July 13, 2015

This afternoon, after a long drive down through California, we’re arrived back home safely after a short but very sweet trip full of lovely places and even lovelier people. My brother, the photographer who lives most of the time in Thailand, but sometimes in Nepal, sometimes, South Africa, sometimes Morocco and occasionally Cambridge, was house- and cat-sitting for us while we were in the Bay Area. He wisely headed out for a bike ride as we clattered in through the front door, greeted the cats and then spread ourselves all over the house.

Shortly after dinner, I was just about to go out for a walk when the doorbell rang. Our neighbors Tony and Frank were stopping by to remind us that they are leaving for Chicago tomorrow and need me to check in on their dog for a few days. As they were about to walk her, we walked together for down the street, along the streets and towards the lake, chatting about another trip they are planning – to Turkey and England. (They are both retired now so have the time.) When they asked me where they should go as a day trip from London, I suggested Cambridge and Grantchester, an idyllic little village just outside Cambridge famous for its Old Vicarage, Orchard Tearoom and the Grantchester Group of creative thinkers, including the poet Rupert Brooke, Virginia Wolf and John Meynard Keynes, who spent time there in the early 20th century. Tony reminded me that he’d been enjoying the PBS tv series Grantchester, so it he’d enjoy visiting the real village. To persuade Frank, I described the Orchard Tearoom and its decadent afternoon tea and scones that can be taken out into the orchard and enjoyed sitting on deckchairs among the trees, flowers and birdsong.

10155727_735671516451418_1203595142_nA Cambridge view by Alan McArthur

I had planned to run out later to the grocery store and drop some sort of Giveaway off there, but instead, when I came home after my walk, I decided I needed to do one more thing to sell Cambridge and Grantchester to Frank and Tony. Ten years ago my brother Alan, who is a talented photographer, published a book of his photographs of the city and I happened to have an extra copy. So I grabbed it and headed over to their house to give it to them. When I arrived, Frank came to the door and looked at the book with admiration. I think I had already swayed Tony though. He was in the den. He had just turned on the tv and started watching an episode of Grantchester

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