Monday, July 16, 2007

Much Ado About Nottingham

I had a nice weekend returning to Nottingham as part of what will no doubt be termed in history as Unibond '07 v1.2. I hadn't seen most of the university crowd since January, so it was about time we reacquainted ourselves. It also meant I got a chance to formally reacquaint myself with the fine Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem public house and its Hardy & Hanson's Olde Trip ale on Friday night, which was nice. I needed a decent pint after a bit of a nightmare journey down in the Padmobile with the M1's rush-hour traffic and wet conditions. But not before devouring the tasty fajitas (pronounced: 'fadgy-tas') presented before me upon arriving at Orla's house, where her and Mark had invited the non-Notts lot to stay. We had a nice night just going around a few pubs along with Toby, Deano, Adam and Stu (plus at one point we were joined by some of Orla's friends, and one of them apparently said "who's he? He looks elusive" about me. I liked that).

On Saturday Anna and Tom arrived and we spent the afternoon in the baking heat at Wollaton Park, attempting to play football but not doing very well. When I suggested an easy-going game of heads and volleys I made the mistake of inserting the rule that anyone who concedes five while in goal must submit to a firing-squad situation whereby they turn around and let everyone else have a free shot. I was the first to let in five. However, amid a dispute over the exact terms of the rule (it should be five in one continous stint in goal, plus no yardage was agreed anyway) I managed to get away with restricting them to shooting from about fifteen yards away and nobody got me. It might not be in the spirit of the game, but such gamesmanship was absolutely necessary. Some of this lot can be quite sadistic.

The evening plan was to do something a bit different to the usual routine and go and see some outdoor theatre at Newstead Abbey, where Much Ado About Nothing was on. I've never been a fan of Shakespeare ever since having to tortuously study it for GCSEs and A-Levels, but with a picnic and a nice night in store it was a nice idea in theory. The actual performance passed me by somewhat, mainly because we arrived a bit late and I was kneeling behind a bench at the back and trying to open the sausage rolls quietly. But also because it wasn't very interesting. Tom spent most of the first half lying alongside me playing Lemmings on his mobile phone. We can be quite the philistines, but proud of it when it comes to Shakespeare. Seriously, as 'comedy' goes, Much Ado About Nothing seems on a par with Dinnerladies or Lee Evans. It was still nice to be out in the fresh air on a fine summer's evening though, just eating stuff.

Captive audience (copyright Mark Booth)


Sunday was rainy and any outdoor plans were somewhat squelched, so we spent most of it in the living room having cups of tea and watching 'When Sport Goes Bad' and 'Sports Disasters' on Bravo. As a more accurate microcosm of our time at uni, that was truly just like the old days.

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