The week began normally, but promised to get exciting by the end of the week, as Mum was visiting for the first time since she had come off Maatsuyker Island. On Thursday morning, I checked in with home to see if Mum was well prepared for her visit to the UK, only to discover that she was already on her way and landing in a few hours. Panicked, I readied some things and headed out to the airport to pick her up. While her plane landed on time, she had a slow going through the immigration queue, so I was stood waiting outside the international arrivals for about an hour. When she eventually did arrive, we went down to the train station and headed up towards Cambridge.
I explained that I hadn’t quite anticipated her arrival, and was due to play tennis in the East Anglian Pennant at Hatfield House that evening. So before we could even head back home, we turned around and took a train down to Hatfield from Cambridge. I gave Mum detailed instructions on how to find the tennis court, as we were running a little late, then raced up to the club to make sure I wasn’t too late. Eventually, Mum joined, and I got changed and warmed up for my match. In my singles, I played well, beating my Hatfield opponent 6-2. By the time my doubles match came around, Cambridge had already at least drawn the fixture, and Richard and I put the result beyond doubt with a 6-4 victory over a husband and wife pair. They were still nice enough to put on a lovely dinner of sausages and mash potato. Finally, we took the train back up to Cambridge to let Mum finally get some rest.
Because I had been expecting Mum to arrive on Friday, I didn’t have anything planned for her. I went to work to get some stuff done, while she went and explored Cambridge for a bit. On Saturday, We met up with Annalise for lunch at Trinity college, which Mum enjoyed a lot, as the master of the college had recently won a Nobel Prize and he was having lunch at the same time. That afternoon, we took Mum out punting on the river Cam. It was likely the last time I could go punting for the year. Annalise, Jacqueline and Danny came along with his friend from Wisconsin, Hannah. We took the punt up the river, pushing it up the slipway and heading out into the meadows. Last time she was here, we had taken her through the colleges. We brought along some food, and saw lots of people on the banks of the river. Though there was a bit of wind about, the punting was fairly straightforward, helped by the fact that it was the last warm day of the year. We made it pretty much all the way to Grantchester before turning around and racing back towards the city. Along the way home, we saw Nora going for a walk as well. We saw a few people kayaking and a few people swimming, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
Even though Saturday had been lovely and warm, Sunday was cold and rainy. Nonetheless, Mum agreed to taking a bike ride to Ely. She borrowed Jacqueline’s bike and dropped the seat a little, and we set out when it was still dry. We rode out along the river, and headed for Bottisham. But when we turned up into the Fens proper, the rain started. We got completely soaked as we came through Wicken Fen, and stopped briefly there for a look at the landscape. But the rain didn’t let up, and by the time we could see the towers of Ely Cathedral on the horizon. Mum had to take her glasses off as they were covered in water. We parked our bikes by the cathedral and had a walk around and inside. Finally, we went to a takeout place to get some warm and much needed food before taking the train back to Cambridge.