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Patrick Samphire has many astonishing and remarkable talents. Writing about himself is not one of them. Writing about himself in the third person is just weird.
Let’s make this easy for all of us. You tell me what you want to know.
Tell me about school!
Fine. Okay. So. I have three interesting things to tell you about school.
First up, I spent four years living in in Zambia in Africa with my parents and two brothers, until I was nine years old. School there was … kinda different. The lessons I remember were: how to make bricks from straw and mud; how to dig toilets; and doing math by writing the sums in the dirt. Don’t get me wrong. Zambia is a fantastic country. But very poor, and different things mattered.
That was the first interesting thing. Stop me if you’re getting bored.
The second very, incredibly interesting thing about school:
I had a fantastic English teacher. When everyone else was sitting in class learning all about grammar, punctuation, and spelling, my friend and I were sitting out in the hall writing our first novel together. Our teacher even promised to help us get the book published if it was any good. It wasn’t. She didn’t. Still.
That was number two.
Actually, there isn’t a number three.
That’s all you did in school? Bricks and toilets and novels?
Yep. Pretty much. I did fail a whole bunch of French vocabulary tests. Does that count?
What then, then?
Much of the same, except this time at University, and without the French vocabulary tests. Thank Heavens.
I went to the University of Essex, where I studied physics for something like a million years. Essex is in England, not far from London. Just up a bit. Although until I got there, I thought it was down a bit.
Yes, I also failed Geography tests at school.
At the end of the million years, I came away with a PhD in theoretical physics, an overdraft, and several years of hair growth. The overdraft went, as has quite a lot of the hair. The PhD has stuck. I’ve never been quite sure what to do with it.
After that, I taught physics in Guyana, South America, edited science journals in Bristol, England, and built websites for the University of Leeds.
That was then, what now? Huh? Huh?
Okay, okay. No need to get shirty. I’m getting there.
Now I live in Wales with my wife, the writer Stephanie Burgis, our border collie mix, Maya, and our two sons. Most of the time I spend answering questions from imaginary people. Like you.