There is a funny superstition in Durham.
One that is passed around the students, old to young as they enter this historic university.
"Don't climb the Cathedral Tower before you have finished your degree". For the simple reason that if you do, "you won't get a first".
I don't know if my American friends have the same grading system at university? Here you can get a 3rd, a 2.2, a 2.1 (generally the most common mark and what most people aim for) and the top mark, a first.
Now don't get me wrong, some students do climb the cathedral tower before they finish, perhaps because they don't want a first anyway, perhaps because they aren't superstitious.
I'm not superstitious at all but for some reason it had never come up to climb the tower before this point. I just don't think it is the 'done' thing! It's funny how these superstitions become tradition, even if you don't believe in them!
Anyway, once I finished my final exams and the boy had come to stay, I declared that now was the time I would climb the cathedral tower.
The boy came with me and it was impressive that he did because a steep 325 step spiral staircase is no mean feat when you have asthma. Ironically he was less out of puff than I was when we reached the top! The staircase was also incredibly narrow so if one person was going down as you came up, the two parties had to press themselves against opposite walls and clamber over each other. It made for quite the experience!
The view from the top was superb. We could see all angles of Durham from the surrounding countryside and we spent a good half hour taking photos and admiring the view as we pointed out different landmarks.
It was such a fun way to celebrate finishing my degree. Superstition or not, i'm glad I waited because it felt like such a fitting end to my academic studies!