by Michael

Back in London after a couple of days in Cambridge. Sophie and I went up to look after her (our) nephews while their parents were in New York at a wedding (not a bad way to spend a long weekend). In fact, I’m here on my own as I have work in the morning whereas Sophie is looking after the two boys and our very own Edie for another night.

We had a great time, although Edie is struggling to sleep at the moment and quite possibly swallowed a magnet. We must remember to check that out before we put her through any security scanners….

But it’s curious that Cambridge is now linked more in my mind with my sister-in-law’s lovely family than it is with my undergraduate years there. Curious, but also pleasing. University obviously feels very important to 18-year-olds, but I didn’t have a great time there – socially or academically – at least until my final year, when I realised there was more going on than my degree.

And while I suspect having Cambridge on my CV has helped me get a few job interviews (and possibly jobs), it was the experience of not getting the most out of my BA degree that stayed with me, rather than the studying I did. But that experience has given me a sense of the importance of learning – which I didn’t really have when I went to university – and means I’m keen on doing more studying, even though I don’t think I’m cut out to be (an) academic.

Studying – close reading on and around a subject and pulling on stray threads of thought until the jumper is perilously close to unravelling – is important in my writing. I don’t want to become an expert particularly (although secretly, yes, I do), and I know my knowledge of a subject is not stringent but hopelessly, subjectively personal. But it allows me to construct a ‘world-view’ of the world within a project, which, in turn, allows construction of the play.