Simon's Graduation

You need chips to sustain you Wearing the gown for the first time Happy family There are how many of these people We did say it was a bit like Harry Potter On the big screen I am just so clever Looking at the diploma
Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture Granny and Gramps Spot the odd one out Butterfly with a broken leg Sharing the treacle pudding

Loughborough University

15 July 2005

For the weekend of my nephew Simon's graduation, Johnny and I stayed over at Anton and Debbie's for a couple of nights before following them up the motorways on the Friday morning for the three hours to Loughborough.

After a reasonably easy drive up the M2, M25 and M1 to Loughborough we managed to find our hotel and get booked in. Hannah and Alex arrived at the same time as us and mum and dad were only a matter of minutes behind us having come up from Slough.

Hannah gave Simon a ring to come up from his digs to the hotel and meet up. Hardly a surprise that he found Johnny and I already in the bar.

We walked up to the University and Simon donned his gown and a tie, before seeking out the Sports Hall for the ceremony. Loughborough University is famous for its sporting prowess and the Vice Chancellor informed us in his speech that the men have been University Champions the past 25 years and the women 27. This would explain the immense size of the hall and its pristine condition.

We were going to have to accept that Johnny would not understand most of what was going on so we explained that it would all be a bit like Harry Potter with the multi coloured gowns and ceremony.

We quite liked the way the Vice Chancellor asked us to stand and applaud the students for their achievements and then made them stand and applaud the help and support they had received from their families and friends.

The students were introduced to the Chancellor in a fairly speedy manner (thankfully) with each receiving applause with or without cheers of encouragement from fellow students. It all became rather mechanical inevitably and when the subject changed to: In Economics, that received a hand as well!

We did have to er! listen um! to er! an interesting um! speech from er! some chap who er! had received um! an honorary um! doctorate. Like.

Apart from that it all went well. Outside the family photos were taken, Simon got his official photos taken, and we all retired to the nearest bar.

That evening Simon obviously had his university ball to go to, so the rest of us headed into town to eat before Hannah and Alex who were having to work the following day, returned to Kent that evening.

Dad and Alex had a treacle sponge eating competition, which I think my father won despite Alex trying to spin the plate at one point.

Johnny managed to throw a bit of a strop, which he informed us was a cross between having no cigarettes and the fact that Vanessa kept texting him throughout the meal wanting to know whey he wouldn't ring her on his mobile. He did however recovery his sense of humour by the end of the evening.

The following morning we had a full English breakfast before collecting Simon (Who had got to bed about 05:30 hours) and setting off back down the road to Kent. Once we were on the motorway I let Johnny drive for a couple of hours. A few hundred kilometres of M25 traffic jams will do him good. He did however get the chance to overtake a Corvette - in second !

It was not exactly a great surprise to find that the first thing that he did on getting out of the car was to reach for the fags.


See also

Weekend in England: July 2005

Jean-Jacques; Antelope chaser

Johnny's Birthday: July 2005

Alistair: June 2005

Australian Bomber crew remembered