Trinity term has thus far been almost pathetically beautiful. Near-unbroken sunshine has seen Primark raided of its entire stock of knock-off RayBans, £1 sunglasses enough to make people put such trivial things as Bangladeshi workers’ rights out of their minds. As punting, picnicking and prancing around on the lawns abound, the standard Oxford experience at the moment is one Aloysius short of actually being Brideshead Revisited.
However, much like in Waugh’s opus, the dark storm clouds lie not too far ahead, both metaphorically for those with finals approaching (or for first years who’ve been duped into thinking prelims are actually a thing), and literally, given the capriciousness of British summertime. As such, it’s important to make the most of this weather whilst it lasts, by getting drunk in the day.
However, bear in mind that there is a fine line between frivolity and tragedy: avoid crossing it by staying classy. If you’re a beer drinker, upgrade from a crate of Fosters to Fosters Gold, its barely distinguishable but nonetheless classier bottled cousin: there’s something more dignified about clinking bottles than crushing cans at 2pm.
Of course, the ultimate Oxford summer drink is Pimms, the delectably zesty liqueur to be served with chopped fruits and vegetables, sending you on your way to tipsiness and your five-a-day in one refreshing jug. Moreover, the genius advertising slogan ‘It’s Pimms O’Clock’ gives you a judgement-proof response when people ask you if it’s not a ‘bit early to start drinking’.
Usually drinking in the park is the preserve of the downtrodden and the chavvy. But by donning a pair of chinos and having a vaguely middle-class accent (which even the harshest northern tones have been sullied with after a couple of terms here) it suddenly becomes a thoroughly respectable and socially acceptable pastime. Enjoy this gaping loophole of hypocrisy whilst it lasts.