Thursday, 2 October 2008


The former inhabitants of I3, Downing College (1999-2001) and I are getting together in the north at the end of this month. After those heady student days we have now all grown up and got married. One of us even has children! Punctuated by clunky prose blocks from me, this is how the I3-ites have arranged things...

Good evening, gents, if gents you be!
Oh won't you come and dance with me?
By "dance" I mean to come; to stay;
A winter's night to while away.
Around the time of Yule, perhaps?
Before another year hath lapsed;
Before another year is seen
Since we three dined on mush so green;
Since we three played our silly games
That overwrought our feeble brains.
My folks can lend accommodation,
Or at our house you may be stationed,
So if agreed that meet we should,
Let us discuss when would be good,
And when your fem'nine selves you'll yield
To seasonal joys of Huddersfield!

This invitation is so kind
It wakens memories in my mind
Of games we played and mush we ate
And evenings when we stayed up late.
At Christmas we may surely gather,
Or earlier, if James, you would rather:
October offers up a chance
For me to join this so-called "dance".
A week's leave I have yet to take
And could go north, for old time's sake,
Provided that this suits us all
Especially our host, dear Paul.
Tell me, you gents, if gents you be
If you concur or disagree.

[will the sourthern wives be joining us?]

It will be I, and I alone,
To sojourn at the Dyson home,
When to that hallowed hall I wend:
Roll on October's last weekend!

Okay, gents -- the time is fast;
the date is set; the die is cast.
So when you're here, where wouldst thou stay?
Knowing that you're nearly gay
Perhaps you'd share a sofa bed?
(there is another couch instead
if either of you feel alarmed
at lying in each other's arms)
but if you want more privacy
my parents' is the place to be.
Please, feel free, to quick-confer,
then tell me which you would prefer.

[I could get to Halifax for 7pm...]

Halifax station could be done,
but Huddersfield's the closer one.
As regards suggested time
the hour of seven will be fine.
May I assume that on arrival
you'll need be fed for your survival?

In the presence of such wit, I am practically mute. I expect I'll have something to say at the end of October, though.