Cambridge Edition July 2019

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YOU R MON T H L Y F I X OF LOCA L L I F E

E D I T I O N

OPEN STUDIOS DISCOVER AMAZING ART AROUND THE CITY GREAT DAYS OUT 20 IDEAS FOR FAMILY ADVENTURES THIS JULY

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EDITORIAL Editor in chief Nicola Foley 01223 499459

nicolafoley@bright-publishing.com Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editor Felicity Evans Junior sub editor Elisha Young ADVERTISING Senior sales executive Lee Fifield 01223 492240 leefifield@bright-publishing.com Senior sales executive Harriet Abbs 01223 499464 harrietabbs@bright-publishing.com CONTRIBUTORS Alex Rushmer, Angelina Villa-Clarke, Cyrus Pundole, Charlotte Griffiths, Siobhan Godwood, Sue Bailey, Daisy Dickinson, Jordan Worland, Ruthie Collins, Anna Taylor DESIGN & PRODUCTION Designer Lucy Woolcomb 01223 499468 lucywoolcomb@bright-publishing.com Designer Emma Di'Iuorio Ad production Man-Wai Wong 01223 499468 manwaiwong@bright-publishing.com MANAGING DIRECTORS Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck 01223 499450

s well as all the usual Cambridge summer staples to relish (lido trips, sunny afternoons at Grantchester Meadows, Pimm’s-fuelled punting, hazy evenings at the Mill Pond, to name a few), the local events calendar goes into overdrive at this time of year, offering up all kinds of delightful open-air events to help us make the most of those precious

weeks of high summer. Pack up your picnic blanket and a bottle of something sparkling and head to one of the many alfresco concerts, theatre shows and cinema screenings which are coming up: we’ve rounded up the best of the bunch over on page 17. From Shakespeare in college gardens to a film festival on the River Cam, there’s plenty to tempt. We’re also looking forward to Cambridge Open Studios in this issue, an event that sees artists around the county welcoming the public into their homes and workspaces. We spoke to some of the artists involved on page 32. Also coming up this month, after a hiatus of a couple of years, is Independents’ Week: a city-wide celebration of our local independent businesses. For punters, it’s a chance not only to explore the many great indie shops and eateries the city has to offer, but also take advantage of all sorts of special offers and events. Get the lowdown on page 78. Our resident food historian Dr Sue Bailey heads off on another foodie flight of fancy in the latest in her Cambridge on a Plate series, which is rapidly becoming one of my favourite monthly columns. From the city’s ‘sticky bun wars’ to the ancient Greeks’ passion for biscuits, it is, as always, illuminating and hunger inducing. Have a read on page 74. Local author Beth Lynch’s beautiful nature writing is in the spotlight in this month’s Edition Book Club (page 23), in which she discusses Where The Hornbeam Grows – and if that doesn’t get you inspired to preen your garden for summer, Anna’s lyrical descriptions of the comings and goings at her Audley End flower farm (page 93) are sure to.

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CAMBRIDGE EDITIONMAGAZINE • Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ, 01223 499450, cambsedition.co.uk • All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of the publishers. • Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Cambridge Edition or Bright Publishing Ltd, which do not accept any liability for loss or damage. • Every effort has been made to ensure all information is correct. • Cambridge Edition is a free publication that is distributed in Cambridge and the surrounding area. FIND US @CAMBSEDITION

We also chat to the couple behind the city’s restaurant on a bus, La Latina; round up the 20 best family days out, and meet the manager of Cambridge Folk Fest for a behind-the- scenes glimpse at this year’s highlights. Enjoy

This month’s cover illustration, created by Laura Bryant, is based on a photograph by Martin Bond, aka A Cambridge Diary. You can see more of his spectacular snapshots of the city at acambridgediary.co.uk

the issue and see you next month! Nicola Foley EDITOR IN CHIEF

Author illustrations by Louisa Taylor louisataylorillustration.blogspot.co.uk

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l STARTERS Top things to do and see in the city, plus our favourite social media pics 9 l ARTS & CULTURE Exhibitions, concerts and theatre highlights to enjoy in July 17 l LET’S GO OUTSIDE Enjoy a bit of summer breeze with your culture fix at these alfresco arts events 23 l BOOK CLUB We chat to local author Beth Lynch about her new book Where the Hornbeam Grows 29 l ART INSIDER Ruthie Collins, founder of Cambridge Art Salon, shares her arty picks of the month 30 l THE ART OF ACTIVISM Artists all over Cambridgeshire open their doors to the public 36 l FOLK FESTIVAL We chat to the Cambridge Folk Festival manager to find out what ’ s in store 39 l AFTER HOURS Comedy, gigs, festivals and more nightlife fun this month We meet the local environmental activists using art as a rallying cry 32 l OPEN STUDIOS

45 LISTINGS Our at-a-glance guide to the top events and goings-on this month 48 l COMMUNITY HUB Community events, charity news and more, from your local hub l SUMMER DAYS OUT Family-friendly fun to make it the best school holiday ever A look at the special activities taking place at the University of Cambridge Museums 62 l FOOD NEWS All the latest news and gossip from the Cambridge food and drink scene 66 l ON THE BUSES We discover the story of Cambridge ’ s restaurant on a bus, La Latina 71 l RECIPE La Latina share the recipe for their addictive and delicious tostones l 50 l SUMMER AT MUSEUMS

73 l CHEF’S TABLE Chef Alex Rushmer on what’s cooking in his kitchen this month 74 l CAMBS ON A PLATE Dr Sue Bailey dives into local food history books, making some intriguing discoveries 78 l INDIE WEEK The city ’ s celebration of independent businesses returns and we ’ ve got all the details 85 l BEAUTY Daisy Dickinson rounds up the beauty products on her radar this month 93 l GARDENS Flower farm owner Anna shares what ’ s happening in the garden this month 94 l INDIE OF THE MONTH In the spotlight this month, local success story Tomas Kitchen Living 97 l INTERIORS

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Angelina rounds up the latest hues for the home in a colour special

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Cambridge’s club night for the not-so- nocturnal is back, bringing great tunes, cocktails and tasty tapas to La Raza on 11 July. If you love going out and dancing, but also have responsibilities and can’t risk being a zombie the next day, this is the event for you! It starts and finishes early, with a packed dancefloor by 9pm and everyone home and in bed by midnight. There’s always a great atmosphere and loads of crowd-pleasing tunes, and this month has a Club Tropicana theme, so we’re guessing 80s-tastic fun is on the cards. The La Raza cocktail makers will be whipping up classy concoctions, and there’s also a menu of tapas-style dishes if you fancy a bite to eat. Tickets are £12 and can be purchased via Ticket Tailor. EARLY NIGHT CLUB

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STARTERS

The most glorious way to wind down at the end of the working week, the Gog Sundowner Sessions begin for the season this month, taking place every Friday and Saturday night between 13 July and 21 September. A chilled-out, summery affair, guests can relax in the beautiful rural setting, sip on craft beer and prosecco, and of course – catch a famous Gog sunset. Throughout the season, there will be a line-up of local DJs and musicians, with plans for a Sundowner Unplugged open mic-style event, too. There will also be all kinds of delicious food, plus the popular silent disco will be in situ for the opening and closing events: get ready to dance like nobody’s watching! Another one to keep an eye out for this summer is the Gog Centenary Family Picnic on 31 September, which promises a village fete-style day of merriment for the family. thegog.com THE GOG SUNDOWNER SESSIONS

CASTLE HILL OPEN DAY

From exploring a nuclear bunker to feasting at a pop-up vegan cafe, there’s something for everyone at the Castle Hill Open Day on 13 July. It’s a chance to explore one of the oldest and most vibrant corners of the city, as venues across the area open for free, and host special activities. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the New Hall Art Collection, join in with walking tours, select herbs and make tea in the Murray Edwards Garden, get creative at an art workshop at Kettle’s Yard and learn about history at Histon Road Cemetery. You can also get the best view of Cambridge from Castle Mound, plus tuck into delicious eats at the pop-up food stations, or bring along a picnic if you prefer. Families can also enjoy the Museum of Mysteries trail at The Museum of Cambridge, and make magnets and discover secret symbols in and around St Peter’s Church. The event runs 12pm to 5pm and is free to attend. kettlesyard.co.uk

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ART ACT I V I SM • CAMBR I DGE OPEN STUD IOS • AL F RESCO ARTS • BOOK CLUB

OPEN STUDIOS A piece by Paul Abbott, who will exhibit his work at Cambridge Open Studios in July. Find out more on page 32

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ARTS & CULTURE

WRITEON

Featuring six new one-act plays, WRiTEON Stage Festival hits theatres across Cambridge between 23 and 27 July. Organised by WRiTEON, a forum for local scriptwriters, the festival is the most ambitious project the group has staged, featuring never- before-seen works at the ADC, Corpus Playroom and the Larkum Studio.

Pieces range from a thriller about a bodyguard ( Guarded ) through to the story of a couple who learn the consequences of taking role play too far ( Role Play ). “We’re so excited about this project. It’s a great opportunity for audiences in Cambridge to see fresh and outstanding new writing,” says Richard McNally, festival director.

“Some of it’s quite challenging, some is experimental, but each play offers something different and entertaining. All the scripts were judged anonymously, so we have plays from local writers already known to WRiTEON, and some we are working with for the first time.” writeon.org.uk

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ARTS & CULTURE

EDUCAT ING R I TA

The story of Frank, a frustrated academic and dedicated drinker, and Rita, a hairdresser on a quest for self-betterment, comes to the Arts Theatre for a six-day run at the end of the month. Written by Willy Russell, the Educating Rita play premiered at London’s Donmar Warehouse in 1980, before famously being made into a film starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine three years later. A story of class, education

and friendship played out between two characters who have much to learn from one another, the play was inspired by Russell’s own experiences of night classes. The production coming our way on 29 July stars Stephen Tompkinson ( Drop the Dead Donkey , Ballykissangel ) in the role of Frank, and Jessica Johnson as Rita. Tickets are available from £20. cambridgeartstheatre.com

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JULIUS CAESAR

of the best. We’ve worked on voice, movement and many other themes.” On Saturday 13 July, Richard performs a remarkable solo version of Hamlet , in a tour de force of what many consider Shakespeare’s greatest play, also at The Leper Chapel. Over the next two weekends at the same venue, he performs storytelling of the strange and uncanny. The Demon Lover , on 20 July, features tales from some of the greatest masters and mistresses of the genre. Tales of Mystery and Imagination , on Sunday 21 July, has fascinating stories by the undisputed king of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. Ghost Stories is one of in situ:’s most popular performances, told and sung by Richard on Saturday 27 July. On the 28th, catch Beasts and Super-Beasts , which celebrates the work of HH Munro – known as Saki – one of the greatest storytellers of the 20th century. Tickets for performances, which start at 8pm, are £15, available via insitutheatre.co.uk

Environmental theatre group in situ: returns with not simply a performance of Shakespeare’s powerful political drama Julius Caesar , but a creative response to it, in the first of several productions in July. Using Shakespeare’s original text in unusual and thought-provoking ways, in situ: creates Julius Caesar Project , a compelling walkround production at The Leper Chapel on Newmarket Road. Splicing in texts from Plutarch among others, with extended voice and complex choreographies, it circulates around the violent death of a charismatic leader and its catastrophic consequences. Democracy under threat, conspiracy, assassination, riots, death squads, civil war. The walls of the ancient and atmospheric Leper Chapel echo with cries, whispers and curses. Caesar’s angry ghost wants blood. Richard Spaul, director, says: “There are very few genuine ensemble theatre groups around nowadays and I am thrilled to be working with one

An annual festival of new writing and work for the stage, HOTBED returns to Cambridge Junction from 19 to 21 July. Offering a weekend’s worth of theatre, which includes world premieres, international guest performances, new plays and interactive workshops, the festival is run by Menagerie Theatre Company, a leading voice for new writing talent in the East of England. On the bill this year, see Bliss by Fraser Grace: an epic story set in Russia in 1920 which explores what it is to love in times of immense hardship. A new production of Boulder , meanwhile, offers a reimagining of Greek myth told through puppetry, while the original and moving Two Comrades comes to Cambridge straight from Prague. There’s also new plays and works-in-progress fromMenagerie associates including Lucy Crowe, Steve Waters and Lucy Sheerman, plus exciting workshops and community performances including Cambridge’s social theatre company, Acting Now. junction.co.uk HOTBED THEATRE FEST I VAL

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ARTS & CULTURE

ROCKY HORROR SHOW

Damn it, Janet – the Rocky Horror Show is coming to town! Join Dr Frank N Furter and co at the Arts Theatre for a high camp rock ‘ n ’ roll romp this month, as Richard O’Brien’s legendary musical hits Cambridge as part of a sell-out worldwide tour. Directed by Christopher Luscombe and featuring classic tunes like Sweet Transvestite and Time Warp , the show tells the story of two squeaky clean college kids whose car breaks down outside a creepy mansion, beginning an adventure they’ll never forget. Grab your ticket (from £25) and join the risqué

fun from 15-20 July. rockyhorror.co.uk

THE 39 STEPS

The 39 Steps, featuring 139 characters played by a cast of just four, blends Hitchcockian suspense with a juicy spy plot, offering a fast- paced whodunit filled with wildly inventive stagecraft. Originally a novel by Scottish author John Buchan, it was famously adapted for the silver screen in the 1930s, resulting in what is still widely regarded to be one of the finest British films ever made. The plot follows Richard Hannay, a man trudging through a dull existence until one day he meets a woman with an exotic accent who claims to be a spy. Before long, there’s been a murder and a mysterious spy organisation called The 39 Steps is hot on Hannay’s heels in a nationwide manhunt. A bona fide classic of both screen and stage, you can catch it from 2 to 6 July, with tickets from £9. adctheatre.com

Often displayed at King’s Parade gallery Byard Art, the work of local illustrator Alice Thomson will take the spotlight this month in a solo show at the Locker Cafe. Running until 18 July, the exhibition showcases the charming depictions of our city which Alice has become known for. “I take my sketchbook and camera wherever I am and sometimes work straight from life,” she says. “This exhibition features the spirit of Cambridge – the cafes, streets, punts and bicycles – even the odd bus and musician! I often start with a simple continuous line, before adding more colour, collage and detail to depict a place and a moment.” alicethomson.co.uk ART AT THE LOCKER CAFE

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AL F RESCO ARTS

FROM OPEN-AIR SHAKESPEARE TO OUTDOOR CINEMA, THERE ARE PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR AN ALFRESCO CULTURE FIX THIS SUMMER

MOVIES ON THE MEADOWS

Cambridge’s original outdoor cinema experience, Movies on the Meadows, returns to its usual, idyllic spot in Grantchester this August bank holiday. A prelude to Cambridge Film Festival, the event takes place over the course of four nights, screening a total of 12 films, which range from current blockbusters to family classics. Beamed out across the meadows on giant inflatable screens, more

than 3,000 film-lovers enjoy the screenings each year, making it the largest outdoor cinema event in the country – and 2019 is set to be the biggest and best yet. Catch Mary Poppins Returns , Bohemian Rhapsody , Dr Strangelove , Avengers: Endgame and more between 23 and 26 August, plus tuck into street food under the stars. Adult tickets are £16, available now. cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk

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AL F RESCO ARTS

J AZZ IN THE GARDENS

Pack up a picnic and a bottle of fizz and head to the gardens at the Wimpole Estate, where you can enjoy an alfresco concert by Cambridge band Django’s Tiger this month. Taking place on Saturday 13th, it’s a chance to enjoy a look around Wimpole’s stunning grounds, which include a walled garden and a parterre, and are filled with exotic blooms, some originally sourced by plant hunters in the 18th century. Entertainment-wise, you can expect swinging gypsy jazz in the tradition of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, and a repertoire of standards plus contemporary tunes. Tickets are £10 for adults and £7 for children. nationaltrust.org.uk

The Enchanted Cinema summer 2019 season is in full swing, offering film fans a chance to catch great flicks in gorgeous locations until September. Upcoming highlights include a sumptuous Baz Luhrmann duo of Romeo & Juliet (5 July) and The Great Gatsby (17 August), both of which will be screened in the pretty walled garden at the Gonville Hotel. There’s a coterie of recent Oscar winners, including Bohemian Rhapsody , A Star is Born and Green Book , while the classics are well represented with Dirty Dancing , When Harry met Sally and Grease . EC really goes the extra mile to make sure your evening is an enchanted one, with prosecco, craft beer, popcorn, light installations and live musical entertainment. enchantedcinema.co.uk ENCHANTED CINEMA

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Punt rides, live music, delicious hot food, an outdoor bar, garden games and – of course – movies galore are all on offer at this year’s River Cam Film Festival. Running from 25 to 28 July, festivities kick off with a showing of A Star is Born on the 25th. Starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, this fourth adaptation of the classic ‘ageing star meets hopeful ingenue’ story features the Oscar-winning song Shallow as part of its fantastic original soundtrack. Next up is The Favourite on the 26th. Another Oscar winner – this time for Best Actress Olivia Colman – it’s the story of the love triangle between Queen Anne and her feuding ladies in waiting, Lady Sarah and Abigail. Box-office smash Bohemian Rhapsody, the story of Freddie Mercury’s adventures with Queen, is on the 27th, and finally the winner of the Oscar for Best Picture, Green Book , gets its turn on the 28th. Punt taxis set off from Scudamore’s punt station from 6.30pm onwards, and there will be plenty of fab food and drink options to keep you amused until your film starts, as the sun sets. A range of ticket options is available, starting at £15. starandmouse.com THE RIVER CAM FILM FESTIVAL

The lawns of Cambridge become a stage this month when the annual Shakespeare Festival returns from 8 July to 24 August. Taking place in some of Cambridge University’s most beautiful college gardens, the festival has been enthralling audiences with timeless tales of romance, tragedy and farce for more than 30 years. Described by The Times as serving up a “tour de force of Elizabethan drama”, the programme sees four plays running from 8 to 27 July, before the programme switches with four new offerings during late July and August. Act one sees Cambridge Shakespeare Festival favourite A Midsummer Night’s Dream bring fairies, forests, magic and mysticism to St John’s College, while A Winter’s Tale serves a cold slice of suspicion and obsession (and a bear) at Downing College. We meet up with Falstaff and the rest of the gang in Henry IV Part 1 at Robinson College, while Hamlet’s spiral of self-torment and madness will play out against the really rather lovely backdrop of King’s College’s gardens. Up for round two will be The Tempest (Trinity College), Much Ado About Nothing (St John’s), Henry IV Part 2 (Robinson College), and As You Like It (King’s College). Adult tickets are £17. cambridgeshakespeare.com SHAKESPEARE FEST

Bringing a programme of concerts to the city’s green spaces each summer, Jazz & Brass in the Parks runs on selected Sundays until 15 September. Completely free and open to all, you can catch music from the likes of the Brass Funkeys and Cambridge Groove Orchestra, at spots including Jesus Green. Pack some snacks and a blanket, and you’ll be all set for a perfect weekend wind down. cambridgelive.org.uk J A ZZ & BR ASS IN THE PARKS

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AL F RESCO ARTS

There’s a busy calendar of outdoor events coming up in the stunning gardens of Audley End House, just outside Saffron Walden. Music on a Sunday will see live ensembles providing a soundtrack to summer frolicking on selected weekends (the next dates for your diary are 7 and 21 July), while The Luna Cinema returns from 5 to 7 July with three nights of feel-good films, a full bar and hot food available on site. Up this time are The Greatest Showman , Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again , and Bohemian Rhapsody . The glorious Heritage Live Concert Series, organised by Giles Cooper Entertainment, is also back between 12 and 14 July, with an array of A-list acts. While you relax and soak up the splendour of this Jacobean mansion and its beautiful gardens, you’ll be treated to live music from legendary performers including The Human League, synth-pop heroes ABC, indie poppers The Hives and The Fratellis, plus The Jacksons, Boney M and Kool & The Gang. english-heritage.org.uk EVENTS AT AUDLEY END

SOUNDS GREEN

As far as settings for a concert go, they don’t come more lovely than the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, which welcomes back its Sounds Green series this July. From Senegalese salsa to classic jazz, all kinds of music is filling the gardens this summer, with visitors encouraged to pack a picnic and relax as dusk falls. The concerts take place each Wednesday in July, with music lasting around an hour, starting from 6.15pm, and there will be a bar from Thirsty plus Jack’s Gelato ice cream and street food from the likes of Pull Me Cheri. Up first, on 3 July, are Afro Tema, who bring beats from the streets of Senegal, followed on the 10th by Martin Kemp’s Organised Chaos, with a set of swing and jazz standards from the 1930s to the present. On 17 July, it’s over to Truly Medley Deeply for an exciting hybrid of live band, DJ and jukebox, before Ruth Applin and Josh Kemp Quartet take to the stage on the 31st for a selection of classics from the Great American Songbook and singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Due to popularity, the Sounds Green events are ticketed this year for the first time, though walk-ups might also be available. botanic.cam.ac.uk

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BOOK CLUB

CAMBRIDGE EDI T ION

BRINGING YOU TOP NEW FICTION PICKS, AUTHOR INTERVIEWS, DISCOUNTS AND LOTS MORE BOOK CHAT, THE EDITION BOOK CLUB IS A PARTNERSHIP WITH CAMBRIDGE LITERARY FESTIVAL AND HEFFERS

INTERVIEW BY CHARLOTTE GRIFFITHS

FROM A FAMILY GARDEN IN SUSSEX TO THE SWISS JURA, WHERE THE HORNBEAM GROWS IS A MOVING MEMOIR ABOUT LOVE, LONELINESS AND THE HEALING POWER OF GARDENING WHERE THE HORNBEAM GROWS

B eth Lynch’s beautiful new book Where the Hornbeam Grows: A Journey in Search of a Garden evades easy categorisation: part memoir, part travelogue, part heartfelt nature writing, this evocative book is deeply reflective on the themes of memory, sense of place and how we choose to entangle ourselves (or not) with the world and people around us. The book follows the author from her parents’ home and exquisitely-drawn garden in Sussex to Switzerland, after her husband is offered a job there, and tracks her attempts to connect with her new country mates and possibly, maybe, begin to feel at home in

that unfamiliar land. Of course, the book is also so much more than this, covering loss, grief, growth – both personal and plant – and a whole heap of bewitchingly written descriptions of flora that’ll leave you making a beeline for the garden centre, scribbled Latin names in hand. Ironically, for a tale about putting down one’s roots, Beth was constantly travelling while creating her book. “The whole process was very disjointed,” she says. “I started writing while we still had the house in the Jura: I was sitting at my desk and looking out at the garden when I began. Most of it was written on the move: sometimes in London, in Zurich, in cafes –

a couple of key paragraphs were written at the steering wheel in the Channel Tunnel… It’s been a really itinerant process: but the writing was something that I found bizarrely rooting, or grounding. I feel like a bit of a fraud: I think writers are supposed to have a desk with everything in place, which they sit at every day – I haven’t achieved that yet!” she laughs. Interestingly, Beth was never residing in the places she was describing as she was writing about them. “I was writing about the Sussex garden while I was in the Jura: then a lot of the writing about our lovely country garden in Switzerland was done after we’d left it.

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BOOK CLUB

“I knew what story I was telling – I didn’t map it all out”

“I was writing the chapter – chapter six, I think, a total immersion in the garden – from memory, and a few notes that I’d jotted down at the time. That was a very strange phase of the writing process: I’d been dreading going back to the garden in my writing, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience, writing my way more deeply into it. We needed to leave Switzerland, but it broke my heart to leave the garden. That was the most beautiful place on Earth, and we will never live somewhere like that again…” Beth had always wanted to write: in one of her previous past lives, as she calls them, she worked in academia, teaching and researching literature. Eventually, Beth phased herself out of studying and trained as a garden designer, qualifying and planning to set up a business at precisely the same point as her husband Shaun was offered the life-changing opportunity in Switzerland. For a short while, Beth mulled over the idea of starting a garden design business in their new locale, but soon discovered that her plant-led style wasn’t an easy match with the structured, design- focused Swiss approach to space creation. This led Beth back to writing, which she pursued wholeheartedly. “I started out planning a book on enclosed gardens, and the experience of enclosure – which I suppose came out of my design training – but I kept mulling it over, and writing bits and pieces around it, and just started thinking that this wasn’t my book, this wasn’t my story,” she says. “While I was grappling with the idea, this whole... story was happening in our life: the move to Switzerland, finding the garden – and the book gradually took shape. I never set out to write a memoir – it’s not something I planned to do, to make it so personal. That was quite an interesting thing to negotiate. Despite the impression you might get from the book, I’ve always considered myself to be quite a private person. It was an interesting process of discovery about myself.” There are some parallels to be drawn between the creative act of designing a garden and writing a book – or at least, Beth’s approach to both challenges. “I trained as a garden designer, but have always had some ambivalence about the

design process,” she explains. “When I was training, I learnt every garden designer worth their salt focuses on the space and the layout. I remember a tutor telling me – he was trying to provoke me, but he had a point – that plants are mere decoration: you do the design, and once you’ve mapped out everything on paper and done the architectural bits, then you can do your planting plan. But the key is the design. I loved learning about that, and doing the technical drawing and how to survey, to measure – and I’ve made gardens for other people in that way – but I’ve never been able to apply that to my own way of gardening. My primary passion has always been plants, and I can’t look at a space without thinking about plants first, which is what you’re not supposed to do when you’re designing. With the book – once I realised I was telling my story, and that I knew what story I was telling, I didn’t map it all out in an orderly way – I just started writing, and wrote from start to finish: so there are some parallels. It’s probably just that I’m undisciplined,” she laughs.

LOOK OUT FOR THE CAMBRIDGE EDITION BOOK CLUB STICKERS IN HEFFERS AND GET MONEY OFF OUR MONTHLY PICK Heffers is located at 20 Trinity Street, Cambridge blackwells.co.uk

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BOOK CLUB

BETH LYNCH’ S CAMBRIDGE

THE ARCHITECT ON CASTLE HILL

I met my husband Shaun here in the nineties, when we were students and the pub was the County Arms. We go here from time to time, and though the pub is scrubbed, remodelled, airy and renamed, the old panelling is familiar beneath its light paint, and we can still pinpoint the table positions where certain evenings were spent with friends more than 20 years ago. HARVEY & SON I was overjoyed, returning to Cambridge after all these years away, to find the stall still thriving. Jo Harvey’s expertise and infectious enthusiasm make it impossible to walk past without buying a gaura or salvia (which I’ve done recently despite having, as yet, no soil in which to plant them). facebook.com/HarveyandSon MIDAN WORLD FOODS We used this Histon Road shop as students, and when we were first married we lived nearby. We are so fortunate to have it as our local shop again. It’s a treasure trove of subcontinental, Middle Eastern and Italian ingredients, an amazing range of breads and flatbreads, bunches of the freshest coriander – and the staff are so friendly.

Now resident in Cambridge after a long absence from our city, Beth is enjoying the prospect of building another garden in the space behind her new home. “It’s the blankest canvas I’ve ever had. I’m finding that incredibly exciting, but also rather difficult: there’s so little to start with,” she says. “There’s an iris I was going to bin, with very tired-looking leaves. I didn’t get around to removing it and it’s emerged with these unbelievably rich, dark purple, velvety flowers – so I’ll be keeping that. It has to have a quince tree, and there’ll be a bit of grass left, full of clover and violets – but yes, I haven’t quite worked it out yet.” One section of Beth’s book sees her express fondness for a specific plant stall found in Cambridge’s central market, and it comes as no surprise to discover – despite a lack of space in which to plant anything – the author has paid multiple visits to her much-loved plant suppliers. “I’ve already been there!” she laughs. “It’s Mrs Jo Harvey, of Harvey & Son: they’re the most wonderful plant people. The stall I used to go to when I was in Cambridge all those years ago is still there. I hadn’t seen her for nine, ten years – we’re both a bit older, but their plants are still amazing. I haven’t been able to buy as many yet as I’d like to, but I’ve succumbed to temptation and already have a few things in pots on the patio – she managed to flog me an amazing salvia… It’s lovely that they’re still there: it’s a real sense of reconnecting.” It’s fair to say that Beth’s book has a whole host of characters besides the author and her husband: the hellebores, aquilegia, geraniums and other plants found in her gardens are so vividly and compellingly drawn, it’s hard not to stop reading and note them down. One of the key motifs of the book concerns the treasured cuttings, seeds and sometimes entire plants that Beth saves from her parents’ garden before selling the house,

and their continued adventures either in Switzerland or in the care of friends and family. It’s extremely gratifying to hear these plants and their descendants have already found their way back to Beth’s new Cambridge space. “All of the species have survived, one way or another, and will be the core plants in the new garden,” says Beth. “There was a bit of an issue with a hellebore, a treasured plant of my father’s – I passed it on to a very dear friend who lives just outside Cambridge, and by her own admission she put it in entirely the wrong place. It needed damp shade, but instead it sat on a patio in baking sun: we had quite a chuckle about that while the book was being written. Last week, we dug up the hellebore and it’s become the most enormous, thriving plant you can imagine. It’s now in a pot, in a shady space on my patio, waiting to be planted. It’s the original that had roots in the soil in my parents’ garden – that feels significant. Also my friend is just really relieved: she said, ‘Oh, I can finally sleep again – it’s not such a burden!’” Beth laughs. Where the Hornbeam Grows is a contemplative read that will be particularly enjoyed by keen gardeners and nature lovers, but even the least green-fingered reader will warm to Beth’s memorable, almost poetic meditations on family, sense of self and finding one’s place in the world. A book to be enjoyed in the summer, in as green a space as possible. l

“Writing was something that I found bizarrely rooting”

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RUTHIE COLLINS, FOUNDER OF CAMBRIDGE ART SALON, GIVES HER ARTY PICKS OF THE MONTH

S ummer, with its ‘mad, naked’ nights (Walt Whitman) can feel like a glorious surprise when it arrives. As it gets hotter, the sea calls. But as a sense of crisis and action deepens in relation to the sea, we all yearn to protect its life and its beauty. I’ve just had a poem published in Like the Sea I Think , a new collection of maritime writing from East Anglia. Called Persephone Wakes , it’s part literary activism in response to the climate emergency, part joyous sea-quest to reawaken our connection to the planet. With East Anglia’s many beautiful coastal spots, it remains a source of inspiration for artists in Cambridge: communicating with the sea can be a rhapsodic way of connecting to the natural world. So, if you can’t get out to the beach, why not take your pick of seascape-inspired artists this month and go on a sea-quest of your own? Anja Perry’s first ever solo show is at Boudoir Femme on King Street this month, featuring sea-inspired, light, visceral acrylics on glass – not a canvas or paintbrush used, these iridescent beauties are created using acrylic pouring. A former shipping lawyer and diving instructor, Perry shows her technical and professional influences in this sparkling show. Or, as this is the time of year that art pilgrims march around the city as part of Open Studios, continue your sea-quest there. For anyone new to the city, or the initiative, which attracts thousands

of visitors every year, this is a fantastic way to meet artists face to face, or enjoy some lesser known spots opened up to the public. There are literally hundreds of artists and spaces to choose from, so I’d recommend having a cuppa, a leaf through the guide and, in addition to going along to your personal favourites, making space for new artists this year. Enjoy Alison Litherland’s wild, expressive abstracts at Artworks, or Lyz Gardner, whose studio is out in Ely, is an East Anglian oil painter whose work you can find in Cambridge Contemporary Art. Catherine Mellis’ bold, elusive monoprints are a joy, inspired by scuba diving, light and being underwater. Helen Foster, a scientist whose art teacher told her to see a psychologist if she wanted to study art – paints abstracts with a scientific twist, with startling results (choose science or art – ‘do both’ she says!). Or check out Melanie Max, whose bright, evocative seascapes are full of light. Don’t forget Cheryl Warren’s stunning abstracts: mesmerising and uplifting. Those with kids in tow, find children’s illustrators to entice the little ones – Amanda Hall, exhibiting in Romsey Town, is ace (and you’re not far from the Cambridge Waffle Company on Mill Road, with its amazing draw-on-the-walls colouring in – why not draw the sea?). I’m also making time to head to The Silence of Time: The Spaces In-Between , by Loukas Morley at the Museum of

Classical Archaeology this month. This long-awaited solo show, at one of Cambridge’s most fascinating hidden away museums, will be a treat for fans of Morley’s work. His large-scale abstracts are striking in their modernity and bold colour in this environment. Sea-questers can hunt for the Cape Artemisium God, possibly Poseidon, Greek god of the sea, which was found in a shipwreck, while enjoying the collection of 450 casts of classical sculpture on display. Or hunt for the Lysicrates Monument (Dionysus turning pirates into dolphins – they had kidnapped him, so he punished them). “Loukas has achieved something really quite rare and exciting with this exhibition,” enthuses curator Suzanne Turner. “It is no exaggeration to say he has transformed our Cast Gallery, making time and space seem to fold upon itself with carefully placed mirrors and large- scaled installations. Newly made works nestle among the casts, but even the older pieces from his repertoire seem at home. It is almost as if they had always been here, amplifying the very life force of our classical collection.” Finally, for those looking for actual sea, there’s also the chance to catch Will Self this month over in Great Yarmouth. He’s talking with Ryan Gander, whose bold sculpture, Really bad thing seen from a different perspective (The pet giraffe of the thief that stole a Barbara Hepworth sculpture from Dulwich Park) , has been installed at Merrivale Model Village. On the way back to Cambridge, catch Lines of Sight: WG Sebald , at Norwich Castle; an exhibition on one of East Anglia’s most respected writers. Whatever you do, make the most of those glorious afternoons. “Summer afternoon – summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language,”

“Communicating with the sea can be a rhapsodic way of connecting to the natural world”

(Henry James). Have a fantastic July, all. l

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ARTISTS ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE REACTING TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS WITH ACTS OF CREATION, AND CAMBRIDGE IS PART OF THE MOVEMENT

WORDS BY RUTHIE COLLINS

F acing up to the ecological crisis – it’s really hard, emotional and frightening. But people react to art, they can have an emotional reaction more to art than to the concept of it all – or just the science.” Community artist Hilary Cox is talking about the wave of environmental art activism that has increased exponentially since the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its report on climate change last October. “The act of creating something useful and being part of change is good for us,” she continues. Crisis at this level, with stark warnings of potential extinction of life issued by thousands of scientists, is an almost impossible concept to grasp for many. It’s tempting to wish it would all just go away. But it won’t. A rallying cry comes from Extinction Rebellion Cambridge, which attracts people-turned-activists from all kinds of backgrounds across the city. Art: just one of the creative tools for activism. “People are so full of ideas and creativity – with a little facilitation they really blossom,” Hilary says. “Across the world this movement is creating resources, sharing and supporting. It’s a collaborative way of working, about being the change.” Whatever your age, there are plenty of ways you can get involved and help to make a difference, from guerrilla gardening to helping with stalls and festivals, and a regular working art group is held at Cambridge Artworks on Victoria Road. Support has also been offered by Cambridge Junction to create banners, as well as by Kettle’s Yard, which has started to offer artist workshops with Hilary in environmental art activism for young people. “Making a banner one morning, then seeing it on the front page of The Guardian – you know those messages are getting out there. This is a different way of getting headlines,” says Hilary, who

“The city is full of artivists and interesting people and the group is really open. People come along to the working art group and say they haven’t made anything since school. But they get stuck in,” says Hilary. Environmental art can be

also led an artist talk at Kettle’s Yard on environmental art activism earlier this year. “It’s about finding different ways of sending out a message, bringing people together to create solutions, new ways of doing things.” The local group is also helping a Cambridge wing of the Red Brigade, which brought carnivalesque street theatre, with participants all dressed in red, to Extinction Rebellion’s two-week shutdown of London in March, described as “a slow motion Buto meets Venice Carnival-style procession aiming to create beautiful disruption using the architecture of the streets to create powerful and arresting imagery.” It was after the second world war that the environmental movement became politicised by writers. Rachel Carson’s pioneering book Silent Spring , published in 1962, became a New York Times bestseller, raising awareness of the impact of pesticides. One of the pioneers of the environmental movement, her work fused science and ecology, highlighting the interconnectedness of man with the planet. “In nature nothing exists alone,” she wrote. The merging of art and science in today’s environmental art activism is particularly incendiary in Cambridge, historically home to so many world- famous scientists and radical thinkers. “The act of being part of change is good for us”

about embracing sustainability and using creativity as a means to connect with nature – important in an age defined by mass extinction and separation. Clare Crossman, nature writer, runs Nature Writing in the City, creative writing workshops at Othersyde. Loukas Morley, once a judge for the Anglia Ruskin Sustainability Art Prize, has a workshop full of seedling trees, and uses found objects and reclaimed materials in his practice. “It’s really about saying to yourself, when looking at the planet – would I treat my mother like this?” he says. Cherishing nature is as important as protesting, with concepts of renewal and rewilding all key. It’s not just Extinction Rebellion Cambridge using art to raise awareness. Last March, Cambridge Carbon Zero Society took over King’s College to push for the University divesting of fossil fuels. Using stencils, they spray-painted the walls of the college – the bright colours echoing the peacefulness of their protest. This year, a motion was passed for Cambridge University to cost out all advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels; a positive shift. “Making art can help strengthen a cause,” says Hilary. “It’s a regenerative process.” As pioneering

activist Vandana Shiva said, “You are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder... the planet is carrying you.” l For more on Extinction Rebellion Cambridge visit facebook.com/ groups/xrcambridge or email Hilary Cox on mshilaryc@gmail.

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THE ANNUAL CAMBRIDGE OPEN STUDIOS EVENT IS A CHANCE FOR LOCAL ART LOVERS TO MEET ARTISTS AND DISCOVER WHERE AND HOW THEY WORK. SIOBHAN GODWOOD FINDS OUT MORE

C ambridge may be famous for its contribution to science, technology and academia, but there is a thriving artistic community here too. Cambridge Open Studios is one of the oldest open studio events in the country, and can be traced back to the 1960s, when a small group of Cambridge artists joined forces, opening their studios to the public as part of a movement to demystify arts and make them available to all. Although Open Studios has grown enormously, the ethos remains the same, and the aim is to make art accessible and to welcome the public in to see how artists produce their work. Artists open their doors to the public over four weekends in July, and a wide variety of media are represented, from jewellery and fine art to ceramics and furniture making. Artists are spread out across the city and in lots of Cambridgeshire’s villages, as well as in Ely. The event is free to the public, and most of the artists offer a range of different items, so if a painting or piece of jewellery isn’t in your budget, you can buy some cards or a mug featuring the artist’s work. As well as a way for art lovers to discover local talent, COS allows artists and craftspeople to meet each other and have their work included in the event’s promotional materials and social media activity. We talked to some of the artists involved in this year’s event to find out about what being part of Cambridge Open Studios means to them.

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I’ve done Open Studios about five times before, and I exhibit out of my studio, which is at the bottom of my garden. There’s a lot of preparation involved, producing new artwork, getting cards printed, thinking about how everything is going to be displayed. I’m in Hemingford Grey; there are five of us in the village exhibiting this year and we have been getting together – it’s nice to be able to support each other. Most people who come to Open Studios are interested in art and like to talk about it, and it’s a lovely thing for artists to talk about their work. I particularly enjoy getting repeat visitors and showing them how my work has developed. A lot of the time, as an artist, you’re working on your own; you have belief in what you’re doing, but it’s not often you get the opportunity to see how your work affects people and how they respond to it. I get commissions out of it too – people can see things I’ve done, and ask for something similar but with slightly different elements or colours; I like doing pieces for people I’ve met face to face. As well as larger works, I always have cards to sell; some prints of larger works and some little handmade pieces. ansteyart.com COS 2019 weekends 1, 3 & 4 ANSTEY GARR ICK GREEN ANSTEY’S COLLAGES AND MIXED MEDIA ARTWORKS ARE VIBRANT WITH COLOUR AND USE A VARIETY OF MATERIALS INCLUDING PAPER, FELT, ENCAUSTIC AND THREAD

This will be my first time taking part in Cambridge Open Studios. I’ve been painting for a number of years, and am involved in painting groups in Fulbourn – quite a few artists locally take part every year and they encouraged me to get involved. The Open Studios team offers lots of help for new artists, with new members’ evenings that you can attend to get advice. I’ll be exhibiting frommy house, in the small room that I paint in, and also in my conservatory. It’s tricky knowing how much work to exhibit, but it depends a lot on the amount of space that you’ve got. I’ve also got cards ready for visitors who like the paintings but might not have the budget for a full framed work. In previous years I’ve been to see lots of different artists; it will be quite strange to be actually exhibiting myself this year! For me, it’s about saying ‘this is me, this is what I like to paint, and I’d like to share it with you’. If I sell some work, that will really just be an added bonus. COS 2019 weekends 1 & 2 CAROL WHI TEHOUSE CAROL’S WATERCOLOURS TAKE INSPIRATION FROM HER LOVE OF FLOWERS AND SHE INTERPRETS THEIR SHAPE AND COLOUR IN A LOOSE AND VIBRANT STYLE

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MARINA MAKES INTENSE, DECORATED PAINTINGS AND PAINTED FURNITURE, BOWLS, BOXES AND FABRICS MARINA YEDIGAROFF

I’ve been doing Cambridge Open Studios since 1985; I’mone of the most long-standing artists. In the early years, I exhibited in Cambridge itself; I was in Gwydir Street, where there was a cluster of artists, and it was quite rock ‘n’ roll in those days. I exhibit in Ely now, and it’s getting busier each year. I’ve built up quite a clientele, and send out cards to people to remind them of the dates. It’s nice to see the same visitors year after year, and they tell their friends, so it’s quite a word of mouth thing. I keep doing it because it’s a very successful way to sell my work, through commissions and selling art on the day – much more so than exhibiting in galleries. Of course it’s nice to meet people and talk about my work, but I don’t think many artists would open their homes and their studios up just to be stared at – we all want to make a living! I do try to make the place look amazing, so it is a lot of work. I mural my walls and take out the furniture, too, so it’s not just paintings: the whole ground floor of my house is part of the show. It’s quite stressful – you have to be ready all the time, as you never really know when the next visitor will turn up, or 15 at once – but I enjoy it very much. I wouldn’t keep doing it if I didn’t! yedigaroff.com COS 2019 weekends 1, 2 & 4

I have been doing Open Studios for many years – I started in about 1997, although I have missed a few. I exhibited at Wysing Arts Centre for a long time, but for the last few years I’ve done it frommy own home. People seem to like having a look at how I work, and seeing all the equipment, finding out about my process. What’s great now is that there are a lot more people doing it in Histon, where I live, so visitors can do a little tour and visit several different artists in the village, and it gives me the chance to get to know the other artists, too. I get repeat customers coming back year after year; people that I’ve built up relationships with, who don’t necessarily buy something every year, but come back to say hello and see what I’m up to. I’ve decided to stop doing ceramics, as I’ve been doing it for 25 years and I want to take a break. It’s a big decision for me, as ceramics has been my main income for a long time, but I’m going to carry on with my printmaking and go in a new direction. So this year I’ll be selling the last of my ceramics – it feels like the end of an era! clarecrouchman.com COS 2019 weekends 1 & 2 CLARE CROUCHMAN CLARE IS EXHIBITING HER HAND-PRODUCED FINE ART PRINTS INSPIRED BY RHYTHMICAL AND GEOMETRIC PATTERNS FROM NATURE

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