Day 15: Saturday
So yes, I did spend last night in the van, despite not actually having to. And I’m going to do it again!
The reason is to go out for a proper evening with Layla, with neither of us having to work the next day (or meet a mortgage adviser, in her case). As we’ve been going to the Royal Standard so frequently, we decide to go a little further afield, to the Empress pub on Thoday Street.
The Empress is a fab spit-and-sawdust place that used to be my local before we moved out of Cambridge in 2006. It’s not changed much (though for some reason its exterior is now painted an eyewatering shade of bright red), though I think it’s been through quite a few landlords since then. There’s a pool table, a billiard table, old fashioned wooden pews and tables, and a jukebox that’s usually playing some great tunes.
It turns out to be fairly quiet – it’s very much a haunt for Anglia Ruskin University students billeted nearby, and they’re not quite back from their summer holidays yet. At least that means we have no trouble finding a seat, and don’t have to enact “To the Front of the Queue in 80 Days” to get a beer.
We stay on Tim Taylor Landlord all night, a terrific little IPA. The place is on weekend opening hours and closes at 1am, and despite both of our protestations about being sensible, we stay till the end, by which time we’re having lively chats about the virtues of Abba to the other customers.
Back to the van, and thankfully it’s a little warmer than last night. It’s fair to say I’ve had rather a lot of beer, but I optimistically try listening to last night’s Radio 4 News Quiz on the iPlayer. And just as last time, I’m fast asleep before I even hear question 1.