It was an amazing place to live as a student, sort of like Hogwarts - a "city" only in name, because it has a magnificent cathedral, but smaller than most towns, and centred around a wooded historical peninsula.
It has a castle too - which is one of the colleges that make up the university.
|Yeah, we we're a privileged bunch in EVERY sense...|
Durham was where I did my degree, and though I never rowed, the rowing teams were a very visible part of college life. I certainly knew where the college boat house was.
Durham was where I first discovered that I liked Indian food. It was where I first got drunk (I was a slow starter with a sheltered childhood, okay...). It was where I found LOADS OF FRIENDS who I felt I really had things in common with for the first time in my life. I joined the Games Society, ran my own Call of Cthulhu games, and I started LARPing.
I got laid at last (TOLD you I was a slow starter!). I lost my religion.
|Oh the relief|
I've still got many of those friends. I'm married to one of them right now. And I still LARP ...
|... which is quite frankly one of the reasons I need a bigger house|
As I prepare to move house now, in 2018, I'm aware that I don't really attach to places I live. I won't feel sad about moving home - I'm excited by the change. Durham was an exception to that rule, perhaps the only one in my adult life. Leaving in 1989 was difficult and unpleasant, and I don't think I got over it or properly detached for years.
In Appreciation of their Cox is mostly a joyous gangbang story about fit young people - no, I did NOT do that at university, sorry to disappoint y'all - but it's also a nostalgic elegy to a place I will always love and a meditation on letting go.