Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yesterday: the Story of a Day

To the graduation of Offsprog One, who has graduated from the University of Brighton.
I caught the train from London Bridge where I was treated to an exciting audio mash-up of Boris Johnson's Olympic Tannoy Message (the vanity of the man!) blended with the Left Luggage Tannoy Message:
'Hi folks! This is the Mayor of London... and please don't leave your luggage unattended'.
The train sped through the early morning sunshine which would have been a beautiful experience but for one of the toilets not being in service and the other having no water with which to wash one's hands, a fact one didn't realise until one had generously soaped the hands post-activity.
It was a rather sticky journey.

Offsprog One and her friend had made their own gowns and mortar boards out of McCallum and Black Watch tartans and a pale green spotted bedsheet, respectively.
Later Offsprog One told her tutors the tale of the confiscated tartan bagpipes accessory, a story they only started to doubt when she told them with innocent eyes of the bagpipes being unceremoniously burst as a punishment.

At the ceremony, a succession of glamorous, silken-haired women in tottering porno-heels crossed the stage to shake hands with the Vice Chancellor. We had earlier been told that the University experience would provide them with friendships that would last them the vest of their life.
Yes, a life vest would come in handy these economic times.

However, I am now the proud mother of a graduate daughter; in the Pavilion Gardens the graduates flung their mortar boards into the air with abandon before we wandered off for a pizza.
Offsprog One's friend's father (O the complexities of anonymity!) realised that the sole of his shoe was parting from its upper; luckily, art students think laterally and soon his daughter was chewing a large wad of gum to use as an adhesive.
This was a successful solution and only those of us in the know could see the white gum squelching out between layers of shoe as we headed to our lunching destination.

We sat at a long table, various parents interspersed with various Offspring and their various partners. I was entranced by the story telling. The chap opposite told me about his 90 year old grandfather's birthday party that featured a cake with a really tacky-looking rotating artificial flower on top of it, that suddenly opened to reveal spectacular fireworks and then a ring of candles.
I asked where his mum had got it from, because I Want One.
'Mum's really useless with computers, actually', he said. I imagined naive internet ordering, a bit like naive art, where you diddle about with the computer buttons and just see what gets delivered.
I may try this.

On the way home I skidded on a pool of seagull guano that had just been deposited on the station floor but successfully regained my balance if not my composure.

The final leg of my journey featured one of the World's Most Controlling Men. Just before my stop, I gathered together my belongings and said, 'Excuse me, please'.
'I'm getting off at the next stop', he said, and stayed put until the last minute, headphones clamped to his head and nose in the newspaper.
Next time, I shall travel with a water-pistol full of seagull poo.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your daughter - you must be a very proud Mum. I love her gown and mortar board - so much more stylish than the boring black ones!!

When we lived in Hampshire, I took Stuart and a schoolfrind for Sunday brunch in a posh place in Winchester (they must have been about eight or nine).... imagine my horror when I saw that one of Chuck's trainers was held together by a large elastic band!!

Helen McCookerybook said...

Thank you Anne! I don't know if you read back over comments, but I've not been able to comment on your blog recently. I'll try again and if that doesn't work, I will try emailing.

Thomas Maltby said...

Hi,This is Tom , how r U