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Five years in the noding, I present:

A Cambridge Nodermeet

21st June 2008

Picnicing, punting and pubbing in the ivory towers



The place

Cambridge is best known for its university (founded in 1209 by scholars fleeing from rival Oxford), which has produced any number of eminent figures, and important discoveries. It's also one of the prettiest towns in England, and one of the nicest places to spend a summer's day. It's also been my home for the last four years. Sadly, I'm shortly moving to the Big Smoke, but before I left I thought I'd invite all you noders over for a chilled-out weekend indulging in a few typically Cambridge pursuits.

The plan

The plan is simple: From 11am I shall be sitting in the Eagle pub in the centre of Cambridge. It's probably Cambridge's best known pub, and supposedly where the structure of DNA was first scribbled on the back of a napkin, so it seems like a good place to start. Once noders are gathered, we will head out, via the shops, and enjoy a picnic by the River Cam (bonus points for anyone who brings anything homemade). When we're all sufficiently fortified, we shall charter punts and go punting, which, for those unfamiliar with the term, is an excellent way to waste an afternoon by chartering a boat and trying to go somewhere by the most inefficient method possible, while drinking Pimm's and eating strawberries, and doubtless making wise and interesting comments on the issues of the day. It's worth remembering that people do occasionally fall in while punting, so don't wear anything that can't withstand a dousing with cold water.

To finish up the day, we will explore many of Cambridge's fine drinking establishments, in a meander through a variety of pubs (with an emphasis on decent beer, history and a lack of loud music), picking up dinner at one of the better ones.

The practicalities

Cambridge is reasonably well connected with the rest of the country by the usual selection of rail, road and coach. The station is (apocryphally) some distance out of town to prevent too many students succumbing to the hedonistic temptations of London, but fifteen minutes walk takes you straight to the centre of Cambridge. Those coming by car are reccommended to use the park and ride areas that surround Cambridge, as parking in town is scarce and expensive. Of course, if you're coming, msg me for my number in case of any problems.

Secondly, I am unfortunately still a penniless student, so accommodation with me is limited: my floor is large enough to accommodate several noders, but it's in a shared house, so facilities are somewhat limited: msg me if you need crash space, but I can't guarantee it, I'm afraid. For those on a tight budget, there's a not-hugely extortionate youth hostel, details of which can be found here, alternatively, there are numerous hotels in the Cambridge area.

UPDATE

Unfortunately, the weather forecast is not good: the weather for the last few days has been distinctly variable, so it could be anything from blazing sunshine to heavy rain: pack accordingly. We do have an alternative plan for rain: we'll take a wander round Cambridge's museums, and probably start the pub crawl a bit earlier.

Secondly, The Debutante has kindly offered to cook a roast for noders still around on Sunday: she's based in Newmarket, which is a short train/bus ride away from Cambridge. Msg her if you're interested.

The people

As if the prospect of a weekend in one of England's prettiest towns isn't enough to tempt you, there will also be the company of many of the finest Britnoders:

Cantabrigians

Vacillators

Oxonians

PS. Anyone who fleshes out the punting node so that it doesn't appear to be an obscure sexual fetish will receive my eternal gratitude (real value: 1 pint).