Friday, April 13, 2012

Cambridge, early spring

The weather has started to improve: it still feels cold and damp but the sun is warmer, the days longer, and people are starting to shake off their winter clothes.

In spring, the Don’s attention turns to gardens and Pimms, preferably in combination.  Clare College opened it’s Fellows garden for Easter week, a quiet grove of trees, ponds, and meticulously documented plantings designed to encourage contemplation and conversation.  You can always distinguish the scholars from the tourists in the garden, or around town, by who has their head down and their hands moving (scholars) vs. head up, hands and eyes pointing (tourists).

  

Activities have died down as Easter term begins and students become occupied with exam and thesis preparations.  tour groups of domestic and foreign students are everywhere as choices are made for the Michaelmas term (autumn) and first year classes and housing are arranged.

The nice weather brings both artists and scientists along the banks of the Cam.  Both sit in the sun, hunched over drawing pad and iPad, respectively.  Both focus intently on the surface in front of them, squinting, fingers busy, the occasional twitch at the corners of their mouths as they find an element that needs correction.  And both hunch over their work to protect it as the first raindrops start to fall.

Maybe CP Snow was wrong about the size of the gap separating the two?

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