"Whatever you felt while you were here and whatever you feel about it now, your time at New Hall changed you. The people you met here, the things you did here, these things changed you and made you the person you are now. And I'm so very proud of us all, and pleased to see so many of us together again, in the place where it all began..." from the New Hall JCR president (1998-2001), during the MA dinner speech.I now have an extra set of letters after my name and all for the bargain price of £2.00! Of course, it's not a real MA but I'm allowed to say I have one and feel clever. It was great being back in Cambridge for the weekend, seeing all the old crowd and the college and the town again, especially in the gloroius spring weather. My folks were pleased as anything to come back and see me prance around in a black gown and white fur hood once again - reassuring them that the Cambridge experience truly never dies.
It was a mistake to offer wine at the pre-rehearsal, pre-ceremony reception. In fine New Hall tradition every girl grabbed as many glasses as possible and by the time we were all in our robes and going over the kneeling, fingers and Latin of the ceremony, we were all flushed, giggling and snorting at directions from the German Praelector: "Then I will give you the finger... please be careful not to give yourself the prick when adjusting the pins on your gowns...when you are kneeling to the Chancellor, your picture will be taken and though you may be modest and want to look down, please don't as most pictures look like the graduand is staring at the crotch."
We processed along the backs in rows of four and all sighed as one as the grand colleges came into view - and it was about 5.30pm so the light was cooling, casting a mellow and nostalgic glow on the sandy coloured buildings and the spring flowers scattered about. I couldn't have wished for better weather - it was almost unreal how perfect the light, temperature and season came together for the day.
After the ceremony, we walked back to college (uphill! in heels! still as exhausting as I remember...) and called a cab to take my weary folks to the station. Then I went on to the wine reception and MA dinner - the evening from this point on was raucous, high-spirited, affectionate and triumphant all at once. And we were all so hungry by the time food arrived, we ate everything and didn't complain (though I'm sure duck should be quite dark meat and not look, taste or smell like battery farm chicken...)
From pub to club to kebab van to the college room I had booked for the night then to bed with Former Flatmate A and Former Flatmate B asleep in a heap on my floor...
... then a slow, silent, painful breakfast the next morning, followed by a long walk through beautiful countryside to Grantchester where we spent the rest of the day sipping pints of Diet Coke and ginger beer in the spring sunshine before making the sleepy, cosy journey home.
While I was re-living my three Cambridge years in the space of one evening, Taxloss was also indulging in nostalgia - of a sort. Go
here for the lowdown. Now, who fancies a game this weekend? I'll make hte hats if someone promises to bring the UV lamps...
And in other news, I met my bro for lunch today.
KkK says: god, that was so much cheese it's coming out of my eyes
HypatiaAve says: you had cheese in that omnlette too?
KkK says: cheese, mushrooms and ham
HypatiaAve says: can you even see the screen?
KkK says: if I squint really hard and imagine 'colours'
KkK says: it's an automated voice system, it worked surprisingly well until I had to confirm the final stage with 'yes' wher eit completely failed to recognise me shouting "YES, for fucks SAKE YES"
HypatiaAve says: ?
HypatiaAve says: why do you have to say yes? surely you wouldn't go through all that, get to the final stage and say "actually, now I've thought about it, no."
KkK says: precisely
KkK says: going to rest a little before trying again
KkK says: I felt an egg come back up from the grief
HypatiaAve says: oooh, two meals for the price of one.
KkK says: it's going to be 'unshelled'