I stood at the side of the stage. A woman in a gown a bit like mine and a very cheery face whispered: 'Don't worry, you'll be fine.'
'Was it an enjoyable experience?' he said.
'Fantastic,' I said.
'I think I'm going to cry.'
'Ah, best not,' he said, as he squeezed my shoulder and sent me on my way.
There, in the audience, was my sister, my brother-in-law, my parents, my friend Pelly and Number One Son. And there in the aisle to greet me, camera in hand, was Mr Grigg.
'I'm so proud of you,' he said. 'Well done.'
And that nearly set me off again.
The audience fanned themselves with the OU programme, which gave details of the honorary degrees being conferred this year. Among the recipients are physicist, television presenter and former rock star Professor Brian Cox, singer Annie Lennox, photographer David Bailey, science fiction novelist Cory Doctorow, child-protection campaigner Sara Payne and sportswoman Dame Mary Peters.
And still they filed across the stage. Young and old, able bodied and not so able bodied. A man who looked like he was Edward and James Fox's older brother picked up an MA in art history. A woman with painted nails the length of Italy, a chief executive of a care home business and a music teacher who winced when the brass band hit a bum note collected BAs in English literature, nursing studies and modern languages.
A man with a long, blond pony tail and a guide dog, a young lady with a terribly long-winded name, several women with newly-cut bobs, a car salesman, a girl who looked little more than a child, someone's uncle, brother, father and someone else's mother, best friend and daughter picked up BScs in environmental studies, geoscience, information and communication technology, molecular science, mathematics and statistics and engineering.
There were shouts of: 'Well done Mum!' and whoops and hollering and posing for the cameras. There were tears, claps and wolf whistles.
And then a standing ovation from the graduates to their family and friends, without whom the long road to an OU qualification would not have been possible.
So here's to you. Take a bow.
That's about it.
Love Maddie x
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