Sunday, December 18, 2011

Exams, exuberance and exodus

These have been busy weeks in Newman House! Up until a few days ago, increasing numbers of residents had been setting up home in the library, with all manner of revision and essays being packed in, night after night. The work is, however, now done; the essays are in, the exam scripts have been sent off to… wherever exam scripts get sent off to, and people have begun leaving for Christmas. Very quickly. In the course of a few days, droves of our number have headed off for all sorts of fun in any number of countries, and Newman House is getting really very quiet. This morning’s mass was the last of the year, and those still in the House or area will have to go a little further afield until January.

Despite all the business and stress, there has been all manner of fun. The Apostolic Nuncio, who joined us for the Freshers’ Mass earlier in the semester, hosted a group of residents at the Nunciature in Wimbledon. They were treated to true diplomatic hospitality, and we look forward to a long friendship between Archbishop Menini and Newman House.

Everyone was dressed up to the nines for the black-tie Christmas Party on the 9th December. From the mulled wine and mince pies to the fine food courtesy of our own Heather, through to the display of, shall we say, skilled and energetic dancing, it was a brilliant night. We were even visited by Father Christmas himself, who was quickly assured that Fr Peter had indeed been a good boy all year!

Three months after moving into Newman House, we had the test of taste with Secret Santa, and all came up trumps. The tree did look like it was suffering after the Friday night, but I am told that it was tied to the wall more because of its venerable age. Of course, we also remember those alone or struggling especially so at this time of year, and all those who donated gifts to the Giving Tree appeal are thanked most warmly- they will be appreciated more than we will know.

(Pictures by Hannah, Eimear and myself)

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