The weather man had lied to us all week...but what's new. I really don't know why I was surprised to wake up and find it unmercifully pissing down. After all, I am living in England, and last year I had lucked out and enjoyed sunshine, beautiful sunshine, on my graduation day. It was only fair that this year I get a bit of rain. We can't have it all. 6am came quickly, especially as I didn't get to bed until nearly 2. Regardless of 4 hours of sleep, nerves meant that I was surprisingly bubbly and energetic. The hubby, in-laws and myself all took turns sharing the bathroom in our attempts to primp and beautify, and of course there were the usual hiccups. It wasn't long before the hot water had run out, vindictive wrinkles refused to iron out of dress shirts and it only dawned on Carl 10 minutes before we were set to leave that he'd not unpacked or even found his damn dress shoes. Nevertheless, by 8am on the dot we were out the door and quickly posing outside for pictures.
Every year, Liverpool John Moores University holds the week of graduation ceremonies at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. It is my favorite landmark in the entire city and because I'm a geek and love to share random factoids, I now fully intend to overload you with information you probably won't ever need to use in your lifetime. Nevertheless, (to add to effect please pretend I'm saying the following in an obnoxious squeaky tour guide voice over a muffled speaker) you may be astonished to know that the Anglican Cathedral is one of 2 cathedrals in Liverpool! It is the largest in the UK, the 5th largest in the whole world and took a total of 74 years to build. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, 74 YEARS! In addition to that, it has survived not one, but TWO World Wars! (okay, I'm bored. I've put my muffled microphone down now...) Silliness aside, I'm so thankful that I've had the opportunity to graduate not once, but twice, in such a beautiful and special building. I love the Anglican Cathedral and it has been so wonderful to experience two of my life milestones in such a fantastic place.Because I was struggling to hold an umbrella, keep my diploma/degree dry and not fall on my face in heels, I failed to video any of my graduation events. (Boo!) I did, however, manage to stumble upon this video of my graduation day which was posted on JMUs Alumni page. May you watch it now and bask in all of it's wet, Liverpudlian glory!
After the graduation ceremony we returned my cap and gown, met with my fellow PGCE friends and family members for a few drinks, and headed back home for a quick unwind and spruce up. I desperately needed to sort my hair-do out before our dinner reservations. I'm not lying when I say that by the time 1pm had rolled around I was well and truly rockin' the curly fro and it wasn't at all flattering. But after attacking my head with a blow dryer and my hair straightener, I was ready to go. Before we headed out the door for dinner Carl took this picture (which is my favorite of the day) of me with my PGCE certificate/diploma. It's a framer.
For my graduation meal we headed to our favorite Italian restaurant, Ruis. Over the years it's become an Anderson favorite for family events and celebrations. We ordered our usual's, for me their Mushroom Fettuccini Alfredo, for Carl their Chicken Cordon Bleu, for Lynne their Grilled Rump Steak with Peppercorn sauce and for Garry their Mushroom Stroganoff. Our meals were fantastic, and we washed them all down with a bit of celebratory bubbly.
While we waited for our desserts, I read my beautiful cards and admired my gifts from friends and family. In addition to taking us out for dinner, Lynne and Garry gave me a beautiful crystal necklace (pictured above) which Lynne said she'd chosen in the star shape because I was a 'star pupil'. Seriously, how sweet? I am so spoilt to have such sweet in-laws. It wasn't long before the yummy desserts came and an embarrassing 'congratulations' song was blaring out of the speakers. In all honesty it took us about 890 attempts to light the damn sparklers (as the first lot went out in a record 2 seconds and it was an epic Kodak moment fail) and as I never use lighters, I ended up melting part of my nail. Bahaha! Thankfully, after about 5 minutes Carl was able to get all 4 of the extra sparklers lit. We practically started a small fire in the restaurant, I was embarrassed and blushing because of the corny celebratory song, but in the end we managed to get a good picture, so who the hell cares.
I truly had an amazing graduation day, and I feel so blessed to have been able to share it with wonderful friends and family. I am SO PROUD of myself and my fellow teachers (YAY!) on such an exciting achievement. I can't believe how fast time has gone and that the next big step for me is my very own class. Yes, you read that right, my VERY OWN class!!! I can barely contain my excitement and I am fighting back the tears just thinking about what the future holds. I'm ecstatic to meet my little kiddies and shape their young minds every day. I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the whole entire world.
Look out world. Here I come.