Here’s the view from a café in King Street, Cambridge.
This café used to be called “Clowns”. There were two Italian sisters downstairs. Now it is called “The Locker”, and the staff are different. Much to my relief, they have not messed it up. It is still a tranquil place. The coffee is excellent. There is no intrusive background music. People read books upstairs. I drew this picture looking out of the upstairs window. Behind me, on a low sofa, a man was reading two books alternately and monitoring his laptop screen. Both books were by Jorge Luis Borges.
At an adjacent table three women were making design decisions for the website of a charitable organisation. This sub-page, that on the main menu, shall we include video? They discussed titles, and the placing of punctuation marks. I was concentrating on my drawing and only heard the odd word. Then one of the women described a conversation she’d had on a previous job, for a college. A fragment drifted over to me. She had quite a loud voice. “I told them it was “Porters’ Lodge”, and not “Porter’s” apostrophe “s”, because there was more than one porter. But they told me I was American and didn’t know anything. “
Here is a drawing of a chimney on the houses on Mill Road, drawn from a café called “Tom’s Cakes”
On the bench by the window, a man was completing the cross word, or engaged in some other puzzle that required his total concentration. This made him a good subject for a quick sketch.
I drew the Round Church from the low wall outside St John’s College. It seems surprising to me that the road sign is placed right in front of this well-known and much photographed church. But it was there, so I put it in the picture.
Here are two sketches made from the Fitzwilliam museum, sitting on the stone outside.
Fitzwilliam St, G Peck Chemist
Corner of Fitzwilliam Street
The houses are all neatly maintained. The windows have proper wooden frames, the chimneys have new concrete round their bases. The shield-like sign on the left of the road says “G Peck and Sons Dispensing Chemists, Estd 1851”. It is still a dispensing chemists, but not G Peck and son. Why do we now call chemists “pharmacies”? When did that happen?
I enjoyed the opportunity to look closely at these buildings. There’s a lot to sketch in Cambridge.