So was it all worth it?
Doing the degree I mean.
Well of course it was. A first class BA (Hons) in anything is worth having, and it's a deeply satisfying feeling to know that you know that much about something and you can convey it in practice and academically. And don't forget all this stuff has underpinned my life for more than 40 years. Because of that - and because all those years I was a professional writer and researcher - you might be inclined to think that there's no wonder I got a good degree...but let me tell you, it's been bloody hard work. I've addressed things on my degree course that I had only given a passing thought to in all those years. And, as my personal tutor, Rob Sara, pointed out, going back into education at the age of 57 really is not an easy thing to do. But I'd promised myself a go at a photography degree for many years; getting made redundant from the Tullie House was the opportunity before it really was too late.
I'm going to give a nod to one of my heroes now (I'll thank my very tolerant other half and my agent, and the casting couch upholsterer another time) because without it raining in Middlesbrough one day in 1981 I would never have seen this photo and wondered what the hell it was made it special enough to be featured large in a book about the history of photography. Step forward Lee Friedlander and one of his greatest enigmas (at least it was to me in 1981).