And just to round off what has been the weirdest of bizarre weeks, I graduated last night.
I didn't want to go, as I think the whole graduation ceremony thing is a total waste of time (the university trying to extort even more money out of us for tickets, the tacky souvenirs, the fact that it's a YEAR since I handed my dissertation in, NINE months since I got my MA results and SIX months since they posted the certificate to me, made me wonder what the point of going to the ceremony was. As I was part-time and took an extra year to finish I also didn't know anybody else graduating at the same time as me.)
I can't remember what the tickets cost, but it was a lot. Plus train tickets for me and Mum to London, a hotel room for Mum and food. I had to get all garbed in an awful polyester gown and hood, with a mortarboard thing too (utterly pointless as you don't wear them at all, thank goodness).
There were about 60 of us in each year of my MA but only about 20 people went to the ceremony, the other sensible folk stayed away. I wasn't the only one who thought the whole thing was awful. We had to watch a video presentation just before the ceremony started, all about what a wonderful time we'd had at UCL and how pleased we must be we'd chosen to come there (I didn't choose to go there, it's the only Librarianship MA in the country that teaches anything about Special Collection & Rare Books!). Just about everyone was in fits of laughter over the video, as it was so corny. Then we each had to walk across the stage, shake hands with the Provost and return to your seat and then go along to a reception afterwards. And that was it. We already had our certificates (SIX months ago!).
Anyway, I successfully avoided joining the UCL Alumni network (grim thought), prevented Mum from buying a DVD/signed programme/engraved cut-glass souvenir vase/t shirt with the names of people I didn't know on, plus piles more of other tat. I did let her take some pics with an ordinary camera, but pointed out how overpriced the official photographer was, so managed to dissuade her from that one too. Still, she seemed to enjoy the whole escapade, which was the main thing.
And no, I didn't actually knit in the ceremony, although I'd hidden my knitting under the bat wing gown just in case!