04 February 2012

It’s cold in Cambridge this weekend

Looking out over Cloister Court and across to Jesus Lane from my room in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

Patrick Comerford

It’s cold here in Cambridge this evening.

Normally it’s colder here than in other parts of England, with the cold wind that blows in from the North Sea and across the Fens. But it’s particularly cold this weekend, and everyone is talking about the prospects of a heavy snow storm.

Snow or no snow, it’s always pleasant to be back in Cambridge, and I’m staying in the Senior Guest Room on Stairs C, overlooking Hall Court on one side and Cloister Court on the other.

It is interesting to see who else has stayed in this room – visiting academics, alumni, wedding guests, choir directors, conference delegates ... one guest who signed the visitors’ book in this room last year says: “I last used pen & ink in Primary School!” Others described Sidney Sussex as a “unique little college,” a “lovely place to stay,” “an unchanged world” and a “timeless college.”

This is my fifth time to stay in Sidney Sussex College. I am back here this weekend as the guest preacher at Choral Evensong in the college chapel at 6.15 p.m. tomorrow evening [Sunday 5 February 2012].

A view from Green Street towards Sidney Sussex College and the chapel as dusk falls this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

But before heading off to dinner with friends this evening, there was time for lunch in Bill’s in Green Street, opposite the Porters’ Lodge in Sidney Sussex, and then a stroll around the old city centre, including a visit to the Cambridge University Press Bookshop, which is the oldest site for any bookshop in England.

Who knows – there might be time for a glass of wine in an old pub later this evening, and if the snow stays away then a chance to catch up with some more old friends over lunch tomorrow.

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