Back from Armidale after my paper. I left my accommodations bookings very late. This almost proved a disaster, for one of the graduations was on, and most accommodation was booked out. Still, with the help of the efficient Louise from the Armidale Visitor Information Centre I found accommodation at the Sandon B&B about fifteen minutes drive out of the city. I arrived after dark, so it took me a little while to find it.
I don't want to say too much about the B&B at this point nor about Tini & Gerard Oude Avenhuis who run it. However, two photos just to whet your appetite.
And this is one photo of my room.
Not bad, eh? Totally self-contained. I know that I am biased, but dear Armidale is a civilised place! That bed was wonderful.
On Friday morning, I drove out to the university early to to brush up on the paper. It was already busy because of graduation. I know where the car parks are, so found a spot and walked up to the campus. From time to time on this blog I have spoken about the time when Winton Bates and I were co-editors of Neucleus, the student newspaper.
This photo shows the building that was our office. It was originally the sub-lodge when what is now UNE was a grand country property. Now it's the headquarters of the Overseas Students Association. Imagine what was like to have your own place on campus for parties!
I walked up to the Union Building. The tables in the old refec were closer to what they once were. Our table, second on the left, was back in roughly the same position. I bought a coffee and sat there doing hast last minute notes as I had so often done in the past.
Graduation is big business now. Even though the ceremony was still some time away, there was already a stream of people picking up gowns or, as in this photo, arranging for their framed photos.
From the Union, the walkway runs down towards Bool.
I walked down to Booloominbah, the country homestead that became the initial centre of the newly established New England University College. This was quite some country homestead!
Since I still had time, I walked to the front of Bool overlooking Armidale, where the graduation was to be held. An opera singer was already performing, while early students like these took photos. The garbage bins, while necessary, don't add to the ambience!
Walking back to the Arts building for the paper, I took one last shot back towards the graduation site. No-one can deny its a pretty campus. Pity the Commonwealth Government creates so many difficulties. It really is hard today for anyone who want to run a real university. But that's a story for another post.