"I think pretty well all my tutors and professors were eccentric in their own way!"
“My 3-year degree course at Bangor University, or UCNW as it was then called, ran from 1966 to 1969. I studied Psychology, Philosophy and Archaeology, all considered quite exotic and besides, I wanted a change from school subjects. As an example of how quaintly olden-days this era was, I remember the first day of our induction in the great hall of Top Coll when all the boys sat on the right and all the girls on the left. We automatically segregated ourselves this way – nobody told us how to do it. I guess most of us were from single-sex schools.
I think pretty well all my tutors and professors were eccentric in their own way. I'm sure we all revelled in meeting fellow students from far away, with their different accents, idioms and strange ways, but we developed a common slang, much of it very un-PC now.
I lived in various shared digs nearby, ate in the refectory and, before the student bar opened, drank in the nearby Glanrafon pub run by Mitch, where the cool place to go was upstairs. I wasn't much of a one for clubs but did go to concerts (The Incredible String Band, John Peel, Bert Jansch and the Pentangle) and the embarrassingly awkward dances in Top Coll. There were lots of small parties where we smoked joss sticks mainly and drank cider.
After graduating, I confess I took a gap year (we called it dropping out) on Anglesey devouring science fiction obtained from the wonderful yellow-cover Gollancz collection in Bangor town library. After that, angst-ridden and undecided about life and careers, I assumed the then default position of becoming a schoolteacher, training at Manchester, teaching in Liverpool and then various inventions and re-inventions including craftsman, shopkeeper, daddy, drummer, removal man and, at last, practising some of that archaeology in Crete and Cyprus.
Twelve years ago I came out as a poet and have since published several hundred poems in magazines, print and online and produced two books of poetry: The Taste of Glass [Cinnamon Press] and Wound Up With Love [Lapwing]. I now live in Totnes in Devon and am working on my third poetry collection. Life is pretty good.”
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