Don’t look a gift job in the mouth

July 14th, 2014

There’s a wonderful-sounding position offered on one of the University mailing lists:

Equine Ambulatory Veterinarian (Maternity Cover)

I expect they’re looking for someone who specialises in a horse’s gait. Or someone who rides around in a horse ambulance?

But perhaps not. It’s much more satisfying to think that the University of Cambridge has always traditionally employed a walking midwife for horses, perhaps one of a small team of pedestrian veterinary specialists, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to apply for one of these exclusive posts.

Trapped on the wire

February 17th, 2014

Trapped on the wire

On Saturday, we had some of the strongest winds I can remember in the UK, at least when I wasn’t on top of a mountain or at sea…

The Sky at Night

January 19th, 2014

I’ve always thought these old radio telescopes, just down the road from us, were rather beautiful.

The Sky at Night

Changing lifestyles

January 8th, 2014

The returning soldier

The Returning Soldier war memorial is a much-loved Cambridge landmark. He used to stride confidently up the middle of one of our main streets, but was moved onto the pavement recently, poor chap, to make more room for turning buses. A great pity, but perhaps it’s just as well. You wouldn’t want to make it back from the trenches in one piece only to be knocked off your pedestal by the number 14.

It struck me, as I cycled past tonight, how different his life must have been from that of the people in the cubicles behind him…

(Click to enlarge)

Sometimes a phone is the only camera you have…

November 27th, 2013

…but on some mornings, it’s enough.


Down to the waterline

November 9th, 2013

Byron's Pool, Grantchester, Cambridge

Lord Byron used to swim just near here, they say. But not, I suspect, at this time of year.


Byron’s Pool, near Grantchester

Behind the bike sheds

October 29th, 2013


(We have hi-tech bike sheds at the Computer Lab.)

Parking restrictions

October 12th, 2013

Parking in our street used to be a free-for-all, but they’ve added some double yellow lines now.


Not-so-smart marketing

September 29th, 2013

In-store signage is often not very well thought out. Long-time readers may remember the seasonal toilet rolls at one of my local stores, and an aisle entirely free of long-life milk at another.

Yesterday we spotted this in HomeSense in Cambridge:


The bizarre messages continue elsewhere in the store. Above one checkout was a sign with an arrow saying “Pay up to 60% less here.” Less than what? Less than the ticketed price? Less than at any other checkout in the store? Do these people have any grasp of how meaningless these signs are? Or — more worryingly — do signs as meaningless as this actually work on the general populace?

Now, they may be cleverer than they look. My nephew Matt points out that they might be trying to encourage people to buy today because the savings will be lower tomorrow. This does make some sense, because it’s the kind of store that, though it looks mildly interesting from the outside, I think few people would voluntarily enter twice.