I was born a long time ago and attended school in Edinburgh. I enjoyed four years at Aberdeen University studying English Language. (That’s the bits that stop round about Chaucer – for me Shakespeare was a modern.)
I have always been interested in linguistics and language. This spills over into computer languages as well. Part of the University course was Modern Linguistics: in those distant days, it was fashionable to see language (and the brain generally) as a computer program, which led me into the next, mercifully short period of my life.
A disastrous year as an incompetent** computer salesman then led to a year labouring, working on oil pipelines, and lugging radiators in a plumbing warehouse. I then went to teacher training college in Aberdeen.
I started at Inverness Royal Academy (IRA) and was there until I retired 35 years later. After 15 years of teaching English, I made the move to IT. This involved week-long visits to Edinburgh, which were great fun.
In 1982 Sonia – then a music teacher at the IRA – and I got married and we’ve been together since. She now teaches music in a special school in Inverness and is probably far too tolerant for my own good. She is looking forward to her retirement in the near future.
Two daughters came along: Joanna (born 1989) and Sarah (1992). Sarah gained BSc (Hons) in Food Product Design from Abertay (Dundee). She and Calum have bought a flat and she’s working in Tesco’s customer support centre in Dundee: their marriage is scheduled for the summer of 2018. Calum is completing paramedic training. Jo gained a degree in Psychology from Glasgow and then a Master’s from Portsmouth. She got married to Ben – they had been “an item” for over ten years – in 2016 and in early 2017 returned to Scotland, where Ben has taken up a post with a food company, working as a Product Designer. Jo plans to continue her work in the care sector and hopes to do a Doctorate in Glasgow or Edinburgh.
I retired at the summer in 2011 and share my time amongst hill-walking, travelling, planning travels and programming in GameMaker and stuff like that. I also do bits of web work etc. Anyone who would like to consider hiring me for a project can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I also do proofreading if invited.
Since retiring, I’ve managed to do quite a bit of travel, with the tolerant acquiescence of Sonia. When the schools went back that summer, and retirement really started, I walked on my own from Geneva to Nice through the Alps on the GR5: a month-long trek that certainly made a change from teaching! When colleague Laurie Chancellor retired, we walked the GR20 through Corsica: that was a bit of a killer, though greatly enjoyable. I also managed to fit in a couple of trips to The Gambia – continuing a connection I had made when taking parties of senior pupils there towards the end of my teaching career – and two trips to Sri Lanka. There have also been holidays abroad with Sonia.
** The job description didn’t specify I should be incompetent: that was merely my take on the situation. I suspect that may have had something to do with my departure from them. They’ve been taken over several times and, I think, gone bust, so I got my revenge!