Life’s Lessons Learnt
From Irish Bohareens to London Streets to the Temples of Learning
About the Book
Every person has an interesting life story to tell and I do not claim that my story is unique. I write about my experience of living alone with my grandmother on an Irish farm and why it shaped my national identity. My life-changing move to London and the need to become street wise and still make it to university is covered. I describe how my debating exploits at school and university got me an invitation to The House of Lords and how I met my future wife, and entering a grammar school for the very first time as teacher. My passion for comprehensive education, more enlightened science teaching and my role in senior school management all get an airing as well as my camping, political and sporting adventures. Space is given to how we made lifelong friends with some Germans and our many years of skiing in Austria and Norway. The book also covers the period from early retirement in 1999 to my years teaching in some of England’s elite private schools and why girls really do love chocolate. I describe how I coped with a heart bypass in 2012 and got back to marathon running and took up marathon bike riding for charity. I conclude with my take on the human predicament.
About the Author
Born in Dublin in 1946, I spent my early years on a farm with my grandmother and took on responsibilities way beyond my age. These years shaped my future national identity. In 1960 I emigrated to London, just in time to join the social and cultural changes that swept away post war austerity. I had the good fortune to stay on at school and gain a place to read Physics at London University becoming the first in my immediate family to do so. At university I participated in anti- war demonstrations, became President of the London University Debating Union and met my future Norwegian wife. After teaching in Grammar schools, I joined the comprehensive education movement and became a Head of Science and later Deputy Head at other comprehensive schools. A growing family, politics, sport and camping were now central to my life. My wife’s contacts as a language teacher coupled to my marathon running across the world served as a link to the global family. After early retirement in 1999 I taught in some of England’s elite private schools, had a heart bypass, kept on running and did my first 100 Mile Olympic Legacy Bike Ride for Cystic Fibrosis.