The Grasshoppers convened at 8.55am for their hebdomadary (not seminal) BUCS league fixture, which on this occasion was taking place in Nottingham. 17 minutes flew by, and before we knew it, we were changing trains at Ely train station, proud winner of the 1987 National Rail Best Medium-Size Station Award. The proceeding 2 hours up to Nottingham passed without much incident: Aleks was practicing his French, Jonny A drew a few diagrams, Gunn rang his mother and feigned interest, and Jonny H found that his sandwich was a little mayonnaise-heavy, although he consoled himself by listening to Fetty Wap’s back catalogue. We arrived to find the ambient temperature of the playing arena a little on the warm side, but I digress: back to more important matters. Gunn had packed the weight of an adolescent hippopotamus in pesto pasta, while Mardinian had apparently been living with a tribe of monkeys and taken a week’s supply of bananas as a souvenir. The two Jonnies instead went for Sainsbury’s meal deals. JA chose Walker’s Salt and Vinegar as his snack, while JH went for Skips in an attempt to recreate his primary school days when he was actually good at tennis. Gunn and JH faced up to Nottingham’s number 1 pair, which consisted of a cheap Marcos Baghdatis tribute act, and a bloke with thinning hair. Unfortunately, the Cambridge duo had been influenced by River Island’s underwear policy, and offered no returns under any circumstance. Fashioning one break point in the whole match was never going to be enough and one break in each set was enough for Nottingham’s bandana bandit and his wispy comrade to come through, 6-4 6-3. It was a similar story for Aleks and Jonny A at number 2 doubles, going down by an identical scoreline as though it had suddenly become cool to accumulate only 7 games. Jonny H changed his top for his singles match at 4 against the bald fella. Out went the promotional t-shirt for Catz Ski Trip in favour of a more traditional polo. At first it didn’t work, as Jonny’s mind was on chocolate log and he fell 4-1 behind. Something changed, as he entered a spell of clinical ruthlessness usually only displayed by H. Hall in Ballare (new haircut – watch out ladies). A 6-4 6-0 win, with Jonny H handing out a bagel, as well as the phone number for Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant clinic. Afterwards, Jonny attempted to chat with his opponent about their season so far, but he regrets to inform the readers that he has had more meaningful conversations with a brick wall. Gunn was the next to finish, having made the jump from light-welterweight to heavyweight by virtue of finishing his tub of pasta. The Cypriot wannabe was no match for the Gunn-slinger, as the Cambridge number 1 was victorious 6-2 6-4, notching up a personal low count of two swear words. Well done, James. Reason for victory: although both players had Yonex rackets, only Gunn had Yonex shirt, shorts, socks, and shoes also. Jonny Ayres was playing the Nottingham captain, a man once described by yours truly as ‘a couple of fuses short of a full circuit.’ Ayres started both sets with disdain for the concept of winning points, and fell 4-0 down. On both occasions he recovered to 4-4 before rediscovering the aforementioned disdain and succumbing 7-5 6-4. I’m sure Jonny’s opponent would have looked pleased with himself were he not blessed with the emotional range of a bedside cabinet. Which left Aleks, battling through the pain of a Repetitive Strain Injury to his wrist and playing only slice backhands. His opponent was a man once described by yours truly as ‘having fallen out of the stupid tree, and bumped his head on every branch on the way down’. Aleks is prone to muttering under his breath in his mother tongue of French, while his opponent did the same, only in Caveman. After a weak first set, Mardinian pulled through 1-6 6-3 6-2.