I went down to The Arch climbing centre in London on Saturday for the last of the four London University Bouldering Event, along with 7 others (2 teams of 3, 2 individuals). I had climbed all of twice this term, me finally being tired of Kelsey Kerridge and so thoroughly uninspired I actually can go for weeks without climbing. So I went down yesterday really just for the fun of it. And it was great fun, the problems were nice, and I was actually quite amazed that I managed to flash as many as I did (10/25 routes) and finished 2 on second attempts. It was a pretty shitty score compared to everyone else, but I had fun (: LUBE runs on quite a different competition format from what I was used to in Singapore, but it was the second time I was participating in LUBE (I went for the one at the same location last year as well) and it was much more like climbnival back in Singapore, and had 3 hours to complete the 25 problems in our own time. I really miss climbing in a nice gym with a stimulating and exciting vibe. Did a soup run in the evening, intended to have somewhat of an early night, but ended up staying up late watching Big Bang Theory on YouTube.
Then there was mixed netball cuppers on Sunday, which is just an Oxbridge term for inter-college matches. But it's somehow different from inter-college league matches in some way I know not. We played 4/5 matches, and it was quite reminiscent of rgs netcarn. Again, results wise we weren't great; Peterhouse is a tiny college with a small pool of players to draw from (even with mixed instead of ladies netball), and we're accordingly quite crappy at most team sports. But I think that was one of the nice things about Peterhouse, that you don't have to be good to play sports, so everyone can take part if they want to. And it's great fun, even though there are dejecting times when the opposite team scores continually (we celebrate if we score even one goal).
And I realised that that was going to be the last time probably, that I would ever get to play team sports. After graduation, even if I were to stay in graduate school, depending on where I would be and what the culture of the place is like and how much work I would have etc, I may/may not get to join in for team sports. I've never been particularly keen on team sports, cos I'm not particularly good at any, but it's been really nice being able to play at a low level in rg (netball), rj (floorball) and Peterhouse (netball, and like, 2 football matches or something). There's that feeling of camaraderie and belonging to a team, an us vs. them thing that gets feelings and emotions running high. I love climbing, and hiking and kayaking and all that, and they do make me really happy and excited and all, but they're totally different kinds of positive emotions that I can't quite explain.
So it seems that as you grow older, the harder you have to work to stay in a team or a group. Cos you can always find local groups to join, or perhaps at your workplace, but it'll no longer be as easy or convenient as when you're in school. I still really miss being in the handbell ensemble, and the hardcore trainings of odac. Just the feeling of belonging to a special, small group of people I guess.
Then there was the weekly visit to the residential home in Cambridge (called Hope Residential & Nursing Care Home), that I've been going to every Sunday in Lent together with the St Vincent de Paul Society from Fisher House. As I sit there trying to engage the residents, it just made me incredibly aware of our own human frailty and the transience of youth. It makes me wonder what I will be like 40, 50, 60 years down the road, if I am not called to God before that. I don't ever want to send my parents to a nursing home, not because they are gloomy, cheerless places. Hope is really pretty nice, and perhaps a pretty nice place to live in at my age (a TV in my room all to myself, meals prepared and served to me 3/4 times a day, someone else cleaning my room and doing my laundry, and I'm left to my own devices most of the day...). I suppose it depends on the individual, but being on my own, even now, I can easily get into bouts of moodiness and isolating loneliness, and probably even more so when I'm old, even more brooding and unable to go out and do things. So no, I never want to send my parents to a place like that, and I never want to go to a place like that myself.
Last week, before going to Hope, I cycled past a couple of police cars and ambulances which were surrounding this body that was wrapped up. I had earlier gone past this same body lying in a doorway, and had assumed the guy was sleeping. It was fairly chilling and disturbing, and again made me wonder how I'll leave this earthly dwelling.
Anyway, I went back to Fisher House after Hope, for a session of Saints and Scones to learn a bit about the doctors of the church (we have 36 apparently, the last one declared just a few weeks ago), and then on to Trinity Evensong to hear Fr Kevin, our former chaplain, preach (and he spoke about Caravaggio's The Calling of St Matthew, the first time I've ever had a piece of art explained to me in such detail). Before going for a fairtrade formal at Peterhouse, and then back to Fisher House to catch the last bits of a Lenten concert.
|Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio: The Calling of St Matthew. Image taken from Wikipedia|
I don't usually go into such detail about what I've been doing, but I guess for memory's sake.