Full academicals … for added lustre.



clap clap clap clap clap


clap clap clap clap clap


clap clap clap clap clap

(and on).

During the long, long longueur waiting for the Very Important Person to appear, there was time to contemplate

a) how being in a cathedral seemed to impel the organisers to include a bidding prayer, a biblical reading and a hymn, while allowing no provision for the cultural and religious plurality of the graduands and their others

b) how there seemed to be no evidence of faith or religion intrinsic to the ceremony proper, which remained wholly secular, placing both the Christian and secular elements in false positions

c)  how unimaginative and poor the music was – no excuse allowed

d)  hair styles

e)  whether joining in the applause for a lot of persons I’ve never seen before and will never see again was an important act of social solidarity and respect, or the outcome of acceding to gratuitous and hypocritical social blackmail

f)  the transitory magic of sunlight in the clerestory

g)  how to take a screen shot on an iPhone


(ah, here we are at last – the Very Important Person, obviously both brighter and better looking than anyone else)

and h) how easy it is to be heard the full length of the nave (or possibly as far as the West Midlands) if someone is sufficiently uninhibited


clap clap clap


clap clap

And no; that wasn’t me.


5 responses »

  1. Oh how I agree with you about all of the above. I have never clapped so much for people I don’t know. Then I tried to get a pic of my daughter and so didn’t actual clap for her at all!!! There was a ‘no videoing’ rule, but her father disregarded and sneaked a few seconds with his phone. Typically, still haven’t been sent the clip.

  2. Very much like. Our youngest refused to go to the main ceremony. Disappointed, but as he’d picked up a departmental prize in the morning we’d been through a ritual of sorts ritual so satisfied enough to have made the journey. Reading that reminds me he did us a favour.

    • Have to admit I skived off my school prize-giving aged 15 and haven’t been to any of my own ritual award ceremonies since – probably disappointed my parents too! The only thing I regret is the chance to flounce about in fancy dress. But if family member wants to go to theirs, I am vulnerable to the keep-them-happy argument.

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