karohemd: (Photo)
Strawberry Fair is an annual (except for last year) free festival on Midsummer Common in Cambridge. Last year, the police objected to the event because policing it had been difficult (disorderly conduct, drugs etc.) and the council didn't grant the license. This year, the setup was changed, Midsummer Common was fenced in and the number of entry points severely restricted so you couldn't simply walk onto the Common. Spot checks were made at the entrances for drugs and excessive alcohol (restricted to four cans). I wasn't stopped on the way in, possibly because it was still early and I didn't look like I would cause troubles with my two fancy cameras strapped to myself.

This year I was early enough to catch the parade coming in which had a steel/drumming band, stiltwalkers and other costumed participants.

The main difference to the setup of the fair was the lack of a big main music stage on the east end and other stages (like the Reggae Tent) were missing as well. I found the music generally lacking in quality or maybe I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Instead, there was a large cordoned off area called the "Village Green" in the centre with organised events like The Knights of Honour reenactment group's fighting displays.
The Cambridge Community Circus was present as well and made for some of the best photos I managed to get (see below).
As the stalls went it was either food (more expensive again, 6.50 for a portion of curry goat and rice with more bone than meat) or rather commercial ones selling clothing, accessories and tat. Most of the little stalls/traders were missing.
The weather was good, there was always a nice breeze so even when it was quite hot (hottest around 5pm!) it was bearable.

Overall, it was a good day out (I had to leave around 6 because my back was complaining too much) but it felt a bit subdued compared to previous years. The official numbers said there were a lot fewer arrests (13 compared to 73 in '09) but I think I saw just as many drunken yobs as in previous years.

Here's the Cambridge News article on the Fair. I randomly walk through the frame in the first video at 1:28 (but sadly with the head cut off). BBC Cambs' selection of my photos is here.

karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
I was a bit early so I ordered a nice cocktail while I was waitin for my dining companion to arrive:

Apple Martini
Apple Martini (not too sweet, fruity, lovely)


Then, the food:
The pre-starter was an off-the-menu asparagus velouté served with a spoon of beurre noisette powder. Wonderful asparagus flavour that really got the tastebuds going (which is the whole point of a dish like that).

Amouse Bouche: Asparagus Veloute

For starter I had the skate, which was served with morel mushrooms and crispy white asparagus. I've had a lifelong dislike of white asparagus as I only remember it as the tasteless, slimy floppy things from a jar that were served at extended family dinner parties and supposed to be this awesome treat, so I'm glad I loved these crispy bits. The skate was perfectly cooked (as was to be expected) and the earthy, strongly flavoured mushrooms worked really with it.

Starter: Skate

My companion had the goat's cheese with beetroot which she loved:

Starter: Goat's Cheese

We had the same main: Stone Bass, potato pressé, peas, salsa verde, lemon. A perfectly cooked, flaky fillet of fish with excellent accompaniments and yes, I even liked the peas, so another big success for Alimentum's kitchen brigade headed by Mark Poynton.

Main: Stone Bass

For dessert I had a passion fruit parfait (soft, very fruity, no pips) with coffee sorbet and tiny saffron meringues. Again one of those dishes in which the main elements would have been too strong individually but together they were perfectly balanced.

Dessert: Passion Fruit Parfait

My companion's dessert were the variations of strawberry:
Dessert: Strawberry

With that she had the most amazing vodka: Chase Marmalade which tasted just like it sounds. Wonderful.
We obviously couldn't stop there and ended the evening with a selection of cheeses, of which the most unusual and interesting was a soft, washed rind cheese called Soumaintrain which was served on a spoon. Delightful.
The petits fours served with coffee were a dark chocolate one with lime and a white chocolate one coated in very tart apricot crumbs which completely counteracted the sickly sweetness (on my palate) of the white chocolate.
Another stunning meal at Alimentum, good value for money (as fine dining goes) and good service, too.
karohemd: (Photo)
It was another fine night at the Q Club providing the best music for the alternative scene in Cambridge on a Friday night.
Still no improvement to the lighting at the club so it's either red or blue or slow flash but I guess I need to live with that.
There was a good turnout for a summer's night and everybody seemed to have a good time.
More info about the club on the Sacrilege website.

  
 

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As always, more photos on flickr.
karohemd: (Photo)
Last night's Club Sarcrilege in Cambridge was another success.
Guest DJ this time was the inimitable Deathboy who play a stonking set of filthy tunes you don't get to hear much (at least not at alternative nights in Cambridge)
The Q Club changed their ambient lighting again (now mainly red and blue LED spots) which made shots in the seating areas basically impossible, at least without annoying the punters with bright flash so there aren't many of those.
Here's a selection

  
 
  

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All photos released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commerical Share Alike licence.
karohemd: (Photo)
Sacrilege last night in Cambridge sadly was not very busy but it was still a good night with excellent music and colourful people.
For some reason, the light was a lot poorer than last time (both weaker and redder) so the flash had to come out a lot.

  
 
 

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More on flickr.
karohemd: (Photo)
After two rather lacklustre years, this year's display was quite marvellous, especially the ground-to-air effects I hadn't seen before. Some of them were reminiscent of classic arcade video games, only the space invaders coming from the sky were missing. ;)

A few impressions:

  

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Loads more on flickr.
karohemd: (Photo)
They don't allow photography except in the entrance hall and the main staircase so this is what I had. There were too many people (and I only had my midrange zoom) for an effective shot of the staircase so I concentrated on portraits of some of the statues and busts. I have no idea who they are because there weren't any names on the labels, just numbers.

  

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karohemd: (Photo)
This was Monday morning when I waited for my train to Stansted. The sun wasn't quite up yet and there was this beautiful light and lovely, crisp air.



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karohemd: (Photo)
was good. The weather held until I left 9:30ish because my feet were telling me they wanted to be put up and wouldn't support me much longer. I made it there just after 12 and met up with a number of friends. I picked up my press pass and stuck it to my hat. ;o) I moved between the stages all day. Except for Special Preserve (great blues) and The Neutrinos (both in the acoustic tent, the latter will get a separate post), music was nothing special this year and except for that world music group and again The Neutrinos not particularly interesting to photograph, either. Shame, really.
I also had my usual food selection (falafel for lunch, curry goat for dinner and a crepe for afters) but didn't buy anything else. So, here's them photos:

 
  
 

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Still more on flickr (which will be expanded over the next week or so)
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Default)
I wanted to catch the Morris Dancers at the small May Day celebration St. Andrew's had organised Friday morning but I was a little late and they had already finished so I took some shots of a family of ducks who were swimming along the shallow canal between the Vie development and the river.

Ducklings

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