Already I know that one of the objects I'll be studying this month--returning to it again and again, seeing it in different lights, contemplating it with different cameras, figuring out how it works and what it means--is the new clock at Corpus Christi College. The corner of Corpus was under scaffolding for most of the year that I lived here, and when the building that was being renovated was finally unveiled, it was a lovely-looking new library space inside a refurbished old building in the middle of town. What we didn't know in 2008 (or during the part of it when we were here, anyhow) was that its corner would soon be graced by a monster guarding another monster:
It's a clock that was designed and donated by a man named John Taylor, who invented a thermostat switch used in electric tea kettles the world over. That monster atop it is the Corpus Chronophage, a time-eater; he's also the literalization of an innovation called the grasshoper escapement, invented by the man who also figured out longitude. I first saw the Chronophage on my way to dinner at the Eagle (known as the pub where DNA was discovered); by the time we were done with dinner, he was lit up and even more terrifying than before. I did my best to steady my camera against my stomach, just to give you a first glimpse of him, but--as I've said--I'm going to return to this guy, if only to get a better (i.e., non-reflective) shot of him. Perhaps even taken using a tripod. For now, satiate yourselves with others' news of him.
It was a low-key day for me, not least because I didn't get out of bed until 1 p.m.--my solution to jet lag being to sleep for an absurd-seeming number of hours in a row on the first night and then to hold myself to a high standard for normal sleeping from there on out. Then there was a small shopping trip (which yielded me a cardigan), and then there was an awkward garden party at which I was a tag-along--which means that I've now fully returned to Cambridge. Some parts of my life here are things I should not revisit; I'm more aware of that than ever.
Some things, on the other hand, are eminently revisitable. Among them:
Tomorrow, I believe that it will be time for me to visit some other favorite places.