Greetings to my Stirling University friends, past and present.
I believe that I was the first person in Scotland to be accepted by a university without formal qualifications when I entered Stirling University as one of its first students in 1967, at the age of 25, with letters of recommendation from Scottish writers because I had published poetry as a young man on the Isle of Mull.
I graduated from Stirling in 1971 with 1st Class Honours in English, and was awarded a scholarship for Advanced Study in the Arts at Glasgow University, when I graduated with a doctorate (a 130,000 word thesis on Sir Walter Scott, a length which would not be permitted nowadays). I was for a time Head of English at Merchiston Castle, the boys’ boarding school in Edinburgh before I went into journalism and broadcasting as a senior researcher and scriptwriter, working in both the Gaelic and English departments of BBC Scotland, years of intense fulfilment, education, and steadfast friends. I have published poetry, short stories, novels, and factual books.
I live in St Andrews with my wife Mary, who I was blessed to meet at Stirling in September 1967 as a vivacious 19 year old redhead, a Biology graduate and expert proof-reader of my writing.
God Willing, we will be at the 50th anniversary celebrations at Stirling, when we look forward to meeting old friends and sharing memories.