Monday 21st July: St Bene’t’s Cambridge

The journey to Cambridge was a little daunting, but we made our way back to the Lea and then followed National Cycle Network Route 1 for a while. Parts of this were excellent, wide flat off-road paths through parkland, and parts of it were a bit bumpy, or poorly signposted. The towpath along the river Stort was also of use, though perhaps not as wide as we’d have liked. My knee was complaining, and after the hills started getting a bit steeper and we were on some fairly busy B-roads, it was clear that I was holding back the others and wouldn’t make it in time. Eventually I decided discretion was the better part of valour, and took the train from Bishops Stortford to Cambridge. Clive and Jo made good time without me, as predicted.

Of all our performances this was the one I was least happy with: nothing felt quite right, and we all made silly, small mistakes of momentary inattention. The funniest part was probably while I was playing the organ, and accidentally turned the tremulant on: from inside the organ it sounded more like a strange knocking sound than anything else and I couldn’t figure out what I’d done. I kept playing and eventually Clive (who was turning pages) saw the reason for my distress, and pointed at the lever… from then my challenge was to keep playing without giggling audibly! It was good to have a break before Compline, though we didn’t leave quite enough time, and I had to search for the fabric pen again despite having put it somewhere safe.

Afterward Clive and I went one way to stay with one of my Cambridge friends; it took us a while to get there, because despite having the address written down I was looking for the wrong house number! Jo went another direction to stay with another friend (who was the contact with St Bene’t’s). I considered whether the next day’s journey would be wise with a knee injury, and thought about changing my bicycle (smaller front sprocket?) while we were in Cambridge to make the rest of the trip easier. In the end I decided not to do those things, but to be open to the possibility of needing to take a train or bus for part of the way on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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