Sunday, July 24, 2011


Had a nice couple of days' escape from London before our building work starts in earnest. Went to Ely for the afternoon, mooched round the cathedral and Cromwell's House (I was there in 2007, too), then fell into a pub.

Cromwell's House, Ely
Spent the evening in Cambridge eating pizza at Torchwood, and next morning did the Sedgwick -

Dinosaur at Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge
- and Fitzwilliam museums.

Lions outside Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
The Dr loved the newly redesigned Greek and Roman bits, and I found some beautiful Augustus John landscapes and even a sculpture by Eric Gill. So that was nice.

Thence lunch with A. and A. and a trip to the Polar Museum, with its ceiling maps of the poles by Gill's brother MacDonald. The museum is mostly now about the indigenous peoples of the Arctic, but there's plenty of material on polar exploration by Europeans, and the story of Scott's ill-fated mission still packs one hell of a punch.

Spent the afternoon punting and pottering (I found the alleyway from Shada / The Five Doctors). The Fort St George pub has carved ladies behind the bar that seem to be slightly naughtier versions of the caryatids.

Naughty Caryatid at Fort St George, Cambridge
Then went to dinner at Cotto which was, frankly, amazing.

Next day we schlepped back to London and mooched round the Out of this World exhibition at the British Library, which is packed with detail. Rather pleased I'd read the majority of the key texts, though think it misses a trick by not addressing issues of race and class that are often so implicit in ideas of the "alien". And it still seems strange to see a sci-fi exhibition feature lots of Doctor Who but no Star Trek (though my teenage self would have cheered).

Looked through the windows of the Gilbert Scott restaurant which the Dr would like a trip to for her birthday. Instead we had a drink in the bar at St Pancras, where the service was immaculate. Went for a pee, though, to find this lady staring down at me.

Opera-glasses woman in the gents at St Pancras
Opera-glasses woman in the gents at St Pancras
Home to feed the cats and then out to dinner with @classicdw to tweet all about Robot - Tom Baker's first story as Doctor Who. Lovely tea afterwards and then home. Done some rewrites this morning and now off to a birthday party, with a long week of typing and building work to come.

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