If someone had told you when you were 18 that you would have achieved the PhD and you would be doing what you are doing now, would it have been a surprise to you?
It would have been very much a surprise, oh yes!
What did you think life was going to…
I just thought I would be working my way up through a career as a gardener, but it just didn't happen that way. As I said, I started with the night classes as a hobby and just sort of drifted into academia. There was no set plan I think until my second year of doing Open University where I thought 'I enjoy it, I want to do it full-time.' I think even then I wasn't sure whether I would get up to PhD level. I think that is the thing as well, it is very difficult to plan. They all say you should have your career plan, I think that is a load of crap because in reality it doesn't work out like that. I've never really had a career plan. I suppose in some ways it has been looking at in the short-term: three years as undergraduate, a year of Masters, three years PhD and then these three two year/three year contracts that I get after that.
And so do you think you are very much the sort of person that likes to immerse themselves in what they are doing in the present and you don't dwell on the uncertainties?
I try not to dwell on the uncertainties and get on with what you are doing. Yeah I have moments of, you know, the insecurity yes certainly. Interesting again going back to my staff development review; the person who reviewed said 'well, you don't seem very twitchy you don't seem to worried about it' and I said 'perhaps a couple of months towards the end of a contract that's when you get twitchy you know and think what is going to happen next.'