Sunday, 17 February 2008

Green Man envy

I have lived in Cambridge for a year and a half now and there is still so much of it that is a complete mystery to me. So much of the life of the city revolves around the university and unless you are involved in university life - which I am not - you feel a little shut out.

So getting a chance to go into a college - as I did today to see our friend Lauren Kassell - is always very exciting. Lauren is an expert on alchemy and magic (and wouldn't you love to be able to say that) and has the most fantastically appropriate rooms in Pembroke College. She even has her very own Green Man carvings - how cool is that? My copy of Pevsner says that her wood panelling is 17th Century and comes from the old hall they ripped down in the 19th Century. I want a wood panelled writing room. It's not fair!

Eager to take any opportunity to poke my nose into the academic world I had accepted and invitation to a formal dinner at Newnham College as a guest of another academic friend of ours - Mardi Dungey - but it has been cancelled. And I was looking forward to having chance to wear my tuxedo. All of it.

I bought my tux when my book Death and the Arrow was up for an Edgar award in New York a couple of years back. My editor there - the wonderful Nancy Hinkel - came to pick me up from my hotel just as I discovered that I had forgotten to pack the trousers. Luckily I had another suit.

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