Alex Jackman: Week 8

In his last ever column, ALEX JACKMAN takes you on a mental trip around his top five happiest places in Cambridge.

aldi Alex Jackman Cambridge Castle Hill column columnist columnists end happy May Ball places Queen's Backs the tab week 8

As usual, I’ve left my column until the night before. Ah well. Nothing to be done now, it’s Week 8.

I’d have liked to bow out with something truly profound. In fact, I drafted columns about “Truth”, “Risk” and one which was genuinely, and accurately, titled “Do Not Use This, It’s OK at First But Generally Really Pretentious and Awful”.

Either that approach, or write something so outrageous as to carve my name into student folklore. Unfortunately I couldn’t bring myself to finish “Harry Potter and the LAD feminism booze tit supervision fears party”. Or to parody the other columnists now that we have a “COLUMNIST FRIENDS!” Facebook chat thread.

Finally, I could’ve resorted to The Sheepshank Redemption.

But no. Instead, here’s a selection of places I have been happy at Cambridge. Sorry for all the injokes, but it’s my last column, so I’m on a massive YOLO.

Irrelephant (Thanks to Ara Catkinson)



5. Queens’ Backs

Lent 2013 was a really rather bleak term, characterised by huge amounts of work and personal stress. Plus, it rained. One afternoon, to escape work and leave my room, I cycled down to Holi on Queens’ Backs. Clouds of colour and bright, laughing people suddenly burst into the grey Cambridge spring. Nice.

The aftermath

4. Aldi

Like Cambridge, only cheaper. In my first afternoon as a student, my corridor-mates made a trip to Aldi. I was late, so hurried along the barren expanse of Histon Road to catch up. I never did, and they left as I reached the endless queues. This started a cycle of false hope and unfulfilled promises that has in some ways defined the last few years. #Sorrow. On the other hand, Carlos frozen pizzas are just 99p and carry mayonnaise really well.
Aldi reminds me of The Wasteland.

3. Castle Hill

May Balls are great, the catharsis to a year’s worth of stress. But they end so abruptly. For a Hill college student, there’s the added pleasure of a trek up Castle Hill as the sun rises (see below). In the winter, we can sledge there (I haven’t) or take snowy photos. I’ve watched fireworks there and seen the Jubilee Beacon lit.
As Bandy Uchan sang (in my room, now) “I took my love up to Castle Hill/And then we went to Fitz café/All that time I was silent because/She was eaaaaating a tuna melt panini/That was rubbish/Give a shit”.

Oh Bandy Uchan of Fitzwilliam College, single and ready to mingle, mob: 07734850801, crsID amb237. What are you like?

I’m not Andrew, but I am a Blues tennis player and I play the guitar, contact me on C’[email protected]

2. Cambridge Station

Freedom is just a train ride away. Unless you’re in a legal grey area immigration-wise. I can’t name names.

1. 75 Oxford Road, surrounded by all my friends. WARNING: IN-JOKES AHEAD

75ORoad. WoahRoad. The Other Place. #Club75.

There’s never been a house like it and there never will be. If you weren’t in it, you’re probably don’t read my columns. It was good.

We put a band here once

So there we go. 5 happy places and a huge shout-out to 7 specific people and a stuffed elephant, which makes this column nigh incomprehensible and totally uninteresting to everyone else.

Thank you for reading. This column has been fulfilling for no-one. I’m sorry for everything.