This may surprise you somewhat, but life outside of London does actually exist. After a long 8 weeks of autumn term (punctuated by one weekend back home with my family) it was brilliant to get away this weekend for the Christian Union-Christian Medical Fellowship weekend away in Surrey. We go away every year to spend some time relaxing, playing ridiculous game (read on for details), roaming around the countryside and of course reading the Bible together. The weekend away is one of my highlights of every year and I’m so sad that this was probably my last one!
The weekend began with trying to cram a sleeping bag, roll mat, pillow, towel, welly boots, clothes and the all important Tupperware of cookies into the smallest possible bag. Eventually I gave in and packed everything into a suitcase (Yes, I am the girl who takes a suitcase to a weekend away). I then met up with a couple of other CU buddies and we took the overground out to Clapham Junction where we met up with everyone else. It was a quick train ride to Farnham and then we walked over to the church where we were staying for the weekend. There were about 30 of us altogether and we enjoyed everyone’s homemade cakes and a cup of tea whilst waiting for the next trainload of people to get there. Introductions were made, songs were sung and beds were set up and then it was time for the traditional first night games. Admittedly, I was knackered by this point and so I skipped out but I am told that wheelbarrow races to collect marshmallows in your mouth occurred.
The next day we had a full English breakfast (many thanks to our cooks, friends from our churches in London who got up at 5am to come out for the day on Saturday and cook for the whole group!) and then settled in for a packed day of reading the Bible, thinking about how it applies to our lives as students at Imperial and of course, having cake and coffee breaks. On Saturday afternoon, we went for a lovely walk in Farnham, despite the wind and drizzle! It’s weird how much you appreciate something as simple as a brisk country walk when most of the time you are either at Imperial, at home or travelling between the two. We took plenty of photos and then bundled back to the church for another meeting and dinner. On Saturday night we played more games, including chubby bunnies (for anyone not in the know, this involves putting marshmallows in your mouth one by one and saying ‘chubby bunnies.’ Whoever has the most marshmallows in their mouth and is still able to say it clearly wins. It was fairly disgusting by the end), sinker/floater (A CU classic whereby various fruits and vegetables are dropped into a pan of water and each team can win points by correctly guessing whether it will sink or float – don’t ask me where this one originated from, I only know that it’s been played on the weekend away since way before my time!) and a quiz involving an Imperial trivia round. I always intend to get plenty of sleep in on these weekends but when you’ve got over 10 excited girls all sleeping in the same room and coming in at different times, that never happens. Sunday morning was a subdued affair, with pretty much everyone suitably sleep deprived and eating breakfast in a zombified state.
We concluded our weekend by spending some time in groups, reflecting on what we’d learnt and thinking a bit more about what it means to be a Christian and to study our respective subjects. A bunch of people hung around in Farnham for a pub lunch but I was one of the boring ones who took the early train home to fit in a nap and a shower before church that night.
London is one of the great loves of my life but it’s so refreshing to get out of the city every now and then and remember that fresh air and mud and green grass do exist. Now time to bash out the final weeks of term and hand in that last (enormous) piece of coursework before heading home for the hol. I can’t wait.
(By the way, thank you student blogs team for picking one of the less cringey photos of me to go on under my name – I assure you that I did a number of poses during the photoshoot which I’m glad did not end up on the internet!)