I designed scenery for two major events at Bradford ice rink in 1966/67 while I was still at school. I fell out of art college (Brighton - see Zouch, A Tale of Two Sixties)in 1968 and worked in a factory in Worthing, designing the packaging for Mary Quant make-up. Before that, I had studied biological sciences at A level, played hockey as a sprinting, dexterous, left hander, and stared vacantly throughout all and every maths lesson - which caused me to be linked with the saucer-eyed alien in ‘A for Andromeda’. Luckily, I was better at stats.After a fair old stint as a secretary, nurse, psychologist, and virtual world researcher, I’m back into imagineering as a writer. The Open University does modules in creative writing. Lancaster does an MA by distance. These are wonderful things for minds and brains and thinking and memory and ikigai.‘Green Buses’: a story and an appealbecause not all Christmases are twinkly.The four year old girl crouched in the footwell has never heard of christmas and wouldn’t care if she had. She stares at her hands and wipes them on the pink anorak that used to fit but now hangs more loosely from her shoulders.The twelve year old boy next to her is angry and feels himself uprooted and displaced. He has heard of christmas but he blames the westeners who celebrate it for where he finds himself. His eyes tell simultaneously of a child’s dark despair and the blazing hatred of the adult he will become. He is already conjuring revenge in his head. More
Where my several online identities collide.
Science, psychology, being
responsible and sensible
A brief interlude ...
I have worked as a filing clerk, PA, barmaid, chamber maid, and interpreter (French ‘O’ level and limited to directions to the toilets). When common sense kicked in, I took nurse training, worked in intensive care, and received back from theatre, Prof Sir Magdi Yacoub’s very first quintuple bypass graft. Obviously, that makes you go off and study psychology. First, Goldsmiths College (BA) then University College, London (PhD). Clinical training (MPhil), Institute of Psychiatry/Maudsley hospital, and out into practice at Bromley and Horsham. Then back to Brighton, where the sea seems to be higher than the land, an MSc (Leicester - forensic psychology) and some of the best times of my life.I have ended my 24 years there in research - investigating the utility of virtual reality (Second Life) as a way of helping people with intellectual disabilities understand and remember more about hospital procedures. Winning research grants is very left brain but the ideas are pure imagineering. Full, satisfying circle.By the way, the left brain right brain thing isn’t a thing; the whole brain thing is a thing.The photos: 16, 21, 65.