Well time has come to add another installment to our series on life for
antipodeans in Cambridge.  Thanks for all the bits and pieces of mail from
back home - you're really doing your best to make us homesick.

The weather
Leaving aside the fact that it is the most unseasonal weather since records
began, we have been continually surprised at how pleasant the weather has
been generally.  Much more pleasant than a Melbourne autumn, although there
are occasional surprises.  I was caught in a rather torrid downpour the other
night after that great Cambridge institution, unaffected by recent drifting
towards metric - the pint at the local pub with some friends.  The days are
generally calm but cool.  This night however, I took pity on Kona and drove
a raincoat over to her orchester rehearsal.  I am not looking forward to 
Janurary which locals confidently tell me "will freeze parts of you that you
didn't even know existed".  -3 to 5 degrees is the temperature distribution
for Janurary and that doesn't allow for the wind chill which is quite vicious
with all the flat fen country between here and the north sea :)  It's a 
positive joy to see even a small hill after any length of time in Cam.

Parking update:
As Konz mentioned we have parking now, after a brief period of extortion
from the college.  It is however almost geometrically impossible to park in, 
and I hold grave fears for the car as I squeeze it in every night.  Parking
at work is a whole different ball game with a parking spot being any
place you can feasibly locate a car so it won't be crushed by a dumpster as
it tears around the site.  Photos to follow at some stage.

Snippet of life in college:
It's like being six years old again dealing with college beaurocracy (sp:) - 
definitely wrong but I'm sure I will have it down pat after 3 years here.
An Australian friend of ours (30 years old, has practised law in the U.S and
Australia - taking her masters in law here) was subjected to a 30 minute 
lecture by the Pembroke bursar the other day on the "resposibilities of having
a phone" prior to being given permission to have one connected to her college
room.  This is not an uncommon occurance.  They wait every year until they have
enough complaints before they turn on the heating as a cost cutting measure.
Some friends took one of the girls up (with a very severe cold) as material
evidence yesterday to bolster their case.

They closed the Sainsbury's in town a few weeks ago for renovations.  It is
bascially the only place for students to buy groceries at decent prices.
It has been renovated now and all the aisles are at 90 degrees to the
original and very little else has changed.  This did give us an opportunity
to discover the "Big Sainsbury's" out of town using their shuttle bus service.
You can get all sorts of delicacies out at the BS including that Aussie
wonder the vegemite jar - only the little weenie jars available so we bought
four :) - will visit the shops around the embassy in London next time we are
down there and grab one of the 1 kilo tubs.

Weekly schedule
Life has settled down into a kind of weekly schedule that revolves arounfd
eating and drinking pretty much.  A typical week looks like the following.

Sunday:  Formal hall - marginally higher quality meal in mediaveal surroundings
         brought to you on a plate.  BYO wine and have a good time.

Monday:  Trough for dinner and do the washing at college whilst sitting in
         the graduate parlour and reading newspapers and catching up on
         attrocities around the world.

Tuesday: Video night: - 2001 last week.  I hadn't seen it - it was pretty
         tedious in places but a good investment if only for the frequent
         references in other movies.

Thursday:  Wine tasting - the cheeses are pretty good too - the remnants of
         wine are consumed at B/A dinner - everyone at Cambridge gets a BA
         when they graduate, so BA is a generic term for graduate.  Usually
         an O.K dinner where lots of alcohol is consumed.
Saturday: we binged last weekend on about 4-> 5 hours of movies :)

In between there are various nights spent talking over pints at pubs, reading
and attending various gatherings.  You discover that you are members of all
sorts of little clubs - O/S students, Commonwealth, Australians, Married
couples, spouses of married couples - no end of excuses to gather.

Working life:
I took a walk around the grounds today and took some more pictures - hard to
get a shot where there weren't yellow marker pegs indicating some dire plans 
to destroy the bucolic atmosphere of the grounds.  There is a crochet lawn 
and they have put a competely useless path through the patch of lawn where
volleyball happens during summer.  I was told they use to have problems on 
the cricket pitch with a buzzard of all things and one of the members of my
section lost a chunk of ear to the bird before it was relocated in our best
interests.  Apparently it made a good existance on the abundant rabbits about
the place.  The soccer or "footy" field is threatened on the other hand by
moles which dig up the field and generally create hazzards.
I have been eating apples from the orchard that a friend introced me to.  
Not so sure if they shouldn't be tested prior to consumption.  The occupational
health and safety officer is quite good and he didn't mention anything :)  I
attended a talk the other day with people from my section (it has doubled over
the last year and is still expanding) and he identified the main OHS threat
to my existance as power cords - rest assured that I am being careful and
avoiding biologists wearing lab coats and gloves.  The following piece of
mail came around the other day - the building we are in is scheduled for
demolition in 6 months or so when we move into our 8 million dollar new
building - yipee:

   When we converted the old kitchens to changing rooms and showers we told the
   plumbers that they only had to last for two years. They have
   -----------------------------------only lasted for two years. However I have
   it on good authority that a vigorous rub down with a rough towel is as good
   as a hot shower. In the meantime a plumber has been requested to administer
   the rub down.

What is it with this country ?

Our major outing was down to London last weekend I think - boy the weeks
fly.  We picked up my guitar (guitar anf guitarist are doing quite nicely
thankyou) and saw Hampton court, Covent gardens and misc central London
parks - made a note to learn to rollerblade - there have been fatalities in
the parks apparently :)  Was very disappointed in the Hampton court maze -
a right wall following algorithm got us in (sorry computer reference there) and
a left wall following alg got us out - we weren't even concentrating.  For a
very densely packed city they certainly know how to create open space - in a
way it's a lot more economical than everyone having their 1/4 acre.  If you
look in the right direction you can almost convince yourself that you're alone
in the middle of nowhere.  Kona mentioned the yummy Italian in Paddington -
the traffic in London is beyond belief and the ring road they constructed to
fix the problem is a national joke - they were going to put up web pictures
showing traffic congenstion and the M25 was the first up for consideration 
because you could show the same pictures of stationary traffic all the time :)

We passed a 10 km tailback out of London going the other way on Sunday night
at 9pm - pretty sad.

Well the Pembroke basement is getting kind of clastrophobic, so I should
sautner off and check out the cool still night I think.  Perfect half moon
and they do Halloween properly here - with all the towers sillhouetted against
the moon, it's rather atmospheric.  The K. is off at one of her numerous
rehearsals for a concert that is playing at the same time as a huge
Guy Fawkes bonfire on Saturday - guess they won't have an audience unless it
rains :)