Week 54: Real Tennis Doubles, Dominica Appeal and Orientation Recovery

The first full week back from Orientation still found me exhausted. I tried as much as I could to get back into a routine, but I found it difficult and ended up oversleeping or napping more than I would have liked. I managed to make my way back into the department for a little bit of work. I also went to the Gates office to check in with things post-Orientation with the Trust, and also to college to do my requisite visa sign-in.

On Friday night, I suited up again and headed down to Churchill College. It was time for the first formal of the new academic year. We were celebrating the Orientation committee, or at least those who could make it that night. It was enjoyable to be back at a formal again; there had hardly been any over the summer. That said, Churchill’s formals are some of the more informal in Cambridge. Nobody wears gowns, and the food is of only a moderate quality. Nonetheless, it was nice to catch up with people post-Orientation and not have to talk about planning any more.

After the formal, we all headed over to the Churchill MCR. Jorelle had organised a silent auction to raise funds for the hurricane-ravaged Dominica, where her friends and family had been affected. The proceeds from the bar were to be donated as well. The room was chocked full of people, I put my name down for a number of bids, but was consistently outbid. People were offering bikes, dinners, proofreading and so on. Some of the dinners went for seemingly crazily high amounts. I turned in earlier than most, still needing to catch up on some sleep.

On Saturday, I had entered into the Real Tennis Giraffe Club Doubles Tournament. The Giraffe Club is a fund used to support student Real Tennis players, and they were hosting a doubles tournament for some of the students who play the game in Cambridge. There were two divisions, each with four pairings. I was in the second division, partnered with Elle. Our first game was against Krittika and Eleanor, which we won 6-2, mostly by being more consistent with our strokes than our opponents. We took a break while India and Rufus bageled Amanda and Barbara 6-0, the latter a mother-daughter team who were hard done by with respect to their handicap.

Our next game was against Amanda and Barbara, which we won 6-1, taking advantage of the mismatch of their abilities. India and Rufus also bested Krittika and Eleanor 6-0. Going into the final match against India and Rufus, we had each won two games apiece. However, they had superior endurance and beat us 3-6. As the top two teams, we progressed through to a final, but we were outplayed 4-8. Resultantly, we missed out on winning the overall prize: two bottles of wine.


After the tournament, Jacqueline, Krittika and I headed out to Jesus college to get some brunch. None of us had had the college brunch at Jesus before, but there was a good amount of waffles and maple syrup. Following, Jacqueline and I rode out to the supermarket to get cake ingredients. The plan was to make lamingtons, which necessitated baking a sponge cake and letting it set overnight. In the end, we had enough ingredients for two cakes, and by the end of the evening, there were too cakes sitting to cool. We planned to ice them on Monday.

Sunday turned out to be a rather active day as well. I played another tennis match against Gillian in the morning, before rushing down to the Netherhall School Sixth Form College to referee a game of soccer. The match was a pre-season friendly between Cambridge Assessment and Engineering. Cambridge Assessment were by far the better team, they were faster and more physical, scoring three goals in each half to bring the final score to 6-0. After my very active morning, I returned home, where Joanna was visiting. Together with Emma, they were painting the new dungeons and dragons figures. People came and went throughout the afternoon and night. Emma made a pumpkin pie to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. After painting, we had a board game night, with Annalise,  Annika and a few of her friends. We cycled through a number of games, me losing them all, before all heading to bed late in the evening.

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