2009: full of good food and great people

Dominic’s Big Review of 2009

Short of time? Next year, don’t bother to read the blog… you can always wait for the grand and over-stuffed review of the year.

Traditions, traditions! SexFest ’09 may have innovated by ditching pillows for balloons this year but was otherwise its usual big, bold and thoroughly mad self. The month it inaugurated, however, was unusually bumpy and stressful: Themes & Sources nearly gave all of us at uni a collective nervous breakdown, whilst Lucy and I broke up… but more of this later, in a happier month. And there were still plenty of good things, naturally! Like meeting Niamh for the first time, gathering around the radio to listen to Obama’s inauguration, Tash coming to visit and see Milk, starting political thought (yes, really ), luring others into coming to Caius formal and [drumroll, please] joining Twitter!

In amongst the snow, Lucy and I got back together so all was well again! (Plus I ended up trying to read Aquinas on a packed train trudging across the country.) Meanwhile in February, I was shadowed around Cambridge by an eager Sixth Former in a reversed echo of three years earlier, Oliver received his EMPEROR t-shirt (don’t ask) and we all saw the feel-good Slumdog Millionaire, plus enjoyed the second History Society dinner. Oh, and Thomas Hobbes and I like totally clicked.

2009: full of good food and great people

2009: full of good food and great people

So many lovely March evenings: Peggle and music with Abbi, vanilla tea and absurdist theatre with Sona, Crisis Control and Darkplace with Lucy, Watchmen with everybody. As term ended I finally got round to doing a lot of things I should have done much earlier, like go swimming with Abi in the pool right opposite where we lived, pin down Bill Thompson for lunch and fall in love with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Once home there was just about time to chill out in the Blues Bar – and let loose a new and improved Feed Mix on the world – before Lucy and I were off a procession of carefully timed trains to the Yorkshire countryside and the picturesque Crakehall Watermill! Whereupon, on the final day of March, I fulfilled my central aim in life by visiting a cheese factory.

We continued to Leeds – eating (slow) pizzas with Andy, visiting the best ‘art’ gallery ever and enjoying The Tempest – before coming home in time for me to make Robert’s warm, cosy and well-catered dinner party. In April we also crowned Oliver champion as my dream of Peggle ‘n’ Pizza became a reality, whilst I rode the DLR, got round to visiting the Lexi, took the plunge in watching Twilight and ended up quite unexpectedly immersed in a piece of pub-based theatre one night with Sanna’s family. Once term started, however, it was back to the rather less relaxed world of revision, not-doing-revision-when-you-were-supposed-to and talking-about-both.

In May I saw what was possibly my film of the year, In The Loop, and got more in the real-life loop vis-à-vis the ever-wonderful Sophie. There was also waffle consumption with Sanna, State of Play, middle-class Monopoly with Kat, and what was possibly my runner-up film of the year, Star Trek. Twice . Andrew’s politics dinner brought the opportunity to ask Cornelius about ‘happiness lessons’; Space Mutiny (the film of my life) brought the dastardly Kalgan and his wicked plots, whilst my mum just about reached middle-age, @billt talked code and I was executed by a pair of stormtroopers. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, exams began…

…and ended, early on in June, thereby ending History Part I. (Helping us all stay alive to this point, incidentally, was the irreplaceable, irrepressible and quite incredible Heather.) One of the coolest of the many things that came next in celebration mode was seeing Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in Waiting for Godot: awesome, naturally, but lovely also just for seeing Helen Hudspith again. And then, after the birthday meals, after my acquisition of London Underground underwear, a geeky geometry t-shirt, a Nic Parkes mug and a damn cool hat, after short films and buskers at the Lexi, Karoo Moose with Abbi at the Tricycle, Auto-Tune the News and – indeed – Part I results (2:1!) we set off for the Best Week Of 2009… Newquay!



So yes. After Newquay, July heralded an emotionally intense week of Torchwood, the weird and wonderful Psychoville, a trip to St Paul’s with bonus marvelling at glass lifts with Sanna, sights-we-never-expected-to-see in Brüno and Saoirse’s birthday pic-a-nic. I extended the goodness of mango beer to Owen, had perplexingly bizarre phone conversations from the top of a night bus, partied to ABBA hits at Lucy’s dinner and – very excitingly – made a pilgrimage to Cadbury World. Oh, and I won the Themes & Sources essay prize! Get in

Another aquarium visit was organised for the beginning of August, having been such a big hit in Newquay, before mum, Katie, Lucy and I spent a couple of days in Liverpool: home of the world’s prettiest church (or not). It ain’t summer without a theme park, however – here’s to you, Drayton Manor! – or a family summer holiday, the latter provided by Devon which also gave us a tall(ish) waterfall, scary looking sheep and the opportunity for me to understand at least 50% more references online by watching Fight Club. I also saw The Tempest, again, but with a more-awesome Caliban, and wrote my most popular blog post of the year in statistical terms (by miles) just by being a bit sarky to James Murdoch. But you don’t have to do anything very fancy to have a great time… in fact, one of my fondest memories from the summer is lying on the golf course one night in Queen’s Park, catching up with Matthew and looking up at the stars.

September was music month, at least by my rather limited standards. Not only did Abbi gift me tickets for not one but two gigs – Jack’s Mannequin and Twin Atlantic – but there was also Sanna’s melodious chrismation. (Sealed!) No singing in Troilus and Cressida that I remember, but that was also really, really good. Meantime, never far from food and drink, I assisted Lucy in the preparation of a delicious brunch for Abbi and her mum, got totally outclassed by dinner party host extraordinaire Andy, lunched with Philippa, snacked with Nic & Nick2 and went all over the place in the hunt for plentiful food and drink on the day of Saoirse’s rather mobile gathering. But I’m not just a consumer: I also gave blood for the first time in September, too!

I got a wonderful chance in early October to relive A-Level English with Ms. Rupchand and Mr. Buchanan, before it was finally time to head back to uni to begin my third and final (!) year. Having admired Lucy’s new house in Brighton I was similarly delighted with my own living arrangements, which finally put me right in the centre of town. And then it was back to work, often in my snug new Caius hoodie, albeit with plenty of distractions and interludes: the wit and wisdom of Ben Stein, the wonder of Windows 7, Merlin and True Blood, swapping halls with Simon, Chris and other Emmanuel folk, swapping blog writing duties with Sanna, Lucy coming to cook us all up a storm, the discovery of the fabled Enchanted Lands of Friendship as well as Katie coming to visit! And the perfect way to enjoy Halloween? Why, Buffy’s Once More, With Feeling, of course.

Some things go knock in the night…

Some things go knock in the night…

The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus came and went as a little ethereal delight; Trinity, on the other hand, could have staggered for a great deal longer if Owen and I hadn’t seen sense and pulled the plug after two episodes. November was NaNoWriMo month, of course, which meant a new slice of Abbi’s heartbreaking novel each morning to read. (More heartbreak was to come with the death of Mr. Bruul, incidentally.) There were also fireworks (but no fairground rides) with Oliver and Abi, a great night in various pubs with Lucy, Simon, Chris, Rob and more and lots of Flight of the Conchords and tea with Owen. I fought (and beat) the Evil Beep Of Doom, rufffed it up at Tom’s birthday party and finally got to a Superhall and a Footlights panto as well as producing my absolute life’s masterwork in Sophie’s birthday video, which was also celebrated with an extravagantly generous meal. Oh, and let’s not forget Caroline’s CUCA dinner

Home, for a suitably relaxing Christmas! Well, that’s what I might have thought, although it soon transpired that my parents had morphed into crime-fighting action heroes with the scars to prove it. I can’t compete, naturally, but I can bake a chocolate cake (alright, with led by Lucy), enjoy mango beer with Sophie and neglect work in favour of parties (Secret Vegetarian Festive etc. etc.), pub gigs (snowy snowy Archway), one utterly inexplicable festive something at the Globe and, of course, Christmas itself! Geeky though it might be, let it be noted for the record that December also saw the end of Windows XP in this house: we live in the future, now Oh, and talking of which, Katie has very kindly agreed to show me the entirity of the magnificent Battlestar Galactica over the course of the next year…

Wishing everyone a quite fantastic 2010

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3 Comments on :
Dominic’s Big Review of 2009

  1. Tash says:

    Just to clarify for all…
    ‘I fulfilled my central aim in life by visiting a cheese factory’ – is not just an exaggerated turn of phrase. He genuinely dreamt of that moment for about a decade.

  2. Helen says:

    hey, made it into the year’s review – result!

    Thanks for not mentioning our rather abrupt exit!!…and thanks for your influence with the powers that be for Patrick’s promotion!

    Sounds like a fab year, Dom…here’s hoping 2010 is just as good for you, indeed better what with finals etc.


  3. Andy. says:

    dinner party host extraordinaire Andy

    I like this description. A lot.

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