I normally call my parents by their first names because that's the sort of radical ace relationship hierarchy smashing family the Douieb's are. But in the interest's of safety, incase any of you loony fans turn up at their home demanding samples of my childhood clothes in order to clone my dna, I will call them Mum and Dad in this blog. Also because that means you know who they are. Whereas if I called them Liz and Brian it might confuse you. Er....oops. Doh. Anyway, on we go:
I spent this morning at the Barbican watching my mum become a Doctor. Not in the regeneration way. Whilst my mum is awesome, I can’t help but feel fans would become slightly confused if at the end of the next series Matt Smith is attacked by the Daleks at a graduation ceremony and comes back as my mum. So no, not The Doctor, just a doctor. Which is also brilliant. I had every intention of attending every since my mum asked me if I wanted to go several months ago, but as I woke up this morning in the early hours and foresaw having to watch 200 students walk on and off a stage while their names were read out for an hour and half, I was slightly concerned. Ultimately, until the person you want to see arrives, Graduation Ceremonies are hugely dull. Any and everyone that buys the DVD of the experience clearly has a lot of stamina or very low excitement threshold. I imagine that when it was all on video most people’s copies would be worn away over all the bits they’d fast forward every time until their turn on the platform. At which point they would gloat about just how well they walked and that they shake hands like Shakin’ Stevens. Or something. My dad and I sat and waited for it to begin, my eyes drooping, only to occasionally be snapped to attention every time someone tried to walk past to their seat. It wasn’t the walking past that would wake me up but more the grumbling by my dad that they hadn’t said ‘excuse me’. I tried to reason that several of them said ‘sorry’ but he said that he didn’t know what they were sorry about and so he wouldn’t move until they said the correct term. Cue discomfort and therefore no dozing. Oddly when he gave up on this and let a rather large woman pass without judgement, she snapped at him that he was rude, which greatly confused us both. As Jim Morrison once said ‘light my fire.’ Er…..
When it all kicked off though, I forgot what a nice event it actually is. Friends and family have gathered to celebrate someone’s academic achievements. Some of whom may have been the first in their family to go to university, and rather than take the stance of the Coalition government and assume higher education is unnecessary, they were there to applaud it. As people walked on stage to their names, sometimes pronounced correctly, various bits of the crowd would whoop and cheer them on and I quite enjoyed playing a game of seeing who was with which student. Then my mum went up. Since I graduated in 2003, my brother has done it and my dad got his masters on 7/7 of all days, so this was the third occasion in recent times where I’ve realised how long its been since I had to do it. It was great to feel glowing pride as she walked onto the stage looking great in her purple hat and gown, not at all dissimilar to a character from Harry Potter, and shook hands with the Dean of the University as her achievement was announced. My and my dad tried to awkwardly take photos - my dad doing a damn sight better with his real camera as opposed to my iPhone – and just gave up to clap and cheer instead. We were drowned out though by the sound of all the students she lectures giving her a standing ovation and I felt truly pleased that that was my mum up there.
I’ve always been proud of my parents. I’ve harped on about this before, but both work in Child Protection – my mum now a lecturer in the subject – and have spent their lives changing and helping other peoples. It always feels a far distance away from my career of shouting at drunken idiots or my brother’s work in the field of music making. Music is beneficial in many ways and I don’t doubt laughing is the best medicine, but I always feel that there’s quite a difference to someone going home saying ‘what a nice night, apart from that short bearded unfunny one’ to actually helping a child to have a better life overall so that one day in the future they can go to a comedy club and say ‘what a nice night, apart from that short bearded unfunny one’. Walking round after the ceremony various students came up to my mum and said how much they’d appreciated her help and how amazed they were that she was doing a PhD at the same time as everything else. It was brilliant to see and I was happy to be professional bag holder while my dad took the role of official cameraman of which he was very pleased. It was better that way. I have the camera skills of a genetic mutation with only thumbs. Admittedly, that genetic mutation might still have an eye for a good pic, which would put him several places above my all thumbs no eyes position. I would have brilliant at some sort of button pushing job.
Anyway congrats to my mum. My only worry now is that my dad is a master, and she is a doctor so they may now have to be mortal enemies for the rest of time. This could make Christmas Day pretty awkward.
I’m now off to see Tim Minchin in Brighton. He has very kindly given me some tickets in return for me saying he no longer owes me a crepe in return for the one he mercilessly stole off me in Edinburgh 2008. I think this is just payment.
Oh and as a last note, watch the One Show this evening. No, I haven’ t lost all taste nor is it some evil trap to bore you all into apathy in the way I suspected the writer’s of Matt Cardle’s first single are. I’m almost 100% sure as I watched that that its all to quell protestor’s rage. If that was played above any demonstration I’d pay anyone good money that wouldn’t instantly be bored into a coma. I have, incidentally, decided to create a new term based on last night’s X-Factor final – I was so sad when I realised I’d misheard and it wasn’t the Final X-Factor – which is this: If your milk isn’t quite gone off but is instead bland as hell and wearing stupid trousers, then it has ‘cardled.’ Please use appropriately.
Anyway, One Show, tonight, should have the excellent Nat Luurtsema talking about living at home with her parents on it. I pop up to let the whole piece down for 30 seconds somewhere in the middle but the rest should be actually good. Watch away. Or at home.