Well what a busy week I've had. It's all be hopping from one event to the next at speed, I'm impressed I've got any work done at all.
I have though – my Ancient History essay is finished, it only needs a quick once-over edit before I hand it in. I've written two gobbets – which aren't due until this time next week – although one of them needs a little more work to make sure I'm not making as little sense as the author of the gobbet. And I'm sitting at my desk now with Caesar's 'Civil War' open in front of me – I'm actually going to be prepared for this week's tutorial.
On other matters though we've had the 'Love Actually' premiere, the Rugby World Cup final and Raisin Weekend.
Let's begin with the premiere, which I was beginning to think about getting ready for whilst writing this column last week. It was very strange to go to the cinema in a posh frock. In reality though, I don't think it could truly be said to be a 'premiere'. There was a slightly wrinkled short red carpet, the St Andrews glitterati out in force and no adverts before the film, but the cinema was also showing other films in it's two midget screens so there were plenty of jeans and trainers running around. However we had Sir Clement Freud and Gregor Fisher (Rab C Nesbitt) one of the film's stars there too introduce the movie and it was a lot of fun, but next time (yep, obviously there'll be a next time…) I think I'll wait the couple of days to spend less money to see a film in my normal comfy clothes.
Next came the Rugby World Cup final – now, no offence to Richard Curtis or my academic nephews and nieces, this was the highlight of the week. It didn't seem like it was going to be though. Every weekend throughout the tournament I've landed on my friend Mel's sofa for cooked breakfast and the England match. I had to restrict myself to the England matches and a couple of the other knockout matches, which I watched in hall, or I'd never have done any work, being a morning kind of person. In the last couple of weeks we'd given up on the full cooked breakfast because we kept timing it just wrong and missing the first five minutes of the match. We sat down to watch England v Samoa to find a scary number of points on the board already.
This weekend therefore we had scrambled eggs and bacon butties, and four of us sat down to watch the anthems. We were terrified, sitting there going 'we're going to lose, we're going to lose' in an attempt to alleviate the pain. It didn't work. Anyone who hadn't finished breakfast by kick-off didn't finish, they were too nervous to keep it down. I'm not entirely sure what followed – I think I need to watch the match again – but I remember a lot of shrieking, arm waving and tearing of hair. There was hysterical joy when Jason Robinson scored, and utter depression in the final minute of normal time – none of us thought we could turn it round. In between all this there were phone calls from Clare, my former housemate now in Manchester, hyperventilating and whimpering as she tried to cope. At the end of it all there was such screaming and bouncing I'm impressed there’s still a roof on Mel's house.
Raisin weekend could have been a little bit of an anti-climax after that, but it wasn't. My last Raisin weekend, and it was a good one. For the uninitiated, in St Andrews we have academic families, 3rd and 4th year students adopt first years and form families. Then on one weekend in November we have Raisin weekend. The mums throw a 'tea-party' for their children on the Sunday afternoon, and the dads hold an evening party. On Monday morning the children are all dragged out of bed for about 9am, put into fancy dress by their mothers, given a Raisin receipt by their fathers and taken off to the quad for a huge foam fight.
I went to my academic sister's party; she had two children and her flatmate another five, and it went really well. The kids didn't get too hammered, and were ready to enter into all the daft games (and believe me, some of the pass-the-parcel forfeits were ludicrous – you try imitating a donkey having an orgasm.) The next day they were all dressed up as fairies and paraded through town. I'm not sure what they got receipt-wise, but there were some impressive imaginations in evidence as we neared the quad. Raisin receipts are traditionally big, heavy or awkward to carry, or a combination of any of the above. One of my academic nephews, now a daddy, sent his children down with large tractor tyres, the most applauded sight was two children towing a car, on which were sat at least eight guys, for the length of North Street. And the only casualty I'm aware of is my friend Sue, who slipped on the ice outside the Union and now has three stitches in her forehead.