The Odeon on Oxford Road, shortly before the end. My first night at university was a disaster. The hall (St. Anselm's Hall, or 'Slems' to alumnus, in a further attempt to create an Oxbridge atmosphere) opened up the bar to welcome the new first years inside its doors. This sounds like a great idea, and for most, it probably was, but sadly, I meekly fell in with a bunch of people on my corridor who by the end of the night were openly calling me a 'trainspotter'. This was not exactly what I had in mind. Monday fared little better. After a day at the Computer Science building (now the Kilburn Building, of course; that afternoon, Tom Kilburn came in and spoke to us) in blessed anonymity, it was time to face the bar again. The girls of sister hall Ashburne came over to sample the delights of our bar. If the previous night was depressing, this was torture. Goodness knows what I was expecting; a group culled from memories of Angela Chase, Rory Gilmore and Joey Potter, probably. You see why I fared a touch better in America. By the end of the night, my feelings of inadequacy were total. I couldn't see myself lasting the week. On Wednesday afternoon, even the safety of the CS department was taken from me. They held a 'wine and cheese' afternoon so everybody could settle in and get to know each other. But the cliques had already formed and I was left with nowhere else to go except the Arndale Centre and the Northern Quarter. Solace in my record collection. But Wednesday wasn't finished with me yet. I wasn't going to go to the St. Gabriel's Hall Bop (I did mention Oxbridge, didn't I?). My experience on Monday was enough to know that I would spend the night alone and hating myself, flushing red whenever I had the misfortune to accidentally glance at a girl. However, Greg persuaded me to go with him (this was before the famous "Ian Goes To A Young Conservatives Meeting' that swiftly ended that association). It was awful. As expected, I sat alone for the the whole thing. Everybody else was having fun and dancing. I sat and brooded. About how I wished I could be like them, rather than antipathy, I might add. Twenty minutes from the end, she sat down. I can still remember how she just appeared in front of me, rubbing a can of Diet Coke across her forehead and saying how worn out she was. Helen and I talked until the end of the Bop; about music, the courses we were talking, Maine Road, nothing and everything. I went back to St. Anselm realising that she could have sat anywhere amongst the empty seats, but she didn't. She sat with me. It was going to be okay. Nothing happened, possibly because I was An Idiot, but it was enough; the nights spent talking about NME covertapes, the first of many copies of OK Computer, laughing at the hypnotist at the ball, chance meetings in the street, and all the rest. But I should have probably danced more. Then, in due course, the Table formed; a chance meeting in the snooker room with The Stone Roses' Second Coming of all things, brute-forcing The Kevin Bacon Game, alt.blake-isms, Scream, Scream 2, Grosse Pointe Blank, the epic Titanic viewings, a £2.99 Best of New Order tape, the family tree of Richard O'Brien, drinking a pint of mild with Mark Radcliffe, seeing Kenickie bathed in glitter, and countless other weird and wonderful events. Here's to Oxford Street and The Mancunian Way. Aside from the muggers.