News Column: Week Four

Plague bells, bread thieves and way too many green potatoes

We’re now half-way through the term and week four has bought us dark evenings, Halloween celebrations and “extreme national measures with regional exit strategies”, which definitely is not a national lockdown. Evidently, this has meant that everything’s been kicking off while it still has the chance, before we’re all consigned to staying in our rooms, except for our essential trips to Mainsbury’s to stock up on easy peelers:

Plague bell at Jesus

Strange masks, isolation notes on doors and deadly coughs – if corona has got you feeling like you’re living through a medieval plague, you may not be too far from the truth! Jesus College has given students the option to have the arrival of their isolation meals announced by plague bell in the spirit of Halloween last week, and I can’t decide if this is a wholesome attempt to improve self-isolation, or feels slightly apocalyptic.

Theft at Churchill?

After last week’s intruder, Churchill is now being plagued by thieves – except this time they can fly! A Churchill student spotted a magpie repeatedly scaling along a window and into a first-floor kitchen to steal some bread. Maybe it’s time to stop blaming your neighbour for pinching your food after all.

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Clare has appointed their first female Master

Clare College has appointed its first woman Master, Loretta Minghella OBE, who will take over in October 2021 following the retirement of present Master, Tony Grabiner. Loretta is a Clare alumna who matriculated in 1981 and has been the First Church Estates Commissioner since 2017. Loretta’s tenure as Master will coincide with Clare’s 50th anniversary of the admission of women undergraduates to the college.

Halloween-inspired menu at Homerton

Apparently, Homerton has read last week’s Tab article slating the dire food situation, and have gone back to the drawing board to figure out how to improve their catering. The solution they came up with: to dye all of their food green for Halloween (and no, those aren’t grapes – they’re potatoes). It’s enough to leave you green in the face – and probably not because of envy. A Homerton student has assured us that it did in fact taste amazing, but I remain unconvinced.

Personally I think a halloween-decorated cookie would’ve probably cut it (Photo credits: Jun Ling Clarke Ng)

Christ’s give their students permission to party

It’s no surprise that the thought of a national lockdown has changed lots of people’s outlook on life, and Christ’s College is no exception. Once famed for their strict anti-noise policies, their senior tutor has thrown (some) caution to the wind and allowed an amnesty on noisy parties for a whole four hours from 7:30pm to 11pm on Wednesday evening – provided that the rule of six continued to be adhered to and all visitors had left by the stroke of midnight.

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John’s meeting

On the other hand, some things never change and in typical John’s fashion, this week John’s have been flexing their massive grounds. On Wednesday the college Master held a socially-distanced town hall meeting for the entire college on their paddocks to provide updates on Department for Education guidance and answer questions. I can’t say I envy them given the cold weather this week has bought, but at least masks help to keep you warm I suppose?

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Halloumi Hoarder

If you’ve been wondering where all the Halloumi in Mainsbury’s has gone, The Tab Cambridge has answers! One student was spotted buying copious amounts of halloumi in Mainsbury’s on Tuesday. Yet, answers have only led to more questions: Are they hosting a cheese and wine party? Are they merely a fan of Mediterranean cuisine? Or are they trying to stockpile for fear of the other Halloumi-fanatics in Cambridge? If you are the notorious Halloumi Hoarder please do get in touch – I need answers!

The famous pairing of Halloumi and strawberries (Photo credits: Audrey Lee)

Fitzwilliam College fight to end food poverty

And to finish with: more food news, but this time of a more wholesome nature! Last week Fitzwilliam College donated 200 meals to Cambridge Sustainable Food, to help feed school-children over the half-term break.

Fitzwilliam College doing their bit for the wider community this week (photo credit: Cambridge Sustainable Food, via Facebook)

Here’s to hoping the second half of term remains as eventful as the first half!