I left school at 16 and did various jobs; I got an apprenticeship and became a gardener. I was a professional gardener for about 15 years. I did actually do college full-time for one year on a craftsman's course. And after that I actually came to work at the university as a gardener and I think I still quite miss it. And over the years as a hobby I started doing evening classes – A Levels – because I only had three O Levels when I left school, and I quite enjoyed that.
And then I started doing some Open University enjoying it even more and I thought I would quite like to do this, you know, full-time. I thought 'well, what am I interested in?' 'Well,' I thought, 'historical things.' But archaeology is a very practical thing because I had come from a very practical background and so I thought 'I will try applying for that and see what happens.' I can't say things were planned; I suppose I more drifted into it. But anyway I applied and everybody kept offering me places and so I thought I will come here because it's the university I worked at. I did well as an undergraduate, did a Masters – although I didn't have funding for the Masters – and that was very, very tough. I got to the end of it thinking 'do I really want to carry on?' but I had applied for funding for a PhD and got the funding for that. I thought 'well I've got the funding I will carry on.'