From cambridge life

Mega Muesli

Now that I am home, I have been having treats for breakfast — steamed buns and filled coconut rice rolls. This has been the only thing that has prevented me from going into Mega Muesli withdrawal. Mega Muesli is the best muesli in the world. I discovered it at Arjuna Wholefoods early on in my year at Cambridge and quickly graduated from a 1 kg pack, to a 2 kg pack. By mid-year, I was going into the shop for 4 kg packs of Mega Muesli every two months.

Brad was amazed that I bought the 4 kg packs.

“How can you?” he said, shaking his head. “I have to buy 500 g packs. I get one a week and I finish it. I can’t control myself. If there was a 4 kg pack in the house, I’d eat it all. Doesn’t matter how big the pack is — I’d eat it in a week.”

Damjan visited me in Cambridge every month or so. He generally took a pack of Mega Muesli with him on the 3.5 hour bus trip back to Oxford. During February, Damjan called the day before I was to visit him at Oxford.

“Joan, can you–”

“Bring some muesli?” I interrupted.

“Yes! How did you know?”

“I know what you like, Damo. I already bought it. Guess what it said on the poster board outside Arjuna when today?”


“Valentine’s Day: Say it with muesli!”

As Damjan began laughing, I added, “I’m saying it with 4 kg, the biggest there is!”

The final time Damjan visited to Cambridge, he came to help me pack to leave for a temporary move to Oxford. We stocked up with one final 4 kg muesli pack. We would have bought another pack but unfortunately, I had too much luggage.

I had talked to mum and dad on the phone about what I needed to bring home to Australia.

“Remember to bring any clothes you don’t want to wear anymore,” Mum reminded me.

Dad said, “Double check that you have your passport, driver’s licence, Aussie mobile phone, and plane ticket.”

Mum continued, “Bring your watch too so we can change the batteries. And, well…” Mum hesitated. “No, I guess you can’t… bring some muesli?”

“Probably not through quarantine,” I said, surprised that mum remembered the muesli from when they visited me in April.

“Ah well.” She sounded regretful. “That really was nice muesli. It had a good mix of nuts and fruit and things.”

Moving on

Yesterday, I handed in my dissertation. I’m happy with it. The thing I worried most about my research (and all my work at uni and as a consultant) is that I’ll write a report that says nothing new or useful, and that it will sit on a shelf somewhere gathering dust. I am, however, happy that I’ve said something interesting. Enough people have read it that I think that it might even be useful. So I have achieved everything I want from this year.

I said goodbyes. Many of those goodbyes were final. I’ve never said so many final goodbyes before. It was a strange, sad feeling.

After I gave in my work, Damjan and I packed up my room and much of the house. It took longer than I expected and I was frantic, worried it wouldn’t get done before we had to leave Cambridge. There were so many bits and pieces that I forgot I had — bank statements, chargers, computer warranties, souvenirs… But it all got done and as the taxi pulled up to the bus stop with two giant suitcases, a medium-giant backpack, a small backpack, and a shopping bag, my agitation melted away.

I am now at Damjan’s house with a cold but without any worries.

I will write again this week. Bye!

The middle of the end

The beginning of the end was when I tapped out my last paragraph and did a final proof-read.

The middle of the end is now. I printed my work and today, sent it to the binders.

The end of the end is next Friday, when I pick up my hard-bound, gold-crested, no-expense-spared dissertation and hand it in to the department.

Then it will be the beginning of the beginning all over again — except, thank goodness, for the five weeks of nothing of nothing in between!

Chopping block time

I’ve just finished my last paragraph of my dissertation. It means that the most difficult thinking is over. I am now up to editing, which essentially involves finding ways to delete a quarter of what I have written. Hopefully, that means the best work remains.


Scouting the Lakes

I do lots of fun things. Two weeks ago, I went to the Lake District (my second visit) to look around the town of Ambleside. The next batch of scholars are coming to Cambridge in September and will spend four days kayaking, hiking, and building giant newspaper towers at the Lake District.

Rachel, Tristan, Danielle and I hired a car and made the five hour trip north. We wandered the town, scoping out any pubs that could handle a hundred post-graduate students, visited the home of the ‘best gingerbread in the world’, put together a treasure hunt, and toured a countryside mansion. We spent the night at Ambleside YHA, which will be hosting the camp in September.

Here is the view ten metres from the front door of the YHA.

Windermere Lake