In an attempt to solve the taxing problem of how to write whilst working for a living, I imagined I’d be able to combine the two if I taught. Shortly after the publication of my third book then, and thirty years after I left school with next-to-no qualifications, I parlayed my publishing history into a degree and began an MA in Creative Writing. Exposure to life within Higher Education gave me a few pointers about my new career goal and I quickly decided I’d rather punch myself in the face than teach the arts at university; on the plus side I was finally made to read some Jon McGregor, whose work I think is superb.
First published by Granta 78: Bad Company, 2012. Collected in This Isn’t the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You, Bloomsbury, 2012. Read it online here in a version that includes a later iteration, ‘In Winter the Sky’.