What’s on in March

February is drawing to a close and although there are signs of Spring here in Cambridge, the outdoor temperature is still extremely bracing!  But there’s plenty going on in the city to get us through to the warmer Spring days, so here’s the what’s on listing for March.  It’s an eclectic mix of events that come to my attention so if you know about an event that could be included, please get in touch through my Contact page.  I’ll update this listing through the month, so do check back when you can.

Railings at Michaelhouse
The railings at Michaelhouse

1st    8pm  Joachim Trio.  Purcell, Beethoven, Schubert and Sibelius.  Kettles Yard.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

2nd   5.30pm  Migration 2018: Migration in Science.  Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Avenue http://www.darwin.cam.ac.uk/lectures

2/3rd   7pm (and 2pm on 3rd)  Swan Lake.  Cambridge University Ballet Society. West Road Concert Hall  http://www.adcticketing.co.uk

3/4th    10am  Innovations in Ceramic Art.  The Guildhall, Market Square  http://www.onlineceramics.com

3rd    8.15pm  The Kilgour Consort.  Bach Mass in B Minor.  Trinity College Chapel  http://www.tcms.org.uk

4th    9.30am  Cambridge Half Marathon.  Starting and finishing on Midsummer Common

5/12/19th    7pm  Meditation and Emotional Intelligence.  Michaelhouse.  cambridge.cea@gmail.com

5th    7.30pm  Mozart and Mendelssohn.  The St Margaret’s Society of Queens’ with MagSoc Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.  West Road Concert Hall  magsoc.soc.srcf.net/tickets

8th    8pm  Fever: Jo Harrop sings Peggy Lee.  Hidden Rooms, Jesus Lane  http://www.cambridgejazz.org

9th    5.30pm  Migration 2018:  Animal Migration.  Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Avenue  http://www.darwin.cam.ac.uk/lectures

10th    The Rising Festival 2018, celebrating International Women’s Day  http://www.therisingnetwork.com

10th    7.30 pm  The Trinity Singers.  Mendelssohn and Dvorak.  Trinity College Chapel.  Tickets on the door.

10th    8pm  The Orlando Singers. Durufle, Vierne, Bruckner and Poulenc.  Queens’ College Chapel  http://www.OrlandoSingers.org.uk

11th    10.30am  Cambridge Vegan Market.  The Guildhall, Market Square.  http://www.veganmarkets.co.uk and see my blog post

11th    7.30pm  CU Chinese Orchestra Society 11th Anniversary Concert.  West Road Concert Hall  http://www.adcticketing.com

17th    5.30pm  Foundation Concert.  Howells and Brahms.  Choir of King’s College with Cambridge University Orchestra.  King’s College Chapel.  shop@kings.cam.ac.uk

17th    6pm  Unleash the Beauty.  Lucy Cavendish Singers.  Emmanuel United Reform Church  http://www.lucycavendishsingers.org.uk

17th    7.30pm  French Connections.  Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus.  Varese, Stravinsky, Poulenc and Ravel.  West Road Concert Hall.  Free pre-concert talk at 6.45pm.  http://www.cam-phil.org.uk

17th    7.30pm  Fairhaven Singers.  Bernstein and Durufle.  St John’s College Chapel  http://www.fairhavensingers.org.uk

19th    7pm  Choirs of Jesus College and The Corelli Orchestra.  Bach St John Passion.  Jesus College Chapel

22nd    8pm  Freddie Gavita Quartet.  Hidden Rooms, Jesus Lane  http://www.cambridgejazz.org

23rd    6pm  Choir of Clare College.  Buxtehude Membra Jesu Nostri, interspersed with readings of poetry from 1918 and extracts from Birdsong.  Clare College Chapel.  Tickets from Old Court Porters’ Lodge

24th    2.30pm  NCT Nearly New Sale.  Preloved parent and baby goods.  Sports Centre, Cambridge Regional College  http://www.nctcambridge.org

24th    8pm  New Cambridge Singers.  Scarlatti, MacMillan, Lotti, Bax and Casals.  Trinity College Chapel.  Tickets on the door or from http://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk

24/25th    Arts and Crafts Show.  Grantchester Village Hall.  Facebook: Grantchester Arts and Craft Show

26-31st    Arts Fest 2018.  Festival of art, performance and creativity.  St Paul’s Cambridge  http://www.stpaulsartsfest.org and see my blog post

Lenten Rose
A beautiful Lenten rose, blooming in my garden

Cafe Abantu

A pot of really good Darjeeling tea and a slice of the most delicious rose and pistachio cake in this recently opened Hobson Street cafe perked me up on a gloomy February afternoon.  So I popped back (yes … more tea and cake!) to meet owner, Wendy Slade, and to chat about her new venture.

Abantu frontage

Firstly, I’m curious about the cafe’s name.  Wendy explained that the word “abantu” (or derivations of it) means “people” in many African dialects.  Wendy was born and raised in South Africa, where she trained as an accountant.  She came to England with her family twenty years ago.  “But I still miss the drumming heartbeat of Africa,” Wendy tells me.

Abantu pistachio and roseIt wasn’t long before she set up a gift shop, selling Fairtrade goods, at Manor Farm in Bourn, while a friend ran the coffee shop next door.  When the friend left, Wendy took over the coffee shop and taught herself to bake.  Gradually, that side of the business took over and ten years later, Wendy moved the cafe to Wysing Arts Centre, where it won a “Best Cafe in East Anglia” award.

“Then Stickybeaks came up for sale,” explained Wendy, “and our lease at Wysing was coming to an end so I decided to go for it and move into the city centre.”  Wendy and her team of twelve people, including the ex Stickybeaks staff who all joined her, took over the building on 19th January and were open for business at the end of the month.  They had hungry customers queuing down the street on Day 1!

Abantu team

Abantu saladThe Abantu team enjoys working in the open kitchen which Wendy says is run more as a “home” kitchen than an industrial cooking space.  They make all their own cakes and like to keep up with the latest baking trends.  Abantu’s menu changes every day, with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients used in a variety of dishes for breakfast and lunch.  There are always three or four salads on offer and Boboti, a South African meatloaf, is a menu staple.

Abantu signVegetarians, vegans and those who eat gluten free are well catered for here and there’s a Bambino menu for kids too, so this really is a destination for the whole family.  Staff are welcoming and the cafe has an airy yet cosy vibe with art from Naomi Davies, a Cambridge artist who works in pen and watercolour, on the walls and a couple of outside tables, ideal for watching the world go by on sunnier days.

 

http://www.cafe-abantu.co.uk

http://www.naomidaviesart.co.uk

42 Hobson Street, Cambridge CB1 1NL

 

Mindfulness of Nature

Cambridge has so many wonderful green spaces and I love to see the small day to day changes in nature as I walk through them en route to the city centre.  Whatever the weather, it feels good to be connected to nature and to be aware of the turning of the seasons.

Last week, I met with Claire Thompson, who is running a range of Mindfulness of Nature courses, aimed at connecting us with the natural world through our senses and emotions rather than our thoughts.  “This in itself is therapeutic.  It’s not about solving a particular problem,” Claire says.  “It’s about enhancing our experience of life itself and exploring different aspects of what it is to be alive.  We’ve forgotten that we’re part of nature and if we don’t spend time in nature, we’re disconnected from something innate.”

Claire T headshot
Image credit: Jeremy Peters

Born in England but raised and educated in France, Claire came to Emmanuel College here in Cambridge where she read Natural Sciences, graduating in Zoology, with her particular interests lying in animal behaviour alongside conservation of nature and plants.  During a gap year pre university, Claire worked in Andalucia, Spain, which not only improved her Spanish but gave her a love for the warmth of the culture with its passion for life.

Subsequent summer breaks were spent volunteering on a nature conservation project centred around Pucon in the Chilean lake district, an area of volcanoes, rivers, mountains and temperate rain forest.  This time in Chile had a profound effect on Claire and has shaped her career and well being.  It fuelled her desire to spend time in wild places and to work in nature conservation.  In her late teens, like many of us Claire had experienced anxiety and she found this time in the wilderness amidst the beauty and power of nature, together with a growing interest in mindfulness, liberating.  It calmed her anxiety and gave her a greater sense of purpose.  “Mindfulness gives you a choice as to where you put your attention,” Claire tells me.  “You are not your thoughts.”

After graduation, Claire volunteered in Mexico on a bird monitoring project in a nature reserve.  Returning to England, she worked in Suffolk for World Land Trust (an international nature conservation charity) before moving to Cambridge, where she works part time as a Project Manager with Bird Life International, co-ordinating a project supporting Mediterranean NGOs in their efforts to address illegal killing of migratory birds in the Mediterranean.

Claire T group in meadow
Image credit: Jeremy Peters

Claire has also authored two books.  In 2012, she was commissioned to write “Mindfulness in the Natural World” for Leaping Hare Press as part of their series of books on mindfulness and last year saw the publication of her second book, “The Art of Mindful Birdwatching.”

Claire T Byrons
Image credit: Jeremy Peters

Upcoming courses in and around Cambridge include “Introduction to Mindfulness of Nature” workshops at Byron’s Pool in Grantchester, “Introduction to Mindful Birdwatching” at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve and evening “Meditations in the Meadows” on Stourbridge Common.  In May, Claire will lead a three day retreat “Rewilding the Mind” in Snowdonia, North Wales.  Further afield, Claire is holding retreats and workshops in Austria (East Tyrol), the US (Rhinebeck), Argentina (Patagonia) and Chile (Chilean Lake District), the place where it all began for her.  Details of all these and more are on Claire’s website.  In a world where it’s easy, in the hustle and bustle of every day, to live as if we’re separate from nature, here’s a chance to reconnect.  I think we owe it to ourselves to take the time to stand and stare.

http://www.mindfulness-of-nature.com

e-Luminate Cambridge Festival photo blog

Back in January, I posted a piece on the e-Luminate Cambridge Festival and tonight it opened, with fabulous light installations illuminating some of the city’s most iconic buildings.

It’s a really cold night here in Cambridge but I wanted to get some photos, just taken on my phone, to give you a flavour of the event.

Firstly, Senate House with its installation “I See”, created in collaboration with The Ordered Universe Project.

Senate House B and W

Senate House spots

Senate egyptian

Senate blue and green swirls

Senate black and white broken

In Bene’t Street, another moving image projection, “Bright Lights – The Colours of the Brain”, has been created by artists working with Cambridge community groups in a series of workshops.

Benet St

Gonville & Caius College is looking glorious with its installation “The Colours of Caius College” created by artist Patrice Warrener using the Chromolithe technique that he developed thirty years ago.

Caius close up

At The Fitzwilliam Museum, projection artist Ross Ashton has created a colourful projection which shows some of the most iconic artefacts held in the Museum’s collection.

Fitz neon

Fitz women

Fitz Gold

You’ll find more installations outside King’s College Chapel, at Trinity Hall and at the Guildhall.  Full details of all these are on the event website.  It may be freezing out there but it’s really worth wrapping up and getting out to see the city in a whole new light.

http://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/e-luminate

This event takes place at multiple locations in the city

 

 

 

 

Watersprite Film Festival

The Watersprite International Student Film Festival returns to the city from 23 -25 February, showcasing the wealth of emerging talent in student short film making from around the world and offering a springboard for the film makers of the future as they start their careers.

Watersprite 2018 General Image
Image credit: Rob Eager

This year, the organisers have received around three hundred and ninety submissions from ninety five countries.  Fifty nominees have now been chosen for a dozen award categories, including fiction, documentary, animation and original film music – you can find their details on the Watersprite website.  Overseas nominees will be flown into the UK to attend the Awards Ceremony at the Fitzwilliam Museum thanks to the continued support of Red Arrow Studios, the Festival’s official Film Maker and New Talent partner.

The prestigious Film Maker of the Future award will go to a film maker who tackles modern day issues in the world, creating a film that tries to make a difference or presents to us a story that we haven’t heard before.  Part of that prize is the opportunity to participate in a producers’ workshop in Cannes, enabling the winner to network within the film business.  In fact, the Festival gives all the entrants a chance to collaborate with other film makers and to forge new creative partnerships.

Elisa
2017 Film of the Year Winners, Elisa  Image credit: Chris Williamson

Aside from the screenings, there’s a packed schedule of talks and workshops led by leading professionals in the film and TV industry.  Films will be showing at various venues across the city but most nominee screenings will be held at King’s College while talks and events will happen at St John’s College Old Divinity School where you’ll also find the Festival hub.

The Festival started life in 2010 as Cam’era and Film of the Year was awarded to Will McGregor’s “Who’s Afraid of the Water Sprite?”.  Will has gone on to make a very successful career as a screenwriter and director, working in film, TV and commercials.  With producer Hilary Bevan-Jones, the Festival’s Patron, Will has developed his short film into a feature film, “The Dark Outside”, which is currently in production.  And in honour of that first winning film, the Festival was renamed “Watersprite” in 2011.

Watersprite 2017 Student Committee
2017 Watersprite Student Committee  Image credit: L Odufwa-Bolger

The Festival is open to everybody.  It is entirely free for film makers to enter plus all the events and screenings are free thanks to sponsors such as Decca Publishing and Fox Networks Group.  Local companies also get involved.  Jocks and Peers, a beer brand recently launched in the city by three Cambridge alumni, is sponsoring drinks at one of the event’s ceremonies.  Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite or you can just turn up at an event or screening and if there’s room, you’ll get in.

www.watersprite.org.uk

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk

This event takes place at multiple venues around the city

Twilight at the Museums

Have you seen that movie “Night at the Museum”?  And wondered how it feels to wander round a museum after hours?  Well, wonder no more because now’s your chance to find out as Cambridge University Museums’ “Twilight at the Museums” event invites you to explore fourteen local museums and collections after dark, from 4.30 – 7.30pm on Tuesday 13 February.

twilightwebbanner
Image credit: Alice the Camera/ University of Cambridge Museums

There’s a wealth of events to enjoy.  At the Polar Museum, you can meet some of the characters that have made polar history.  Or why not become a geological pioneer at the University Library, discovering rocks, fossils and extraordinary maps at the “Landscapes Below” exhibition.  Join the Eclipse Expedition at the Whipple Museum and follow in the footsteps of historic explorers on a scientific trail as you gather vital equipment and travel across distant lands to observe a rare solar eclipse.

twilight_17_preview
Image credit: Martin Bond
twilight_67_preview
Image credit:  Martin Bond

At the Fitzwilliam Museum, a stunning building that is home to a world-class collection of works of art and antiquities, there’ll be a Kaleidoscope of Colour.  See if you can touch, hear or taste colour and find out if it can change the way you see things.  Enjoy special demonstrations, musical performances, interactive play and dazzling projections as you experience the collection through a range of colour.  Head to Kettle’s Yard to pick up your Twilight Trail and discover the newly opened gallery spaces.  Visit the glasshouses at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden to hunt for orchids and to find out more about these amazing plants.  Full details of these and the many events at other venues are on the Cambridge University Museums’ website – details at the end of this post.

Richard White, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, tells me that the museums will all be colourful this year, with special lighting so that you can explore their collections in a different way.  It’s also a great opportunity to discover a museum that maybe you’ve been meaning to visit for ages as well as to learn some amazing facts.

Alice-the-Camera-Cambridge-Museums-Twilight-149_preview
Image credit:  Alice the Camera

“Twilight at the Museums” is a free family event and children of all ages are welcome.  You won’t go hungry either as there’ll be pop up food stands at the Downing Site (outside the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) and the cafes at the Botanic Garden, the Fitzwilliam Museum and Kettles Yard will be open too.  Most of the venues are just a short walk apart so wrap up warm and bring a torch to help you explore those darker corners ….. who knows what you’ll find amongst the shadows??!!

http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk/twilight

This event is being held at multiple locations around the city

What’s On in February

Well, we’ve almost got through a very grey and murky January so here’s the what’s on listing for February.  It’s an eclectic mix of events that come to my attention so if you know about an event that could be included, please get in touch via my Contact page.  I’ll update this listing through the month, so it’s worth checking back every so often.

Railings at Great St Mary's
The railings at Great St Mary’s Church

2nd    5.30pm  Migration 2018: Art and Migration.  Lady Margaret Hall, Sidgwick Avenue http://www.darwin.cam.ac.uk/lectures

3rd    10am – 12pm Ages 11 – 15, 1pm – 2.30pm Ages 7 – 10 Come and Play at Trinity.  Music making for young instrumentalists.  Trinity College.  Email concerts@tcms.org.uk

3rd    1pm  St Clement’s Players.  Mozart, Haydn, Sammartini.  St Clement’s Church, Bridge Street

3rd    7.30pm  Fairytales for Grown Ups: Grim Grimms.  The Crick Crack Club with Ben Haggarty.  Cambridge Junction  http://www.junction.co.uk

3rd    7.30pm  East Anglia Chamber Orchestra.  Mendelssohn and Vaughan Williams.  West Road Concert Hall  http://www.adcticketing.com

3rd    7.30pm  Wine Gums Comedy Night.  Cambridge University Centre Wine Bar, CB2 http://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk

3rd    9.30pm  Messiaen.  King’s College Music Society.  King’s College Hall.  Tickets on the door

5th    7.45pm  Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  Screening of the 1920 movie with live organ improvisation by David Briggs.  The Leys School Chapel  http://www.theleys.net/boxoffice

8th    8pm  Ben Crosland Quintet plays the Ray Davies Songbook.  Hidden Rooms, Jesus Lane  http://www.cambridgejazz.org

9th    5.30pm  Migration 2018: Refugee Migration.  Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Avenue.  http://www.darwin.cam.ac.uk/lectures

9/10th    AHBAB Festival.  Cambridge Junction  http://www.junction.co.uk

9/14th    e-Luminate Festival at venues around the city  http://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/e-luminate and see my January blog post too

9th    10pm  Valerie Welbanks Solo Cello.  Saariaho, Crumb and Bach.  King’s College Chapel  http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/concerts

10th    Kettles Yard re-opens.  Castle Street, CB3.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

11th    4pm  Be My Love Charity Gala for Arthur Rank Hospice and Multiple System Atrophy Trust.  Michaelhouse, Trinity Street.  For tickets email adriancb23@gmail.com

11th   8.30pm  The Chilingirian Quartet.  Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.  Selwyn College Hall  http://www.selwynalumni.com

13th    4.30pm  Twilight at the Museums at venues around the city http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk/twilight and see my blog post too

14th    7pm  Valentine’s Day Blind Wine Tasting.   l’Alliance Francaise Cambridge, Hills Road   info.alliance.cam@gmail.com

14th    7.30pm  The Endellion String Quartet.  Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.  West Road Concert Hall  http://www.cambridgelivetickets.co.uk

15th    7.30pm  Romsey Mill Charity Quiz Night.  C3 Centre, CB1  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk

16th    5.30pm  Migration 2018:  Disease Migration.  Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Avenue  http://www.darwin.cam.ac.uk/lectures

16th    7.30pm  Mortal Voices, The Academy of Ancient Music.  Pergolesi, Corelli and Handel.  West Road Concert Hall  http://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/tickets.  Please note there is a free pre-concert talk at 6.30pm.

18th   2pm  Introduction to Tennyson.  Stapleford Granary, CB22  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk

20/24th    7.45pm  Spring Awakening.  Brickhouse Theatre Company.  Robinson College, CB3  http://www.brickhouse.tessera.info

22/24th    7.45pm and Sat.1.30pm  L’Elisir D’Amore, Donizetti.  Cambridge University Opera Society.  West Road Concert Hall  http://www.adcticketing.com/amore

23rd    5.30pm Migration 2018: The Partition of India and Migration.  Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Avenue  http://www.darwin.cam.ac.uk/lectures

23/25th    Watersprite Film Festival at venues across the city  http://www.watersprite.org.uk and see my blog post too

24th    7.30pm  The Academy of Great St Mary’s.  Brahms, Weber, Schumann.  Great St Mary’s Church  http://www.adcticketing.com

Primroses
To remind us that Spring is on the way!!