The landing of the birds

I have said it once and I will say it again. Cattle class travel is for the birds. Except even birds won’t use it, they’d rather catch the thermals.  

Air travel is a lot like being in hospital. You get woken up every ten minutes and when you finally manage to fall asleep they turn the lights on and force feed you scrambled eggs.

Well we arrived in one piece, although several pieces of me were in cramp.

It was with great relief we entered the leather clad interior of my Dad’s Land Rover and defrosted the feet frozen by 11 hours of aeroplane air-conditioning.

Before taking flight, Small Boy needed to pose as a rugby player.

This after a long discussion with various other travellers over the Blue Bulls ghastly new pink t-shirts.


Colours of the Jacaranda aside, they are truly horrible.

They may have to rename the team the Pink Petals.

All that faded into the distance upon arrival. We set off to Cambridge for Elevenses where we were hit with a number of cultural nuances.


1. Grass. In South Africa grass is walked on, sat on and soccer is played on it.

In England, grass is treated with reverence bordering on the religious.

Signs threatening you with medieval torture if you so much as bend a blade mar the smooth green perfection.

2. Traffic. English drivers are inherently polite. There are no taxis careening across lanes, no evil toxic fumes of death and no hooting. 

The Copper Kettle where James rendered the patrons in awe as he devoured an enormous piece of chocolate cake in under 30 seconds.

3. The green man. Not the pagan version, but the crossing one. Where we come from if the road is clear or if the gap is big enough you dart across. Not in England. The road can be clear to Timbuktu and you stand and wait until the green man waves you across.

Nigel and James outside Christ Church Cambridge

Cambridge is teeming with cyclists. Unlike home where cyclists are clad in lycra and covered in safety gear, cyclists here are not leisure yuppies, but use two wheels as transport so they wear normal clothes and would laugh at you if you wore a helmet. They would also kick your ass in the Cape Argus and they’d do it in tweed.

We wandered down to the River Cam to have a giggle at the novice punters trying terribly hard to manoeuvre down the river.

It is much harder than it looks and this poor man’s wife fended the banks of the river off with a short oar with something approaching hysterical resignation.

James was happier looking for fish in the murky depths of the water and watching the ducks.

On our little meander we passed the famous Eagle Pub where the RAF airmen burnt their initials into the bar before the Battle of Britain.

I hope we’ll manage to go back and have a search for James’s great-grandfather among them.

My eye was caught by a rather bizarre looking creature resembling a petrified giant grasshopper cross pit bull.

The Corpus Clock

It turned out to be the Corpus Clock opened by Stephen Hawking and tells the time accurately only once every 5 minutes.

By the time we arrived home to Oak Cottage on the Brow of the Hill, we were exhausted and happy beyond measure.

We fed the squirrels, indulged in lengthy sessions on the massage chair and slept like babies.


3 thoughts on “The landing of the birds

  1. OK, you must not be in London, because the taxi drivers DO drive like crazed Nascar drivers on speed and jaywalking is a city-wide sport. I am now an expert jaywalker after 11 years in London—I can get across 4 lanes of traffic and barriers in Manolos and a pencil skirt and still beat you for that smoke-belching taxi….Have fun in ol’ Blighty!

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