Mar. 31st, 2014

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We are back from a really excellent weekend in Cambridge! It was the tenth anniversary dinner for my college (tenth anniversary of matriculating, not graduating. And they do anniversaries and things in March when of course we started university in October so it's actually the 9.5th anniversary). Much like our MA graduation three years ago (three years!), I was really surprised how easy it was to get back into the Cambridge swing of things, how the bar and JCR and college and streets felt like home again as soon as I was there, and how it felt perfectly natural to be spending time there with all these people I hadn't seen for several years but once shared something really special with.

It was just...it was just nice, you know? We got the train up from London with Catherine and arrived in the early afternoon, checked into our rooms in college and spent a bit of time around college before getting ready for dinner. There were pre-dinner drinks in the Master's Lodge and dinner in the newly-refurbished dining hall, and the food was very nice and the Master made a lovely speech. Afterwards there was bar and dancing, except not many people danced because they were all too busy catching up with one another. Nadia has still not managed to beat Joe at pool (except maybe for one time? In second year? Am I making that up?). We tried unsuccessfully to get Pixie Matt (he looks like a pixie, okay?) to talk about his work at the MoD. We mocked Spiros relentlessly for getting accidentally put on the guest list as 'Professor' even though he assures us that actually he's 'only a Doctor'. We heard about all the weddings (so many college weddings! Joe says a tenth of our year is now married to itself, and that's not counting all the people married to people in the year above or below us) and the babies and the PhDs and international moves. We got chucked out of the bar at 2am and about 25 of us ended up in somebody's room with a bottle of gin, a small amount of tonic, some sliced cucumber and a large number of portions of cheesy chips from Gardies. Just like those family Christmases where everybody unconsciously regresses to childhood, we all regressed to studenthood and it was great fun.

Also, I remembered that my first ever conversation with Joe happened when we were sitting on the stairs outside a student kitchen at about two in the morning at the end of freshers' week, with about fifteen other people. James from our staircase had invited us all back for post-party gnocchi, and as we sat around chatting he would emerge from the kitchen at intervals with a giant plateful of gnocchi with cheese, which we would pass around companionably and eat with our fingers. It was literally the first time it had occurred to me that this was a bit of a bizarre set of circumstances. At the time it seemed quite a natural way to meet somebody. So I guess I have James and his gnocchi habit to thank for my husband (although honestly, there were only 110 of us in the year so I know I'd have met him eventually even without the gnocchi).

Eventually we left the gin-and-cucumber party and staggered off to our shared single bed on M staircase. The next morning we spent a few hours sitting by the river with David and Catherine, chatting and watching the punts, and then went for lunch with Nadia and Dan (who acquitted himself very well as a Plus One - it was nice to spend time in college with him). The restaurant we went to is sadly not as good as I remembered it, although the portons are still enormous.

And now we are back home, spending another day sorting and packing. Our backpacks are all packed up, everything that was in the bedroom, lounge and library is now in the loft, and all we have left to do is finish off packing the kitchen and print off some Important Documents before we go. I think on some level I am refusing to accept that we leave the day after tomorrow Instead my brain has shut down and is refusing to contemplate the future at all, apart from to insist that all the food in the house has to be eaten in the next 24 hours. So, I have been eating a lot and trying to think about things as little as possible.

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December 2014

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