What a week it’s been, poor Charlotte off school with chicken pox, lots of work to do and we’re also looking to move house, then my poor boy Iain phoned me to say he was with the police who he had rung because he had found a man lying on the train track by Fulbourn Tescos. He had tried to talk to the man to get him to move but the train was already coming and there was nothing he could do – he saw it all. I am very proud of Iain he acted so sensibly, he phoned the police, helped his mate who was with him, helped the train driver and covered the remains with his jacket so that passers by wouldn’t see. But as you can imagine it was a very traumatic thing to go through and see. I had to sleep downstairs with Iain the first night after it had happened as it made him feel very strange. He seems to be coping with it well, you never know how these experiences will affect people and everyone can react differently. Iain has some counselling set up for if he needs it, it certainly has been a difficult week. There used to be a Samaritans phone box by the railway at this spot as it is a suicide hotspot but when the new footpath was made the phone box was taken away and never replaced. It really needs to be put back – you only have to look at the statistics from other counties which do have the special phone box at hotspots to see just how much this helps and reduces the number of suicides at these places.
I have a nice big class to teach Landscape & Local History at Guilden Morden and the people are very friendly, we’re now past the half way point of the course and will be having a break for half term. Even when teaching you always learn so much and as Guilden Morden is on the other side of Cambridgeshire to where I live it isn’t somewhere I know very much about but the lovely thing about teaching the subject I am doing, is that I get to learn all about that area from the students. So far we’ve had some fantastic artifacts brought in by the students to show things they have discovered themselves. There was an amazing prehistoric hand-axe found in the fields in the area – something I would love to find myself! And this week a stunning Nordic designed artefact made from horn or bone found in the Fulbourn area which is thought to be perhaps a handle for something. I can’t wait to see what turns up over the next half of the course!
It is such a beautiful day today that we decided to get up early and make the most of it. We started by going to the car boot sale at Chaplins Farm in Fulbourn, it is a very good size now, having grown over the last several years to become one of the best in Cambridge. We got some plants for our bare looking garden and we were determind to buy some 'car boot junk', so we came home with a Rubiks Magic from the 1980's and a Garfield cat landline phone, again from the '80's, and both still working great. Garfield has now replaced the home phone and I have been trying to remember the trick to the Rubiks Magic most of the afternoon (as you can tell, I am having the day off today :)
We went for an early lunch at the Robin Hood Pub in Cherry Hinton, which has just been refurbished and changed to an 'Eating Inn', It was very different inside now the work has been done but a really really good job, it looks such a nice place to go now. We sat in the garden and enjoyed our lunch then drove over to the village of Abington, where we had a lovely walk across the beautiful park.
We paddled in the fresh stream which runs alongside the park, which was nice as it is so hot today. We hunted for bits and pieces of old pottery in the water and came away with some bits of old blue and white china which we'll stick on plant pots with plaster of paris at some point, when we've collected enough.
Then we went for a walk over to the pretty little church, there were cows right next to it which I'd have loved to stroke but they wouldn't come close enough. It's such a shame that you can't get into churches now and that most are locked - I know you can go and get the key usually but sometimes you just want to pop in to look around. Still we walked around it, the strange thing we noticed was there were hardly any gravestones at all there - I'll have to find out why.
Then a walk back to the car through this picture postcard village and we drove into Sawston.
We parked just off of the High Street and had a quick look at the newly restored Challis gardens and a peek at Challis House which it is hoped will be a new museum for Sawston some point soon.
We went on to a strange wood at the north west end of Sawston and went for a quick explore, I had flip flops on because I knew we were going paddling but I did a good job of dodging the nettles in the wood :) This was a really odd place, not sure we were even allowed in but there was an open place to get in by. It was very overgrown and seemed unmanaged but strangest of all was the weird old swamp in the middle - it definately looked like a natural traditional looking swamp - not what you'd expect to find in Sawston - I'd love to find out more about this strange place - who owns it, its history etc.
Anyway, we're finishing off the day at home now, so all in it's been a really lovely day :)
Landscape Archaeologist, Local Historian & Mobile Makeup Artist