in the little trees.
Say, do the elm-clumps greatly stand
Still guardians of that holy land?
The chestnuts shade, in reverend dream,
The yet unacademic stream?
Is dawn a secret shy and cold
Anadyomene, silver-gold?
And sunset still a golden sea
From Haslingfield to Madingley?
And after, ere the night is born,
Do hares come out about the corn?
Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill,
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? And Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths and pain?…oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

By Rupert Brook
(Cafe des Westens, Berlin, May 1912)

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