28th May 2024

A Letter from the Master of Peterhouse


Dear Petreans,

It is that time of year when a passer-by might catch the waft of wild herbs from the balconies of St. Peter’s Terrace, and when the daffodils in the Deer Park (bereft of deer due to the latest CRG guidance) bloom more colourfully than Gerald the Porter’s language on a Crystal Palace matchday.

Notwithstanding the seasonal cheer, I have remained focused on addressing the significant uncertainty associated with the Indian variant – which, experts tell me, is not in fact a Brunch special in the Servery (though one can doubtless catch it from many such specials). Junior Members will observe that the College does not currently permit indoor social meetings with non-members. Considering the flurry of complaints I have received from the JCR, it is not as if any of you get out much anyway.

Last week, one particularly sociable and well-adjusted Peterhouse undergraduate scrolled down my Twitter feed, with the intention of finding out if I had myself hosted external guests. Such ill-considered inquisitorial sniffing is to be expected from the editors of The Cambridge Student, not Peterhouse undergraduates.

In any case, I am quite happy to confirm that I recently hosted my dear friends Prince Andrew, Dominic Cummings, the members of Maneskin, and Kyle Walker at the Master’s Lodge. It was such a delight to hear Kyle play Vivaldi’s Gardenia suite on our Ballare fortepiano before attending his spellbinding concert at Camerata Musica. We all later changed into our Peterhouse-crested satin onesies and discussed our shared excitement at the prospect of a new European Super League.

Over a few tinnies chez moi, the Fellows composing the Covid Recovery Group assured me that there was nothing wrong about all of this. I live in the Master’s Lodge via an informal squatting arrangement, and there is simply no connection between the building and Peterhouse – although the name and uniformed catering staff may give that deceptive impression (this said, the Peterhouse community as a whole must take responsibility for the sweat stains Prince Andrew left on the William Morris wallpaper*). I also hasten to add that Kyle Walker is not an external non-Peterhouse guest, but an Honorary Fellow of the College for his services to the beautiful game.

I have since been informed, however, that the Indian variant poses no threat to the Peterhouse community, and that we should not let it impede our social lives. The College has revised its Visitor Policy accordingly. Junior Members are now allowed to host external visitors, as long as they can play the piano. Visitors should be met in Grantchester Meadows, and must avoid using any household’s communal bathroom. To facilitate this, visitors in need of toilet paper may collect the printed minutes of the Covid Recovery Group.

Phouse love,

The Master xox

* Following legal complaints, the Master wishes to clarify that, owing to a traumatic incident during the Falklands War, Prince Andrew cannot sweat. The stains were of a different kind.