Apologies for the downtime over the last few days. I have endevoured to keep interruptions to a minimum but the migration I mentioned around December has suddenly arrived. My host has physically moved to a new location, fired up brand new servers, the works. Avida has been working really hard on the project but there may be a few glitches in the short term so please bear with me. The guestbook, for example, won’t be accessible until we get the cgi-bins up and running again. Fingers crossed, it won’t be too long!
For those who contacted me: thanks I do appreciate people letting me know when things don’t seem to be working right (and they were rewarded with the backdoor into the site!). The majority of the site should now be accessible, but do let me know if you spot any quirks.
For those interested in what went wrong: the technical spiel is that until the new security protocols are implemented, the new servers don’t support SHTML/PHP to prevent intruders. This does not affect the majority of the site but the entry pages happen to use a few scripts that require SHTML, hence you were greeted with my custom made “403 Forbidden” pages. Still, nice to know they work!
It’s been a very weird weekend. For fear of this becoming too much like the stereotypical Teenage Angst Extravaganza™ blogs that I profess to hate, I shall not go into much detail here. Just take my word for it.
Meanwhile, Dave’s girlfriend, Cara, came down to visit on Friday which was fun. As our most regular external visitor it’s always nice to spend time with her when she’s around so I went out for dinner with them that evening. Meanwhile a Valentine’s party was in full swing back at Downing, largely responsible for much of the subsequent weekend’s weirdness, which we dropped by after returning at around eleven. Most of the gang (with certain notable exceptions) came back to mine til the early hours. Cara and Dave then disappeared early the next morning for a Valentine’s trip into London and it sounded like they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Saturday evening was the handover dinner for the JCR committee. Both the old and the new committee were present for a champagne reception and a wonderful black tie meal with duck. I was sat next our fantastically un-PC new Men’s Officer, Gubby, which made for highly entertaining dinner conversation. It was great to get to know some of the second years a bit better, since socialising between years tends to be quite introverted outside of sports teams and so forth. Alcohol flowed liberally throughout the meal, followed by port to finish. It then transpired that there will still two half bottles of port and five bottles of wine remaining from that which the JCR purchased for the event. So naturally drinking fines began. The old and new committee were each fined and then each memeber of the new committee was called upon to propose a fine. By the far the most interesting was “anyone who has slept with another member of the JCR committee”, especially when an odd number of people rose to their feet…
It’s easy to forget where you are because when it comes down to it, it’s just another university. Except it isn’t. And every now and again something will happen that reminds me, and you’ll see me quietly smiling to myself at some new subtle quirk, “it’s that Cambridge thing…”
Tonight was one of those nights, as the university’s Middle Temple Society held their annual dinner. We had to fork out £17.50 each, but the actual cost of the meal was about £35 with the rest being generously subsidised by the Inn. Essentially, I had been reliably informed, it would be a fun evening of drinking and good food while chatting to heavily inebriated barristers. Or, as one person described last year’s event, “watching Lewis play chase-the-port with the judges.” The food was fantastic: a goats cheese salad, salmon with cranberry and orange sauce, pork sirloin, and an espresso and amarillo dessert. Sherry, red wine, white wine, and whole decanters of port flowed liberally throughout the evening. And I was offered snuff for the first time tonight. Although I recognised what it was from the highly decorated silver box, the girl with me looked slightly worried until the benevolent-sounding old barrister smiled and explained, “no it’s not a prohibited drug…” Nevertheless, I’m sorry to inform you that I declined to partake.
Afterwards a few of us headed down in Clare Cellars, a college bar with real character as it genuinely appears to have been converted from a cellar, complete with low ceilings and arches. We were ever so slightly overdressed in our tuxes, but since there was a jazz band playing inside, it felt remarkably apt as we floated in, full and merry, bow ties hanging loose.
The highlight of the evening, however, was after chatting to one of the administrative non-lawyer types from the Inn, who enjoyed my company so much that she gave me her number and an email address, suggesting that I get a group of friends together and contact her to arrange a trip down for dinner at the Inn in London. And you know, I think I just might take her up on that offer. Life’s so hard when you have to live one meal to another…
It’s all over now, so I’m allowed to write about it. Hustings was good fun, and ran fairly smoothly. It was held in the college bar to, er, get people in the mood. I decided against a P Diddy-style election battlecry of “Vote or Die” (probably followed by the obligatory “bee-yatch!”). I was the first speaker which was a somewhat daunting prospect, but I think it went well. I kept it light hearted and swiftly reiterated the changes I wanted to make. Generally I felt my manifesto covered it, and this was just to make sure everyone in the higher years knew my face and remembered me.
Voting took place throughout the following day, with the results being announced in the bar in the evening. Having been dragged off by Ravi to a Natsci “table quiz” (Pub quiz without the pub but with the alcohol. And the quiz.) I was already slightly inebriated so actually a lot less nervous than the previous night. And yes, I am now officially sub-editor of the Griffon, bee-yatch!