At first I was interviewed by Prof Julian F V Vincent. He was my supervisor initially. I joined a group of about twelve who sat in meetings in Vincent’s office once a week. He let me have my head and during my first presentation he commented that he had never seen the confocal image before, of a burdock hook. This was deadly. It quickened my blood for the kill, the graduation.
But something Vincent said disturbed me and led me to transfer to my old Masters supervisor, Adrian Bowyer, who read my submissions with little comment for twelve months, by which time I was on edge with my plans that I was keeping very close to my chest. Committing to my final format of three papers in succession took seven drafts, none of which any of my supervisors saw although Vincent did see a draft of the three in a previous form when I placed them in his hands in February 2006.
2002 was an important year for post-graduates at Bath University as they initiated a progress tracking system of submitting a transfer paper and attending a viva before 18 months to transfer from M.Phil. to Ph.D. I was in the first wave to be faced with this obstacle.
I did not perform well at my transfer presentation nor was my report my best. I failed.
I asked Patrick Keogh the post-grad supervisor for a new supervisor and the only one he would offer me was the then Head of Department, Tony Mileham.
At our first meeting he said to me: “I think you should leave.”
Faced with this antipathy from my new supervisor and Keogh’s intransigence, short of money and with my father’s death in South Africa looming like a cloud on the horizon with inevitability of showers, I asked for the balance of my grant and took my work down home to my bedsit in Catherine Place in the Bath old town.
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