The Oxford online dictionary suggests that bleeding is an adjective used for emphasis or to express annoyance. It further suggests that it is British informal. My own interpretation is that it is also one of the lowest levels of profanity. I used it in the title firstly to express annoyance that the weather has been so bad this week - my planned sail on Rutland water was cancelled because of strong winds. (I know you need wind to go sailling but not such a strong wind in such a small boat. I took advice from the Commodore of the club, who is a lot more experienced in these matters than I am.)
I also used the bleeding word to lead on to my reason for writing today. Instead of going sailing, and inspired by my friend Gwen, I went to Cambridge to give blood. My 55th pint, or 56th, if you count the pint I donated in Scotland in a rare moment of generosity. When the bleeding weather is cold the blood flows much more slowly but yesterday was fine. I was off the reclining bed/chair and on to the tea and biscuits in very short order.
Cambridge is one of my favourite cities and here are a few of the pictures I took trying to capture "the Britishness" of the place.
1) St John's college, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, established by charter in 1511!
2) Bikes. There are thousands leaning against every available railing in the city. Here you can also see some of the plethora of handbills advertising what's on in the city.
3) Some church or other, just off the market square. Too idle to do my research and find out which church it is. There are many of them in Cambridge, of many different faiths.
4) A Salvation Army stalwart. What could be more British? Founded in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth it is a Christian church and international charitable organisation structured in a quasi-military fashion. Their members can often be seen on the streets with their collecting tins, raising money for worthwhile causes.
5) A 'busker', or street musician. I know nothing about music, having always thought that a key was something you opened the door with and pitch was something you put on the road, but I sometimes like to stop and listen. I think he was a tenor. I put some money in his collecting box - needless to say, it wasn't a tenner - and stopped for a few minutes while I ate my hot dog for lunch, procured from a nearby street vendor.
6) Now that Spring has sprung flowers are everywhere. These are looking a bit bedraggled from the recent heavy rain but still beautiful nevertheless. Cambridge has many parks and gardens where, when the sun shines, it is quite pleasant to perambulate.