hathycol: (ilu donna)
This is going to be an epic post, because it's been an epic few days. Consider yourselves fully warned.

Wednesday morning dawned bright and disgustingly early. Okay, not actually bright, as the haar had rolled in overnight, but it dawned nevertheless. I managed to pull myself out of bed and be prepared to get to the dentist in good time, and battled the thick fog on the winding country lanes to arrive for my final visit to the good people of the Kirkcaldy Dental Access Clinic, and proceeded to have an argument with the receptionist. I feel a bit bad about this. You see, I am no longer a poor student, I am now officially classed as an adult living under the poverty line. (That's a nice feeling, let me tell you.) Nevertheless, I still have to pay for NHS dentistry, which I obviously can't afford to do, but I absolutely can't afford to go private, either. The students looking me over meant it was free because I was pretty much doing them a favour in return for dental care, but due to them fucking up I was being seen by a Real Dentist. The receptionist felt I should pay. I didn't, on the basis that it should have been done months ago. Luckily, the dentist in question came down on my side of the argument. Thank god.

So, yes. She did what she needed to do to me, expressed concern at my vile gingivitus around the tooth area (I haven't been able to brush there for nearly four months, so, um, I am bleedy) and wished me luck at graduation. I smiled a hideous bleedy smile and headed home before going back to bed. I then woke up and ate toast. TOAST! Very exciting.

The haar cleared up and I spent an afternoon in the garden, reading Vanity Fair and sunbathing. My parents eventually rocked up in the evening, and I went out to meet them in the evening outside of their B+B. I had booked a table at the Grill House, and swore down blind to my parents that they'd like it. Fortunately, I was right. It was also exciting times as I could eat properly, so I had a mushroom and stilton starter, fajitas, and a cheesecake. I was very, very full, and had also gone a wee bit mad on the frozen margaritas. I didn't like them as much as my mum, though!

I woke up in a blind panic at 9am the next day and shot out of bed. For once this was not due to frozen margaritas, but all to do with a part of my body that basically just shrieked 'FUCK ME I'M GRADUATING TODAY.' Whilst I was looking forward to all the foofarrah around graduation itself, I wasn't looking forward to the actual ceremony.

Allow me to explain. Many people on my flist will have graduating, but very few of you will be able to beat St Andrews for sheer absurdity. Firstly, we don't have hats; when the Senate officially declared that women could be entered for a degree, all the men threw their hats off the pier in protest. Now no one wears hat. Instead, we have black gowns and a hood depending on degree. The ceremony goes as following: walk across the stage, kneel in front of the Chancellor/Vice-Chancellor, get bopped on the head with a piece of material that may or may not have been part of John Knox's trousers, have the hood put over you, stand up, step back, bow, walk off. TOO MUCH STUFF TO DO IN FRONT OF PEOPLE.

Hence, you see, the blind panic.

As there was no chance I was going to get to sleep again, I wandered into town to pick up my gown, before coming back home again. It was a beautiful day, so I enjoyed the sun for a bit before going for a shower and trying to make myself look as presentable as possible. My parents turned up and got changed at my house ("Your room smells of damp," Mum informed me solemnly; "Yes, that would be the damp," I replied) before I slipped into my academic dress of black skirt, white shirt, and 'nude hoisery.' I wasn't sure if I looked more like a waitress or a schoolgirl, to be honest, but by this point the taxi had come and we ended up at Younger Hall.

I wasn't sure if I was going to be sick, or just flail. I bumped into a few people I knew, and abandoned my parents and went in through the graduands entrance. To my absolute horror, I was on the front row, which meant I couldn't watch anyone else graduate. I listened to all the Latin and bits and bobs, and eventually went out to my introduction, which was my name. I walked out, I knelt, I got my 'et supra te' ('and unto you'), bopped over the head, stood up, and tried to walk down the wrong stairs. Fuck me, only I could buggar up that part of it.

Still, it was over, and I could enjoy seeing friends graduate, and it was all over surprisingly quickly. I came out to see Mum crying, before wandering over to get my photos taken by the official people in the Library. Man, I hate that building. Next stop was the garden party, which was much more my cup of tea; I drank gallons of fizzy wine and lots of tiny fudge doughnuts and strawberry tarts, and enjoyed the atmosphere and everyone around me. Unfortunately, I had to give my gown back at the end of the day - I was quite attached to it, in the end - and headed off to the medieval history garden party, which was boozier and more fun.

And that was sort of the day over, really; some of us met up in the pub afterwards, and saw the Michael Jackson was dead. At least I'll have a good 'where were you?' story!

I was horribly hungover the next day, but still couldn't sleep. I had insisted on dragging my parents around town so they could actually see the places I'd been studying in, before going for lunch. I also jumped up and down the PH. For those that don't understand the joy in this, the initials of the first Scottish Protestant martyr Patrick Hamilton are on the street just outside of Sallies Quad. You can't stand on them, otherwise you won't graduate. He can't hurt me now!

After a refreshing nap, I found myself bumbling around without much to do. This was a mistake, as it meant I got all my timings wrong for the ball. I straightened my hair for about two hours, and was barely ready by the time I left the house. We were at the ball pretty early on the basis that a champage reception means freebies (we were right) and it was this point the heavens opened. Bye bye, straight hair. Typical!

The ball itself was really lovely. It was in Sallies Quad, but under a marquee, which was beautifully decorated. There were also St Andrews badges, chocolates and di, which I stole quite a few of. The music was a bit hit and miss, but the company was so good - I think I saw nearly everyone I know as well as getting to catch up with Ann - that it honestly didn't matter. I drank lots of Pimms for some demented reason - I don't actually like Pimms - and just had a wonderful time. I also went to my first ever ceilidh, which I think I did reasonably well in, given that I was wearing three inch heels and was a complete novice at.

Saturday heralded no hangover at all. I was just as amazed as everyone else around me.

Now it is Sunday. It's all over, and worryingly I just got a phone call from the nursing home asking when I was coming back. Oh dear. My housemates will have both gone by the end of tonight, and I am working a ridiculously large amount of days this summer, so it's back to the real world. It was a wonderful, wonderful three days though.

Would you like to see some photos from the week? Go for it!

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hathycol

December 2016

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