We had a rare family day out yesterday. We all went to Ely Cathedral for a day of pomp and circumstance – my husband’s graduation ceremony, where he was awarded an Open University degree. (Apart from anything else, it was nice to see him and my two sons wearing their smart suits without there being a hearse in the background!)
|The boy done good|
We were so proud of him and cheered loudly when his name was called out and he stepped nervously on to the stage. BSc. Wow! Anyone reading this from Mayfield Primary School? That’ll teach you to write off a seven-year-old! He may have been a late bloomer, but he has really made up for lost time. It just goes to show that it’s never too late to start learning. You just have to be willing to take a chance and go for it.
There were people of all ages and from all walks of life amongst the graduates. The OU has at last shrugged off its ’70s image of beardy professors droning on in the middle of the night. It is a modern, vibrant university and truly is an open organisation. Long may it continue.
The cathedral grounds were littered with groups of families and friends taking photos of their own star of the day, decked out in academic gowns. But in one corner of the gardens there was a clutch of, what, tramps? Down-and-outs? I don’t know what you’d call them. But they were grubby and shabby and sharing a huge bottle of cider. I couldn’t help wondering what had led them there, such a contrast to the celebrations going on around them. Nature or nurture? Lack of opportunity or simply poor life choices? Who knows. And I wonder what they thought of us?
Anyway, what next for my husband? He has spent the last few years with his nose on the ground and a glass to his eye looking at fossils, except when he has been flat on his back in a field looking at the stars. He knows more about cloud formations that anyone needs to and can tell you what rocks lie under the ground you’re walking on.
So he knows why areas where there is millstone grit tend to produce great ale. You see, it’s not just that he likes a pint, it’s also an intellectual pursuit. At least, that's what he tells me.