Herstmonceux – My second solar eclipse


This is most likely what the observatory looked like after I left it. There was glorious sunshine that very afternoon! Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

It helps to live near an observatory at certain points in one’s life. When my elation over the impending solar eclipse on 20th March had faded, I realised on Wednesday that I had no glasses with which to view the sun through, and Herstmonceux, a place that I vaguely remembered existed close by, became my solution. Continue reading


I first heard of a Welsh instrument called the crwth, and saw it played in Lincoln College Chapel last week, by a duo called ‘Bragod’. Their website is well worth a read for those curious about medieval music, and explains a lot. The notation and ritualistic dance gestures were so alien to me! I didn’t even envision the crwth being held horizontally. As a Classicist, I very much enjoyed the introduction to the concert, where Mary told us about Boethius’ categories of music and Pythagorean tuning.


On what might be the first car journey home during which I managed to stay awake for the entirety of the route, I…

  • Saw a car, looking very normal with an existing numberplate, with another numberplate dangling off on a chain at the back.
  • Heard a telephone ring, established that it came from none of the phones within our vehicle, and realised that it was probably ringing ice-cream-van-style from this van in the next lane along:
  • Noticed a quintessentially British place name, “Warninglid”…
  • …and likewise for a service station, “Pease Pottage”. Which I looked up online and saw that a man had just the previous day been arrested there for drug-driving. In the 1st week of the introduction of drug-driving laws.
  • Saw my first ever wild pheasant. A stunningly beautiful common pheasant, which was by that time an unfortunate road kill.