Saturday, June 12, 2010

May Week—President’s Dinner & Some Bumps

It is most certainly May-week and our whirl of gaiety has begun!

May-week means that the students are finishing their respective defences, exams, and theses and are now let loose on the town to party. But this is Cambridge, what, so these aren't just any parties! I hope to have at least small updates of our activities.

Last night we had the President's Dinner for the MCR formal. It is one of the grandest formal halls of the year. Before dinner we had champagne in the Scholar's Garden, a garden normally only open to Fellows. It was quite lovely to see everyone fluttering around in evening dress, drinking from flutes of champagne.

The dinner itself was quite crowded and we were lucky to get seats together. But once the food started we realised why it was so busy—it is not every day, not even at Cambridge, that one gets a four course dinner. To start, flat mushroom with pesto, spinach, and cheese. This was followed by red mullet in saffron sauce. I'd not had mullet before but can report that it is very delicious—tastes almost like scallops. Of course since my intended is a Latin satirist he could not refrain from making jokes about mullet and adulterers. This course was followed by chicken fillet in cream & mustard sauce, creamed potatoes & chives, and carrots & beans. Then dessert—berry cheesecake, coffee/tea, and petit fours. And of course the wine changed with the courses—white, red, and port. It was magnificent, and the Master of the College, Prof Tony Badger, gave a delightful and wonderful speech that made me so proud to be the almost-wife of a Clare man.

Following dinner we went to the MCR for chocolates and drinks—g&t's for me and whiskey for David. Then at around midnight we headed home, picking up a bit of a greasy snack to soak up the alcohol. David had to be at the boathouse at 9:15 this morning, and I confess my poor boy was rather tired.

He has been participating in the May Bumps ( after his boat unexpectedly placed last week. This means that every morning since Wednesday, David has road far out on the river and then, with a signal from the cannon, he and his crew have rowed full speed ahead in an attempt to smash their boat into the one in front of them / avoid getting smashed by the boat behind them. So far they have been bumped twice, made it safely through yesterday, and are hoping to bump Kings (and thus win for Kings the dishonour of being bumped 4 times). Lucky crews who bump four times (ie: once each day) win an oar, whilst unlucky crews who have been bumped four times win spoons. So excitement is high. And, if I may steal a line from one of my friends, "it's only at Cambridge that you can hear them say that Jesus bumped Christ (referring to the colleges, of course)".

This evening boasts the Boat Club Dinner for David and, hopefully, time spent with friends watching a Mormon version of Pride & Prejudice for me.

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