Friday, June 30, 2006

A Big Furry Hood

Yay, I've graduated!

Graduation was fun, and definitely quite full of pomp and ceremony. After a fantastic alcohol-filled graduation dinner and post-dinner party, the next morning you blearily figure out how to wear the big furry hood (fake fur, we are kind to the rabbits nowadays). Then everyone from your college walks in a bit of a parade towards Senate House, where we graduate in a lovely ceremony involving lots of latin and silly hats and holding of people's fingers. And then we take far too many photos. Tada!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

London for under six quid

Have come down to London for a few days as the sheer blobbiness of Cambridge was getting a bit much. After way too much TV watching I decided I had better make the most of this scorching afternoon in my favourite city. But how do you spend an afternoon in London without lots of money? (Been shopping recently, therefore feeling guilty.)

1. Tube journey to Westminster -- 1.50
2. Tate Britain. I was thinking about the Constable exhibition they have on, but decided to be cheap and just wander around the main galleries instead.. by the time I'd got through them, even though they weren't large, I was tired and didn't really have the energy to look at the Constables. A pity but it saved me eight pounds, heh. But the free stuff was lovely. My favourites included the Turner gallery, a few Stubbs paintings (including one of a fuzzy English water spaniel), and a gorgeous rather geometric one of the English channel with the light playing on the water (Brett I think), which reminded me how much I love the sea and how much I'm looking forward to diving in August, albeit not in the English channel. I skipped the entire half of the gallery with modern art, to me if often simply seems angry and grotesque. Perhaps that is a valid point, but not a particularly pleasant one!
3. A long walk back along the Thames and up Whitehall. Walking past the houses of parliament with their imposing architecture and weight of history, what should I see but a whole herd of butt naked cyclists speeding by. It was hilarious and not a bad stunt I think, to protest the dependence on oil and the difficulty of cycling in London. I guess normally that difficulty doesn't include "getting your knob sun burnt" as another bemused passerby mentioned.
4. At Trafalgar Square, slightly more dubious street entertainment in the form of many, many football fans cavorting in the fountains in various states of undress, though not quite to naked cyclist protest level. The police looked a bit disgruntled. All in good fun, but as Radio 4 pointed out this morning, if we've stopped all the hooligans from heading to Germany, that means they're still here! All that celebration for an own goal. Hah!
5. By this time, very tired, so bowed to corporate evil and bought a caramel coffee frappuccino from Starbucks. Actually a very posh Starbucks on St Martin's Lane with this black looked-like-gilt-lacquer storefront. The air conditioning was a blast, but in combination with the frap soon drove me out into the streets of summer London again... 2.90!
6. To Chinatown. Buying supplies for a steamboat I'm having tomorrow. This expenditure not counted.
7. Home on the tube, another 1.50, accompanied all the way by another band of young white men in jerseys singing very badly. Only the beginning.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Exams ended on Saturday. My last exams ever ever ever, thank goodness for never having to write an essay in an hour again ever ever ever, now I just need to write a phd thesis and defend it in front of a committee of experts, should be a piece of cake eh.

After the initial shock of having nothing to feel guilty about I am getting used to the new exhausting routine of sitting on a series of punts and grassy patches sunbathing over the day. I am feeling increasingly like a blob. But next week things start happening, the diary looks busier and far more exciting than it has for a month (wherein it has mainly consisted of: Tuesday - chapters 1-5 Behavioural Ecology).