|Proudly sporting my old school tie before - after a 10 year break - I headed off to university|
I was a mature student. In name if not in attitude. I worked for ten years straight out of school, a long stint at the local newspaper (as a reporter, then sub-editor) and then a couple of years at a company that published trade magazines.
It was while I was at the trade magazines that I hit upon the idea that my next career step should be getting a degree, and so I got myself on a course at Bournemouth University, studying Scriptwriting For Film & Television.
Naturally, my colleagues at the magazines were heartbroken that I was leaving and had a whip round to get me a "going away present".
The main gift was the awesome, black, high top, Converse All-Stars which you can see me holding in the picture above (because my co-workers knew those were my favourite shoes), but they also put together the brilliant "student survival kit" shown below.
I think a lot more leeway went into the leaving gift than if I'd been heading off to a job with a competitor; instead I was leaving the industry behind and heading to higher education.
As well as items of stationery (such as a kid's pencil case and a glue stick), the survival kit included the all-important tea bags, mug, baked beans, sugar, ketchup, bottle of beer, shampoo, and toilet paper.
Although I don't remember precisely, I doubt much of this stuff made it through my first term at Bournemouth.
A little piece of Knight family trivia that relates to my time with the trade magazine company: the publishers was based in Wadhurst - in Sussex - and the firm's local was The Red Lion (where my leaving do was held), which had been run by my grandfather back when my parents got married. If I'm recalling correctly, their wedding reception was held there.
At one point, granddad (my father's father) was also the village blacksmith and, during the war, an ARP warden (I still have, and treasure, his ARP warden's helmet).