Fryman Takes a Punt

Before my friend, Matt Warder, invited me up to Cambridge for the day, I wasn’t sure how I’d spend the bank holiday weekend here in the UK. I took the train up to Cambridge this morning, meeting Matt, his wife, Fiona, and their two beautiful children, Jack (aka "JJ") and Tess, for a "pub lunch" next to "the Cam," otherwise known as the Cambridge River. What a satisfying day. Before lunch, we strolled through the middle of Cambridge, checking out the architecture and beautifully manicured lawns that are scattered all over the college campuses. They take their green space seriously in Cambridge. Only fellows and ducks are allowed to walk on some of the lawn. Apparently gardeners have been sacked for not properly maintaining the lawns.

the cam don't walk on the lawn JJ

After a nice lunch alongside the Cam, Matt and I set off to "take a punt."  Punts are narrow, flat boats that one pushes along with a pole, and they’re available to rent for a very reasonable hourly rate. You can rent your own or hire a punter to take you up and down the river while you enjoy the scenery. What a great way to spend an afternoon. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a ton of fun. As you might expect, there are varying levels of punting skills among the people navigating the river, which presents a nice challenge. Add a few beers into the mix, and it can get interesting.

warder taks a punt march 3 2008  fryman punting mar 3 2008 fryman takes a punt

After some punting, Matt and I grabbed a few pints at The Eagle, one of the oldest pubs in Cambridge, where Royal and US Air Force pilots used to hang out during WWII, inscribing the names of their squadrons on the ceiling. I have to admit I was tempted for a just a second to leave Fryman’s inscription at The Eagle, but I decided to leave my ugly American in London for the day. Thanks, Matt, Fiona, Tess and JJ for a wonderful afternoon.


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