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Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Gallery - Black and White

The Gallery theme this week is Black and White.

It was an easy choice for me this week although I apologise for the quality of the images used.

Black and white are the colours of my old college, Trinity Hall. I was always pleased that they were subtle colours and that we had a lovely crest with a crescent moon on it.

I remember going and getting my gown on the first day with my Mum and Dad. They insisted on buying me the college scarf too even though the tailors told us nobody ever really wore them. I think they were determined that I would not appear like the working-class pauper so I had everything. It was many years later before I realised this probably cost them dear.

I have spoken before about how much Trinity Hall means to me on this blog so I won't go on and on. I still love how you feel part of that special community and how you get magazines, invitations and Christmas cards from good ol' Tit Hall as students affectionately nickname it.

There is a lot of nonsense talked about Oxbridge. I have never felt so at home and welcomed into a place. Not before, not since. I have the privilege of still hearing from some of my peers including those that I did not have as close friends at the time. I think that says a lot for the place too.

Black and white also brings back memories of graduation day where we had to get all tarted up in black and white. Black gowns and white ermine don't you know? You see, once upon a time, I almost became posh!

I am the one with the big brown Eighties hair and the legs. My brother gave me a suit to wear that was decidedly short. This was a worry as it did not meet the dress code specified by college. All day, I was terrified that they would end up not letting me graduate for flashing too much leg. The lad behind me told me he thought when I knelt down to get my degree that the Chancellor was likely to have a coronary as a result.

Graduation Day was very bittersweet. Relief that I had got the degree but deep sadness at the thought of leaving college. That sense of loss has never totally left me to be honest.

Was it the sense of history, of learning or of community or the combination of all of them? Trinity Hall remains a very special place.

My parents commissioned one of their friends to paint Trinity Hall for me as I left. Here is that picture that follows me wherever I go and whatever I do.

I will take this opportunity to wish everyone who got A-Level results today a very positive day. If your results were not as you wished, take heart from the fact that loads of people prove that you do not need qualifications to make a success out of life.

I will also state that I think it is truly awful that young people have to panic about money so early these days. I had the fortune to go to college at a time of grants backed up by good parental support too.

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