# Thinking allowed

## Surprise, surprise -- putting it all together

So, we have looked (first here and then here) at the main sec­tions of a plain course of Cam­bridge Sur­prise Minor. Now we have to stitch those bits togeth­er. This is how it works. We will con­sider bell 2, which starts in the middle of the front work, as if it had just made 2nd place over the treble. We con­tin­ue with:

• the second half of the front work
• plain hunt towards the back
• double dodge in 5–6 up, two blows behind, one dodge in 5–6 down (‘two and one’)
• plain hunt down towards the front
• lead full and dodge in 1–2 up
• Cam­bridge places in 3–4 up, fol­lowed by…
• the back work, and then…
• Cam­bridge places in 3–4 down
• dodge in 1–2 down and lead full
• plain hunt towards the back
• dodge in 5–6 up, two blows behind, double dodge in 5–6 down (‘one and two’)
• plain hunt towards the lead
• and begin the front work

The tricky bits here are remem­ber­ing the extra dodges at the front and back, and the order in which they come.

We can now do two things. We can trace out the entire plain course of a single bell. Or we can write out a single lead end for all six bells. In fact these are equi­val­ent things, as we shall see in a moment, and the single lead end is a more com­pact format.

This is what the lead looks like:

123456

214365
124635
216453
261435
624153
621435
264153
624513
265431
256413
524631
256431
524613
542631
456213
546123
451632
456123
541632
514623
156432
516342
153624
156342

At the end of each lead what we have done is to change the order of the bells, and they then do the work that the bell in that place did in the just-fin­ished lead. For example, if we trace bell 2 through a single lead, then it will end up in 6th place, and that means that what it does next is whatever bell 6 did in that lead end. It has become the 6ths place bell. So we can con­tin­ue tra­cing the path of this bell by fol­low­ing the 6 through the lead end. We can do the same for each place bell, not­ing where it starts, and which place bell it becomes:

2, or rather seconds place bell: second half of front­work, dodge ‘two and one’ at the back; become sixths place bell

sixths place bell: down to front, lead and dodge; places up; become thirds place bell

thirds place bell: straight up to the back and do back work, dodge 3–4 down; become fourths place bell

fourths place bell: make 3rds place at start of places down; dodge and lead; up to back and dodge 5–6 up (start of ‘one and two’); become fifths place bell

fifths place bell: two blows behind and double dodge 5–6 down (end of ‘one and two’); down to lead and begin front­work; make 2nds over the treble to become the seconds place bell

One oth­er point is per­haps worth not­ing. In Kent Treble Bob, we always dodged and made places with the same bell in each dodging pos­i­tion (except when the treble was there) — in Kent when you are mak­ing 3rds and 4ths up (Kent places) anoth­er bell is mak­ing 3rd and 4ths down at the same time. But in Cam­bridge Sur­prise, the dodges and places are made with a dif­fer­ent bell each time — and only one bell is mak­ing (Cam­bridge) places at any one time. It’s a much more com­plic­ated dance, all together.

## Surprise, surprise (continued)

In learn­ing the blue line for Cam­bridge Sur­prise Minor we have looked first at what hap­pens when you make ‘Cam­bridge places’. Next we will look at the back work and the front work. (The warn­ing giv­en before still applies: if you are read­ing this and try­ing to learn Cam­bridge, then don’t assume that the instruc­tions here are right. I am doing this from memory as part of my own learn­ing process.)

The back work in Cam­bridge is like this:

double dodge 5–6 up, lie behind, dodge 5–6 down with the treble, make 5th place (below the treble), dodge 5–6 up with the treble, lie behind, double dodge 5–6 down.

And we can draw this in dia­gram­mat­ic form, like this:

-1-x
1x- double dodge 5–6 up
-1x
1-x-
1-x
1-x-
1-x two blows at the back
—-1x and dodge 5–6 down with the treble
—-x1
—-1x
—-x1 make 5th place below the treble
—-x1
—-1x and dodge 5–6 up with the treble
—-x1
—-1x two blows at the back
1-x
1-x- and double dodge 5–6 down
1-x
1-x-
-1x
1x-
-1-xand con­tin­ue

Next, we come to the front work, which is some­thing like this:

dodge 1–2 down, lead full, dodge 1–2 up, make 2nd place, lead full, dodge 1–2 up with the treble, make 2nd place over the treble, dodge 1–2 down with the treble, lead full, make 2nd place, dodge 1–2 down, lead full, dodge 1–2 up, and continue.

Got that? Per­haps a dia­gram will help:

x1
x—-1
-x1
x—-1
-x1- and dodge 1–2 up
x1
-x1make 2nd place
-x-1
x1—-
1x—- dodge 1–2 up with the treble
x1—-
1x—- make 2nd place over the treble
1x—-
x1—- dodge 1–2 down with the treble
1x—-
x-1
-x-1make 2nd place again
-x1
x1dodge 1–2 down
-x1-
x1-
-x1 dodge 1–2 up
x—-1
-x1-
x1 and onward

Now we have each of the com­pon­ents of Cam­bridge Sur­prise Minor. We just have to put them togeth­er, along with a few more dodges and some plain hunting.

## Surprise, surprise

I went yes­ter­day to prac­tice at Hem­ing­ford Grey. Although the tower cap­tain there is away on an exten­ded hol­i­day, this is still a weekly gath­er­ing of more exper­i­enced ringers. At the end of the prac­tice I was asked, ‘What meth­od are you learn­ing at the moment?’ Hmm, I thought, ‘Noth­ing really, busy run­ning prac­tices and teach­ing some begin­ners.’ Back came the sug­ges­tion ‘You could start hav­ing a look at Cambridge.’

So, I had a quick look at Cam­bridge Sur­prise Minor in Steve Cole­man to see what is involved. I also glanced at Cam­bridge Sur­prise major, and quickly decided that I’d con­cen­trate on Minor for now. If the Hem­ing­ford cap­tain were around he’d prob­ably throw me into the deep end with Major (as he threw me into Sted­man Triples and Kent Treble Bob Major without first try­ing Doubles and Minor).

Any­way, after read­ing what Cole­man has to say on the sub­ject, the next step is to com­mit this to memory, and part of that pro­cess is to regur­git­ate it here. (Warn­ing: if you are read­ing this and try­ing to learn Cam­bridge, then don’t assume that the instruc­tions here are right. I am doing this from memory as part of my own learn­ing process.)

We can divide a plain course of Cam­bridge into sev­er­al pieces of work: the front work, the back work, and the places, which com­bined with a couple of oth­er dodges, and some pieces of plain hunt, make up the method.

Cole­man calls the places the most dif­fi­cult bit, but they looked fairly easy to remem­ber to me (though per­haps not so easy to remem­ber when ringing, of course). Places are made in 3–4 up and in 3–4 down. Cam­bridge places in 3–4 up work as follows:

dodge 3–4 up, make 4ths place, make 3rds place, dodge 3–4 up, make 4ths place, make 3rds place, dodge 3–4 up

That’s it. Cam­bridge places down are the exact oppos­ite of this:

dodge 3–4 down, make 3rds place, make 4ths place, dodge 3–4 down, make 3rds place, make 4ths place, dodge 3–4 down

If I remem­ber cor­rectly, then the dodge in the middle of the places work is made with the treble.

So, we can build a skel­et­on dia­gram of this, show­ing the treble and the bell mak­ing places.

First, Cam­bridge places up:

-x1
x-1- dodge 3–4 up
x-1
x1
x1- make 4ths place
x-1
x-1- make 3rds place
x1
1xdodge 3–4 up with the treble
x1
1xmake 4ths place
-1-x
1-xmake 3rds place
-1x
1xdodge 3–4 up
1-x
-1-x
1x- and con­tin­ue

And secondly, Cam­bridge places down:

1x-
-1-xdodge 3–4 down
1-x
1x
-1xmake 3rds place
1-x
-1-xmake 4ths place
1x
x1dodge 3–4 down with the treble
1x
x1make 3rds place
x-1-
x-1 make 4ths place
x1-
x1 dodge 3–4 down
x-1
x-1-
-x1 and con­tin­ue

That’s enough for now. Next we’ll look at the front work and the back work, and then we’ll put it all togeth­er.

## teaching and learning

For the last few weeks our ringing teach­er has been away on an exten­ded hol­i­day. This means that I have to run prac­tices, and that I have to deal with learners. Of course, we are all learners, and there are vari­ous ringers in the band at dif­fer­ent stages.

One of the band, R, is just at the stage of being able to plain hunt on the treble reas­on­ably com­pet­ently, and begin­ning to take the step of try­ing to ring Bob Doubles on bell 2. At one prac­tice where we had just enough com­pet­ent ringers I stood behind R and helped him count his place. Learn­ing to count one’s place is a big step — mov­ing from the secur­ity of fol­low­ing known bells in a known order to hav­ing to acquire ropesight and see which pos­i­tion you should be ringing in. The very concept of ‘place’ can be dif­fi­cult to get hold of, let alone move to. So the two of us sat down after prac­tice and went through some of the the­ory of places and blue lines. When I was doing this myself I gradu­ally made sense of it by read­ing and try­ing to under­stand the the­ory and then try­ing to ring it. Week by week I made a little pro­gress until it had clicked into place. We shall have to see wheth­er this works for R.

Some of our oth­er ringers can just about ring a plain course of Bob Doubles on bell 2, and now they need to move to a dif­fer­ent bell, so that between us we can ring Plain Bob more often (as well as aspire to great­er things; but Plain Bob Doubles will do for now!). One thing that helps them get through a plain course is to be reminded what action they need to take each time the treble leads. When I am ringing bell 5 for a plain course the ‘part­ner bell’ is num­ber 2. This is the bell that is dodging 3–4 down when you are dodging 3–4 up and vice versa, and is mak­ing long fifths when you are mak­ing 2nds, and vice versa. So it is fairly easy to tell this ‘part­ner bell’ what to do: either dodge with me, up or down as I am dodging down or up; or stay at the back when I am stay­ing at the front (and when they make 2nds that’s rounds).

A little bit harder is to tell one of the oth­er bells what to do, since they are busy dodging with a dif­fer­ent bell. This morn­ing I was able to tell bell 4 each time what they should be doing. I knew that at the first lead end they needed to be mak­ing long fifths, and was there­fore able to work out, as we were ringing that at the next lead end they should be dodging 3–4 up, whilst at the same time not for­get­ting that I needed to be mak­ing 2nds. And then at the next lead end they should be mak­ing 2nds and I should be dodging 3–4 down. It’s nice to be able to have time to think about what anoth­er bell should be doing whilst hav­ing enough time to remem­ber what to do myself, and at the same time still be count­ing my own place and ringing in that place. For a long time when I first saw this done I was amazed at the abil­ity of the con­duct­or to keep these dif­fer­ent bells’ courses in his head. Now I find that I can do a little of this too, even if it is only one oth­er bell in a plain course of Bob Doubles!

## the tree of knowledge of good and evil

This Sunday’s read­ings include part of chapter 3 of the book of Gen­es­is, the cent­ral story of the fall, in which Adam and Eve are temp­ted to eat the fruit of the tree of know­ledge of good and evil, planted in the centre of the Garden of Eden, and which God has for­bid­den them to eat.

The con­sequence of this is that the couple are expelled from Eden, and they will die.

What are we to make of this?

The key to our under­stand­ing this today is per­haps in the words ‘know­ledge of good and evil’. Our human ancest­ors, at some point in their evol­u­tion, developed enough con­scious­ness to become self-aware. This is a fun­da­ment­al human trait — to be aware of your­self, and to be aware of oth­er people and real­ize that they too are self-aware. Per­haps this real­iz­a­tion, this con­scious­ness, went hand in hand with the devel­op­ment of lan­guage, the devel­op­ment of com­mu­nic­a­tion with fel­low humans. And con­scious­ness and the recog­ni­tion of oth­ers leads to con­science — the recog­ni­tion of good and evil, as the writers of the Gen­es­is story put it. Humans had eaten of the fruit of the tree, and there was no going back.

And along with this self-aware­ness must have come the real­iz­a­tion that things die: that oth­er creatures die, that oth­er humans die; and even­tu­ally the real­iz­a­tion that each of us will die too — the real­iz­a­tion of our own mortality.

Like the writer of Gen­es­is chapter 3 we can under­stand the link between this high level of con­scious­ness, or self-aware­ness, and death. The writer of Gen­es­is puts the story in myth­ic lan­guage, lan­guage that all can under­stand. He (most prob­ably it was a ‘he’ or sev­er­al ‘he’s) starts from the inno­cence in which we assume the non-con­scious to live: the inno­cence where one does not have to make mor­al choices and the inno­cence in which one’s own life is the centre of the world, indeed the only thing that makes the world, the inno­cence in which one has no idea that one’s life is finite. And he points out that self-aware­ness leads inev­it­ably to a loss of that inno­cence which cul­min­ates in the know­ledge of our own impend­ing death.

And in this myth­ic lan­guage we too can grasp at the truth, that in our self-aware­ness we do things that we know to be wrong, and in our know­ledge of our own mor­tal­ity, we live in dark­ness and fear, fail­ing to reach the great heights of cre­ativ­ity and light of which we should be capable.

What then of Jesus? Jesus pro­claims to us the king­dom of God in which is life in all its abund­ance. In this king­dom we are freed from fear of death to live life, a life in which we can make mor­al choices, a life in which we are not con­sumed with jeal­ousy or with bit­ter­ness towards oth­ers, but a life in the light, a life of cre­ativ­ity. The apostle Paul wrote, ‘As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ (1 Cor­inthi­ans 15.22.)