On a beautiful autumn day, we attended our son's graduation from the University of Plymouth.

After four years of study, including a year of working as a research assistant at the university, he graduated with an honours degree in psychology, and to top it off, he was a awarded a first. In the slightly arcane classification of British universities, a first is the top grade, and you need to work hard to get one. It was a proud day, and the whole occasion had a wonderfully celebratory feel. The speeches were just right, and there was plenty of clapping and cheering. It was exciting to be surrounded by hundreds of hopeful young people, all enjoying a moment of success as they went out into the world to get on with their adult lives. The gowns of the staff were a sight to behold, since they each wore the colours of the university from which they'd gained their doctorates. It was certainly not a sombre occasion.

The sun came out for us, and Plymouth looked like something from the Med. It's a day we'll remember.

And every now and then, we all need a day like that.

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