20 August 2011

So this is Cambridge?!

The sermon given by our vice principal on Thursday identified this brief period of time as a rare bit of downtime in the life of a theological student; placements have mostly finished, the new academic year is still waiting at the horizon, so we have a short opportunity to stop.

For DrLanky and me, there has been little chance for any kind of stopping in over a year! This time last year, I had run out of annual leave and was working very hard to ensure I didn't leave any issues behind me at work. This meant long hours and a fair amount of stress, whilst trying to organise a house-move with a baby. Then September came, and I worked as late as I could before we moved. I finished work on the Friday, and we moved on the following Wednesday. Westcott term started on the Sunday!

With all the deadlines and the pressure of life in Cambridge, there has been zero chance of any decent relaxation, even in the 'holidays', and following the exams I went straight off to Sheringham for my 8 week placement. So life has been 'full on' for well over a year!

Returning to Cambridge a couple of weeks ago was meant to be the start of relaxation, but some inconsiderate burglars did their best to ensure a turbulent return! Thankfully, due to some hard work, we're now at the stage where the house is nearly back to normal, the sun is shining (occasionally), and the visit of friends over the last few days has meant we could enjoy Cambridge in a way we haven't done previously. Yesterday morning was spent wandering round the city with children in backpack carriers, eating and drinking, wandering through colleges with time on our hands. Bliss!

Today we go punting to celebrate the birthday of a Westcott colleague, and we're looking forward to picnicking at Grantchester. Hopefully the weather will hold.

Next week we turn our attention to a brief visit from friends (before greenbelt kicks off), and we'll have the opportunity for further exploration of the city.

For us, Cambridge hasn't been the utopian place we thought it might be. Our feelings about Cambridge are entangled with feelings about the difficulty of balancing Westcott life with family life; of missed opportunities and frustration at life. That's not to say we haven't enjoyed it here, but it's been hard. Maybe this opportunity to rest for a short while, and to enjoy being here, will help us to put things into perspective before the madness starts again.

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