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  • Writer's picturePeter Smith

MONDAY 21st FEBRUARY 2000; A Trip to Cambridge

We leave my parents Monday afternoon and drive to Cambridge, which Ginny has never seen. I have vague thoughts of inspiring her to great academic achievement, although there is one major stumbling block. She can't ride a bike, and has no interest in learning, although she reckons that she could roller-blade to lectures just as easily. As this seems like a recipe for a rapid and fatal end to a Cambridge career, we may need to reconsider!

Dinner at the Varsity, about the only of my old eating places still going. Although it has gone a touch up-market in the last 20 years, we still eat well and hugely for around a tenner a head. But I mourn The Whim, where everything came with rice and chips and vegetables and salad, and which was replaced most inappropriately by a branch of Laura Ashley or something similar.

Now, the chains have moved in - Garfunkels, Caffe Uno, Rat and Parrot. Just as through the sixties and seventies, all our towns started to feature exactly the same shops - Boots, Woolies, Tesco, W.H.Smith and so on, now the same seems to be happening to restaurants and pubs, which were still individual until recently. It feels as if something has been lost, although there are still a few places such as the Baron of Beef that gratifyingly don't seem to have changed too much.

* 8 years later, daughter did indeed go to study at Cambridge, and remained unable to ride a bike througout her time there (although she did eventually learn after leaving!) .

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