Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sunday, May 22, 2016 -

Caning Tales of Old Camford

by James Simpson
Published: Apr 23, 2016
Words: 23,987
Category: general
Orientation: F/F, M/F
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Allison was over the moon. She had been accepted into Camford as a graduate research student to read for a PhD. After a week she realised that her College was even more beautiful than she could have ever imagined. She wondered why she hadn't tried for a place as an undergrad, but realised she would have missed the liberating experience of her first rate Victorian red-brick. She had also experienced, albeit at a distance, life in a northern mill city, a far cry from her childhood in leafy Sussex. That alone might be useful in a future political career.

Still, her first class degree and a masters with distinction, together with a glowing recommendation from her professor to an old alumnus, had assured her of a research assistant fellowship at All Saints.

She had met her supervisor - Professor Alex Prendergast - yesterday; he had invited her for afternoon tea and his wife had produced a fine traditional English high tea. He was only in his early forties, strikingly handsome, with a brilliant incisive mind and was occasionally seen as a pundit on the BBC. He was smartly dressed in fashionable clothes, unlike most of his colleagues who either wore very formal but very well worn bespoke suits, or looked crumpled and almost unkempt in a tweedy way. Ally surmised that his ultra-elegant wife probably had a considerable influence on his appearance.

His wife Celia was at least ten years younger; she had been the first student he had supervised as a fellow. She oozed beauty, elegance and assurance in the manner that only those coming from old money could, but she had been very welcoming and friendly and only very slightly condescending. She had, however, made it quite clear to Ally that she was the only research student in Alex's life and any competition would be ruthlessly dealt with.

Allison was beginning to make friends and was enjoying the beauties of an Indian Summer afternoon in early October at the Double Blue, sitting in the beer garden with a couple of new girlfriends watching the oarsmen begin their early season training.

At her turn to buy the round, she was carrying the tray back when she was greeted with "Hi, Allison, enjoying Camford life?"

She turned round to see Professor Prendergast drinking with a rather handsome chum. She smiled and returned the greeting, but was moved along by three impatient men carrying the rugby team's beers to their table. She heard the ribald but highly complimentary comments about her legs and boobs and, mimicking the Welsh lilt of the most handsome, replied with, "In your dreams, boyo!"

On her return to her table, she commented that it was just like a scrum trying to get a beer.

Her friend Jane said, "Do you really know Prof Prendergast? He's regarded as one of the finest minds and a near certainty to become a College Master in a few years."

"Yes, he's my supervisor," she replied.