Leaving Lewes Court


Ladies and gentlemen, this is a sad day. My tenancy ends this weekend, so I shall have to hand in my keys to the Porter (finding the Porter will be an exercise occupying me fully until then), load my possessions into the car – taking particular care with the Dalek, the Indian puppet and the ‘STORE CLOSING EVERYTHING MUST GO’ sign which I may or may not have stolen from a bankrupt shop – and steam back to a mundane life in Surbiton with no protests, no dodgy boilers and no absenteeism amongst the domestic staff.

However, there is just time for me to present some Edited Highlights of my time in Lewes Court:

The open season

A formal welcome from the Governor-General

After spending all day on Friday in frantic lawnmowing, litterpicking and sitepolishing mode, the University went into propaganda overdrive mode for Open Day.

One room in my flat was on show to prospective inmates, so to escape from my morning of being constantly disturbed by throngs of idealistic young Sixth Formers, one of m’colleagues and I pretended to be potential students and spent the morning as unofficial ‘mystery shoppers’ on an open day tour!

As well as being guided round my own flat, I was ushered into the Northfield social centre where vending machines offered me a Diet Coke for £1.20 and a Diet Coke for £1.30 – what a choice.

Such fun!

Testing times…

Exam (from invigilator’s point of view)

I know I probably shouldn’t treat exam security as a joke, but I’m going to anyway. Every time, the invigilators have scrutinised my ID card more carefully than a passport inspector – as if any outsider would want to sneak in and sit the exam voluntarily.

Before we started, the answer booklet advised us to “read the rubric carefully.” Not ‘guidance’. Not an instruction. A rubric. Whoever said that Sussex is an innovative university which sweeps aside tradition?

During the exam itself, an invigilator sidled up to my desk and lifted up my calculator, presumably to check that I didn’t have a sneaky copy of Plato’s Republic sellotaped to the bottom. (I didn’t. It was actually Hobbes’ Leviathan.) And worse, this guy looked exactly like Timothy West. Really, there should be a rule against invigilators looking like actors: it’s extremely distracting.

Looking back

I’m rather pleased with myself (As always. -Ed), because I’ve managed to convert the banana piano technology from last week into a disposable time-travel machine – all the buttons were made of kumquats – and zipped more than a century into the future before realising that it would have been a much better idea to sneak forward a few weeks and snaffle some exam answers.

Nevertheless, while I was in 2134, I managed to get hold of a brief sound recording which I’d like to share. So, without further ado:

In memoriam

So. Farewell
Lewes Court.

You were not
Complete with everything
I needed.
No hot water
And no Porter.

But you were where I

(By Gabriel Webber, aged 20¾)


  1. Lovely. Thank you, it brightened my day – particularly the 20 & 3/4. I got here, ICYAI, via Wales’ petition for Richard O’Dwyer.

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