Work during my first year

After finishing the more theoretical work for the MSc, the summer of 1962 was scheduled for doing research at Lane End Farm. I had been stimulated by some work reported by a Dr.Blaxter from the Hannah Institute in Ayr; on volatile fatty acid utilization. I wanted to test that and Dr. Allen agreed, but there were no suitable facilities at Lane End Farm so I had to get busy with nails and a hammer to knock together metabolism crates. Plastic fertilizer bags were used to lead urine into buckets under the crates. Eventually we managed to gather enough lambs and off we went. I will not here say anything about the results.

During the summer I moved out of St. Patricks Hall and found an old house to share with three others students. It was on Whitley Wood Road  and it was a Rackman type Situation. A rich man had bought an old house and collected a lot of money from rents but doing virtually no maintenance. It was not a good place to live, I came to share the flat with other MSc students. In particular there was Malik Zawar Hussein from Pakistan and later Dickon Hovell. The company was good but the house very poor.

At the end of the first year David Allen suggested that I should really do a PhD instead of MSc, however I found that the year I had done for MSc did not count so I would have to do three years more, just as well- my English was not good enough to write an MSc thesis yet even though the work was good. I did not have a grant for more than 2 years so sold my car and bought a scooter in case I ran out of money. I did later get a NATO Scholarship for one year and with careful management actually had a substantial profit at the end.

The first year at Reading was a year of adaptation to a different type of life. Sometimes I felt bored. Research could be drudgery. I felt bad about Jean but I made many good friends including Brian Chatterlon from Australia and Dickon Hovell and

It is easier if I divide the last three years of my time in Reading into different spheres of activity.