Many months had passed by, I had started attending my classes by the river at the Southbank Center. When I moved to London, I was hoping I’d make new friends. Since I was studying education in arts and culture, I was amongst a class full of artistic, divergent thinkers. They loved going to the museums, the art galleries, the theatre shows at the Westend, the dance theatre etc.
A bunch of us wanted to get out of the city, so we planned to make a trip to Cambridge. It was early in the morning, I was waiting near the platform at the train station for my friends to arrive. Women who wore fancy outfits and silly, pompous hats strutted with heels on the walkway as they waited for the train to go to the derby. I’ve never been to a derby before. I, on the other hand, wore my tall, brown boots and a rugged coat from H&M under a polka-dotted top because of the chilly air. I looked as casual as a pedestrian on the streets of Camden. As I look back, what I miss the most is how easily I could fit into my skinny pants
My friends arrived, and we boarded a 10.20 am train to Cambridge. The city looked like a beautiful, hushed town filled with old architectural buildings of Cambridge. We walked around, hopping from college to college, moving from store to store with handbags in our hands after lunch. I had acquired a taste for teas after living in London for a while. We went to this little quaint tea store where I ordered the Earl Grey with scones.
We stopped by at the King’s College Chapel. The old, gothic styled architecture gave away a presbyterian vibe. As I walked into the church, I made my grand entrance into the arcade and into the nave of the church. The church was lined with tall, tainted clerestories on both sides that reached up to the ceiling. As I walked along, we entered the inner courtyard; both sides of the courtyard had mahogony chairs and tables. I looked up, and I saw the grey ceiling chiselled with circular and linear patterns.
Finally, we were ready to rough our hands and try our luck at punting. We passed by sweet, dainty looking cows with innocent eyes. I thought about India and how you’d see the cows in the middle of the road, on mainstream traffic area and how the drivers would honk and honk until they cried. However, here, they were on peaceful grasslands, unbothered by the barbaric traffic of India.
As we hired the boat, we could ask for an assistant punter ( the student of Cambridge were volunteers ), but we decided to do it on our own. We huddled into our seats as we willowed with excitement to discover the pathway of the water. Each of us got our turn to punt.
(artwork from my sketchbook)
I’d never punted before, and it is much harder than it looks. I underestimated the level of skill required to hook the pole to the surface and propel the boat forward. I was standing on the elevated edge of the boat. The water was deep, and sometimes I waddled through as I held onto the pole as it drubbed the deep surface and I’d slip. My friend Barbara was phenomenal, she wore heels and took the lead as she expertly guided the boat with her punting skills. Suddenly, we heard an uproar in one corner, it was the boys of Cambridge giving her a standing ovation as she punted with heels.
After a satisfying day at Cambridge, we parted ways from this beautiful, quaint town and headed back to London, back to my apartment where I lived alone. Living alone can have its own anxieties: will I make enough friends? Will I get lonely?
As a Christian girl, I never really felt that anxious. The word of God says delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. I made some lasting friends that I am still in touch with. I wasn’t an avid cook, for a foodie like me, copious amounts of cranberry juice and lemongrass iced teas over dinners and lunches were necessary to recuperate before I’d get back to my essays. Soon, I found people who I grew close to who accompanied me to all my food adventures. Even though I went on many adventures, God would not let me deviate my focus; I loved my classes, became the student representative and won the King’s leadership award. As you rely on the Lord and trust him, he will make way for all your needs.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.