March 10th 2021
Mandalas, meaning “circles” in Sanskrit, are sacred symbols that are used for meditation, prayer, healing and art therapy for both adults and children. We spent our March meeting creating mindful hand-drawn mandalas, led by experienced artist Ann O’Shaughnessy from Handmade Creative Workshops. We all followed the same basic mandala pattern, but look how different the results were! You can find Handmade Creative Workshops on Facebook.
February 10th 2021
Love in the 19th Century
With Valentine’s Day approaching, we had love on our minds at our February meeting. Maggie Kalenak, a 3rd year PhD student in History at Girton College, University of Cambridge, shared her PhD writings with us. She told us all about Victorian love letters and how they played a crucial role in courtship and engagement. The talk covered the specific epistolary culture of the Victorian
period and its relation to courtship and engagement; after the passage of the Postal Duties Bill in 1840 correspondence as a practice exploded, and almost-daily correspondence became a crucial part of courtship and engagement throughout the rest of the century. The talk drew on over 30 correspondence collections which Maggie consulted in her research, to talk about
relationships and things like; pet-names, building intimacy, sexual content, planning future homes and weddings, sending gifts and hiding salacious letters from the authors’ parents. We learnt about the material aspects of letters– how they were judged by recipients for length, appearance, taste in stationery, and frequency. And, perhaps our favourite part, we saw examples of Valentines correspondence, including vinegar valentines – insulting cards which were sent anonymously!
January 13th 2021
January began with a positive focus, as we were joined by Dr Prashant Kakoday from Inner Space in Cambridge. Dr Kakoday has a background in surgery and integrated health, and his main interest is in the relationship between the psyche, emotions, behaviour and health. He has spoken on these subjects in many countries and institutions, including the WHO and the Medical Teaching Program in the USA, so we felt very lucky to have him talk to us.
The talk focused on creating a mindset of detached involvement, enabling you to observe your own life as well as to participate in it, and to accept all experiences as part of this journey without viewing them as good or bad.
Inner Space is a charity organisation which provides courses, talks and workshops free of charge, to members of the community.