Photos from Cambridge Finalsmoot, 1999

This meet was organised by Peter for 18-20 June 1999, shortly after his Finals. Since no-one ever wrote a report of this meet, I shall write down what I remember. I'm still amazed at just how much happened, and how many details I've forgotten. Certain details have been omitted to protect the guilty and to prevent *vom*. If you remember more than me, please send me the missing information. I'm particularly hazy about arrivals and departures.

18th June

After work, I cycled home and then on to the Ancient Druids, arriving at about 7pm. Someone was there already - possibly Megamole, but I don't remember. Various people arrived over the next hour or so. I worried about who would be staying with me that night and whether I would have space. I got out my Palm Pilot and started quoting people out of context. I managed to impress some people with this new toy of mine, not that that was my intention at all, of course. Peter, Melusine, and ccooke had met in Cambridge earlier on.

Once Peter arrived, with a complete plan for crash-space, I was assured that I would not have to lead any drivers back, so I cycled home and walked back to the pub to begin drinking. By this time there were many people there. I think that Peter, Ali, Melusine, Nattie, Gid, Suzi, Megamole, ccooke, Supermouse, Thomas, Jules, Shadow, AfPhantom, Olivia, Herald, Ben, Livia and Allen were present at some time during the evening.

Since Cambridge is in the uncivilised country of England, we had to leave the pub shortly after 11. At this point some headed home, and others looked for food. This we found a short distance away at the Bengal restaurant, along with additional beer. Some time later, taxis were arranged to take people to their homes and crash spaces. My memory of this is a bit foggy. Shadow, ccooke and someone else (I've forgotten who) stayed at my house.

19th June

In the morning, people gathered in Market Square at around 10 to go to the Fitzwilliam Museum, as proposed by Megamole the evening before. I think Nattie, Megamole, ccooke, Shadow, AfPhantom, Olivia, Barry and I went to this. There were probably others that I've forgotten. I remember several people admiring the large collection of weaponry, but I don't remember much else from there.

Around lunch-time, there was an attempt to gather for lunch at the Eagle pub near Market Square, which was prevented by the extreme crowdedness of the pub. Miq appeared at this time. Rob and Ailbhe were delayed. J unfortunately failed to meet Peter in the square. With the help of a taxi, we moved on to the Granta:

Table at the Granta pub

Here, we were able to buy lots of good food and decent beer, even though some of the advertised dishes were unavailable. At the top of the picture you can see (from left to right) Barry, Olivia, ccooke, and two people whose names escape me now. Just in front of Olivia is AfPhantom. Along the far side of the table are Miq, Melusine, Ali, Peter, Shadow and Megamole. On the near side are Ben(?), Nattie, ?, ? and Brett.

As we finished lunch, the sky grew darker and threatened rain. Nevertheless, we decided to go ahead with the planned punting. Peter and a few experienced others went to hire the punts, while the rest of us took a shorter route to the river. 16 of us divided ourselves between 3 punts, and set off southwards. Peter proceeded to explain loudly how to punt...

Ali lying back in a punt

Peter punting

...demonstrated how not to do it...

Peter loses the pole

...and then let other people have a try.

Melusine punting

Thankfully, the threatened rain never did appear. However, punting does splash a lot of water around. There was almost an opportunity for a wet T-shirt competition. Some people felt the need to change, or at least get warm and dry. We moved on to Peter's room at Emmanuel, where Peter had several bottles of cham^H^H^H^Hsparkling wine to share between us. Some of this got spilt due to inappropriate placement of glasses. Peter's skull (well, actually a plastic replica skull) was put to comedic effect - or at least, the effect of inducing giggles.

In the evening, the gathering moved to the Ancient Druids again. Here, Ailbhe and Rob appeared, as did LNR and her sister Stephanie, and a couple whose names I can never remember (sorry!). More beer was drunk, and pizza was ordered and eaten. I can't possibly remember any conversation. I do remember various odd things being chosen from the juke box, some of which I was responsible for.

At 11, it was time for an invasion of my house, since no-one else had crash-space. Barry, Brett, ccooke, Shadow, Olivia and Nattie followed me; a taxi may have been involved in this. When we arrived at my house around 11:30 it seemed far too early for bed. Barry and Brett set up a tent in the back garden, as planned. (They would have had to sleep in the kitchen or the hall, otherwise.) We spent some time wibbling and generally messing about.

I try on Barry's coat (which seemed to fit)

I suggested that we watch a video, and after brief discussion/argument, the group chose Pulp Fiction from my rather small video collection. The living/dining room of my house is far too small for 7 people. Two people were able to sit on the sofa, two on chairs; Olivia and Brett sat on the floor and Nattie sprawled. Shadow was the first to fall asleep, and after some prodding he retired to the floor of my room. Olivia, the only one not to have seen the film before, remained alert. Brett fell asleep next. Several of us attempted to carry him out to the tent, but found some awkward corners along the way and decided to wake him up. Nattie seemed to be quite happy to doze on the floor. When the film ended at 2:40, I went to bed and Nattie went to sleep in the spare room, while Olivia, Barry and ccooke sat around talking for a further 40 minutes. Eventually Barry went out to the tent; Olivia and ccooke stayed in the front room..

20th June

By 9:30, I and all my guests were awake again. I think I may have been the last one to get up. I got busy making toast, coffee, tea, eggs, bacon, and lots of burnt crunchy bits for them. (Well, the burnt crunchy bits were actually for me to scrape away later.) Duncan, one of my housemates, briefly ventured into the kitchen to get some breakfast for himself, and quickly ran away again. I think he managed to sleep through the noise of the previous night.

I seem to have forgotten what else happened that morning. I do remember meeting Peter, and then Rob and Ailbhe, in Emmanuel College, in time for lunch. Some went to a pub, while others went to the Dôme café across the road from the college. After lunch, it was almost time for most people to go. Unfortunately, there were a large number of bags and other belongings back at my house. People moved on to the Castle pub, while I walked back and got a taxi to bring everything there. Then, when I got there, I discovered that I had missed Olivia's bag. In the hall there was a line of white carrier bags full of newspapers, and in my haste I'd failed to notice Olivia's off-white bag at the end of these. So I had to run home again and bring this last bag on my bike. Finally, I called more taxis to take people to the station, and had a chance to sit down for a moment, along with ccooke, Peter, Nattie, and I think someone else who disappeared shortly. The remaining four of us went to Peter's room again briefly. Then ccooke headed to the bus station, and the meet ended.

Ben Hutchings
Last modified: Fri Aug 25 19:31:59 GMT Daylight Time 2000