I’ve had a most bizarre week. In my intense (non-productive academically) week – this might have been my title except I thought it wiser not to broadcast my sheer laziness for all my student acquaintances to see, assuming that those who actually read this will not judge me for this more-than-momentary lapse of self-control – I…

  1. Woke without fail before 8am each day, without the need for an alarm. For 5 consecutive days. Which might be a record for me.
  2. Tried tea plant fungus at a less-than-a-year-old Chinese restaurant Jin Jin on Cowley Road.
  3. Wrote on the whiteboard tables (that my fingers had been aching to doodle on) in the Maths Institute, where a break from work seems to not infrequently consist of a game of chess – played on glass chess sets.
  4. Revealed a profound secret.
  5. Had an embarrassing encounter with a student who wasn’t a student, who didn’t have the name I thought he had, and who held a more prestigious rank in his profession than I reckoned he had.
  6. Decided to surrender to alcoholic abandon for once.
  7. Had dinner with fellow Classicists instead of being anti-social, for a change. Introduced to so many pop culture references my head spun.
  8. Fulfilled my long-contained urge to drink beer from the Chang Tower (actually a trendy thing in Thailand, according to a friend!) at Bangkok House on Hythe Bridge Street.
  9. Met a fellow (though not in the same year) volunteer excavator from an archaeological dig who was a member of my own college.
  10. Was pleasantly surprised by getting more than I bargained for from my Chinese ‘da bao’ – and thankfully not food poisoned when I threw caution to the wind and ate the extras which weren’t mine.
  11. Realised that my college year group had issued a very attractive (even without me in it, ha ha) alternative prospectus.
  12. Was complimented by he whom I call ‘the dancing master’ more than once in a single class. Which made me feel less hopeless as a follower.
  13. Saw the most interest application request to date when grad schemes browsing.
  14. Witnessed a victorious cox being thrown into the river by the boat crew for the first time.
  15. Found out what the procedure was for when you lose your college fob and key. Always helpful when one needs to use it 4 times in order to enter one’s room of residence.
  16. Heard the best version of the Magnificat (by Herbert Brewer) so far in my unfortunately rare chapel attendances.
  17. Discovered rather embarrassingly and with no small amount of shock that a friend of mine was actually my college grandchild.
  18. Adopted a new favourite cocktail (not quite ‘recommended’ by a friend since it did involve the setting of the bar counter on fire) called ‘the Flying Homer’. There can surely be no better drink for a Classicist.
  19. Found out what my college drink (frustratingly no longer on offer) was : Black Vodka and Galliano. And I had heard of neither spirit nor liqueur…
  20. Up (or ‘down-‘ if you’re the majority of my onlookers) graded from using glasses and bowls (instead of mugs) for hot drinks to drinking boiled water from champagne and port glasses. Because why not?
  21. Was shown how to get Facebook stickers. Didn’t even realise they were called Facebook stickers. My eyes have been opened!
  22. Looked up at the Brazen Nose on my college gate for the first time. After three and a half years of devoting my attention to other the architecture of other colleges…

It’s amazing what a week of very little work has to offer for a sentimental finalist!


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