I was expecting to be sad, I wasn't expecting to be so distressed. Retiring from Hull was always going to be difficult, it was such a big part of my life. I would never have looked for a deal at my age without the changes that are affecting adult education everywhere. And I have to admit that I wept, not just for me or because I was leaving my friends, but for that marvellous, life-enhancing, vitally necessary and shamefully betrayed world of adult education.
Its time will come again and even now it is resurrecting itself through all sorts of self-help and voluntary groups. Something so integral to being human, a human need as well as a human right, will always be a cause to be fought for, politically by egalitarians and radicals, and in ordinary ways by people who simply see it as something that they enjoy and that, in its own way, brings a form of liberation.
I will be grieving for some time, though today I started a new part-time job, ironically in a building that used to be an adult education college, which was also where I started my teaching career some twenty-seven years ago. Full circle.