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

One thought on “MSc Astrophysics

  1. […] His enthusiasm and knowledge for his subject was undoubted and it turned out to be a very busy tonight with over 20 people crammed into all available seats in the small room.   Sadly most appeared older than me at nearly 58, which was a shame as in his role as space ambassador he gives lots of talks to schoolchildren and students but his audience was very knowledgeable about astrophysics, more so than myself despite having a Master’s degree, albeit from 34 years ago! […]


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