MSc Astrophysics

In 1981 a letter from Queen Mary College, University of London advised me that due to spending most of the previous three years, drinking, smoking and playing Dungeons and Dragons – as lady Elven thief “Evenstar” – I had been awarded a Desmond Tutu (officially a BSc lower second class honours) in Physics with Astrophysics.

This immediately crushed my ambition of a full-time funded PhD and becoming an astronaut.  After I stopped weeping into my fully charged wine glass, I decided to fund myself a part-time MSc at Queen Mary at the same time I was studying on a graduate conversion course to become a Chartered Accountant at Kidsons.  Stars in, tax out became the order of the day for the next two years.

I had three good friends on the course, Jeff who was a secondary school maths teacher, Pat an Irishman from County Donegal and Phil a bearded unemployed introvert who smoked Old Holborn in liquorice papers and drank Mackeson stout.  Habits I promptly adopted.

We had great fun together, visiting Pat’s parents farm in Jeff’s old Ford transit van, going to Camber Sands for a “jolly boys outing” a la Del Boy!

From memory only Pat and I completed the course, with my thesis called “a Guide to the Physics of Tethys” (an ice-moon orbiting Saturn).

Jeff met his future wife a lovely lady called Jane and they went on to have 2 kids Michael & Sarah.  Sadly many years ago now I had a letter from Jeff  explaining he had lost Jane to cancer.  I don’t know what happened to Pat and Phil.  I wish I had kept in touch with them all but who knows maybe I can find them again through social media.

Back to the impending house move our solicitor asked for £600 advance to cover “disbursements” yesterday – fingers crossed it’s a good sign.  We also had a chap round to give us our first removal quote to Wales, Debbie was very keen as we think he is the owner of the firm and Welsh!

I also spoke to Quentin an old TA chum living in Penarth who had offered to rent out a spare house he owned there in case we couldn’t find somewhere suitable to move to in time.  Although it looks like we won’t take him up on his kind offer, I think he’s excited we’re moving back to Wales.  It’s deja vue time as I’ve just remembered that he help Debbie move to Middlesex in his estate car (oven & all) back in 1990!

MSc Astrophysics

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