I have been working towards this day for ten months. now it has arrived; I am not sure quite where to start.
I will start here.
The desk in my office has been cleared, the last tasks achieved, a few farewells shared in the silent corridors that were throng with frantic students only a few days ago. The end of term heralds new beginnings for a whole generation and for a few intrepid travelers of a certain age who have no desire to grow old.
There is a kind of emptiness that yet has to be filled with a new kind of busy-ness and I need some help to change gear.
Tonight at the Victoria Family and Commercial Hotel, a few glasses will be shared with some of the lovely people who have supported me, advised me, encouraged and tolerated me, shared laughter and sometimes tears of anger and frustration, smiled at me every morning, wished me well every weekend and made every day exciting and fulfilling. There will also be some of the great students with whom I have had the honour to exchange some knowledge and from whom I have learned so much.
We all need these rituals to help us move from one part of life into another; to create recognisable milestones to mark our passing. Thank you one and all.