As the next weekend quickly approaches, a note about the last. Our cultural offering then was an outdoor performance of 'Measure for Measure' as part of the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival. When I booked the tickets I couldn't recall the plot, but that came back to me within minutes of the show. Having been to some pretty ropey outdoor productions in the past my expectations weren't high, but it was pleasantly quite good. And, more crucially perhaps, this being England in August, the weather actually held. The rest of the weekend, like much of the week preceding it, was dominated by cake. Some formed part of the theatre picnic, having adapted a friend's recipe for blackberry muffins. The rest provided at a rowing bunfight on the Sunday. You should note the similarly between W1 (women's first boat) and WI (the Women's Institute). It is generally held that we ought to enter/create a WI rowing league, where our cake-fuelled performance and our cakes might be equally judged. Defeat, then, by lean mean crews? We think not.
Arriving hungry and thirsty for an 'Organ Walking Tour' you have, somewhat dubiously, signed up for perhaps isn't the best way to give the experience its full chance. Part of Cambridge Summer Music Festival (not to be confused with various other concurrent music festivals in Cambridge) this tour involved an introduction to three chapels/churches by an art historian followed by short recitals on their organs. It sounded intriguing, and possibly good. And I think if, like 90%+ of the attending audience, you were signed up members of the 'We know everything about organs in Cambridge' fan club, it was probably fantastic. The boy and I had been more going for the 'get into a historic building and hear about it' part, so the first recital of loud, big organ sounds did nothing for us. It was nice to see Jesus College chapel though (formerly, before the Dissolution, the nunnery of St. Radegund). The second stop was more interesting: All Saints Church. Unlike Jesus, which had been redecorated in the revived Gothic style in the 19th century, this church was built as a showcase of revived Gothic. With the interior all recently restored, the coloured hand-painted wallpapered walls rather took me aback. It's worth a look if you are in the area. The final stop on the tour, sadly, was the boy's own workplace, so there was nothing new to see there.
August appears to be a time when Cambridge is awash with festivals of various kinds. This weekend the boy went to a concert of early music performed on reconstruction medieval instruments. Myself, I went to the latest exhibition at the FitzWilliam Museum on the influence of Darwin's theories on the art of the time. nb. the culture content is reduced by taking young children with you, as a museum visit today with a friend and said young children reminded me.