Wednesday 3 August 2011

All Done!

What an amazing feeling! Yesterday I took my USB to the library and printed out and bound my dissertation, then took it over to the newly-renovated Arts 1 Building and submitted it to the proper authorities. Yahoo! I had accepted an invitation to lunch with Michelle and Felicity at their place in Hellesdon a couple of weeks ago, thinking I would be finished, but I'd spent an inordinate amount of time over the past few days doing finicky things like my appendices, so there I was, trying not to rush at this point, but looking at my watch and realizing I was going to be late getting to them. I waited at the bus stop but after fifteen minutes decided to hail a taxi because I was already almost an hour late. Once I got there though, everything was fine. Felicity sat me down and handed me a cold glass of white wine and I said, Yes, please!

A toast to me - Michelle and Felicity in their garden.
What a fabulous way to celebrate the culmination of a year of study and hard work. We sat in the sunny garden, talking about the year Michelle and I have just completed and eating the delicious lunch Felicity had prepared. I got there at 1:30 pm, but didn't leave until 6:00 pm - there was so much to say and we knew this was goodbye.

This past week has been such a pleasure. On Friday evening I met Francesca for a cocktail at "The Bird Cage" - a very Norwich bar in the centre of town. After that, we were hungry, so I suggested we head off to Cinema City for a meal to celebrate her 24th birthday, which is coming up on the 6th. The restaurant and bar at Cinema City is my favourite place to eat, as I'm sure I've mentioned somewhere else in this blog. I wish I'd thought to take a photo. The flickering candles, stained glass windows and old stone walls make you feel like you're dining in some ancient castle. The food was excellent and the conversation never lagged, as we talked about everything under the sun. Even though I'm older than her mother, Francesca feels like a contemporary. I'm going to miss her.

All grown up.
On Sunday, I met Thea at our usual coffee place on the river - Costa. Thea is one of the kindest most gentle people I've ever known and I'm so grateful to have met her and shared a friendship over this past year. She has definite plans to come and visit me in Vancouver with her partner David, maybe next year, and I'll take great pleasure in showing her all the sights of my home town. After I left her, I rode my bike back to my favourite place along the river in Thorpe. The newly-hatched swans are now full grown but the Angus cows in the fields haven't changed a bit, except the calves have blended in with the adults. I rode along the path which now has all the signs of late summer - fireweed, buddleia, red poppies and Queen Anne's lace, waving in the warm breeze. Every time I ride this way, I wish I had access to a kayak so I could just slip into the water along the banks of the Wensum and glide around with the swans. But at least I have my bike, good ol' Douglas, a constant companion on my solitary ventures into the countryside.

So I've made some lasting friendships during my year at the UEA. Michelle will likely be staying on in Norwich, and for sure Thea will, but Francesca is heading back to London in September to think about her life and the direction of her career. I know I'll stay in touch with them for the rest of my life.

Last night when I got back from Hellesdon, Nancy was here with Ken and Maxine who just returned from their trip to the Norfolk coast. Nancy was preparing a savoury Moroccan tagine with lamb and veggies - the best she's ever made. Before we sat down to dinner, she popped a bottle of perseco and we sat on the terrace (only the second evening of the summer that it's been warm enough to really enjoy) and celebrated the completion of my Master's. Tomorrow, Ken and Maxine head back to their home in France and Nancy and I jump on a train for Edinburgh. I'm excited about going to the Royal Military Tattoo and hearing the piping.  I'm especially looking forward to seeing and hearing the lone piper playing from the ramparts at Edinburgh Castle at night. Bound to be a weepy moment.


  1. Hey Mo!
    What a beautiful post and what an amazing year. Can you believe it has come to an end? Hearing you speak of your new friendships and experiences gives me the shivers. Can't wait to see you when you get back. G & T's on Kathy's deck. Can't wait. Enjoy the last days of your adventure.

    xoxo Naomi

  2. And a big congratulations on finishing your dissertation!!!