Monday, May 16, 2011

Down in among the Monkeys

Wednesday 11th May: So today was similar to the last couple of days, but it was colder and we almost had some rain.  Having learnt my lesson from yesterday I didn’t bother with a cycling jacket and was able to generate enough heat cycling through Cambridge to keep me pleasantly warm.  One trick I find to be quite good is as you near your destination to slow down but keep moving, that way you generate less body heat but still get air cooling and so when you reach your destination your body temperature doesn’t suddenly shoot up.

The last few days haven’t given me a lot of picture taking opportunities, but I still carried my small Sony DSC W-100 over my shoulder so it was ready to hand. This camera replaces a previous Sony 8MP camera, both have given excellent service and although in today’s fast moving world of electronics the W-100 is perhaps getting long in the tooth I still think that it gives acceptable results whilst being a compact camera.

I found myself in Downing College so I sneaked a couple of pictures in the breaks. I still find it a little surreal to walk in off the street and find yourself in a completely different environment. It is not the only college where you get this experience, but it is within 0.5 miles of the city centre and then you find yourself amidst 20 acres of lawns and trees and neo-classical architecture.

This laburnum was nicely out – in fact this is probably one of the better times of year to admire the trees amongst the various buildings.

The College was founded in 1800, the founder Sir George Downing’s “grandfather gave his name to Downing Street in London and parts of the house he built survive in the present number 10”. The College was designed around a great quadrangle of 300 feet square.

And since I have taken picture of this church over the last couple of days why stop now? It is Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church (OLEM for short) but from a different angle within the aforementioned grounds.

Did I also mention that I had only a short-sleeved shirt on and at one point in the day I was under-dressed. It was fine for cycling but not hanging around, in fact it also rained a tiny amount.  Fortunately, for me as a cyclist, but not I fear gardeners and farmers, it did not really amount to much and it warmed up again. I really ought to check weather reports and perhaps carry a thin jumper or fleece for such occasions.

That evening my daughter and I went to see the Uncaged Monkeys at the Corn Exchange. This was a “geekfest”, except it was also very enjoyable and there should be compulsory attendance for all Daily Mail readers since it touches upon some of that paper’s news items. The place was packed we were treated to a very entertaining review from Code-breaking through to Genetics and Particle Physics to Drugs Trials.  Brian Cox came across very well in the Q&A which seemed to randomly pop up just before the break.

We made it there in time – one of the advantages of seat allocations is that the only thing to worry about was parking – yes I know shame on me, but we ended up driving there. The show started a 8om and finished around 11pm and we hadn’t eaten before the show so I am glad that I did have the car for once.


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