Finally, I graduated from my PGCE course.
There was a ceremony held at the Faculty of Education. The best thing about the day was something that none of us could have arranged no matter how hard we tried – the sun shone on the perfect lawns and cascades of roses.
Nigel, Pascoe and Perran came along to support me and unwittingly introduced a comedy aspect to the day. Pascoe and Perran were close in age to the other trainees while I more resembled their parents.
How many times was it explained that day that I was the graduande, and not Pascoe?
After the speeches, the master of ceremonies asked us to applaud the families who had supported us. The younger trainees who had perhaps received financial help and who had sometimes popped home to be pampered with proper cooking, clapped enthusiastically.
I joined in with the applause and saw both my sons looking back at me slightly quizzically. Hadn’t I been the one supporting them in their academic endeavours?
But actually, they deserved my thanks.
When they have returned home from University, they and their sister have cooked for Nigel and me, done their own washing, mounted war on the impressive spiders who now outnumber us. And over and over again, they have told me they are proud of me.