The Drury Diaries: Controversial Cocks

Election losers can either accept oblivion or shamelessly turn to journalism, so here he is

A Curious Cambridge

Not too much work got done in Lent term.  Life conspired against me in a crippling pincer movement of too many dinners and running a CUSU campaign; both fun, both unproductive.  As a result, I have spent the Easter Vac in Cambridge trying to make amends.

Cambridge out of term – if you’ve never experienced it – is, in a single word, pedestrian.  And I don’t just mean the tourists, who I’m convinced are perambulating more slowly than ever, although thankfully sans-selfie-sticks this season.  Cambridge feels a little like that moment when a car abruptly halts but you keep moving – writ large.  Last Monday, I found myself wishing there was a CUSU Council to attend, which says it all.

But there is respite, and the opportunities to get out of Cambridge must be seized with appropriate gusto.  A very pleasant day was spent just after term in the middle of nowhere (Suffolk) engaged in countryside sports.  The human, and particularly the student, I firmly believe, is not made for the hamster-like inhabitation of a mile radius from College to Faculty; there’s nothing like a good outdoors romp.  Not only is it perfectly possible to get out of Cambridge, but Cambridge has long been an excellent place to get outfitted for such occasions, and I must commend the soon-to-be-closed Arthur Shepherd of Trinity Street.  Mr Shepherd has a superb stock of outrageous trousers, all currently discounted.

Arthur Shepherd is a great place to pimp your Barbour

Boat Race Boozing

Outrageous trousers were the order of the day at last week’s Boat Race, which benefitted from quite glorious weather, and the absence of World War II munitions.  I don’t normally dip into conspiracy theories, but I’m convinced the bomb threat was either an April Fools the Police took too seriously, or a spiteful act of Oxbridge hate. I was quite taken aback by the number of people bothering to turn up to the race, especially people who had nothing to do with the Universities: even if for many it was just a good excuse for a sunshine piss up, it was pleasant to see such Oxbridge positivity in the hearts and minds of the nation.

My view of the race from an apartment above Putney Bridge was nearly as limited as my attention span for sports, but a pleasing double-aspect allowed me to see the women take an early unassailable lead.  Unfortunately, I missed the start of the men’s race while selecting a sandwich, so wasn’t emotionally invested enough to be too bothered about Oxford’s victory.  The boat crews sport very stylish Hunter wellies when off-piste, but I was a little perturbed by the breadth of colours considered Cambridge Blue: if you’re in sync in the water, surely you should be on land.

Diversity: good for admissions; bad for stash

 

Controversial Cocks

If you haven’t noticed, Grudgebridge has exploded in the last week, as grudge-bearers have come out of the woodwork to provocatively prod the orthodoxy on matters such as private school opprobrium and male-exclusionary spaces.  If the home of Free Speech is the Union, maybe Grudgebridge is the granny flat; and long may the agitation continue.  I eagerly await WomCam’s encyclical on which grudges it is appropriate to platform.

It’s coming

Jesus’ bronze rooster, which we heard so much about last year, has once more crowed and put itself at the centre of controversy.  A possible arrangement of ‘loaning’ the Bronze to Nigerian museums provoked much outrange and many angry reacts.  It all seemed very serious when I read about CUSU leaders receiving a visit and gifts of thanks from the Prince of Benin, but it had escaped my notice that this Benin is not the country, but a territory in present-day Nigeria that has ceased to be a political unity.  The prince represents a hereditary monarchy, which I never knew the student left were so fond of.  So we have a hereditary monarch claiming inherited property on behalf of an extinct unity.  Complicated.  At a recent Dinner, I observed that the Bronze also features on all of Jesus’ crockery (‘cockery’) and I shall be taking submissions for revised politically correct designs via drury@cambridgetab.co.uk and will propose the finest to Jesus.  Update soon.

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