Monday, 21 June 2010

A Gentleman of Leisure

For almost five years I've worked for a company called Imerge Ltd. in Bar Hill, just west of Cambridge, initially as a software test engineer, then partly as Technical Author, writing manuals and later dropping the testing in favour of software development (which is what I've spent most of my working life doing.) Imerge made luxury audio-visual equipment.

Sadly, despite having several excellent, cutting-edge products on the market, our US parent company recently pulled the plug on us and we were unable to find a buyer or someone to fund us in the short term, despite our having a very good chance of achieving $20 million turnover within five years. The term "shafted" is the one that comes most readily to mind. If you're interested, this is a rather jerky, 10 minute YouTube intro to the user interface of the MS1HD which is a unit that plays and stores music and movies on a hard drive (up to 36Tb).

So today being my last day, I finished early and on my way home dropped into Fowlmere RSPB Bird Reserve, intending to volunteer if there was anyone there. It's a very small reserve, and it was no surprise to find no-one in attendance, but I did take half an hour to wander around a little.

I saw a few of these orchids which might be an early purple, though I'm not sure. I didn't notice spotted leaves, which the early purple has, so I could be wrong. There were also some pretty purple-flowered vetches, but I was unable to get a half-way decent photo of them.

Heard quite a few birds: blackbirds, song thrush, wrens, chiff chaff, dunnock and from a hide I saw what might have been a reed bunting, but it was too quick for me and I didn't have my binoculars with me, so I can't be sure.

The web didn't show any volunteers needed for Fowlmere, and I was about to email the guy at Ouse Fen, which is not far from Bar Hill, when I remembered Wicken Fen, over Ely way. Now I'm torn; RSPB or National Trust?

I think I'll ask Jenny. I have a memory that Wicken Fen is associated with research at the University, so that might actually be a better bet, even if it is rather further away.

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