Graduation day and traditional shaking of hands of Important People you've never met nor probably will again.
Newcastle has a couple of quirks in it's degree ceremonies. One, there's no mortar-board hat (they discarded them ceremoniously when separating from Durham Uni, apparently). The other is that hood of the gown is applied on stage by a Hooding Marshal - who might have found a stepstool helpful for certain people.
Headed back in the evening, discovering this time the M1 was coned down to one lane for no readily apparent purpose.