Saturday, June 16, 2007

Blog moved

This blog has now been moved to a more permanent home at

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Outdoor pursuits

Things have started to pick up a bit for Cambridge Lindy Hoppers as far as social dancing goes. Last weekend we decided to exploit all this nice weather and hit Parker's Piece (a park in central Cambridge) armed with a stereo and some snacks. These photos were taken by Graham Stratton. Then on Friday we hit Jazz@John's en masse (there must have been 25 of us) to stun the crowd, and it worked. A lot of people came up to us and asked us where they could learn. More importantly, we had fun. In other news, the cricket season has started and this year I'm captaining Cavendish during the week and playing for Cottenham again on the weekends. I started well with the bat, making 31 not out off about 15 balls in a practice game at Cottenham, and then made 32 (5x4s, 1x6) in the firsts on Saturday. Unfortunately it was a losing cause however, with our guys bowling and fielding badly on a very fast ground to see Doddington make a whopping 360 off 45 overs. Then a friendly game for Cavendish against Blackheath on Sunday was a success despite our loss. We were missing at least 4 of our regular experienced players, and had a host of guys who'd never played together (or never played before) so we used the opportunity to give everyone a bowl and a bat. Blackheath batted first and made 205 from their 40 overs, and we were all out for 143 after a spirited start and some middle order defiance. Even though we lost, we did well to keep them to so few runs, and definitely put in some good individual performances with the bat . The Cavendish season-proper starts next week, so we'll see what happens when it counts.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Barcelona, LLX, and being sick

A lot has happened since my last post. We were in Barcelona over Easter, attending the Barswingona swing festival. But as you can probably tell from the photos, we were a little more focused on the weather, food, and the wonderful scenery than dancing on this trip. For Lotte and I it was a really nice opportunity to go back to this amazing place for a proper look, because the last two visits were too fleeting. The social dancing was slightly patchy for me, although that may depend more on not knowing many people at the festival. Last weekend was spent at the London Lindy Exchange, which was a much more satisfying dance experience for me. The people were really friendly, and the parties were conducive to mixing, which is one thing I really like in an exchange. And it was excellent value. Unfortunately my weekend ended badly when I came down with the most severe bout of gastro I think I've ever had! As a result we were stuck in London for the whole of Monday, and I stayed home from work for most of the week, only reluctantly venturing in for important meetings. Lotte's been quite unwell with a cold as well, so we spent most of this weekend still in recovery mode, while being visited from London by the lovely Dory. Actually, over the next month or two it looks like we're going to be having a string of guests: Ko & Carla, Beth & Emil, Jojo, Anthony & Sarah, and then Corinne! Then we'll be off to Week 2 of Herrang, so we have a lot to look forward to.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

BBC shuts down failed £150m online service

An amazing amount of public money appears to have gone to waste after a flood of complaints to the BBC over its BBC Jam service. The BBC Trust released a statement, saying, "Despite a rigorous approval process... BBC Jam has continued to attract complaints from the commercial sector about the parameters of its activities."

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Sponsor Me!

On Saturday the 17th of March, I'm going to be taking part in a dance marathon. 8 hours of non-stop swing dancing, all in the aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. So, I know what you're thinking. Why am I telling you, the Internet, about this spectacular dance charity event? I'm glad you asked. I'm telling you because you can be involved even if you can't be there, just by sponsoring me! Donating online is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to sponsor the event. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust will receive your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you. At present there is no cure for cystic fibrosis, but the fautly gene has been identified and doctors and scientists are working to find ways of repairing or replacing it. One of the main objectives of the CF Trust is to fund this work.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Melbourne Visit

It's a very confusing feeling to go 'home' to Melbourne and then arrive 'home' in Cambridge. More than ever it feels as though there are two parallel universes, each with its own distinct system of spacetime. For instance, I had this overwhelming sensation of travelling back in time as we got to Melbourne. As we drove around familiar streets in the car we hadn't seen for a year (it still has that new smell) we slipped back into Melbourne's rhythms accompanied by the sounds of familiar bands and songs and ("remember THIS?") intelligent public debate on the radio. Even our old mates Ian and Heidi were back in Melbourne, which was even more puzzling since they'd also been in England until very recently.

We got far more achieved in our 20 days than we'd dreamed, including wrestling with two storage units for 4 hours in order to reduce them to one, finding some needed tax records, dozens of work meetings, and some hundreds of hours of much needed social and family time. I decided to edit down our photos into a short slideshow as a QuickTime movie. It's 6Mb, so beware that it might take a while to download. Download Slideshow