Turning Twenty-One, And Did I Mention I’m Twenty-One?

I’m twenty-one. :)

Friday night was the UCL Debating Society Foundation Dinner, where we all dress up for a black-tie dinner, and invite MPs to debate the motion This House Has No Confidence In Her Majesty’s Government (Tories proposing, Labour opposing) after that. It all sounds wonderfully civilized until they start accusing each other of shagging chickens on Clapham Common. Freedom of speech be praised.

On Saturday morning I was led stumbling and blindfolded through London to be temporarily deserted in Hyde Park in the rain while my friends ran off and hid. Once everyone had been found, we decided that a good lunch would be better than my further public humiliation, so we went to Magic Wok in Bayswater. My fortune cookie told me “You will grow old gracefully.”

I had meant to meet Nick after that for coffee, but ended up rather hideously late, and he left after waiting half an hour in the rain. I slunk home guiltily to find CDs (Goldfrapp as gift, Stereo MCs returned, and Kruder & Dorfmeister on loan) and a sweet unblaming note in my pigeon hole.

Dinner was at Navajo Joe’s, Ken’s treat. After a fleeting appearance at Russ’s sister’s party, we set off for The End, where Gilles Peterson, Peter Kruder, Layo and Bushwacka! awaited. From here, strange things happened to Ken, who’s either really having an existential crisis, or has read The New York Trilogy too many times.

For posterity’s sake, here’s a summary of the stuff that made up my twenty-first birthday:

Birthday serenades:

  • soon after midnight from the debaters
  • my family over the phone, with my father considerably out of tune and time
  • after lunch from the Singaporeans
  • after dinner from Russ and Ken
  • on Sunday from my hallmates

Birthday cakes:

  • chocolate topped with flakes of white and milk chocolate (lunch)
  • brownie nestled among votive candles (dinner)
  • chocolate jam sponge (Sunday)

A pleasantly manageable amount of alcohol.

Satisfyingly large (and expensive) meals.


Good friends who made time for me. Special mention to three in particular:

  • Esther and Shoop, for deciding I was too hopeless at planning anything, and taking it upon themselves to throw something together. They’re darlings.
  • Russ, for bravely facing physical exhaustion, acute work crisis, and large levels of inconvenience and expense to be that often quiet but always appreciated presence nearby at the debate, the lunch, the dinner and the club. Thanks to him for being wonderful and then some.

I’m twenty-one. :)