Guess I was just the last to know

January 24th, 2015

I learned today about an interesting local girl…

The Nobel-winning German physicist, Max Born, had a daughter named Irene. His wife was part-Jewish, so they left Germany before the war to escape the Nazis.

Irene married a Welshman who worked (as an MI5 officer) on the Enigma project at Bletchley Park. An interesting blend of family backgrounds.

They in turn had a daughter, who was born here in Cambridge. Her name?

Olivia Newton-John

Gateway to the past

January 7th, 2015

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A doorway at my old college, Gonville & Caius.

Walking in a Wimpole Wonderland

December 31st, 2014

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The hill behind Wimpole Hall farm was beautiful first thing this morning.

I used to think that I’d use my wide-angle lenses for landscape photography, but I’m finding that many of the best shots come from my telephoto.

And the more experience I get with my little Fuji X-Pro 1, the less I feel the need to carry my big heavy full-frame DSLR. I also took five lenses with me this morning on a casual dog-walk; something I’d never be likely to do with my Canon kit!

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Yes, it really did look like that

December 9th, 2014

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Grantchester Meadows this morning.

One of the (many) things I love about my Fuji X-Pro 1 is that most of the key controls are good old buttons and dials, not touchscreens and menus. This is particularly handy when you’re wearing gloves…

My sun shall rise in the east…

November 15th, 2014

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Dawn breaking beyond the River Cam, taken from Grantchester Meadows last week.

The title of this post, of course, is a line from the excellent track ‘I’ll Find My Way Home’, by Jon & Vangelis, which is playing as I write this.

And here’s another bit of trivia for you: in the first episode of the ITV TV series Grantchester, we see Sidney and Amanda enjoying themselves by swinging out over the river on a rope attached to a tree branch. I recognised the tree immediately, but the usual rope (which you can see by clicking on the image to get a larger version) had been replaced with a frayed one for the purposes of the filming. The rope, of course, gives way when Amanda (Morven Christie) is way out over the river. I have come perilously close to the same thing in the past…

Out of Reach

November 14th, 2014

The pretty little village of Reach, just north-west of Cambridge, is in the middle of fen land, but was considered a port from Roman to medieval times because of the shipping that arrived there through the marshes. It’s where the northern tip of the Devil’s Dyke, affording transport by land, meets the southern end of Reach Lode, which provided transport by water, and it used to be the site of a great fair.

Nowadays, the pleasingly-named pub, The Dyke’s End, is one of my favourite spots for lunch, and, having taken Tilly for a post-prandial walk along the dyke last time I was there, I opted for the lode this time. And very fine it was too. The rainy morning turned into a lovely afternoon, and, though I didn’t have a proper camera with me, the iPhone did a pretty good job.

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Click for a larger version.

“If you’ve got a browser connected to the Internet, I can show you…”

November 9th, 2014

For the sake of posterity, I’ve uploaded the original VNC video that we made back in 1998.

Lots of nostalgia in here – remember the JavaStation? The WebTV? And the days when we made movies in 4:3 ratios?

A great deal has changed in the last 16 years, but VNC goes from strength to strength!

Starring, in order of appearance:

  • Quentin Stafford-Fraser
  • Andy Harter
  • Ken Wood
  • Tristan Richardson
  • Paul Webster
  • Frazer Bennett
  • James Weatherall
  • Daisy Sadleir

Also available on YouTube. Thanks to Andy Fisher for doing the original transfer from VHS to DVD some years ago.

Canadian Coffee

November 6th, 2014

Another radio interview about the good ol’ coffee pot – this time with CBC.

You can find it here.

It was done over Skype, and is heavily edited, but it mostly makes sense! Just about 4 mins long.