"I came to Stirling because it was fairly close to home – we lived in Gourock at the time - but not so close that commuting would have been a realistic possibility, and also because I’d grown to hate exams and knew that the University used continuous assessment.
"I did get in a lot of writing while I was at Stirling, as well as a fair amount of walking in the hills, too, plus I was handily placed to keep in touch with my extended family in Fife.
"What I remember most keenly is the wonderful feeling of freedom of being there, and the sheer intoxication of living and working in a place devoted to learning, to the pursuit of knowledge. I still smile when I think of the place, the time, and my years at Stirling were some of the happiest and most productive of my life. All that, plus I got to be an extra in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’. How cool was that?”