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On the 10th of January, Richard, Elinor and I travelled by train to Sheffield to stay the night with Alice, Phil and Mona the cat.  Our reason for the visit, apart from wanting to see them because we love them, was to witness Alice receive her PhD at a Graduation Ceremony at the University of Sheffield the following day.  Unfortunately, Alice was only allotted two tickets, so while Phil and I sat in the warmth and comfort of a large hall full of people and listened to a saxophone quartet before the formalities began, Richard and Elinor trudged off towards the city centre in search of an art gallery or two and somewhere warm to while away a couple of hours.  Phil impressed me with his ability to recognise and name most of the tunes played by the quartet; no mean feat!

Alice in full regalia before the ceremony, including matching ruby slippers!

Alice and Phil.

Alice and me.

We didn’t have long to wait for Alice’s moment of glory as she was just the second person out of many to receive a handshake from the Chancellor.  (Just look at all those mortar boards at the bottom of the next photo!)

The Chancellor, a high court judge, stands to greet those receiving PhDs; she sits to shake the hands of those receiving MAs and I assume, BAs. No words of encouragement to Alice after her congratulations, just – ‘I love the sparkly shoes!’

After nearly an hour there was a lull in the proceedings while an eminent librarian received an honorary degree and gave her speech.  Then many more people filed past to collect their PhDs and MAs and …… it was all over!

Doctor Alice!

Alice returned her robes and we walked into the city to meet up with the other two.  After a late lunch we returned to Alice’s house for a rest and to collect our luggage then got the train home, arriving at our door at about 10.45 pm.

I wish to thank Phil for the 1st, 3rd and 4th photos; I took the other two.