"Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not."—Some photos of a walk across Grantchester Meandows

Today I took a walk along the River Cam, across Grantchester Meadows to Grantchester itself to have a drink in the Green Man and read some more of Roberto Mangabeira Unger’s “Religion of the Future” (Harvard University Press, 2014) under the still blossoming cherry tree in the beer garden. On the way back as I got to the river I heard the sound of a very well-played banjo that simultaneously put me in mind of three things.

The first thing — for obvious reasons — was Caliban's famous speech in The Tempest:

CALIBAN: Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.

William Shakespeare, The Tempest (1610-11)

Because he quotes Caliban's words on the opening page this, in turn, inevitably reminded me of Rob Young's terrific account of Britain's Folk-Rock movement of the late 60s and early 70s called Electric Eden. The young lad playing the banjo by the river (the first photo in this post — the original black and white photo you'll find below) was, for me, a perfect musical distillation of the overall mood the book continues to evoke in me. I stood and listened to his playing for a long while. Marvellous.

The third was also, perhaps, inevitable because the name Grantchester Meadows is shared by a track recorded by the Cambridge band Pink Floyd in 1969 on their album Ummagumma. When I got home I put it on for the first time in years. Marvellous stuff yet again.

All the photos here were taken with my iPhone 6+ and, for the most part, using the Filmborn app. The very first photo (above) and the very last were taken using the Hipstamatic app. Just click on a photo to enlarge.