cambridge oddities (2)

After the telescopes we went to Wandlebury, recommended by a guest at Damian’s party. It’s a Roman hill fort, with a Roman road running close by, and woods and paddocks and a house with a gate arch under which the Godolphin Arabian, the original three stallions from which all thoroughbreds are descended, is buried. And in the grassy area nearby a group of dowsers were marking out structures they had detected with little blue and red flags, and they gave us a go.


It is very, very weird. You have two L-shaped pieces of metal rod which you hold pointing away from you. You calibrate them by thinking ‘show me “yes”‘ – and the one in my right hand swivelled to a right angle across my body. ‘”no”‘ had the left one swivel. And then you think what you want to look for, or ask a question, and walk and suddenly the rods move of their own accord. Although with lots of little blue and red flags it’s obvious that one knows there’s supposed to be something there, it’s still totally weird that something can cause the rods to swivel without you doing anything.

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