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When people ask me how I’m feeling about The Move later on this year, my response is always the same: “I’m sad to be leaving York – but if we have to leave, then I’m glad we’re going to Cambridge”. Seeing as we spent the last four years in York and the three years before that in Cambridge, this is a handy way of ensuring I don’t offend either my York friends or my Cambridge friends. Besides, it’s true. There’s an awful lot I’ll miss about York, but I’m looking forward to Cambridge. Here goes with my list, punctuated with punting photos:
1. Playgrounds. Cambridge parks seem to have better play equipment. Not sure why. They just do.
2. Dojo’s. Amazing noodle bar, where you can pick up a mountain of noodles at a tiny price, while you sit authentically squished together on benches.
3. Wok ‘n’ Grill. Those of you thinking that I can’t have more than one Asian restaurant on my list have misunderstood. Dojo and the Wok ‘n’ Grill are entirely different establishments – like a screwdriver and a hammer, you’d use them for totally different things. If you want a quick, cheap, tasty meal in town before going on somewhere else – Dojo’s is your place. If you want a reasonably-priced, delicious Asian meal and time is no object, you go to the Wok ‘n’ Grill. Styling itself in the typically Asian ‘all you can eat’ vein, it stands out for the range of freshly cooked meat and fish dishes which you can put together yourself, choosing vegetables, noodles and protein component, as well as sauce – before it’s all cooked in huge, sizzling woks before your very eyes. The place is a gem.
4. Punting. Water, boats, big sticks – what’s not to like? Also, the weather is constantly 30 degrees in Cambridge, so punting is always pure pleasure – never cold or windy. You’d never sit shivering in a boat waiting for your trusty punter to get you out of a weeping willow – never. (Are you hearing me, Alistair Rycroft?)
5. Cycling. I know I could have cycled more in York – but somehow it’s much easier in Cambridge. The cycle paths are wider and more plentiful – and (the crucial factor) drivers know to watch out for you. I’m thinking of getting me a pretty strong bike and trailer combo to cart the kiddoes around…it’ll be just fine, you’ll see. This time next year my thighs will have disappeared (pretty much).
6. John Lewis. Don’t tell Al – we’re meant to be boycotting JL because of an incident with a sofa, a crack and a non-existent guarantee. But it’s too hard to resist forever – I’ve stayed away for the last couple of years, surely that’s enough of a stand? (And staying away has nothing whatsoever to do with the lack of JL in York, obviously.)
7. Weather. See ‘4’ above. Always nice. OK, I admit to perhaps a teensy tiny little white lie here – but it’s become something of a standing joke between the hubbie and I because whenever we visit Cambridge the weather is fab.
8. Proximity to London. Is this a bit of a cop-out in a post supposedly about Cambridge? I’m really looking forward to being nearer family and friends in/around London, as well as being able to nip into central London on the train and show our kids the sights.
9. Church. We’ll be heading back to the church we were part of when we lived in Cambridge before, so it’s lovely to have a ‘known’ in a sea of ‘unknowns’. Things will be a little different this time, and I know much has changed – but it’s still a great church to be part of, with lovely people who seek God through word and worship. I’m looking forward to being challenged by some great teaching, inspired by uplifting worship, and motivated to live out whatever God calls me to while we’re there.
10. Friends. Oh dear, I’m obviously running out of things if I have to resort to copying no.9 and 10 off the York list… But genuinely, I’m very excited to be returning to old friendships – some of which have been growing since we moved away – others of which will be reignited when we move. Some friends have even moved to Cambridge since we moved away, so that’ll be fun too. I already feel very blessed to have such an incredible support network there. 🙂