Friday was an odd day.
But for once the oddness was a good oddness.
Friday afternoon saw me and my lovely wife attending my graduation ceremony at Warwick University. For those of you that missed it, I achieved a 2:1 Hons degree in English And Cultural Studies, a degree that has taken me about 15 years to achieve (as I took 5 years off half way through).
Before I started the degree (back in '92) I'd already been visiting the University for a couple of years taking various Open Studies courses - so my association with the University has been a long and edifying one.
And I shall miss it.
This didn't really hit me until the ceremony was underway. I must admit I hadn't felt that excited about the ceremony at all. Karen was in far more of a tizz about it than me... but once I was there, once I had my gown and cap on and was seated amongst all the other similarly garbed graduates (or graduands) it finally hit home. I felt both relief that it was all over and sadness that it was all over.
The ceremony was amazing. The University put on quite a lavish affair. We had the University Choiresters and Musicians to entertain us and everything proceeded with a precision that was breathtaking. The University has been doing this sort of thing for 50 years so it should be well used to it by now I guess.
I remember very little about going up to collect my certificate - it all happened very fast - a good shove from a steward (given to all the students) sent me on my way and then it was a brief blur of lights, faces, handshakes, the certificate in my hand and then a dazed walk back to my seat.
I felt very flushed and very proud.
And discovered a burning desire to do an MA.
However, this will have to wait for at least 3 years. We just can't afford it right now. Maybe once Tom has started school things will be easier financially... until then my academic dreams are placed on hold.
Talking of finances though... the other bit of news I had on Friday was that finally finally the money from my aunt's estate has been paid out. I should be receiving a cheque early next week.
I'm not going to be crass and say how much - suffice it to say it's enough to pay off our debts (barring the mortgage), purchase a desperately needed garden fence, a new fridge freezer as our old one is on its last legs and maybe a little treat for the kids. The rest we shall save - a nice little nest egg that, God willing, will see us through the next three years of these uncertain times. We're still experiencing a financial shortfall so this safety net is invaluable. Hopefully, by being frugal, we shall still have a good portion of this windfall left when the good times begin to roll in again.
I hope so anyway.
At the moment it's just nice to have all the anxiety and worry brought to an end.
I feel like I can breathe again.
(Photography courtesy of Karen.)