We decided to 'do' East Anglia, at least the part of it that's within easy train reach of Cambridge. So we headed out to Ely, where we had a lovely time despite the rather damp weather. I feel a bit silly about repeatedly dragging lethargic_man to cathedrals when he can't go into them, but Ely cathedral is worth seeing even from the outside. It's quite amusing how he expects me to be knowledgeable about church architecture; I did my best but I don't think I was an amazingly good guide. The rather 'fenny' weather meant that I couldn't show M the view that is the basis for the Pink Floyd album cover as I'd hoped, but never mind.
Then on to the Oliver Cromwell museum, which is interesting and quite well done (although the overly sincere announcer doing the recorded messages about each room annoyed me somewhat). I was more interested in the section on the history of the Fens than the Civil War stuff, but still, it was fun.
We had a little time before our train, which we spent wandering around Ely and admiring the pretty old town, and then decided to go and investigate the charity shops rather than going down to the riverside park to eat lunch. I got rather a good haul, including E Annie Proulx' The Shipping News which I've been meaning to read for a while, and also Esther Freud's Hideous Kinky, short story collections by two authors I've discovered recently (Walter M Miller and John Fowles), and a couple of children's books that were cheap enough for me to snap them up. lethargic_man found stuff that he wanted including Monkey. I also found a copy of Dorothy L Sayers' The Nine Tailors (appropriately, as it's set in the Fens) to give to lethargic_man; he's been reading several detective novels recently, and I'm rather pleased that I get to introduce him to Josephine Tay and DLS. Perhaps they constitute some kind of fair exchange for Egan and Banks and all the other SF authors I've discovered via M!
By the time we got to Bury St Edmunds, the sun had come out. So we had a lovely afternoon in the Abbey grounds. We ended up not making it to the Clock museum before it shut, but we had a nice relaxing afternoon anyway, and not going to the museum gave us time to wander round Bury (which has some really interesting buildings) and have a slice of cake in a little teashop.
Saturday lethargic_man was terribly virtuous and persuaded me that yes, it was worth getting out of bed so we could get to synagogue. We didn't leave quite enough time for the walk across Granchester, so we were rather late, but never mind. The tail end of the service was enjoyable and as ever it was good to see friends from the community. We whiled away the afternoon at a rather fun exhibition of religious texts at the UL. It's a smallish exhibition but has some very cool pieces, a Gutenberg Bible, some extremely early (8th century Japanese) printed material, and a rather cute Buddhist manuscript written on palm leaves with colour-coded gods. The exhibition was rather biased towards Jewish texts (Nicholas de Lange had a hand in the planning, I believe), so we had lots of fun with them. Then we met up with ewx for tea at Aunties; lethargic_man and I took the opportunity to eat plenty of cake in order to get through the Passover week more or less contented.
We didn't really have the energy to walk back to Shelford, and although we tried sitting on Christ's Pieces it wasn't really warm enough for this, so we headed off to Borders where we bagged a corner of the sofa and remained there until shabbat was over and we could get a bus home. Yay for American-style book stores that open late in the evening and have cafés with comfy sofas. Initially we curled up together and I napped for a bit; I really appreciated that because it's something I don't get to do very often. But then I decided that sleeping wasn't really very sociable, so I woke up and spent the rest of the evening just chatting to lethargic_man. The fact that the other half of the sofa was taken up by two girls who were alternating commenting loudly on the assets of the models in FHM with fairly serious snogging made me feel less bad about being publically couply!
By Sunday, after all the walking and fresh air and getting up efficiently early, we were pretty tired. So we had a pretty quiet day, on the whole, but I think we rather needed it. We got up late and went for a walk through the village, just across the rec and down to a pretty spot by the river, and then back in time for lunch. In the afternoon we went back into town (on the bus this time) to Kettles Yard. The thing about Kettle's Yard is that it's sort of a modern art museum, but it's also somebody's former house; in a sense, the whole thing is a macro-scale work of art. (I'm supposed to be introducing lethargic_man to visual art, but really I'm pretty ignorant about the subject, I like what I like, and that's about as far as it goes.) We then indulged ourselves with further cake, this time at Clowns.
So all in all a lovely long weekend! It's very nice to be able to show lethargic_man some of the area where I grew up; although he went to Cambridge uni, a student gets a very different impression of a town and area from a resident.