Thursday, 23 June 2011

Bumps etc.

Hello everybody! Sorry about the disgustingly long time since the last blog post *mutters something about exams*. But that doesn't matter now as they're OVER and then there was BUMPS and a prolonged period of time pissing around in BLAZERS eating icecream. And I am currently drinking mango juice. Life is good.

So yes bumps. That involves rowing! The title of my blog is no longer misguided and slightly ironic! Woo! :D It's been two years since I've rowed on the Cam, give or take a couple of head races and it was nice(ish) to be back. For one, we only suffered c. 3 swan attacks. Hurrah!

This is the now legendary Stalin/Mr Asbo. He goes by many names, but one thing is constant, namely the fact he is an utter bastard. His plan of attack comes in two stages:
1) We row past him. He attempts to bite seven's blade/our cox. (This once led to a hilarious over the head crab from our seven girl as she attempted to pull in her blade while rowing.)
2) Once clear he sits around a bit then takes flight (in that rather loud honky way that swans do) and dive bombs our cox. Rather funny if this happens to any other boat (especially if it's full of squeal-y girls) but 15kg of irate swan intent on your death flying full pelt towards you is not very pleasant.

Apart from unnecessarily aggressive aquatic life, one of the other mysteries of the Cam is why the fuck lower boat men (it is mainly them) think it's a good idea to row around topless.
Now I don't mean to sound all snobby, but there is something about the
1) Poor quality of rowing
2) General weediness
3) WHITE PASTY (then horrendously sunburnt) FLESH
that means I don't find this spectacle particularly appealing. Reason (1) is surprisingly important - you look much more of a douche while being an exhibitionist if you're doing said activity appallingly badly.

I seem to remember Magdalene M2 being particularly guilty of this.

Oh god the horror.

Therefore for future reference I have created the following instructive flow charts:

Hope that clears up any confusion.

That said, when my eyes weren't being burnt out my head by WHITE PASTY FLESH, my term on the Cam was actually really good fun. I mean, they start bumps races with cannons. As in fucking CANNONS :D :D
Fucking cannons! (Pinched from the First and Third website)
Very exciting. There's a four minute then a one minute gun, and everyone is counting down with stopwatches and you get pushed out from the bank with a big pole by your boatman and there's a chain thing the cox has to hold and IT'S REALLY EXCITING. Here is a dramatisation of me at the start. Note the fucking amazing Oakleys. They are important.

However, the bumps campaign of Pembroke W1 didn't quite go to plan, being bumped off the headship on Day 1 by a really-very-good Downing crew. We'll get you next year you bastards :-)

Oddly enough, my favourite photo of me + bumps is this gem:
By Martin Buttress. Lots of good bumps photos here.
Christine (Stroke): "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!"
Georgie (7): "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!"

Rage face indeed!

I am pleased to reveal that Downing scratched their (bloody fit IMO) black Filipi on our 7 rigger. Such is bumps.

Obligatory Downing Headship photo. Nicely done guys. (CCRC)
In the spirit of the carnage of the lower divisions, the award for the worst parking post bump must go to this Christ's crew:
"Oh shit, it's meant to be parallel to the bank isn't it? Fuck." (CCRC again)
Even more exciting is the fact there is a spanner spotter video of the subsequent carnage this caused here. Yes, Christ's not only are positioned like morons but back it down into the oncoming crews too. Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

Award for the best lycra goes to Girton. I respect you guys.

Second place goes to Churchill for their monstrosity in hot pink :-)
Rather creepily lifted from their website. I couldn't find a rowing one that did this one piece justice :D
If anyone is able to orchestrate a kit swap which anyone from Churchill so I can get hold of one of these, FFS email me and I'll reward you with drawings and chocolate! Churchill people: I will swap minty kit for one of these :D

So yes, that was Bumps. Only other non-boring news is that I have a PhD place for next year in The 'Bridge (which is double-y good as I had no plan B whatsoever...) The obvious course of action upon finding out this knowledge was to buy a MSci gown and make swish noises while wearing it. BECAUSE I CAN :-)

So pointless, but SO VERY GOOD :-)

In true May week style, I also saw a piano-attached-to-a-punt nearly crash into a bridge. Then we threw dry ice into the Cam and watched the resulting weird smoke stuff engulf several (non orchestra-carrying) punts. Then I wore a blazer and drunk Pimms and danced a bit and fell over a few times. Cambridge is fucking ace. 


  1. You mean THE Filippi where the rowers weren't even allowed to put water bottles into the foot well without a bottle sock???

  2. There's something about Girton's kit that makes me think it would be even better if they wore armour with it. Like, full plate mail. And if the cox could quote Richard III as much as possible.

  3. Love this post!!!

    Also CONGRATS on the PhD next year! :) :) :) fantastic news.

    So soon (once Mayweek is over) you will have time over the summer to read all of those books in your massive piles of books, right? ;)

  4. I LOVE the shall I row topless guide... this needs to be printed, laminated and handed out at every single Captains' meeting next year and should be displayed at every boat house. Love it :-) (ps... did I mention you're AMAZING?)

  5. @Anonymous: Yes, THAT Filippi :D

    @Warrick: Girton lycra with plate armour underneath would quite possibly be so amazing that a singularity is formed in Cambridge which would eventually create a black hole. For this reason, maybe it's not such a good idea :-)

    @Eudoxia: Yes! I completely forgot to include a photo of my pile of books! Noooooooo

    @Babycakes: If this happened, the Cam would certainly be a much nicer place :-)

  6. YAY! The swearing is back - more please :-D

  7. Looking for suggestions on how to top this year's kit....

  8. @Anonymous2: Are you from Girton? How to make that kit better.... hmmm. Maybe do something to the bottom half? So it looks like armour or something? (Or is that a bit too Godfery-centurion-lycra).

    Or hi viz. Can't go wrong with that! :D

  9. Rowing topless is banned on the Henley stretch thankfully!

    Is there some sort of bumps race open for club crews? It sounds like fun . . .

  10. Get an eight together and try and enter town bumps? Don't know if it'd be allowed, but might be worth checking. Or trying to sub into an existing crew? I have honestly no idea...

  11. I only have one critique for this post. According to your drawing, M2 are rowing way unrealistically in time. Look at those identical body angles!

  12. Woo, honourable mention! That onesie will never get traded, even if it might fetch something way out of its league :p