Our retirement adventures

Engaging graduations. Graduated engagements

Engaging graduations. Graduated engagements 

York is a wonderful city full of lovely ancient buildings, including its Minster, cobbled streets, boutique shops, lots of traffic, lots of tourists and many other sights. Our purpose in visiting was not for one of these but to go to York University, created and built in the early 1960s so by no means containing ancient buildings. 

Flic had used some of the money she had inherited from her Nana to further her Education by enrolling in a distance Master of Arts degree learning course at York over 3 years whilst, of course, holding down her full time job. We do not dwell on the other issues she has contended with during this time but leave it that what she has achieved is quite remarkable. I digress.


Streamlining Steam engines 1930's style

Streamlining Steam engines 1930’s style

Having arrived a couple of days earlier we managed to get a chance on the day before the graduation, to visit one of York’s museums, the National Railway Museum.

For me a 2nd visit in as many years but for others, a first. Now even if you are not a train follower you surely must marvel at the work and effort, not to mention the skill, of our ancestors in building steam engines that would travel at speeds of over 125 mph back in the 1930s, a record that still stands today!  

Harry of course loved the miniature railway.

York University has a three day period for Graduations but virtually no on site parking facilities for visitors of the scales involved nowadays so they have enlisted the help of a field at The Yorkshire Auctioneers, as well as a coach company to set up a “private” Park & Ride so coach ride in to the University it was.

Gown and hat obtained, spare ticket obtained, official paid for photograph taken, coffee consumed and then out for informal photo shoot.  A nice spot chosen with willow trees overhanging the lake.

Flic, MA

Flic, MA


Flic on her own first then Gary with her, but what’s this: Harry running up to Flic with a photo and whilst Flic is looking at Harry, Gary is down on one knee with a ring in hand by the time Flic turns around.



The proposal 1

The proposal

The shock

The shock














The joy

The joy

The look on Flic’s face – priceless. Being forewarned, I had camera ready in sports mode to capture several moments of her different facial expressions.

Of course she said yes!! 










And now for the graduation.

As a student who undertook all her studies remotely, she knew no other students the majority of whom had been at the university for the previous three years and noticeably, predominately female. Perhaps it was the subject matters. 

Graduates galore

Graduates galore

Speeches and awards of doctorates and honorary degrees over with the procession of students began followed by words of encouragement by the vice chancellor and the ceremony was over.

For the students, lots of challenges and life experiences to go through, for the vice chancellor and others, several more award ceremonies before they can relax prior to the start of the next academic year. 

Us, well by the time we were back at the hotel and changed and rested we aimed in the car for a Supermarket in town which took ages to reach-did I say the traffic was bad in York? and a meal at Mamma Mia’s.

I can thoroughly recommend the white chocolate profiteroles! 

Surprisingly early to bed – an emotional day. 

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