An Anniversary

Tomorrow I’m off to Cambridge to celebrate an anniversary – it will be 25 years in October since I left home to go to University (please don’t do the maths..). My old college – Newnham – celebrates its foundation with an annual Commemoration Dinner, and women (it’s still, proudly, a women-only college) with special anniversaries (25 years, 50 years, 60 years and 70 years) get a special invite.

As you can imagine, it’s an exciting occasion – there is a big dinner, with speeches and wine and masses of chat, and our Suffragette banner (stitched by students in 1908) will be on display:

Banner card

Let me tell you, there is nothing like being in a room full of hundreds of women, all talking and laughing. I know that as soon as I hear that noise I will be transported back 25 years to the nerves I felt at my first big dinner in College Hall, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, all of whom seemed to want to know my A-level results!

Quite a few of my old friends will be there too, which will be wonderful, and I’ve been looking out photos to take with me, so we can have a good old reminisce, like the middle aged ladies that we are…


Here’s me and some friends graduating in 1991 (I’m the small one at the front)…

Just seeing the beautiful buildings and gardens brings back wonderful memories of the freedom and excitement I felt when I finally escaped the restricting life of school and home (much as I loved my family) and create my own space. This weekend I will definitely be raising a glass or two to toast Newnham, and the life-enhancing times I had there.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend too!

32 thoughts on “An Anniversary

  1. I didn’t realise you went to Cambridge. I was at Churchill. Great place to study isn’t it! It must have been wonderful to go back and reminisce.

  2. I was at the (then) all women St Hugh’s in Oxford about the same time as you were at Newnham. There is something very, very special about an all women academic environment, and when my college admitted the first few men in my second year, we immediately noticed a change in the atmosphere. It was still a lovely place to be but felt less relaxed. Hard to describe really. Anyway, I hope you’ve had a wonderful reunion – I missed mine a couple of years back and rather regret that now!

  3. Awww, Newnham is a lovely college – I went to Sidney Sussex myself (graduated last June) so I hope formal is fun!! It’s wonderful to know after 25 years you’re still part of that community and I hope you have a fantabulous time 🙂 Also, I love your blog!!

    1. Thank you Emily! I had a wonderful time. The great thing about Cambridge colleges is the sense of community they foster. 🙂 I always loved that beautiful wisteria outside Sidney Sussex.

  4. Oh my word you have just made me feel old as i felt it necessary to count back the years too. I left Homerton in 1990 and yet it feels like yesterday. Enjoy Cambridge, to me it is still one of the most magical places on earth.

    1. Kay we must have been contemporaries – perhaps we passed on Hills rd now and again. 🙂 It was especially magical today in the lovely spring weather. I resisted the urge to go punting 😉

  5. It sounds wonderful, I’m off to Cambridge myself next weekend, for my son to visit – now that does make me feel old!

  6. Enjoy yourself and feel proud of your achievements. Looking forward to reading all about it. It is great to catch-up and reminisce.

    1. Thanks Jane. I look back on those times with such happiness, they were the foundation for how I live my life now, really. I wish students today got a bit more of that space and freedom…

  7. I hope you have a wonderful weekend celebrating this anniversary! Sounds like it will be lots of fun and I imagine there will be lots to catch up on with your old friends about what has happened in your lives over the last 25 years!

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