Chinese New Year Ball

The Date: 30th January 2003

The Place: Cambridge

The Occasion: Chinese New Year Ball


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The big occasion for these photos is not just the Chinese New Year Ball, but also my friend Katie Harris visiting from Canada. Those of you who (through whatever means, Internet or otherwise) know far too much about me will already know that I met her online back in 1999. I won the Mars Society Hakluyt prize in 1998, and when Katie won it the following year, I sent a congratulatory email along. We became as good friends as you can become when you live around 4000 miles away from each other and worked together on a number of projects including the astrobiology website and Generation Mars.

In 2000, I flew over to Toronto for the Mars Society Convention in August and met up with Katie, which was great fun - this was before I had a digital camera, so I have no idea where the photos for the trip are now. Probably mouldering in some box somewhere; I intend to scan in all of my old photos one of these days, but that's another story entirely.

For the next three years, I kept up a steady bugging of Katie to come and visit me in Cambridge. Finally, in 2003, she gave in and visited Cambridge for about a week as part of a tour around Europe. As these things go, it turned out that the Cambridge Chinese New Year Ball was being held while she was visiting, so that gave her an opportunity to see what the 'real' Cambridge was like (yeah, right). The more canny of you will no doubt realise that Chinese New Year is not actually in January, but February, but then this is Cambridge and we do things differently here.

To get to the point, the photo above is of Katie shortly after she got to Cambridge, and we were just about to go outside (it was damn cold and snowing).
Katie and Sophie Lennox at the beginning of the ball. The ball wasn't all that impressive since the caterer's kitchen had burned down the week before and most of the performers couldn't make it because of a blizzard on the motorway from London (no joke). Also, the DJ insisted on playing his 'phat tunes' as opposed to the cheesy music that all Cambridge students know and love. But it was fun anyway.
Anthony Ng and Sophie at our table in the ball.
This was a few days later and really has nothing to do with the ball, but Sophie and Anthony were around visiting my room. One thing led to another and Sophie did the thing with my Hoberman sphere. It's an axiom that anyone playing with a Hoberman sphere will, of their own accord, end up putting their head inside it.

I know, there are hardly any photos in this gallery. But most of the ball ones turned out rubbish. I could write about the relative qualities of the human retina versus digital cameras, but I have another set of gallery captions to write...