The title of this post was developed in conjunction with Sophie Rodger, who’s hip to the blogging beat.
Like so many others, back in the days of my childhood – young enough to do roly-polys without a second thought, say – I used to come home and be asked what I’d learnt that day at school. OK, well in reality I was picked up from the playground and asked what I’d learnt that day at school, and incidentally apparently roly-poly doesn’t pass muster as a word anymore – gambol indeed?! – but anyway: no matter how many times you patiently explained that education was really a cyclical process which considered largely of reinforcing existing knowledge (what, you didn’t?) the question still served perfectly well as a conversation starter, and as such I intend to employ it now in order to speed through a week’s worth of blogging material. (Phew, a sentence with 92 words – that’s almost Archbishop of Canterbury standard!) So, what did I learn on…
Tuesday? That UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage, is very good at keeping almost all signs of bubbling boiling anger tucked underneath his suit. In fact, during his appearance at Peterhouse’s Politics Society (cheers Andrew, btw) he maintained a thoroughly respectable demeanour and spoke rationally and – dare I say – convincingly. Almost. Just once or twice, at the suggestion that we’d have to drive on the right-hand side of the road, for example, you could hear the real UKIP – the brotherhood of flags UKIP – bursting to get out. “Why shouldn’t we drive on the right-hand side of the road?” asked someone cautiously in response. Nigel paused, squeezed the devil inside once more, and said something about the cost of changing road signs.
Wednesday? That MI6 actually planned the murder of Diana for hundreds, nay, thousands of years before the event, carefully setting up all the components – including the invention of the motorcar, say, or alcohol – just to facilitate her grizzly death. No, not really. Not really because Sir Richard Dearlove, who was speaking at the Union, thankfully refused to take any questions on the persistent princess, choosing instead to cover such mundane topics like, ur, terrorism. I won’t bother you with any further trifles of detail. Twas good, though.
Thursday? That if you go out for a pub ‘trip’ – not a crawl, mind, more of a gentle stroll to the alehouse and back – you have a really nice time, talk about Carol Ann Duffy and don’t wake up with a hangover either. Photos of me looking distinctly creepy are on my Facebook. I urge you to ignore them and look instead at the photos of Michael actually smiling.
Friday? That the night Lucy comes to visit is the night when Cambridge turns itself into something out of gothic horror, with blustering winds and grey storm clouds thundering over the darkened figure of King’s college looming up from the mist. I think we all felt a little Dracula. Some more than others.
Saturday? There’s only one answer if a stranger knocks on your door and asks you if you’d like to take part in a pheromone test: yes, please. In servicing the questions of science (science and progress, speaking as loud as my androstadienone…) I dutifully smelled an array of, um, little bits of white cloth doused in various chemicals from clear-plastic bags and pronounced my preferences. He asked if I found any of them particularly unpleasant. I found none of them particularly unpleasant. Open mind? Or just a blocked nose?
Sunday? As I got down to actually writing an essay, I learnt a glittering gem of a historical anecdote: Protestant midwives in the German lands during the sixteenth century were instructed to report all illegitimate births, and furthermore find out – by hook or by crook – who the father was. (No immaculate conceptions, then?) How exactly would they go about doing this? The authorities helpfully suggesting posing the question at the point of the greatest labour pains. Y’know, when the women would presumably be keen for a chat on patriarchy. I can see this idea being adopted in the modern era, actually… Pardon me ma’am, but it seems like you’re in labour. Have you ever considered combining your gas and electricity bills into a single supplier? Could save you enough to buy an epidural!
Monday? I get on with my mother wonderfully well, but especially so when she buys me dinner. Thanks! Especially since it was Mother’s Day+1. Also, and finally, I learnt where I’ll be living next year. Good to clear that up, really.