A busy weekend

What a busy little time I’ve had! I have, I’m afraid, been neglecting you all again – but when you hear what I’ve been up to, you will not be surprised.

Last Friday was my birthday (I turned 29, since you ask) and also my graduation. I graduated from three degrees during the ceremony – my MSt, MA, and DPhil – but it wasn’t quite as busy as that sounds, as I was supposedly ‘in absentia’ for two of them, despite being in the room. But I did get to graduate from my doctorate – yet another stage in the very protracted process between handing in the thesis and having everything done and dusted. A very nice stage, I should add, and certainly the dressiest.

I entered in a richly embroidered gown, with green and white hood, and after a bit I got to head into the centre of the room with the doctors from New College and Magdalen College (or Novum and Magdalena as they were known in this exclusively Latin ceremony – at least they are two of the more identifiable colleges in Latin). We bowed in lots of directions, and then agreed (in Latin) to do something (in Latin) without knowing what it was. Outside for a quick costume change into billowing red and purple, and we came back in to rapturous applause, a handshake with the Vice Chancellor, and sitting on extremely uncomfortable seats for another hour or so while lots of other people did variants of the above.

Outside for pictures in the rain…

…and away to Somerset! For the birthday festivities were certainly not yet over. Our Vicar’s Wife had arranged for us to go donkey walking in Dorset! If this sounds a bit mad, it probably is, but donkeys are my second favourite animal (after cats, obvs) and it was really lovely. Our donkeys were called Hector and Paris (apparently the woman who originally owned them names all her donkeys after whatever DVD she has recently watched – in this case, Troy) – and by the end of a few hours walking through fields and streets, I had certainly bonded with Paris. He was a real sweetie, albeit one who frequently decided he didn’t fancy moving, thankyouverymuch. I learned about how to stare down donkeys.

But the day was not over – we went on to North Petherton Carnival!  Our Vicar had attended it in his childhood, and had long hoped to take his children there – but until now we hadn’t been in Somerset at the right time. Well, I had tempered expectations – it’s a tiny place – but the carnival was really amazing. Lots of floats going by, with some solo efforts, all the way to enormous floats with hundreds of lights, moving parts, choreography, and the like. Some really extraordinary things, and great fun to watch.

And now I’m feeling rather shattered after an action-packed weekend!

20 thoughts on “A busy weekend

  • November 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm
    Permalink

    Well done Simon. I assume you will get that picture framed (I mean the one of you with the donkeys, obvs).
    Malie

    Reply
  • November 10, 2014 at 9:57 pm
    Permalink

    I am an absolutely vivid and unbecoming shade of pea green that you got to go donkey walking. Mad about donkeys too. But not one lick of green for being awarded your Ph.D., just a pink flush of happiness for you. What a rare and excellent weekend!
    Tui

    Reply
  • November 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm
    Permalink

    Well, Congratulations and Belated Happy Birthday to you! Sounds like a wonderful weekend with family.

    Reply
  • November 11, 2014 at 12:06 am
    Permalink

    Congratulations Simon. A well-deserved triumph & then the donkeys as well! How will OVW top that for the big 30th next year?

    Reply
  • November 11, 2014 at 3:25 am
    Permalink

    Warm congratulations Simon, on, well, everything! Sounds like a marvelous weekend; thanks for sharing it with us. (But you joggled me a bit at the donkey walking. That one's new to me. Must Google…)

    Reply
  • November 11, 2014 at 7:57 am
    Permalink

    What a great birthday weekend, There's something rather wonderful about all the robes and the Latin, as I well remember. Your parents and Colin must have been bursting with pride. Glad you had a chance to bond with a donkey, too.

    Reply
  • November 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm
    Permalink

    Congratulations and happy birthday! Over on the other side, we had to approach the dispensing chair in fours, each of us holding onto one of the Praelector's fingers, which couldn't have been comfortable for the poor man, times a hundred or however many of us there were. These things are so gloriously arcane, but lots of fun. Donkey walking does sound like the perfect balance to Oxford! So glad you had a fab time.

    Reply
  • November 11, 2014 at 5:06 pm
    Permalink

    So many, and warm, congratulations Simon. Happy Birthday week, and all joys for the coming year.

    Reply
  • November 11, 2014 at 5:58 pm
    Permalink

    Congratulations and happy birthday, what a wonderful and so special weekend. XX

    Reply
  • November 12, 2014 at 12:10 am
    Permalink

    Pic of family at graduation brought tears to the old eyes, that's the one I'd frame. Donkeys, well, sweet but I thought you'd RIDE on them like Mrs. Elton? What is the point in merely walking a donkey, though it certainly does make for a deliciously mad picture. I always said the English had a thing for dressing up and this post proves it. DID MY CARD COME YET? Love, Diana

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: