Posted on December 9, 2005.
I can't believe how quickly term has gone; I had been intending to make little notes as I went through the term to try and help me construct a gigantic entry, but it just didn't happen. I'll do my best though! For the moment, I'm back home in Colchester, and the holidays have started. It's good to be home, but I think that I'm in some sort of limbo - I've left all my new friends behind, who I'm missing greatly, and I've not seen any of my old non-Cambridge friends (with the pleasant exceptions of Phil and Flo) for nine weeks. I'm not going to be seeing any of my new friends for five or six, which is just as depressing to think of at this point. Once I catch up with everyone again, I think I'll be okay.
Still, the Christmas holidays should be a blast. There are numerous parties lined up already and while I do technically have to work over the holidays (when I return, Churchill are setting everyone a mock just to scare them into doing more work) I'm sure I'll be able to fit everything in.
As an aside, I have to recommend "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" as a movie that people should go and see. Dan, Georgina and I headed into town to see Harry Potter the first weekend it was released but, naturally, there were no tickets going so we had to improvise. We settled on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in the end and were extremely glad that we did. It was far better than we expected and was consistently good from start to finish. Val Kilmer almost single handedly makes the film as a tough-guy called “Gay Perry" who corrects people's grammar through the film, though both main characters have great one-liners (“This isn't good cop, bad cop. This is fag and New Yorker."). Of course, maybe I'm wrong, and it's a terrible film, and we were just in the right state of mind to appreciate it having walked across town twice in an hour.
Cambridge has been fantastic. There were some days better than others - notably, most days were better than Mondays, where I had five hours of materials sandwiched by a physics lecture and a maths supervision, but I've survived okay. Of course, there were then some days that just didn't seem to go to plan; one Tuesday I thought was going to be brilliant, because my Chemistry supervision had been rearranged, so I finished at 11 rather than 5:30. The day did go to plan until 8:20 (AM, of course), when I dropped my keys down a drain. Depending on the version of the story that you listen to, I then either stood by while Maintenance fished them out, or cruelly forced an elderly man to, on a cold autumn's morning get on his hands and knees and submerge himself in freezing water while I stood by and cackled. Pick whichever version you want to believe!
I've not really heard the end of the keys saga since it happened, though this is perhaps because of the following evening, when Dan and Georgina played a fantastic game of let's hide Alex's keys. To be sure, it was fun. But then, I apparently crossed some metaphorical line when I took Georgina's keys when the opportunity presented itself. Again, there are two versions of what happened next - the first is that I kept them for 20 minutes and then gave them back when asked (though admittedly not for the first time). The second is that I harrowingly forced Georgina to be introduced to ‘Knifey' by Dan which has traumatized her for life. Still, everyone is still alive with no disfiguring scars and, at the end of the day, isn't that what really matters?
My life has slowly been taken over by Physics. Sure, that's what I want to do eventually (though I have to say that Chemistry is tempting at the moment), but Dave has been working me and Dan like dogs. We had a couple of supervisions where everything went really well, so he started setting us more questions. Last week he set us thirteen questions - but we thought that was okay, because it was for our last two supervisions. We thought. Turns out we were wrong, and at the end of the penultimate supervision, he set us seven more, with our last supervision three days away. We got it all done, but by the skin of our teeth (and even then we fudged a couple of answers - elliptical integrals? Good luck with getting us to actually do that!) I knew that Cambridge was going to be hard work, but towards the end there it was getting a bit too close for comfort! As mentioned, with the progress tests to aim at, I should be able to keep myself ticking over until next term, so hopefully the start of term will be slightly more relaxed. Who am I kidding?
The end of term has been brilliant. The Saturday before term ended, Deepak, Flo, Ceri, Bella and myself all went to see Blondie. Needless to say, it was seven shades of awesome. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and it even stopped me from going to see The Exorcism of Emily Rose with the rest of the Churchill Gang which, to be honest, I didn't lose any sleep over - the trailer was disturbing enough for me!
Lectures finished on the Wednesday, and in the afternoon, Dan, Irish Phil, Georgina and myself took a trip to Ely, which is only about 15 minutes away from Cambridge by train. Our intention was a visit to the Cathedral there, but it was dark by the time that we got there - we still visited the Cathedral though, and sat just inside the outer door looking at it and eating various items that had been purchased from Spar. We then proceeded to a fantastic pub with exceptionally comfy seats where we killed time for two and a bit hours. Leaving, we passed both through Tescos and chased some ducks; the brightest minds in the country and we chase ducks in the dark for fun.
On the Friday, Georgina and Original Phil organized a pudding party for everyone to attend, which had a marvelous turnout. Amusingly, there was some sort of conference happening at the same time, and the attendees were all eating in the bar at the same time that we were. We had a large proportion of the available seating, were eating nicer food and towards the end broke into badly-rendered Christmas carols. It was fantastic. The sugar low that everyone experience afterwards, however, was especially so. There were a few of us sat in the reading room, staring at the wall opposite which has a large number of books on; it was agreed that some of the books could be interesting, but no-one could be bothered to actually stand up and go and look to see if they were for a quite staggering amount of time afterwards. Everyone did, eventually, recover, but it took far longer than anyone cared to admit.
That evening, Life of Brian was watched and slept through, to varying extents (I was in the latter camp, it has to be said) and then there was a brief toy with sleeping in the Library which sort of fell apart around 3AM when people realized that they weren't, in fact, getting to sleep. The next day - the Saturday - I had my last supervision, so I was free after 4, which was fantastic. The only downside was that I was leaving the next day, so I didn't have long to enjoy it. That evening was again spent watching a movie (Transformers, though I again admit to falling asleep while watching it). I finally got to bed at 4am for varying reasons, and was then up at 7, as per usual. I'm really going to have to teach my body to lie in - though the drive to get up has been useful on numerous mornings after late nights (who's great idea was it for a Science college to have a free Friday night ent that finishes at 1 when NatScis have lectures at 9 the next day?) To be honest though, I wouldn't change any of it. I can't emphasise how much I'm enjoying it and I'm really looking forward to going back next term, once I get past my progress tests and then the assessed materials practical, which is the first materials practical that I have next term.
A rather nifty tool that I've found is the iTunes signature creator. Found here it goes through your iTunes library, and takes little snippets from your most played songs and combines them all into a mish-mash that is a few seconds long. The idea is then supposedly that you send this to people and they get an idea of your musical tastes very quickly; I'm not entirely sure how useful it is for this intended function, but it's a pretty cool idea. I've made my signature available for anyone who is interested - both of you.
I feel as if there should be more that I am able to write; so much has happened at Cambridge and yet I can't really think of much more that I can a) be bothered to write and b) see anyone else be bothered to read. If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to harass me. I'm an open-minded chap.