Magdalen Ball

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Credit: EIBN Photography

Another day, another ball. Oxford in Trinity term has a bit of a travelling circus feel about it – it seems that every weekend the bands of performers, fortune tellers, firework technicians, magicians, tentists and fairy floss vendors just bundle up shop at one college and trundle over to the next (there’s a surprising mileage on those swing boats). Magdalen’s June Ball was themed ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’; the same as Brasenose and at least a couple of other colleges (I suppose the options are somewhat limited. ‘Taming of the Shrew’ Ball doesn’t have quite the same romantic ring to it…). Neatly ensconced between my 1st and 2nd week of exams, it was a welcome break from the stresses of study. For one evening, my only stress was trying to drink and eat my ticket’s worth of cognac and cake pops. And getting a few nice photos before my eyes took on a drunken glaze.

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Credit: Romain Reglade

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Trinity Term Highlights

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Worcester Garden Party (credit: Simon Mendelsohn), Summer VIIIs (credit: Cesar Manivet) 

Of the 3 terms (Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity – I know, I know, they sound more like the names of 3 Dickensian orphans), Trinity was by far the most intense for me. 7 tutorials in 3 weeks (each requiring a critical essay, intelligent discussion and therefore bringing a fresh set of heart palpitations), a month of rowing training leading up to the week-long Summer VIIIs regatta, and the looming threat of exams in 9th and 10th week. As my final term in Oxford, I also felt the pressure to sign up for every event, lest I leave a single ‘Oxford experience’ stone unturned. It’s a great point of smugness that I didn’t hunker down in bookish misery until the end…so determined was I to experience this place in all its spring- and summertime glory. Seasonal delights include:

Garden plays

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Magdalen Players (credit: Clarie Holubowskyj)

The Magdalen undergrad’s performance of ‘A Flea in Her Ear’ was held in the President’s garden. It’s definitely something special to see a performance where the stage wings are topiarised and your view is partially obscured by irises.

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A Very Oxford Week


PCBC Pimm’s Party (photo: Fashion Biscuits)

First week of Trinity term kicked off with the Pembroke College Boat Club Pimm’s Party, which fulfilled all of my ‘preppy University experience’ wishes. Back in my undergrad days at Sydney Uni, I used to wear this cute knock-off Ralph Lauren blazer around campus, which was pretentious enough to land me in the banner photo of the university website, but also meant that I fielded incredulous, “Why are you wearing your school blazer?” inquiries at least twice a day. But at Pembroke, the students donned their boat blazers and cuffed chinos with gay abandon. Of the pictures below, 1 is from the event, and 2 are Ralph Lauren ads. Can you guess which is which?

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