And so we’re coming to the end of another week in lockdown … I hope everybody is doing ok in these difficult days. Here’s a post with an eclectic assortment of stuff that may help to alleviate the tedium/raise the spirits/feed body and mind!
University of Cambridge Sport has set up Strava Groups, an online running network for University staff, students and the local community. You just need a smartphone to be part of this. You can log your runs, upload images of your running routes and link to running resources whilst benefiting from the encouragement and support of this online community.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched “Digital Making at Home”, a series of virtual and online learning experiences for young people aged 7 – 17, with instruction videos on a weekly theme to support different skills levels.
Cambridge Cookery School and Cafe may be shut for now but founder Tine Roche is writing a daily “What’s for Supper” blog. Each post is so much more than just a recipe … Tine scatters through all sorts of tips and techniques and adds a good dollop of cultural musing too. I love reading her words as much as I love eating her food!
Cambridge TV Training offers courses covering every aspect of factual TV production. They’ve uploaded several short “how to” videos on Youtube as a free resource, covering topics such as “How to record good audio with your Smartphone” and “How to choose what video editing software to learn”. For those who’d like more in depth help, they’re offering two hour tuition sessions through Zoom at £20 per session.
White Lotus Meditation has taken its sessions and courses online. You can link with Lucy Highton via Zoom for Sunday Wellness Meditation, Calm Morning Mindful Meditation on Wednesdays or arrange one-to-one tailored meditation practice sessions.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden is bringing the garden to us in several ways while its gates are closed to visitors. In a weekly “Wellness Wander” video, they’ll be sharing the sights, colours and sounds of the Garden as it unfolds through the Spring. In “From our back garden to yours Gardening Club” Sandie Cain, Horticultural Learning Coordinator, is posting regular videos about growing veg, whether you’ve got a garden or a sunny windowsill to work with. And tune in to “Heavenly Gardens” on BBC1 (Good Friday at 1.40pm and on iPlayer), presented by Alexander Armstrong and garden designer Arit Anderson who look at the history of the Garden and how it remains at the cutting edge of plant science research while being a place of beauty and tranquility.
Harveys is a family run nursery garden business which has had a wonderful stall on Cambridge Market for 90 years, selling veg, salad, herb and bedding plants. In the face of coronavirus, they’ve created a website with an online order service which has proved to be so popular that at the time of writing, the order service has been briefly paused. They expect to resume online orders soon so if you’re planning your garden for Spring and Summer, do take a look at the seedling and plant list in the meantime. Everything I’ve ever bought from them has been top quality and has done really well.
Here’s a photo of Rolo the puppy to make you smile. He has no truck with social distancing and thinks lockdown is a really good thing as it means all his favourite humans are home with him 24/7!! I hope that everybody reading this, wherever you are in the world, is keeping well. Stay safe and look out for each other x
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
Summer is here and there’s lots going on in the city this month. And take a look at my recent posts for details of some great analogue pursuits and events (most of them low cost or free) to keep the kids occupied for a bit. Happy summer everybody!!
1st 5.30 – 7.30pm Wellbeing in Romsey – an evening of Breathwork and Yoga to celebrate Mill Road Summer. No experience necessary and no need to book. Outside Tesco Express, 163 Mill Road http://www.millroadsummer.org/whats-on/
3rd 10am – 1pm Family Saturday. The Nightshade Family. Find out about the Nightshades, one of the most amazing families in the plant kingdom. Free, drop in. Botanic Garden. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
10th 3 – 5pm Folk Music and Storytelling by Serendipity Sessions. Open mic event. Come and have a go at storytelling, playing, poetry reading or singing. Turn up at 3pm to book your slot on the day. St Barnabas Church, Mill Road. http://www.millroadsummer.org/whats-on/
10 – 25th 10am – 6pm/5pm on Sundays Anglian Potters Cambridge Exhibition. Handmade ceramics from 60+ local potters. All Saints’ Church, Jesus Lane. http://www.anglianpotters.org uk
11th 4.30 – 6.30pm A Journey to the Centre of the Hive. A fun and educational workshop taking you through the life of the honey bee colony. Observation hive, blind honey tasting experience, complimentary tea and coffee. Dulcedo Patisserie, 60 Hills Road. Online booking at http://www.beesitter.co.uk
17th 1am – 4pm Making the most of ….. A reuse and recycle event featuring artists, makers, fashion designers and creatives who work with sustainable media. Interactive activities and varied shopping opportunities. Organised by local charities the Children’s Society, Arthur Rank Hospice and Romsey Mill. St Philip’s Church, 185 Mill Road. http://www.millroadsummer.org/whats-on/
18th 9am – 2pm Mill Road Summer Car Boot Sale. Gwydir Street Car Park
18th 6.30pm Meditation Taster Session. Sample two meditation techniques and mindful breathing. White Lotus Meditation. The Bodywise Studio, Gwydir Street, Off Mill Road. http://www.whitelotusmeditation.co.uk
20th 2 – 6pm Mill Road Bridges: Meet the Artists. Join local artists to make art and share stories about Mill Road. Try your hand at origami, printing and clay work. St Barnabas Church, Mill Road. http://www.millroadsummer.org/whats-on/
30th 7 – 10.30pm Legendary: The Big Fantasy Quiz. Immerse yourself in the epic worlds of Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Disney and much more. C3 Centre, 2 Brooks Road. http://www.millroadsummer.org/whats-on/
31st 5 – 11pm Wonder at the Museum of Technology. A festival event with life-living workshops, vegan food, SoBar (alcohol free) drinks and DJs. Museum of Technology, Cheddars Lane, CB5 https://www.wonderfestival.co.uk/
For anybody out there who’s feeling overwhelmed and stressed or who lies wide awake at 3am with a “To Do” list running on a loop of worry in your head, read on ….. this post is for you! Lucy Highton has just set up White Lotus Meditation in the city, teaching meditation practices that help to create a sense of space for the mind, within which you can restore calm and reconnect with yourself.
Lucy originally turned to meditation eight years ago as she sought calm and clarity in her busy London lifestyle. She visited India several times during her early 30’s and found the power in just stopping and the strength that comes from stilling a busy mind. But her world was shattered when her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer four years ago. Some months after his death, feeling that she’d done all the healing she could do at home, Lucy returned to India for a year, practising meditation and considering the path her life was going to take. Back from India, Lucy studied for a Diploma in Meditation Teaching at the British School of Meditation and she moved to Cambridge at the end of last year.
Lucy has found the perfect studio space at Bodywise in Gwydir Street (off Mill Road) and will run her first Learn to Meditate course there over four Sunday evenings in June with a taster session in August and another course lined up for September. She also plans to offer drop-in classes and one-to-one sessions plus corporate and school workshops.
I was really happy to meet Lucy and talk about meditation and mindfulness with her as it’s something I came to a couple of years ago when a difficult period in my life left my mind super busy with worries and sleep in short supply. I took myself to a drop in meditation/mindfulness session at my local yoga centre and started attending weekly, unsure at first if I was getting it or doing it right but happy to be carving out that time just for me. As the weeks passed, gradually I found I was able to still my mind and there was such peace in realising that I had the power to do that. Practices like mindful breathing and counted meditation really help me with stressful times, sleeping and also, I’ve discovered, in the dentist’s chair! And although I would never claim to be the most chilled out woman in Cambridge, those classes gave me the gift of tools which I can and do use every day.
To read more of Lucy’s story and for details of upcoming classes at White Lotus Meditation, take a look at the website through which you can also contact Lucy, who is happy to answer any questions you’d like to ask about meditation and mindfulness.