Since writing my last blog, I have basically been doing my work experience, taking spontaneous trips to the Trafford Centre and, oh, just attending this thing they call Graduation.
I spent five hours traipsing round the shopping mall with mum to find a graduation/interview outfit. The previous night was devoted to a jaunt to the same place but with Rachel and Damon. I was invited for a 'ride' and the destination was unknown. We decided that, since our random drive seemed to be heading in the direction of Barton Bridge, we would go to Asda for nibbles and chat.
After battling with a self service machine and some reduced 'sugar' doughnuts, we wound up being given them for free and we took them to the doors near Debenhams. I was telling Rachel about my lack of smart clothes so we went on a hunt together. I felt a little mean on Damon but it turned out that he is quite a Gok Wan! Rachel challenged him to find me an outfit (just to occupy him whilst we browsed) and he came up trumps with a purple top which was really rather nice. Or am I just easy to please?
The following day, I went to placement and straight back to the Trafford Centre from Eccles. I bought a teal and turquoise top with button detail and a cowl neck in Debenhams. That was the easy bit. I thought it would be pretty easy to find some smart black pants but Topshop, Marks and Spencers and Next proved the opposite. Size 12 for some bizarre reason was too small but size 14's were huge =S. I think it had something to do with the wrap-around style fastenings restricting material. I chanced Monsoon with their sale (which they need in there to make anything affordable!) and was amazed to find the right colour and size but not the length. However, when they started at £65 and went down to £25 it made shortening them a little sweeter.
Met Sarah and Rachel in town on Friday although I'm quite proud that I actually managed it. I fumbled for my phone to send the obligatory text 'on bus' and found it nowhere. I routinely searched my bag three times over. It was too late to get off so I waited til we reached Piccadilly, had a scuffle with a payphone and wandered towards Market Street. I checked HMV but no sign so I continued to Deansgate and decided that I would just have to wait at the pub alone til one of them found me. Crossing opposite Tesco Express I was amazed to spot the other Sarah on the way home from work. I knew she'd have Rachel's number but when I managed to catch her up, she told me her phone was dead. Only a minute later, Rachel emerged at the crossing next to the Ramada Hotel and I was saved. During our meal, we discussed a girls night which could yet take place in any number of places including Canal Street or Venue.
Watched Harry Potter on Saturday night at the Trafford Centre (been there too much!). It was really good, I made less book-film comparisons this time because I haven't read The Deathly Hallows since it first came out and couldn't remember much. All I know is that I could never be brave enough to jump on the back on a raving dragon!
We watched the film in 3D mainly because the 2D showings were full. 3D doesn't do a huge amount for me. I was ready to be disappointed when the adverts came on. We were sat to the far left of the theatre and, simultaneously, Mum, Tom and I were rubbing our glasses to see if the fuzzy effect on screen was due to the glasses we brought from home. At the same time, both sides of the cinema were on their feet to try and move to the front central rows. We did the same. Even then, it was still fuzzy and I heard a lady call out something about 'new glasses' but we think it was more of a technical fault because the images suddenly lined up properly.
Yesterday saw my parents and I take our last trip to Edge Hill University for a while. On the way, the clouds were looming and darkening, I asked very nicely for a ray of sun but not much came of it. I contacted both Hayley and Paul who said they were already robed up and waiting for me! We parked behind Eleanor Rathbone (my first year residence) and I caught a glimpse of my old window. My hall was at the back of campus and we had to make our way to performing arts at the front. EHU campus is luckily quite small and it doesn't take long! I met Paul, who looked very smart in his robes and he directed me to the room where I collected my own robes. A lady in the next room dressed them over me. She pinned my (extra small!) cap with clips and it felt pretty sturdy!
When I came back to Paul and our parents, the cameras were out and we posed together and with our mums and dads. I don't think I've ever had my photo taken so many times in one day. Getting up early for a hair cut was definitely worth it.
Our next stop was the Faculty of Education to register for our ceremony. This is where I fleetingly saw Hayley for the first time. I queued with Dan and Paul whilst discussing how much we felt like Harry Potter in our cloaks. We decided the next thing to do was get our professional photos done. I faffed with my hood because it had nothing to hang on to. I'd forgotten that we should have been wearing a buttoned top to secure our hoods. A lady gave me a safety pin and another got all irate about the pins they used to sort the robes showing up on photos. I removed them (even though we couldn't see them!) and my robes fell sideways. The photographer spent five minutes messing with my hat, which made it insecure, and even re-positioned my fingers on the plastic tube with the red ribbon which was supposed to resemble my degree.
To be fair, we had to move around the campus quite a bit but I didn't feel as though I waited very long for anything in particular except perhaps the ceremony itself. We had our seat numbers on the tickets we collected. I had Paul sat directly behind me and Jenny two seats down. Genna couldn't wait to get on the carpet just to make sure she didn't fall on her stiletto heels! We were sat in green lecture seats which are normally partitioned off and faced our parents. We got up in rows and queued down the stairs. When it was the turn of the person in front, they moved to the edge of the red carpet and waited for her degree title to be read out before proceeding towards the Dean and shaking his hand. We were sat in groups depending on our degree tile and I was the first alphabetically to receive a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing with English. This meant that I had my title read before my name. Nobody had their specific classification voiced but I knew some from Facebook! People who followed me in the group simply heard their names. We had to file down the line of tutors and round the back to approach our seats from the opposite side.
It seemed to take a while to get through 3 or 4 pages of names and the entire Faculty of Arts and Sciences but it was worth it in the end. We left the lecture theatre with tutors dressed in robes flanking us and clapping. All that was left to do was have more photos taken. We grouped into our course friends and smiled whilst traditionally throwing our caps. We performed in this manner at different places on the campus but mostly near the lake and outside of Health. My cap almost fell in a bin when I threw it near the LINC and Sarah's landed in a tree!
Not long after, people began to depart and we were hugging people we hoped to know for a long time as well as people it's probable that we won't see again. It's a strange sensation. I decided to end my day where it all began. Hayley and I ambled over to Eleanor Rathbone and posed outside the hall. We had to return our robes to Performing Arts. On the company website, it stated that we could buy our hats for £5, but we were told that it no longer applied - everyone bought theirs last year which left the company short of stock! Shame. We have lots of photos to remember the day by though!
On the way home, we had our tea at a pub in Haydock. I had a tuna steak with boiled potatoes as recommended by Mum. I was very impressed with the ample amount of tartar sauce, along with the tuna obviously....
When I got home, I loaded my graduation photos to Facebook as some people already had. I received a card and graduation figurine from Mum and Dad and a card from Barbara. Tom arrived soon after and he ushered me to get changed for Del's 22nd at 42's!
We met everyone at Moon for a couple of drinks so that Samantha and Amy could stay with us until their last bus. Amy was explaining the car crash she was in the night before, I was obviously concerned but tried not to get too involved with the story when it came to compensation. It's a touchy subject and can be drastically abused as a system.
We headed towards 42's in the rain and you would never know i'd paid £20 for a haircut by the time we got there! Even so, we danced, drank (only a little) and took more photos to add to the album of the day. I'm looking forward to seeing them on the internet in the next few days...!
In other news... Holiday, Friday!
See you in a week(ish)!