A long time ago in a town 184 miles away (according to Google)….

The central colleges of Cambridge University are old, some with buildings dating back more than 600 years. Golden stone, soaring arches, ancient cobbles, buttresses flying all over the place. Anyone in search of views unchanged in centuries will not be disappointed, and this timeless quality brings tourists from far and wide. Crystal skies and glinting sun lend a magical air, and on one such balmy summers day Fyse walks the famous streets in meditative contemplation. Past the imposing bulk of King’s College Chapel, he wends his merry way down Trinity Street, pausing briefly to ponder the fine displays adorning charming little shops. Down past the craft market, bustling with crotched hats and coat hanger wind-chimes, and briefly within range of the infamous cheese shop, the breeze thick with its pungent wares.

Beyond Trinity College he approaches the gatehouse of St John’s, imposing in brick, oak and iron; a portent of tradition and musty learning. With a satisfied breath he leaves the street and passes through the mighty arch, cheerfully contemplating the civilised tea and cake he is to enjoy with a select group of terribly civilised friends, perchance overlooking the terribly civilised river and college gardens. “Just like the students of yester year”, he muses pretentiously. Suddenly, however, he finds himself confronted by half a dozen movie cameras, a crane, several make-up artists and a director (complete with chair). An expanse of gravel covers half the courtyard and a hundred medieval soldiers stand around sipping from mugs of tea. It seems almost as if Hollywood has come to town.

Fyse stops abruptly and casts around for some sort of rational explanation. Nobody pays him any attention and it slowly dawns on him that Hollywood actually has come to town, in all it’s glitz and glory. He has stumbled blindly into a fully operational film set and no one seems in the least bit surprised. The same cannot be said of Fyse. A literal army of extras throngs the normally quiet courtyard, making small-talk as they lean nonchalantly on their weaponry. Nearby a horse defecates magnificently, at which a small man with a shovel rushes to dispose of the offending material. The assorted actors drain their mugs of tea as a large megaphone begins to corral them for the upcoming scene. Fyse calls his friend to say he’ll be late and settles into a corner, gawping at the spectacle.

A couple of hours later Fyse wends his way back toward the gatehouse, now full of cake and erudite conversation. Apparently a massive swan-shaped boat was seen on the river the day before, and he makes mental note to look out for large fowl-based conveyances in the final film. As Fyse is lost in thought a gentleman bustles through the archway ahead, officious both in manner and bearing, and leading someone toward the side gate. Ever the instinctively polite gentleman, Fyse steps aside and smiles in a friendly if slightly distracted manner. The lady following behind looks up, and it is only now that Fyse realises he is standing face to face with Queen Elizabeth I.

Cate Blanchett pauses before him, with magnificent period wig atop a decidely 20th century tracksuit. He freezes. She smiles. There is a spark, a frisson between them. Cate adopts ‘come hither’ eyes. “You know, I’ve been looking for just such a dashing-if-slightly-geeky physics student to be my tour guide round Cambridge. I’m sure you know exactly where all the best ale houses are.” Cate mentally undresses the dumbstruck Fyse. “And I’d love to buy you dinner at my hotel afterwards…”

Returning to reality Fyse sees Cate disappear from sight, out of his life forever. He instantly thinks of a hundred marvellously witty things to say.