A local resident enjoying the new wildflower meadow'@ChoirOfKingsCam/TWitter

Cambrovision

In the absence of Eurovision in Rotterdam this year, Trinity College’s Tom McGachie put together Cambridge’s version of Eurovision, Cambrovision, as “a way to celebrate Eurovision in lockdown” where each college functioned as a voting ‘country’. 

Cambrovision proved extremely popular, with “over 6,000 votes cast over the course of the competition”. The competition was even extended to include voters not in Cambridge, who voted as part of a ‘United External college’. 

The contest was “a way to provide some entertainment and much needed distraction, as well as a platform for students to connect with each other,” McGachie told Varsity. “The Cambridge community, despite being dispersed across the globe, could come together and feel less isolated.” 

The results, posted on Monday, saw Iceland as the winner, Ukraine as runner-up and Serbia in third place. 

McGachie hopes to run Cambrovision again in 2021, though perhaps in the form of a “charitable song contest, with each college submitting an entry that we can vote for in a similar way”, he told Varsity

Spring hits King's

A photo by 'A Cambridge Diary' shows that the iconic King’s College lawn, which extends from the Chapel to the banks of the River Cam, is in full bloom. The lawn has “transformed into a wildflower meadow”, full of numerous flowers including harbells, poppies, cornflowers and buttercups.

This photo shows the lawn back at the end of April, well on its way to its current majesty. 

This follows King's decision in January as reported by Varsity to turn one of Cambridge's most iconic green spaces from a preened lawn into a meadow with a“biodiversity-rich ecosystem”. 

 Jesus Green and Parker’s Piece are also in full bloom at this time of year. 

Music from Cambridge

Over the lockdown several colleges have kept Cambridge music alive through college Facebook groups. 

Clare College has been holding ‘Clare Music Mondays’ every Monday for the past month, organised by Clare Director of Music Graham Ross. These Music Mondays include performances from current undergraduates and distinguished musical alumni. 

Similarly, Christ’s College has been posting ‘Monday Blues’ on its ‘Christ’s ENTranet’, with videos submitted by students weekly. 

Cambridge Quaranchats

Simone Eringfeld, an MPhil student in Education, Globalisation and International Development, has launched the ‘Cambridge Quaranchats’ podcast series. The series “is intended as a way for us to maintain community and to stay in touch with one another, even though we might be miles and continents apart”, Eringfeld told Varsity

The series explores life under lockdown through interviews with “students, professors, visiting fellows and post-docs, but also catering staff, Faculty managers and porters”, as well as what the future of Higher Education might look like as a result of the shift to online learning. Guests also share “a poem, song or quote that has helped them through this time”, said Eringfeld.

The newest episode is an interview with Dr Mark Carrigan, a “digital sociologist with expertise in social media”, discussing the effects of the increase in screen time. “I am delighted that the podcast can contribute to spreading relevant research, inspiring ideas and words of kindness”, Eringfeld told Varsity

Cambridge Quaranchats is available on Spotify, Anchor and other platforms under the title ‘Cambridge Quaranchats’. Keep up to date with Quaranchats on Twitter at @CamQuaranchats.

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week (18th-22nd May) is Mental Health Awareness Week, and as part of its theme ‘kindness’ this year, the University is running a series of programmes including podcasts on meditation and Zoom sessions on mindfulness encouraging students to make sure to take care of themselves during uncertain times. 


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The University Sports Service also developed a programme of challenges for the week, including a Virtual Climbing Challenge, yoga, workout and Nutritional Tips for Good Health.

The full list of programmes can be found here

Animals take over

In the absence of students, a family of foxes including several cubs born in April, has taken over Christ’s College. While students are not permitted to walk on the grass in First Court, the foxes feel this rule doesn’t apply to them, and the Porter’s Lodge Twitter account has been posting videos of the foxes exercising and playing on the grass. 

The porters are also feeding the foxes breakfast and dinner, and now the foxes wait at the Porter’s Lodge daily for their meals. Consequently, the fox family is becoming very comfortable around humans, even venturing into the Porter’s Lodge and sitting with the Porters in Second Court. 

The St John’s College Twitter account posted a video by College Nurse Emma Manuel of eight cygnets taking their first swimming lesson on the River Cam.