On Thursday, as I drove from my appointment at the dole office JobCentrePlus, Cambridge looked beautiful enough to break your heart. Compared to Oxford, you don’t see people in gowns much here, but I passed a line of them walking very decoratively along The Backs that afternoon. The sun was shining low—through trees that hadn’t even got around to doing their golden foliage thing, but still looked gorgeous—and dappled the black figures as they processed beyond a long rank of parked cars. Luckily I snapped out of my reverie in time to avoid removing the vehicles’ wing mirrors. Commenter casualsavant will testify to my near complete failure to take advantage of the sights here, but when I’ve been rowing and running around the place I’ve seen some lovely picture-postcard scenes. (Given the chance, cs would also have a thing or two to say about my driving.)

Nothing much happens in Cambridge, but I’ll miss that too. Lately, however, the local papers have been excited to have a juicy murder plot to report. No one died, of course, but that means everyone can enjoy the tale without feeling guilty—except for the plotter, that is, who the cops got bang-to-rights. Karen Quinton became infatuated with a man who wasn’t her husband so she decided to hire a contract killer called “Dave” to remove the man who was. She promised Dave £10 000 from Mr Quinton’s life insurance on delivery of her widowhood. Unfortunately for Mrs Quinton, but fortunately for her husband, Dave was an undercover policeman. I mean, what are the chances of there being a bloke sitting in a Cambridgeshire pub, ready to do away with an inconvenient rellie for you? You could probably find a bloke called Dave ready to explain string theory to you, ready to guide you through the microeconomics of health insurance in Texas, ready to recount the social history of the Kite area of the city, ready to build you a custom PC, or even ready to teach you how to play the lute. But ready to commit murder? You’ll have to nip down to London for that, love.

Funny thing is, I was in the Co-op supermarket the other day and I caught sight of the front page of the Cambridge Evening News, the main non-free newspaper round here. Mr Quinton was on the front cover, publicly declaring his love for his homicidal wife in spite of everything. Just goes to show: not everyone in this town is very bright.