The Accidental Adventure

Ooooh, I do so love it when it just so happens that the title of something is nicely alliterated. Accidental Alliteration…I’ll get my coat.

Our accidental adventure came about because after my Easter holiday trauma, which you can read about if you fancy a laugh – we can all laugh about now, enough time has passed – Rich and I rewarded his parents with the gift of our three children for a day and a night, and skedaddled off to Cambridge.


The Rainbow Cafe

Cambridge is one of those places that are truly good for the soul. We spent a LOT of time in bookshops, had lunch at The Rainbow Cafe, which serves the best vegetarian food ever, as well as amazing vegan, gluten-free, nut-free options. It’s definitely worth checking out if you are in Cambridge, it’s just opposite Kings’ college too – downstairs though, you have to go outside to admire the view. We went to all the lovely arty shops and galleries that you can’t attempt with three children in tow. (We had to leave my favorite one- Cambridge Contemporary Crafts swiftly, because it turns out that I want to own ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in there.)


Jugs by Debbie Joy


Cambridge Contemporary Crafts


Oh, and we bought a duvet. A nice, summer weight duvet from John Lewis. And then, in the excitement of trying a nice shirt on, Rich left it in a shop. Rich NEVER does stuff like that, I should emphasise. Well, almost never, obviously. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to race back to a shop in a panic to see if it was there that I left my shopping/bag/keys/phone/coat/child . So my panic was tinged with ‘well, at least it wasn’t ME this time’-type glee.

The next morning we checked with the shop that the duvet was safe and well:

(Me: Um, we might have left a duvet in your shop?  Shop man: Yes! We have one here!  Me: It’s a 4.5 tog, ah, just in case more than one person left a duvet in your shop yesterday… Shop man: Nope, that’s the only one. )

And then obviously  we had to arrange to collect it. Another trip to Cambridge. Oh no. (It’s very hard to convey sarcasm effectively in print, I find, but I was being sarcastic there. Bit clunky, but better to clear it up now, eh?)

Anyway, armed with children and grandparents, we went off on Sunday to Cambridge and had a wonderful time. I can totally recommend the Quentin Blake exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum; it consists on one smallish room (the one room thing being crucial in the selling of the word ‘exhibition’ to children) full of his original illustrations for various books, and also some of the paints, ink pens and chunky watercolour crayons that he uses to create his work.


The Girl with the Magic Horse


Quentin Blake

The exhibition is free, and in the museum there is also an Egyptian room with mummies in, and an entire room full of armour, guns, swords and other stuff that is catnip for nearly-six-year-old-boys, (and their Grandads.) Oh, and the gift shop is pretty ace too. One thing though, don’t sit on the lion statues outside the museum. You get told off by a shouty lady.

We also had a great time in a shop called blott. blott sells nice stationery (catnip for me) and collectible erasers in the shapes of animals, food, vehicles…anything. They only cost £1.25, so are pocket-money friendly, and there are LOTS to choose from.


Irresistible unicorns


Blott: pretty stationery

Oh yeah, and some of them are unicorns. Other cultural highlights for the children included: buskers dressed as the Beatles, a ride on the Park&Ride double decker (you can very rarely beat a bus in the excitement stakes for my children,) and a dog that looked like a bear. For me, I love all the new ideas and inspiration that places like Cambridge give me. It’s always exciting there. So in summary, hurrah for occasional scattiness, and the Leaving of Duvets in Shops.



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