A hard week’s dining
Looking back over my blog, I’ve had surprisingly few entries about black tie dinners. Then again, even in the course of the usual end of term madness I’ve seldom been out to this many formal dinners.
The dining score-card for 8 to 15 March 2006 would read:
Total number of dinners out: 5, of which three were black tie dinners (one with academic gown), one with suit and tie, and the last a quite dinner with a mate.
Looking back, I came out of the gates too fast.
At the last “regular” grad hall of term on Wednesday the 8th, I had two friends come along from the Blind Wine Tasting Society. We rather lost sight (ha ha) of the fact that “blind tasting” is meant to be about sophisticated wine appreciation – not getting, well, blind.
Three people, four bottles, multiple car pile-up of hilarity ensues - lasting until 3 am that morning. My hangover, however, lasted much longer.
After a brief respite, on Friday it came time to dust the lapels of my tux, sponge the mud from the inner leg (didn’t I dry-clean this last time? no matter) and trot off to the undergraduate law society at St Catherine’s College annual dinner.
The observant will have noticed I am neither an undergraduate nor at Catz.
I was invited by my students as an external supervisor. I was touched to be asked, but flattered when I realised how few “externals” get invited to a lovely dinner for only about 30 people.
I could only suppose that to be invited you had to be regarded either as important or cool. As I’m not even remotely important, it seems my teaching style may have rendered me popular. A theory confirmed by being one of only two or so “oldies” encouraged to head over to the Catz bar afterwards – which mercifully had stopped serving alcohol.
Saturday saw me hand washing my one formal shirt and heading off to the feast of St Edward King and Martyr – yes, really – at Trinity Hall. This was my college’s thank-you dinner to those who’ve supervised (tutored) Hall students over the year. Three courses (including a fabulous saddle of Spring lamb) with wine, a cheese course, a digestive break where you stand and go into another room, then chocolates and fruit with claret, dessert wine port and coffee.
Afterwards the remainder of the wine, along with scotch and, oddly, beer was on offer in the Senior Combination Room – and it was good scotch.
Highlights of the evening included finding myself chatting with real enthusiasm about how my students were getting on, and the odd jibe about having been one of the elect invited to the Catz dinner.
Tuesday I headed out on the town with a friend who’s been to busy helping to write a UN report on top of her PhD to be seen much this term. After a decent dinner at the chain bar “Bar Ha Ha”, we repaired to the bar at Trinity Hall for our second bottle of vino and law chat.
Which kept me nicely in form for the black tie graduates end of term dinner at Trinity Hall on Wednesday, at which I neither drank excessively nor stayed out too late. No, really.
Anyway, so much to say that if I haven’t been blogging, it’s because I’ve been too busy eating.