How I ruined the Corpus Christi Clock and other Cambridge tales

Yesterday I headed off to Cambridge to finally visit Dom who is reading history at The University of Cambridge. I knew it was going to be an entertaining trip based on the journey. When I arrived at Kings Cross there was a hand-written sign as you left the underground that said, “Please make sure to touch your oysters as you leave the station.” Being a Londoner I knew exactly what they meant but I think they could have worded it better for visitors…

Having been in a bit of a rush to leave I hadn’t had time for breakfast or lunch so I decided to get a sandwich from Upper Crust. They guy serving me immediately commented on the sheer size of my nose ring. Normally this involves someone feeling like they have right to make tutting, disparaging comments about my piercings but I quickly realised that he was fascinated rather than disgusted so I jokingly told him that I had quite a few tattoos as well. He of course didn’t believe me. I couldn’t let it go so I took off my coat and rolled up my sleeves and leggings and showed him, bringing the entire staff of said sandwich shop to a halt and leaving the growing queue unattended. I made such an impression that I was given a free apple for my journey. Take that, all the people who told me getting tattoos in visible places would be to my detriment.

On arrival Dom greeted me with great enthusiasm and after I dumped my stuff in his very cosy room we went on a bit of a wander around Cambridge. It really is absolutely gorgeous and very old and architecturally arresting.  I suppose it is exactly how you would imagine Cambridge to be. We checked out some of the colleges (Dom very proudly belongs to Caius), as well as some people who were punting and a magnificent library.

If you look behind me you will see some people punting

If you look behind me you will see some people punting

The crowning glory was the Corpus Christi Clock, which is a colossal gold-plated clock outside the Taylor Library that was famously unveiled by Prof Stephen Hawkins. It has a giant grasshopper alien thing on it that is supposed to be eating time. Now I am really sorry, but to me it looks a lot more like it is humping time. I stupidly pointed this out to Dom and forever ruined the clock for him.

Locust humps time... Abbi is clearly excited

Locust humps time... Abbi is clearly excited

After that we met up with Dom’s lovely friends, Abi, Olver and Owen for dinner at the halls. It seems there are two rounds of dinner, the first being finormal and the second being formal where you have to wear your cloak. It’s all terribly Harry Potter. We went to the second one. Check out the cloaks! I don’t think poor Owen was enjoying my random rambling though.

Oliver and Dom in their cloaks

Oliver and Dom in their cloaks

We then decided a drink or two were in order and went to find a pub. I once again pointed out my observations about the clock, this time to Abi, Oliver and Owen, ruining it for them as well. (I am worried that there is a warrant out for my arrest in Cambridge now). The pub was strangely quiet, although I suppose it was a Sunday night… well except for the very rowdy Germans in the corner.

Eventually we headed back to Dom’s room where he foolishly introduced me to a game called Peggle. I became obsessed and made him play with me until something ridiculous like 2am… despite the fact that I was actually pretty bad at Peggle.

Peggle shame!

Peggle shame!

Our morning was spent  checking out the main University Library that I was only allowed into on condition that I wouldn’t touch any of the books and then eating the most amazing waffles. Look at this baby… could you say no?

And in the morning, I'm making waffles!

And in the morning, I'm making waffles!

All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip and I would suggest to anyone who is able that adopting surrogate siblings and showing up at their uni to inspect is the way forward… anyone else want me to come and visit?

Super hugs to Dom for being such an amazing host and in particular for giving up his bed to me!


  1. Saoirse

    I remember the library form! It also says you’re not allowed to learn. Elitist, elitist Cambridge.

  2. Why is Dominic pointing at the table? “Look, real wood”??
    I remember going past that clock with mama on *cough* interview day *cough* and thinking it was some sort of gruesome prop from an overdone Gothic film 😛
    (Am also jealous that you got fun waffles. I had one with muesli. If I’d known ones like that existed… )


  3. Tash

    Dom has learnt the true waffle way. Last time I got sweet, he got savoury! Pfft, very un-hardcore!

  4. Abbi

    Saoirse… I can understand why they don’t want random non-Uni students touching their books. They are very valuable and for the use of the students.

    Sanna… I’m not sure why he was pointing… I think he might have been making a point of some variety… lolz… did you not read the waffle menu?

    Tash… I admit it… we were hogs… we had both…

  5. Jen

    It doesnt take much for me to experience uni-envy. If you come and visit my uni, you are in for neverending delights *cough*. For example, I’ll show you the lifts that are perpetually out of order, the Tower building that has clearly been built using Time Lord science (though its uglier on the outside, barely but just), the comfiest couches possibly ever, and the view from Building 2 which consists of the manicured lawns and castle like main buildings of Sydney Uni. Just to taunt us with our inadequacies. It’s very unfair. I am jealous of these distinguished university grounds! Sigh.

  6. Abbi

    Jen… I went to what was then Wits Tech, Auckland Park campus. Built in the 80’s in a style that could only be called “government lunatic accomodation chic”. I feel your incredible pain.

  7. Aww, you’ve been to Cambridge first instead of last. This means you’ve peaked in university beauty and tradition too early! Here you’d just get attacked by seagulls (it happened, and woah, was it scary) or activists. xxx

  8. Abbi

    I loved Cambridge and it was completely beautiful but I am rather eclectic as to my appreciation of aesthetics and you’ll be surprised by what I appreciate 😛

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