Sunday, May 03, 2009

May Day Weekend in Studentland

As I drove away from David's house in Headingley yesterday, I suddenly noticed that everyone everywhere was in fancy dress.

Of course, it was the one occasion that I hadn't brought my camera - - but anyway, I was driving along a main road out of Leeds centre, there was lots of traffic and it would have been hard to stop.

As the traffic moved slowly along, I had plenty of time to observe the crowds on either side of the road as they passed me by on their way to the City Centre.

Headingley is the main student area of Leeds. There are two universities: the University of Leeds and the Poly. Well, it used to be the Polytechnic. Then it became Leeds Metropolitan University. Now I think it's gone all cool and is known as Leeds Met. Anyway, two universities - - lots of students. I presume that they were all headed for some kind of May celebrations.

There were many recurring themes in the fancy dress. A lot of doctors and nurses. Quite a few Thunderbirds. A large number of Britney Spears-type schoolgirls. A really rather excessive number of zombies. A number of people who looked quite normal to me - - but then I realised that they were dressed as students from the Seventies - - and I was a student then! That's how students looked in those days.

Then there were quite a few that I just wanted to stop and ask "What have you come as?" What was the orange wig, the bare chest and the bare feet all about?

There did seem to be a number of girls who were dressed as for a Tarts and Vicars party but I didn't see any vicars so you'll have to draw your own conclusions.

Someone, somewhere, is probably even now writing a PhD thesis on "The current obsessions of the late teens/early twenties age group as reflected in the choice of clothing for a Fancy Dress Party."

I didn't see a single astronaut, which makes me rather sad.

Further up Headingley Lane, past the Skyrack and the other pubs, most of the fancy-dressed students were on the left hand side of the road. The right hand side there is all big old Victorian houses and driveways leading up to them.

I looked to the left - - a big crowd of merrymaking students.

I looked to the right - - and, to my surprise, as in a sudden snapshot, I saw a fox. A large dog fox with a blood-covered rabbit in his mouth.

I looked at the fox: he looked at me. He looked at the students. I'm pretty sure he shook his head.

Then he went on his way, and so did I.


Anonymous Milo said...

Enjoyed the vignette of student days! As an exchange student in the US I remember fancy dress parties. Less so from my UK days. Somewhere, and lord only knows where, there's a photo of me at a US house party where we were all in fancy dress. I'm wearing jam-red tight trousers, a bright yellow shirt, glasses with a plaster holding them together, and my hair is oiled back and parted in the middle. Am also wearing some kind of tie or bow tie. I think it was a 'Marty McFly' look, from Back to the Future. Fond memories!

5:49 pm  

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