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Welcome to the Author Elise Darcy’s newsletter
~ Up on the Roof ~
This issue of Up on the Roof is brought to you from the steps of The Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge University, England.
For those readers new to the Elise Darcy Newsletter they are called Up on the Roof because I love rooftop gardens. Where possible I endeavour to write each newsletter on a different rooftop, be it a rooftop garden, café or restaurant. For this edition I visited a small but delightful museum in the centre of Cambridge.
The last year was busy and with four different projects on the go, I needed to re-visit some of the locations which feature in my forthcoming new release at the end of February. So, with a notebook in hand, I set off to find this quaint museum tucked away in a pretty square in the centre of Cambridge. Housed in a grand old building with an impressive curved staircase outside, I soon found what I was looking for; walking through an archway and turning left I encountered a life-like model dinosaur amongst the greenery. The charm of this place is that it feels like a time warp, with some exhibits in old-fashioned display cabinets which add to the atmosphere. Inside there is a 4.5-billion-year timeline layout showing the rocks, minerals and fossils discovered through each period of history. And of course, some impressive dinosaur and skeleton exhibits which is great for children and adults alike. With an area featuring some of the original samples collected by Charles Darwin, I could have spent many hours here. But I had other parts of Cambridge to explore and then a rather interesting walk I was looking forward to.
The highlight of this trip was a stroll through Grantchester Meadows. So, with sturdy walking shoes and wrapped up against the easterly wind, I made my way along the river Cam, amid fields with views over a pastoral landscape. Following the track, I soon arrived at the village of Grantchester, with its thatched cottages, and the parish church where there is a display about the filming of ‘Grantchester’, a British detective series on television. Stopping at The Orchard Tea rooms for lunch, I spent the rest of that afternoon looking at the photos and information on display about some of the writers and poets like Rupert Brook and Virginia Wolff who frequented the place in the early 1900’s.
I had combined this trip with a visit to the Theatre in the evening to see a memorable production of the musical ‘My Fair Lady’. It was very timely for me to see this play about a pompous professor and his student, as he embarks on a wager to turn a Cockney flower girl into a lady. Although I lived and worked in the centre of London for many years, Cambridge is a challenge for any driver during the day. But that evening, navigating the tiny streets in a car with streams of people and bicycles weaving in and out from different directions, is an experience to do at least once in a lifetime, just to remind yourself why walking is much more conducive to one’s health and sanity.