OK so when I last posted a week ago, none of us could have imagined the speed with which life has changed. It’s been extraordinary and discombobulating. But it’s also amazing how quickly people adapt themselves and their businesses at such a stressful time. Here’s a selection of activities and services in the city that might be of help/interest in these difficult days.
Stir Bakery has moved to a delivery only model. They’ll be delivering every day to CB1, CB2, CB3, CB4, Impington, Histon, Girton, Cottenham and Milton. Order through their website for delivery 3 days later.
Cambridge Fruit Company, which normally supplies fruit boxes to local businesses, has also changed its business model overnight and is now delivering directly to your door. An Essentials Box at £15 suits 2 people. I’ve been ordering the Family Box at £30, which contains a really good variety of seasonal veg, salads and fruit, all super fresh and top quality. Order through their website.
The Botanic Garden has sadly had to close its gates but the team there is posting a virtual walkabout each week on the website so we can all enjoy the beauty as the Garden moves into Spring and Summer.
Lucinda Price is a photographer who’s launched a free service for those out of school who’d like to know a little about photography and the life of a freelance photographer. She is offering 1-2-1 30 minute sessions via video call for teenagers. For younger children, Lucinda will set some photographic challenges and then discuss the results. You’ll find more details and a booking facility on her website.
Claire at Mindfulness of Nature has created a really lovely space, inviting you to join her at 8am each day at a Sit Spot in your garden, on your balcony or even by your open window. Connecting with nature as you reflect can be a powerful exercise that helps to still a busy mind. Join her Facebook group for more details.
If you’re running out of reading matter, help is at hand from a couple of local sources. Heffers may be shut but you can order online with free delivery on all UK orders. And it’s not just books, they also sell gifts, stationery and games. Bookish Cambridge, more normally found at their stall in the Market, sells second hand books. They are working on a website but for now, email them for a current list of books. They will deliver in the Cambridge area.
And finally, don’t forget the Facebook group “What have you done today Cambridge”. It’s only been in existence for 10 days but a warm, kind and funny community is growing on there as we all keep connected, share ideas, support and inspire each other in these crazy days. Everybody is welcome to join, hope to see you there.
Here’s a picture of Rolo to make you smile. Please do get in touch if you know of any other activities and services in the city that I can include in future posts as this lockdown continues. I wish all readers, wherever you are in the world, the very best at this frightening and stressful time. Stay safe, stay home, keep well x
As I write this, yet another storm is raging. Will Spring ever come?? I’d love it to hurry up as I’m attempting to house train a lively 12 week old puppy who definitely doesn’t like going out into the garden in the cold and rain! Here’s the events listing for March. As usual, I’ll add to it as the month goes on so do check back and feel free to get in touch through my Contact page if you have an event that you’d like to be included.
1st 2.30 – 5pm Dakshina 2020. An offering of music and dance from South India. Samarpana Classical Arts. Proceeds support Indian classical arts in Cambridge. Chesterton Sports Centre, Gilbert Road, CB4 http://www.eventbrite.com
2nd 8pm Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra. Strauss, Beethoven and Brahms. West Road Concert Hall. Tickets on the door or from http://www.cuso.org.uk
3rd 8pm Continuum. Gesualdo Responses for Holy Saturday and Reproaches by Stuart Beer. Trinity College Chapel. Tickets on the door.
5th 11am – 1pm George Mallory: from student to mountaineer. A special one day exhibition exploring George Mallory’s life from his undergraduate days at Magdalene College (1905 – 1909) to his final expedition to Everest in 1924. Free event. The Old Library, Magdalene College. http://www.magd.cam.ac.uk/old-library/public-engagement
6th 12.15 – 1pm Lunchtime Concert: Cadenza. Cambridge University’s premier A Capella group perform their own arrangements and mash-ups of pop and jazz hits. Free, all welcome. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. FB: Lunchtime Concert: Cadenza
6th 8pm Clare College Music Society and Chapel Choir of Clare College. Mozart Coronation Mass, Scattergood, Schubert. West Road Concert Hall. http://www.adcticketing.com
7th 10am – 1pm Family Saturdays: Fruity Fun. Taste delicious and unusual fruits and plant pomegranate seeds that you can grow at home. Find out about Fairtrade as part of Fairtrade Fortnight 2020. Drop in, no need to book. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
7th 2 – 4.30pm International Women’s Day event. 8 women talking for 15 minutes each on various zoological themes and the stories of many more. Free, drop in. Aged 8+. Museum of Zoology, Downing Street. https://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk/
7th 6 – 7pm Moving On. Traditional close harmony and classical music. Post concert reception and exhibition of watercolour paintings. The Lucy Cavendish Singers. Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street. http://www.lucycavendishsingers.org.uk
8th 12 – 4pm Studio Sunday. Get creative with artists and education volunteers in a practical art making workshop. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
8th 7.30pm International Women’s Day Concert. Closing event of The Minerva Festival, including a performance of the winning piece of the composition competition. St. Giles’ Church, Castle Street. http://www.minervafestival.org
8th 8.15pm Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas plus miniature companion pieces. Krysia Osostowicz and Daniel Tong. King’s College Dining Hall. http://www.adcticketing.com
9 – 22nd Cambridge Science Festival. Featuring events from astronomy to zoology. Everyone is welcome to explore, discuss and discover science through talks, hands-on activities, films and exhibitions. Free entry. https://www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/ PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL EVENTS AT THIS FESTIVAL ARE NOW CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
9th 1pm Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas plus miniature companion pieces. Krysia Osostowicz and Daniel Tong. St John’s Old Divinity School. http://www.adcticketing.com
9th 7.45pm Climate Change: What it means and what we can do about it. Speaker: Prof Joanna Haigh, CBE, FRS. Part of the Science meets Faith programme of talks. Free admission, retiring collection. Wesley Church, Christ’s Pieces.
10th 7 – 8.30pm Cafe Sci Cambridge. Obscure Crops to Save the World. Free event, non-ticketed. Espresso Library, East Road. FB: Obscure Crops To Save The World
10th 7.30 – 9pm Talk: Town vs Gown – social divides in Cambridgeshire antiquarian life. Mill Road History Society. Ross Street Community Centre, Ross Street. https://millroadhistory.org.uk/events/
12th 8pm Beethoven 250. Coriolan Overture, Piano Concerto No. 3, Symphony No. 2. St John’s College Chapel. FB: St John’s College Music Society
13th 8pm March. A selection of marches, fanfares and theme tunes including Copland and Mendelssohn. The University of Cambridge Concert Band. St. Giles’ Church, CB3. Tickets on the door or from uccb.soc.srcf.net
14th 9am – 5.30pm The Rising Festival 2020. Celebrating International Women’s Day with interactive workshops, talks, 1-2-1 coaching, networking, performances, open conversations, Happy Hour and more. St Barnabas Church, Mill Road. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL LATER THIS YEAR DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
14th 10am – 4pm Super Science Saturday – The Museum Takeover. Hands on activities, meet the researchers, discover more about the world of early dinosaurs. Free family drop in. Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Downing Street. FB: Super Science Saturday – The Museum Takeover
14th 10am – 4.30pm Murder Will Out: A day of crime, thriller and mystery fiction. Heffers bring a selection of authors to the city for this day long crime event. The Old Library, Emmanuel College, St Andrew’s Street. Tickets from Heffers Bookshop or http://www.eventbrite.co.uk
14th 7.30pm Earth, Sea and Space. Back to the Future, Thunder and Lightning Polka, Apollo 13, Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001: A Space Odyssey) and more. Cambridge Concert Orchestra. A fundraiser in aid of the Motor Neuron Disease Association (Cambridgeshire branch). Wesley Methodist Church, Christ’s Pieces, CB1. Tickets on the door or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
14th 7.30pm St John’s Voices. Bach, Howells, Scarlatti. St John’s College Chapel. Tickets 01223 300085
14th 7.30pm Cambs Frocktails. Meet and get to know other people who sew clothes. Cocktails, competitions and celebration of all things sewing. Wear your special me-made outfits. Clayton Hotel (formerly The Tamburlaine), CB1 https://cambsfrocktails.com/ PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO 17 OCTOBER 2020 DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
15th 11am and 2pm Science on Sundays: The mechanics of plant development. Part of a programme of free, informal, monthly drop-in plant science talks, bringing the latest discoveries in plant science to visitors in a 30 minute nutshell. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
19th 7pm Voces 8 – Choral Dances. A celebration of choral music inspired by dance. Palestrina, Victoria, Rachmaninov, Britten. Trinity College Chapel. Tickets on the door or from http://www.CambridgeEarlyMusic.org
21st 11am – 4.30pm Cambridge Sustainable Fashion Festival. Stalls, a big Swish (clothes swap party), a free sewing Repair Cafe, learn how to recycle, reuse and create a capsule wardrobe plus pick up styling tips. St Barnabas Church, Mill Road. FB: Cambridge Sustainable Fashion Festival PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
21st 2 – 5.30pm Reading “Emma”. An intensive and exciting Study Day on this Jane Austen novel, with two lectures and a round-table seminar. Literature Cambridge. Stapleford Granary, CB22. https://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/emma PLEASE NOTE THIS STUDY DAY HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS AND WILL BE REARRANGED FOR SEPTEMBER 2020 DATE TBC
21st 7 – 9pm Spring Equinox Mindfulness around the Campfire. Simple guided meditations, opportunities for reflection, discuss, poetry and games exploring our relationship with the natural world. Milton Country Park, CB24. https://mindfulness-of-nature.com/
21st 7.30pm The Crucifixion, Stainer. The Leys Choral Society. The Leys School Chapel, Fen Causeway. http://www.theleys.net/boxoffice PLEASE NOTE THIS CONCERT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
21st 8pm New Cambridge Singers. Frank Martin Mass for double choir and Pergolesi Stabat Mater. Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Hills Road. http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk
22nd 12 – 4pm Studio Sunday. Get creative with artists and education volunteers in a practical art making workshop. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
25th 7.30pm True Stories Told Live. Cambridge storytellers and a musical turn. No need to book, just turn up a bit early to get a drink and find a seat. NCI Club, Holland Street, CB4. FB: True Stories Told Live Cambridge PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
27 – 28th 4 – 11pm Eddington Beer Garden. A pop up with draft craft beers, gins, spirits, wines and soft drinks, food vans and live music. Free entry. Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington, CB3. You can pre-register at http://www.eventbrite.com
28th 2 – 6pm Board Games Afternoon. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. £2 per ticket. Cambridge Central Library, Lion Yard
28th 7.30 – 10.30pm Stand Up Comedy Night from Big Deal Comedy. 4 comedians and an MC, licensed bar selling alcoholic and soft drinks. Unit 1-4, The Grafton Centre, CB1. FB: Stand Up Comedy Night
29th 2.30 – 4pm A Musical Afternoon at the University Church. Haydn, Vivaldi, Boyce. The Academy of Great St Mary’s. Great St Mary’s Church, Senate House Hill. FB: A Musical Sunday Afternoon at the University Church
Well, it’s grey and gloomy as I write this but we got through January and there are definite signs of Spring now. I’ve noticed buds on the trees, little froths of blossom and the birds are chirping morning and evening. Read on for details of what’s happening in the city this month … this listing is not exhaustive but is an eclectic mix of events that come to my attention. I’ll update it through the month so do check back and if you are involved in an event that you’d like me to include, please get in touch via my Contact page.
1st 10am – 1pm Family Saturday: Plant Fibres. Create your own wall hanging to take home. Free activity for children, drop in event. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
1st 10.30am – 4.30pm Cambridge’s Affordable Vintage Fair. Vintage, handmade, reworked and retro. Fashion, accessories and collectables from the 40’s to the 90’s. Guildhall, Market Square. FB: Cambridge’s Affordable Vintage Fair
1st 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm Children’s Workshop: Chinese Calligraphy. Celebrate Chinese New year and learn how to create characters with Chinese brushes and ink. For children aged 8+, must be accompanied by an adult. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
1st 12 – 4pm Family First Saturday: Chinese New Year. Celebrate Chinese New Year with family activities which include lion dance, animals of the zodiac trail, lantern making, paper cutting. Free, drop in. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
1st 2 – 4pm “Undiscovered beauty spots within an hour’s drive of Cherry Hinton”. Talk from Peter Green, Walks Co-ordinator, National Trust. All welcome, free entry, contribution invited towards expenses. Food for Thought Cafe, Cherry Hinton Baptist Church Building, corner of Fisher’s Lane and Cherry Hinton High Street.
1 – 23rd Snowdrop Trail. Discover more about snowdrop science, history, folklore and cultivation when you follow the Garden’s snowdrop routes. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
3rd 7 – 10pm An evening at The White Hart Country Inn, Fulbourn. A two course meal and live entertainment for £20. Fundraiser for Camsight http://www.camsight.org.uk
4 – 8th 7.45pm My Fair Lady. Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society. ADC Theatre, Park Street http://www.adctheatre.com
6th 11am – 1pm Twentieth-century First Editions Exhibition. The Old Library, Magdalene College will be open for visitors to these historic book-lined rooms, with displays of items from the College’s special collections and archives which are rarely seen in public. Free entry, no need to book. Magdalene College, Magdalene Street.
7 – 16th Ahbab Festival. A festival of music, film, food and culture from the Middle East and North Africa. Cambridge Junction and multiple venues across the city. FB: @AhbabFestival
8th 1 – 4pm Chinese New Year Crafts. Celebrate Chinese New Year with CFT Chinese School. Decorate a paper lantern, paint a panda and try your hand at Chinese calligraphy and pictograms. Free, drop in event for families. Parents/carers must stay with children. Cambridge Central Library, Lion Yard
8th 7pm Hungarian Music for Cello and Accordian. Cambridge Szeged Society. Free entry, retiring collection. Church of Our Lady and English Martyrs, Hills Road.
8 – 9th 11am – 4pm Rowan Art Exhibition. Buy original art at this “Celebrate Your World” art exhibition. Pictures from amateur and professional artists on sale at £45 each, raising funds to support Rowan’s student artists. Chesterton Community College, Gilbert Road, CB4 http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk
9th 8.30pm King’s Voices Lent Concert. Haydn, Beethoven and Reger. King’s Voices with the King’s College Symphony Orchestra. King’s College Hall http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk
10th 7.45pm Seeking to know: A humane philosophy of science and religion. Speaker: Professor Andrew Steane, Physics Department, Oxford University. Part of the Science Meets Faith series. Wesley Church, Christ’s Pieces. Free entry, retiring collection.
15th 1pm Come and Sing Faure Requiem. For singers of all ages and abilities who can read music. St Catherine’s College Music Society. McGrath Centre, St Catherine’s College, Trumpington Street http://www.eventbrite.co.uk
15th 7 – 9.30pm Winter Mindfulness around the Campfire. Simple guided meditations, opportunities for reflection, discussions, poetry and games exploring our relationship with the natural world, around a campfire. Byron’s Pool, Trumpington http://www.mindfulness-of-nature.com
18th 7 – 8.30pm Cafe Sci Cambridge: The Genetics of Depression. Free, non ticketed. Espresso Library, East Road. FB: Free event: The Genetics of Depression
19th 4.30 – 7.30pm Twilight at the Museums at the Botanic Garden. Bring your torch for a night time adventure around the Glasshouses and discover some seriously freaky plants. Free, no charge for entry after 4.30pm, no need to book. The Garden Shop and Cafe will be open until 7pm. Botanic Garden, Brookside http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
19th 4.30 – 7.30pm Twilight at the Museums: De-lightful! Take a journey through light and dark at this annual Twilight event which takes place across University of Cambridge Museums. Discover torch lit treasure, sensory activities, interactive theatre, stories, dance and studio art creativity. Free event. http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk/events/twilight_museums
21 – 22nd 12 – 5pm Cambridge Antiquarian Book Fair. Old books, prints, maps and manuscripts. Guildhall, Market Square
21st 6.30 – 8.30pm Cam Lates: Garden Kitchen Takeover. Explore the diverse plant collections in the Glasshouse Range which will be filled with imaginative illuminations. Food and drink from The Garden Kitchen. Booking essential. Botanic Garden, Brookside http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
21st 8pm St John Passion. St John’s College Music Society with Trinity College Music Society. St John’s College Chapel. Tickets on the door.
22nd 11am – 5pm Cambridge’s Craft and Flea. Local produce, street food, collectables, crafts, vegan and more. St Barnabas Church, Mill Road
22nd 2 – 6pm Board Games Afternoon. LGBTQ+ board games social afternoon. Free admission. Cambridge Central Library, Lion Yard
27th 6 – 9pm Student LATE: Love Art After Dark. A dynamic programme of art events, performances, live music, pop up talks, behind the scenes tours plus creative arts and crafts activities. Cash bar and snacks in the Courtyard Cafe. Free but booking essential. Student ID card required. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street http://www.loveartafterdark-event.getqpay.com
29th 6 – 9.30pm Mastana. South Asian cultural performances ranging from dance to music to fashion, acting, magic and more. Guildhall, Market Square http://www.fixr.co/event/82327218
29th 7.30pm Harmony in Harlem Jazz Orchestra. Duke Ellington’s Primping for the Prom. St Andrew’s Baptist Church, St Andrew’s Street. Tickets on the door or from http://www.hhjazz.co.uk
So just like that, December is here … the city is looking even more gorgeous than usual with lights twinkling and decorations everywhere. Read on for details of all types of Christmas music and services, shopping events where you’ll find those perfect handmade presents, seasonal celebrations and activities in our wonderful museums and much more. I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back and please get in touch if you’d like me to include your event.
1st 12 noon – 4pm Museum Shop Sunday. Stalls from local suppliers including jewellery, glasswork and pottery. Mulled wine and mince pies. Free, drop in. Museum of Cambridge, Castle Street. http://www.museumofcambridge.org.uk
1st 12 noon – 4pm Studio Sunday. Practical art making workshops, no experience necessary. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
1st 1.15 – 2pm Cambridge University Instrumental Award Holders – a performance by the very best undergraduate chamber musicians. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
1st 6.30pm Winter Cabaret. A seasonal mix of jazzy, sassy, jingly and soulful songs and music from The Lucy Cavendish Singers. Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington. http://www.lucycavendishsingers.org.uk
4th 5 – 8pm Rowan’s Winter Warmer. A festive evening where you can buy handmade gifts and cards, commission artwork and get involved in Christmas workshops. Live music, mulled wine and mince pies. Free entry. Rowan, 140 Humberstone Road, CB4 http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk
5th 6.30pm Murder under the Mistletoe. Heffers’ Christmas Crime Party. Festive drinks, book buying and readings from crime authors. 10% off purchases on the evening. Heffers, Trinity Street. http://www.heffersbookshop.eventbrite.com
7th 11.30am Bridging Binaries: LGBTQ+ Tour. Explore the spectrum of identities that exist across time, place and culture in Cambridge collections. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
7th 1 – 1.30pm Come and Sing Carols. An informal, friendly “come and sing” carolling session for shoppers, friends and visitors. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade
7th 2 – 4pm Family First Saturday. Activities and art making on the theme of festive fun. Free, drop in. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
7th 4 – 5pm Blue Christmas. A service of jazz and prayer for everyone who doesn’t find the holidays so happy. Michaelhouse Chapel, Trinity Street
7th 7pm Messiah by Candlelight. Eboracum Baroque. A charity concert in aid of Cancer Research. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade. http://www.eboracumbaroque.co.uk
8th 7.30pm Christmas Orchestral and Choral Concert. Dvorak, Mendelssohn and Czech Christmas music. The Academy of Great St Mary’s. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade. http://www.adcticketing.com
8th 7.30pm Messiah. Choir of Clare College with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Trinity College Chapel. http://www.adcticketing.com
9th 7.45pm Brokenness, compassion and identity in rehabilitation after brain injury. Speaker: Dr Andrew Bateman. Part of the Science meets Faith series. Free admission, retiring collection. Wesley Church, Christ’s Pieces
12th 7.30pm Music for an English Advent: Gabriel’s Message. Carols and estampies from medieval England. Mediva Ensemble. Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street. http://www.CambridgeEarlyMusic.org
12th 8pm A Winter Union. Five leading lights of the British roots scene present an evening of seasonal songs, new and old. Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington. http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk
13th 7.30pm – 2.30am Reach Up Disco Wonderland with DJ Andy Smith and XL Records founder Nick Halkes. 2648 Bar, Trinity Street. https://skdl.co/kFnLqa45X0
13 – 14th 7.30pm A Christmas Carol. Adapted and performed by Martin Prest in a one man show. The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road. Wrap up warm as the Chapel can be cold! http://www.adcticketing.com
15th 10am – 4pm Victorian Christmas Celebration. Family friendly Victorian Christmas day with craft activities, music, mince pies and more. Cambridge Museum of Technology, Cheddars Lane. http://www.museumoftechnology.com
15th 6.30 – 8pm Carols by Candlelight, accompanied by Cottenham Brass Band. Hosted by Cambridge Past, Present and Future. The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road. Free event, donations appreciated. http://www.cambridgeppf.org
15th 8pm Music for Advent and Christmas. Josquin, Howells and carols for audience participation. Fairhaven Singers. Trinity College Chapel. http://www.fairhavensingers.org.uk
18th 1.15 – 2pm The Food of Christmas Past. A talk with Ivan Day, Feast & Fast food historian. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
19th 7 – 9pm Mindfulness around a Campfire – Winter Solstice celebration. Guided meditations, reflections, discussions, poetry, games and toasty pre Christmas treats around a campfire. Milton Country Park, CB24. Tickets from email@example.com
19th 7.30 – 10pm Light Up EACH Life Cambridge Concert. We Are Sound and Evelyn Glennie perform a selection of uplifting songs in celebration of the children and families cared for at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade. http://www.each.org.uk
20th 10.30am – 12.30pm GPS Christmas Treasure Hunt. Track down some special Christmas plants growing in the garden. A family activity. Booking essential. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
20th 7.30pm Celebrate Christmas with John Rutter and Bach Choir Voices. Traditional carols and works by John Rutter. Our Lady and the English Martyrs Catholic Church, Hills Road http://www.cambridgesummermusic.com
22nd 4 – 5.15pm and 6.30 – 7.45pm Carols by Candlelight. A traditional candlelit service of lessons and carols at the University Church. Arrive early to be sure of a seat. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade
24th 4 – 5pm Christmas Eve Crib Service. Carols, bible stories and an impro Nativity. For children and their families. Come as you are or in Nativity fancy dress. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade
25th 11.15am – 12.15pm Christmas Day Choral Mattins. Favourite carols, beautiful music, scripture and story. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade
September always feels to me like a time of new beginnings and although it’s never easy to get back into top gear after the hazy drift of summer days, the slight nip in the morning air reminds us that it’s time to crack on. There’s lots of fun stuff happening in the city this month, which should help us ease back into routine. I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back and please get in touch if you know of an event that I can add to it.
1st – 29th Cambridge Festival of Cycling. A month of events celebrating our city’s cycling culture. Over 20 cycling themed events, including social bike rides, bike maintenance and photography workshops, a film night showing the documentary “Motherload” and the Cargo Carnival. Most events are free or have a minimal charge. http://www.cambridgefestivalofcycling.org
7th 10am – 1pm Family Saturday. Plants of the Pharoahs. Find out about plants used by the Ancient Egyptians, including plants used to make paper and to help preserve bodies. Free event. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
7th 10.30 – 11.15am “Sharing Stories”. A friendly family story telling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung. Free, drop in. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Milton Road Library, CB4. http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk
9th 7.45 – 9pm Talk about the history of Cambridge Railway Station by Rob Shorland-Ball. Cambridge Museum of Technology, Pye Building. Tickets £3 on the door. Enter via Cheddars Lane entrance. http://www.museumoftechnology.com
10th (until 9th October) Open Eco Homes. Advice from local householders and experts, householder led tours and low energy home workshops. http://www.openecohomes.org
10th 7.30 – 9pm “Archeology found by the public”. Talk from Mill Road History Society with Dr Helen Geake, well known for being party of Channel 4’s Time Team. Ross Street Community Centre. http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk
13 – 14th Open Cambridge. Discover the local history and heritage of Cambridge with special access to places that are normally closed to the public or charge admission. http://www.opencambridge.cam.ac.uk
15th 9.30am Bridge the Gap. A charity walk through Cambridge University College grounds. The route is wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Raising funds for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Romsey Mill. http://www.arhc.org.uk/bridge-the-gap.asp
17th 5.30 – 7.30pm Circuit Social. A creative evening for 18 – 25 year olds. Make some art, meet new people and discover more about Circuit, the young people’s programme. All welcome, no previous art experience needed. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
17th 7.30pm Poetry in the Pub with John Clegg and Steve Xerri. CB1 Poetry. Blue Moon Pub, Norfolk Street, CB1 http://www.cb1poetry.org.uk
18th 7.30pm True Stories Told Live. NCI Club, Holland Street, CB4. FB True Stories Told Live Cambridge
21st 9 – 10am Day of Peace Meditation. On International Day of Peace, gather for meditations to find inner peace and to cultivate feelings of peace of others in our families, our communities and across the world. White Lotus Meditation. The Bodywise Studio, Gwydir Street. http://www.whitelotusmeditation.co.uk/classesandcourses
21st 10.30 – 11.15am “Sharing Stories”. A friendly family story telling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung. Free, drop in. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Milton Road Library, CB4. http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk
21st 10.30am – 4pm Artsfest 2019. A day of workshops in printmaking, life drawing, papercloth, drawing, exploring abstraction, creative writing, expressive lettering and drop in sewing plus an all day cafe. Early booking advised as workshop places are limited. St Paul’s Church, Hills Road. http://www.stpaulsartsfest.org
21st 11am – 5pm Literature Cambridge Study Day: Reading The Waves. An intensive day of lectures and a seminar on Virginia Woolf’s lyrical novel of 1931, with leading scholars. Stapleford Granary, CB22. http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/waves
25th 6 – 9pm Zoology Late: Board Games. Animal inspired board games and bar. Free, no need to book. 18+ Museum of Zoology, Downing Street. http://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk
26th 6 – 9pm LATE: The Greatest Showman. Special screening of The Greatest Showman to complement a new exhibition about Giovanni Belzoni, the 19th century explorer and circus showman. Fitzwilliam Museum. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
28th 10am – 4pm Worth The Weight Vintage Kilo Sale. Vintage clothing at £15 per kilo. St Paul’s Church, Hills Road. FB Worth The Weight Vintage Kilo Sale – Cambridge
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.”
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 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.”
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.