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A picture of grass

I am feeling optimistic. The reappearance of rabbits in my garden made a big difference. As a child, I enjoyed Richard Adams' Watership Down as much as my own children adore Harry Potter. So, any Southie who recognises the names Hazel, Fiver and Bigwig will grasp why leporine quadrupeds makes me smile. However, even the rabbits take second place to the prospect of a College Day and a Summer Ball.

As a proud and ambitious new College, we have been obliged to endure numerous constraints this year. As I write, the pandemic still leaves most of our community distributed across Britain and the world. The smaller group in residence are restricted to households. Social distancing and regular testing remain essential. That will be the case for several more months. At last though, the prospect of liberation looms.

On Thursday and Friday, Lee and I enjoyed meeting Richard and South College Ball Chair Alice Bathurst to discuss how we might make the Summer Ball unforgettable. Between the Hub and the Pond, and making full use of the Plaza, Pitcairn Building, and car park, we have a superb canvass on which to work.  Lights, music, great acts and superb food and wine...Alice and Richard are full of ideas and I know it will be special. Your Principal has simply promised to offer everyone a glass or two of champagne to launch the evening.

I have also been thrilled this week to read a new defence of free speech, one of our core South College values. The book, Free Speech and Why it Matters is by the comedian and columnist Andrew Doyle. He summarised his key themes in a piece for Spiked. You can read it here.

Keep safe and well wherever you are. We must be wise and patient but perhaps not for too much longer. Oswald sends his best wishes. I have warned him not to eat the rabbits. He did not listen.