Pimms, films and overnight punting

Ahh I love may week its just such a wonderful opportunity to catch up with people you’ve missed for the past few weeks. I’ve also been madly panicing to try to finish off my lessons before we fly off to China in 4 days time (wooooo!!!). Tuesday was very much a day of recovery – got up about 2pm after emma ball, did some work and then went to see Ruth and Ed at Emmanuel (Nat was, alas, still sleeping). Got back about 10 and Dave, Zish and myself watched Back to the Future 2 – the first time I’ve seen it. I can imagine it being an awesome film when you’re 12 but for someone who’s thought a lot about time travel, the paradoxes involved and the special and general relativistic aspects of it all it’s kind of predictable. The problems with a Cambridge degree…

Thursday I woke up quite late, roasted a chicken, did some work for China then went into college to do my washing and some shopping around the town – all good fun. Met up with Esther for the first time in ages which was really good and then headed to the Emmanuel/Caius CU picnic and then overnight punting. It was good to spend more time with the Emma CU people – especially as the few that I know really quite well were not there so I could get to know some of the others better. Overnight punting really is the thing to do.. it was lovely and warm and a clear sky so we did a lot of star gazing. The moon was very large, full and quite orange as it skimmed around the horizon lighting our way on the misty water. We got to Grantchester about midnight and headed back between about 2 and 4. Got to sleep about 5 and then woke up about 11:30. Perhaps this weird sleep pattern during mayweek will help me better adjust to the -7h we will experience upon arrival in HK.

May week…

Yay has been lovely and summery here for the past few days. Sunday, Zishan and myself went to Jesus Green for a few hours – there were loads of people down there mostly from Holy Trinity and Eden, joined later by some StAG. HT had got permission for a bouncy castle and Zish bought his guitar so we had a bit of a mess around. Also played some Frisbee and French-cricket. All in all a nice way to spend the day even though it was very hot (I heard it reached upto 34 here although to me it seemed more like 30-32 region). After church in the evening I went out for a meal with Ellie, Rachel, Alastair, Abi and Christina (Some of the Sidney 1st year Christians) at Bella Pasta – deja vu from being there at the same time the week before for Heather’s party! Got back about midnight because the service was very slow and watched “Back to the Future” for the first time – what an amazing film!

Monday I got up about 9:30 and met up with the ISEC guys – was good to see them all; next time we are all togeather we shall be in HK! Then went to Helen’s 21st at Newnham. It was really nice to see lots of the Newnham girls that I’ve not kept in contact with this term, and also a lot of the Theologians were there. Went straight from there to Corpus for a meeting about their mayball (which I shall be working at on Friday) and then I bought some juggling balls and various other things and went back home. Tried to sleep but couldn’t so I just practised my juggling and so on. About 4:30 I thought it would be cool to bleach my hair again because I was feeling bored with it. I’d tried to get it all shaved off earlier in the day, in preparation for China. However, the queue was really long and I didn’t really want to pay £10 when in HK you can pay about 10-20p and probably get a nice massage thrown in too! Anyway, I bleached my hair and then suddenly remembered that I left all my gel at home! D’oh. Ran out to the shops and gelled it up and then ran to Emma for 6pm for a workers briefing.

Emma mayball was really good. I love just being able to work at these things and you get to know the other workers quite well, and also get to chat to the guests that you know. As I seem to know most people in Emma and lots of Sidney people were there too, I spent a long time just chatting. I was meant to be a “Fire Steward” however unlike what I recall of Sidney last year where John gave everyone a good site tour and safety briefing, had there been a fire I would not have known what to do. None of the committee seemed really to know what was meant to happen so we were told to just “stop anyone from smoking and here are the fire extinguishers and fire exits”. Ah well good thing that there wasn’t a fire I guess! The magician was really good although it wasn’t really traditional magic as such – he was jumping on broken glass, banging nails and screwdrivers into his head, swallowing swords, escaping from strait jackets and the like. The Emma mayball was quite good fun – the dodgems had pulled out at the last minute and the queue for the ferris-wheel was always about an hour long. There wasn’t as much food as I seem to recall there being at Sidney last year and they seemed to have had a lot of problems with acts dropping out of their schedule. There were some fun things like sumo wrestling, a human gyroscope and a sort of bouncy castle wrestling match (sorry, Serena!), and they did carry on throughout the night. However you would think that they could have scheduled the Ceilidh in a larger venue. Serena and I went there but there really was no space to move and even after they started implementing a one-in, one-out policy the small room was jam-packed. The broken glass on the floor didn’t help matters either especially as all of the ladies tried to take off their high-heals. Ellie got glass in her foot and I’m sure a good many more people did as well. Wandered around Cambridge with Ruth, Nat, Tom and Ed until 7:30 when I went to Greek Bible study only to find that it had been changed to 9am. Went back home and went to bed about 8:30 and got up at 1:30 feeling quite refreshed. All in all a quite enjoyable night!

More lazy days in the sun

It’s been lovely and sunny the past two days here in Cambridge. Friday was the Harry’s garden party at St Johns college which was gloriously sunny and Rachel gave a really good talk. We had a game of croquet as well. Finished the Da Vinci Code which is a very good read although very dubious in term of presenting fiction as fact which does kind of detract from the story line quite a lot. Today (Saturday) I’ve been just sitting around. Watched Indiana Jones’ “Last Crusade” which was exciting and been playing on guitar a lot. Also read some more of the dead sea scrolls. In the evening we went out to see the new batman film which was really good although Zishan seemed somewhat disappointed with it because his friend had told him it was amazing; it was however really good. Started my mayball sleep pattern edging round to that 8am bedtime although on Monday I have to be up and out for the day by about 10ish – meeting in the morning, garden parties in the afternoon and then some mandarin learning and then the mayball itself from 6pm-6am. Perhaps some punting to Grantchester for a spot of breakfast afterwards. Might also be going punting over Sunday night with the Eden crew.

Busy week

Wow I’ve somewhat neglected this blog so I probably ought to say a little about what i’ve been doing these past days. Monday and Tuesday were spent pretty much just relaxing reading a book about Qumran and the dead sea scrolls – very interesting and useful for my dissertation next year, but hardly a break from work. Had lunch with Felicity on Tuesday which was good fun. Wednesday was quite hectic as I went to the language center to learn some mandarin (as I’ve done on several other days too), then had lunch with Solveig at Clown’s cafe which serves really nice food. After that I went to the course-choice session at the Div Fac. So many good choices to choose from but for technical reasons I’m not allowed to do them 🙁 Then saw Ellie and we went to Kings Evensong which was quite nice although hard to hear anything because of the acoustics. I guess thats not really the point of it though. Then went to college group – also good fun and we had a picnic and played croquet after.

Today has been spent having a meeting with Ruth and Anna about arrangements for China, then started reading the “Da Vinci Code” which is a very gripping book. Read something like 300 pages in just over 3 hours and then had my one-to-one with Kim looking at Isaiah 54. Then went to the Barn and stayed outside chatting until about 12:20 – always good fun! Luke was teaching me how to juggle and I think I might take a few balls to China in the summer and try to learn properly. It’s something I’ve always quite wanted to do but never been able to learn the trick of.

Only 10 days…. wooooo!!!!

Ian found another funny demotivational poster.

It’s soo good to have finished exams. Saturday my family came up and we punted to Grantchester even though it was threatening to rain. In the evening I saw Star Wars 3 with Zishan and Dave which was really good although proves that George Lucas cannot write a love scene. I think someone should do a study on Yoda’s lines throughout the series; I swear in this final film they were even longer and more messed up than in previous films, a trend which seems to be true all through.

Sunday I went to Eden and then went to have a picnic with Lydia and people who I’d not seen for a while. Only a few people turned up but it was good to see Lyd before she headed back to the States this morning. In the evening I went to Eden and then went to Heather’s birthday meal at Bella Italia. Was a very funkey place and good food. After that I went to play bridge with Tom, Paul and Rachel until about 2am when we just stopped and chatted for a while. Got in about 3:15 and sat around doing emails and so on until I got to bed at around about 4. This is what student life is meant to be – no silly work or exams!


Finally finished… I worked out that out of the 56 hours, I spent 12 in exams writing 5 commentaries on passages and 14 essays on about 65 sides of paper… My hand now aches rather a lot! At least it’s done. Went to the Barn on Thursday night which was very good; one guy I met was very interested in theology and asked me to explain certain phrases in Matthew (eg ‘son of man’) which was exactly what I had to revise for my exam that morning! The exams this year seemed rather more straight forward than the mathematics exams last year. Perhaps this was because I’m better at theology or perhaps I just think I did OK because I don’t realize how bad I am. Either way; just glad they’re over for the moment!

This evening I went to Harry’s and learnt some Mandarin from some of the Chinese guys there. Also talked to someone who had read a theological book in which the author was trying to unite existentialism with the Bible, so we looked at some parts of John’s gospel to show that that’s just not possible. After this we all went to Jesus’ green for a picnic and had a good game of Frisbee and then Ultimate Frisbee. After this I went to see Ruth, Ed and Nat had a good chat, squeezed oranges and then watched a really good film which was quite like Shawshank’s redemption at the beginning and what I imagine Wuthering Heights to be like (only read the book). Arrived home at 1:30ish and have been reading emails etc for the past hour. Research for dissertation will probably begin on Monday.. will China never come?!

We’ll make it I swear / Ohh living on a prayer

I’ve locked myself in my room the past few days doing revision… I’ve been reading a commentary on Matthew’s gospel, lots of old lecture notes and research that I did, and also I’ve just finished reading all of the letters of Paul.

Sunday evening was good – we had a party to say good bye to Barbara, a German student doing a language-year in England. It’s good to have got to know her the past year and it’s good to see how she got very involved in the international work in Cambridge – we’ll miss you!

First proper exam is tomorrow morning so I’d best go do some more revision. It will all be finished on Friday afternoon.


Revision is soooo boring.. For some reason my brain has just lost any will to work today. Was planning on getting up early but that failed after I was round watching the end of Pride and Prejudice with Rachel, Ellie and Alastair. Before that I went to Harry’s cafe and then we went to Jesus college formal hall which was ace fun.

I’ve been reading some of Luz’s ‘The Theology of the Gospel of Matthew’ today but it just doesn’t inspire me. He thinks that Matthew is writing for a Syrian community of Christians and doesn’t actually have that much relation to the church or the rest of the New Testament and doesn’t think that much of the ‘Historical Jesus’ actually exists in the book – quite a few things perhaps based on original Jesus sayings but no direct quotes really. I find it quite sad that so many theologians seem to think that because it does seem quite unnecessary – just comparing the gospel accounts, there are an amazing amount of parallels. He seems to swing quite a lot between calling Matthew a literary genius eg what he sees as Matthew’s wonderful crafting of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) but then there are some places where he says Matthew just looses the plot or forgets where he is and what he’s doing. Such a shame.

mmmm Welsh leeks

Came across a really clever idea – a leak detector for IE. It’s amazing how some of these simplist ideas (both to come up with and to implament) are some of the best. Havn’t used IE in many years but still its very cool and should be straightforward to do in moz/konq or whatever other c++ browser people use. Really ought to get back onto this ‘AJAX’ programming circuit – was fascinated by it about 5 years ago but things have moved on rather a lot since then.

Last night was really cool – saw Sam, Lydia, Serena and Emma for a few minutes because they were doing some mad jazz revision thing/party. Then went to the Barn where there was an Irish evening. Never realized the Irish had such weird phrases – out of the four that they said, the only two that I could vaguely understand were “top o’th’man’n tu ya” and “wh’z th’craic?”. Had a good look at Acts 3:11-23 with Yumi, Rena and Felix.

Spent this morning trying to learn to remember historical facts so as to write essays for my Church History exam next week, and also been revising some of the Matthew’s gospel paper… I find that very difficult as well. For some reason all the gospels seem to blur into one in my head – it wasn’t really meant to be like that, otherwise the early church would have accepted one of the “condensed” versions (there were several floating around by about 200ad).

Found an article about removing Bible’s from hospitals for fear that they would a) offend people of other faiths and b) spread the superbug. I think the second option has been disproved and as for the first one – how does just having the offer of being able to read a Bible offend someone? As far as I understand, hospitals stock all sorts of different “holy books” so if you’re a Muslim in hospital it’s no difficulty to ask for a copy of the Qur’an. I’m sure that if Muslims wanted to start up a Gideons type organisation to put copies of the Qur’an by every hospital bed, people really wouldn’t have a problem with it. (However, Muslims might well have a problem with it because they have a much higher respect for the physical copy of the Qur’an than Christians do with the Bible; for example it’s considered very bad to put the Qur’an on the floor). It really is Political Correctness gone mad.