Document 1445

Conversation 33: Two female students on Scotland, and University education

Author(s): N/A

Copyright holder(s): SCOTS Project

Audio transcription

F1037 So anyway, iPods, erm, so are you going to get an iPod, that's what //er//
F1038 //Well hopefully,// I've I've just bought a digital camera, so now I'm thinking that //I'll need to save up a bit more now again, [laugh]//
F1037 //IPod, yeah, okay.// //Fair enough.//
F1038 //for it.// But yeah.
F1037 No, I must say I think they're they're quite quite good news; I would like an iPod. So, anyway, erm where are you from? Yo- do you live in Glasgow?
F1038 Erm well I've I've lived in Glasgow since I was born, //erm I was born//
F1037 //Right.//
F1038 the Southern General,
F1037 Right.
F1038 and I lived in Pollokshields up until about twelve, I was about twelve, and then we moved to //Newton Mearns,//
F1037 //There's some nice houses in Pollokshields,// //some of it.//
F1038 //out a bit,// //so out of Glasgow, and erm//
F1037 //Yeah, yeah.//
F1038 the boringest place on earth, I have to //say, one of the [?]points[/?]. Yeah.//
F1037 //What Newton Mearns?// //Is it deemed to be out of Glasgow, Newton Mearns?//
F1038 //That's so, mm.// Well it's, yeah.
F1037 That's quite interesting cause we're selling our house at the moment erm and a guy from Newton Mearns came down to look at it yesterday, and I I just erm I I just sort of thought of it as, he said no, he wanted to you know, move to the country, and I just thought that Newton Mearns was kind of city, really, but //it's not.//
F1038 //Well no, it is// city, it's a suburb. //I mean it's not//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 classified as being part of Glasgow, but
F1037 That's quite interesting. //Mm, but no, yeah.//
F1038 //but erm I suppose it is really Glasgow.// I mean, but //yeah so//
F1037 //I-//
F1038 I've lived there since erm, so and hopefully I'm going to Vancouver next year, //so I'll get to move about and things.//
F1037 //Brilliant. Are you doing an exchange?//
F1038 Yeah. So hopefully, that's the plan.
F1037 Are you living at home, or do you actually s-s-, er are you living on campus, you know, are //you s-, you're living at home?//
F1038 //No, I'm living at home, yeah. I can't erm// my parents said they'll help me if I go to Canada, //but if I move,//
F1037 //Okay.//
F1038 bit silly moving out in Glasgow when I'm //still living,//
F1037 //I think that's// //the trouble actually, it's too easy to live at home and it it just makes it more expensive.//
F1038 //Yeah.// //Yeah.//
F1037 //Have you got siblings?//
F1038 Er, yeah, as well, so //got a little sister//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 so, she doesn't want to live at home, she doesn't, cause she knows how annoying I find it on the bus every morning. //So,//
F1037 //I think that's the trouble. I I drive up// every day, and that's that's bad enough but I I sometimes think that living at home does have downsides, I mean I, obviously I'm older than you are, and being married and having kids you have responsibilities, but I think sometimes, I'm I'm going to have to start actually decamping up to University, because when you're at home I think working sometimes there are just too many distractions. //I think if you're in a totally neutral//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 environment where you actually have no responsibility, and nothing there, you get on better.
F1038 Yeah. //Sometimes I think//
F1037 //Erm,//
F1038 well sometimes I think it's good when I get home, it's quieter in the sense //of//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 if I was at halls halls of residence last //year//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 but this year with my friends in their own flats and //things like that.//
F1037 //That's right.// And the library's much more //accessible if you're actually on the spot you can get to the library; if you've got to travel it's such a bind//
F1038 //It's, yeah, exactly.// //Yeah.//
F1037 //to actually have to load everything up and// get yourself up to the library. //Yeah.//
F1038 //No, totally, yeah.// The way it's just sometimes when I'm waiting on the bus on the way home and you're sort of half-way back home //and then you remember something.//
F1037 //Yes.// Exactly! //That's the thing.//
F1038 //And or or// before exams, my friends like can study in there till twelve, //after dinner, and they, I//
F1037 //That's right, yeah, exactly.//
F1038 I always get so much more done in the library //than I do at home.//
F1037 //Yeah, no,// I found //exactly the same, and I think//
F1038 //I find it's//
F1037 er I said I was going to work more in the library this year, and I haven't as much but next year I think I'm definitely going to do it. //I think I'm I'm going to//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 I've got my, I've got a new laptop just recently and I've got that geared up to use in the library and I think come next semester er I'm really going to, I'm not even going to try working at home, I'm just going to make a point of of actually, if we had somewhere we could keep things, you know, //erm//
F1038 //Yeah.// //Like books and things.//
F1037 //a a locker where you could just keep your books,// so that in fact you didn't have to lug them with you all over the place every day,
F1038 Yeah.
F1037 er particularly working for something like an essay which, you know, you've maybe got something out for three weeks and er you've got to cart the books up and down every single day as well as what your lecture //books and notes require.//
F1038 //I know.// //Yeah.//
F1037 //So,// anyway.
F1038 I've got a massive big //politics thing, [laugh]//
F1037 //Yeah, that's right, yeah.//
F1038 to carry around //and it's just//
F1037 //Yeah, no that's// well that's right, no, and we've got, doing Scottish Lit, I've got erm, I've got a wonderful book, but it's a huge fat heavy thing, //erm//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 and it's it's just li-, you know, you carry that, you don't carry anything else.
F1038 Yeah.
F1037 Anyway, so you're going to Vancouver next year, //why, what for?//
F1038 //Hopefully.//
F1037 This is an exchange? //What, Erasmus or//
F1038 //Yeah.// //Erm, it's just//
F1037 //or what is it?//
F1038 called International //Exchange, I'm going to erm//
F1037 //Okay.//
F1038 to the University of British Columbia, hopefully. //It depends on my exam results.//
F1037 //Brilliant.//
F1038 So that'll be for my third year, erm doing Politics, but the more I think about it, the more I want a bit of English Lit,
F1037 Oh really?
F1038 as well with it, cause that's what I'm doing //with er, this year//
F1037 //Right, okay.//
F1038 as well, second year English Lit.
F1037 Okay.
F1038 So, hm I'm kind of thinking if I can do a couple of modules there as well, //I I've//
F1037 //Brilliant.//
F1038 been advised to do that now that I've talked to Canadians //last week.//
F1037 //It's meant to be fabulously beautiful,// //British Columbia as well,//
F1038 //Yeah, it's meant to be gorgeous.//
F1037 and if you're doing English Language, er did you have, have you had Jennifer Smith? //Doing "Varieties of English"?//
F1038 //Erm, yes, yeah.// //Oh that'll be good.//
F1037 //Yeah, no.// Yeah, yo- you'll get some first-hand Canadian //accents there to to listen to and//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 ki- go about with a little recorder. //A little digital recorder, yeah, exactly, "just talk to me!"//
F1038 //Oh and they'll be like [laugh]// //[laugh]//
F1037 //[laugh] Excellent!// //And where will you live, are you going to, are you, will you be in halls there?//
F1038 //No.// Er, well it's a campus, just //outside Vancouver, so I'll be//
F1037 //Right, excellent.//
F1038 hopefully in Fairview Crescent, which is like //townhouses,//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 er shared students, as opposed to the halls of residence, //cause I'll be//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 a third-year student, //whereas//
F1037 //Right.//
F1038 there will be these seventeen year-olds
F1037 Yeah.
F1038 pestering me //that's gonna be [?]unsatiable[/?] if I'm in a hall of residence, so//
F1037 //[laugh] Excellent.//
F1038 hopefully I'll get into my first choice.
F1037 Yeah, no that sounds, and for a whole year, for the whole academic year?
F1038 Yeah, yeah, so
F1037 Home at Christmas, are you going to spend Christmas out there, ski-ing?
F1038 Erm, I'd love to do snowboarding,
F1037 Yeah.
F1038 er I've I've tried ski-ing in the past and things, I'm not a great fan of it, but my sister does wind-surfing
F1037 Yep.
F1038 and she's really started getting involved in snowboarding. //Yes, since.//
F1037 //They're not so different, really, I think the balance// //Yeah.//
F1038 //Oh yeah well she's got really// //well she must have I suppose.//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 But erm so hopefully I'll try snowboarding. //That sounds good, but.//
F1037 //Excellent.// Oh no that'll be fabulous, so what i-, what are you going to do then, I mean, you know why why erm why Po- English Lit and Politics, wha- what's your plan?
F1038 Erm well Politics, [inaudible] English Lit, I'd quite like to go into publishing. //Yeah, erm//
F1037 //Really? Right, okay.//
F1038 I'd quite like to do a course down in London after I've finished, after I've graduated, erm but it's a night-time course, //a//
F1037 //Right.//
F1038 diploma and things, in publishing, but it's a really good publishing school.
F1037 Yeah.
F1038 So maybe do volunteer work, that involves //accommodation and then I could//
F1037 //Excellent.//
F1038 cause it'd involve the politics //sides of//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 like community action and things, as //well as publishing,//
F1037 //Right.//
F1038 and then go into like charity publishing, //that ki- o-//
F1037 //Really? Gosh.//
F1038 that so- that sounds //really specialist, but I just thought, I don't know like going into//
F1037 //Yeah, no no no, it's//
F1038 the voluntary sector //and//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 doing documents and things to do //with that//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 just may be an idea; I'm quite interested in environmental politics as well, //I'm a member of Friends of the Earth and things, so//
F1037 //Yeah. Are you?// Do you wear leather shoes?
F1038 Erm, yep.
F1037 Okay, that's okay, is it? //Is that, yeah, no no, that's//
F1038 //No, I'm not a vegetarian, no, I do- I'm not a// vegetarian, but no I know, when people say "Are you vegetarian?" you see, //and you're like//
F1037 //That's right.//
F1038 "You've got leather shoes", no, it's more, I don't know, I'm not like an activist person, but I just worry about //environmental cha-//
F1037 //Actually, I agree// //with you, I I could//
F1038 //planet change.//
F1037 become green, I think, I've never thought about it very much, and I didn't start thinking about it until I started uni, and every single day I drive up from south of Kilmarnock. It takes me, on average, about an hour in the car, and every single day, I'm one of hundreds of cars driving up the M77 with one person in them. And I tried public transport, and it was crap, //erm absolute rubbish, you know, get here in the morning, fine, no problem at all.//
F1038 //[laugh] Uh-huh.//
F1037 Three hours to get home in the afternoon. So, by the time, you know, if I leave the campus here, it takes about forty minutes to get back in the afternoon, leave the campus here, and er in forty minutes I'm still sitting on Central Station waiting for a slow train to get me somewhere, where I've still got to pick up the car and then drive home.
F1038 Yeah.
F1037 So, er but it does slightly concern me that, you know, there's not some way to address the issue of one person, one car.
F1038 Yeah. //They should//
F1037 //You know, during the, yeah.//
F1038 they should do more about that, I mean they're doing a trial in London at the moment, with like a share, //car-share//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 thing and it's //and it's ended up in about four marriages or something!//
F1037 //Oh yes, I saw that.// //Oh really, [laugh], amazing, I must tell me daughter about that, I'm trying to get her married off.//
F1038 //Like, people end up getting together, [laugh], [inaudible].// //If she's in London, she should try this. [laugh]//
F1037 //Yeah, [laugh] excellent.//
F1038 It's wh- what was it I read about, it was erm a couple, cause they match you up, //what interests//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 people in cars, so you have something to talk about on the car journey. //So it ends up//
F1037 //That's amazing.//
F1038 sort of being a match-making //thing without meaning to. [laugh]//
F1037 //Oh God, that's brilliant. Ah yeah, no, I need to// get, I'll need to get your email address, well I've got it anyway, but no, I'll ha- have to find out more about this. //I think it's a very good idea. [laugh]//
F1038 //[laugh]// //Why is she in London?//
F1037 //[laugh] She is// //in London, yeah, absolutely, yeah, and er//
F1038 //Oh right, [laugh]//
F1037 no she's er she's single at the moment, and er I think she she had a relationship erm that went pear-shaped and er she said, "Don't need men". Erm, but er I'd quite like her to get married. //Er all mothers want their daughters to get married.//
F1038 //Yeah.// //Yeah. [laugh]//
F1037 //So erm// so I I think I'll er have to get details of that. Because she travels to work on the tube and the bus and er takes about an hour to get there, and er she doesn't actually have a car in London anyway, but yeah, might be might be worthwhile.
F1038 Well if she gets a car, someone else gets a car, //they could get together. [laugh]//
F1037 //Exactly! [laugh] Excellent!// //That's quite good.//
F1038 //Oh.// Oh, so that was that was good. Are you in first year? //or you're a second year?//
F1037 //No, second year, ah, yeah, second year.// Yeah, absolutely, no di-, started off with Psychology last year, which erm was quite fun until it got to the technical and scientific bit and I'm not really technical and scientific. You know the Sapir-Whorf essay? //Wasn't it dreadful?//
F1038 //Yes, oh,// //yes, [laugh]//
F1037 //[laugh]// //[laugh] Yeah, no, that's, no.//
F1038 //it was, it's not, I just don't like that//
F1037 Er that was that was not something I enjoyed at all, and it was altogether far too reminiscent of er a Psychology report or, for my taste, I didn't, I struggled with it, I have to say, it's erm I thought it was quite dry and didn't really seem to be going anywhere, that //that was the thing.//
F1038 //Yeah, I felt like I was just// //regurgitating but.//
F1037 //That's exactly, and I// and really the more I read or tried to read, the more confused it became. So anyway, I gave up Psychology and Sapir-Whorf reminded me quite badly about Ps- Psychology and the things I didn't like about it. But i-, that was fun and I'm glad I did it, particularly with Scottish Lit or perhaps any literature, I don't //know, English Lit,//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 you know the sort of psychological take on why somebody writes something, and //how their mind works and erm and er//
F1038 //Yeah, that's quite, yeah, that'll be quite good.//
F1037 and we've just been well we've just been doing Robert Fergusson er who is one of the Scottish Vernacular poets, and erm certainly reading some of his stuff he he definitely comes across as a manic depressive, or bi-polar as it's now called, and in fact apparently he was, or some- they think that he probably was, so it's done me some good, it's er, and it was quite fun, but no Scottish Lit, definitely, all the way. //And language, that's the other thing, Jeremy.//
F1038 //Right.// Jer-? //Oh yeah, yeah, he's good. He's good.//
F1037 //Jeremy Smith, yeah, er he's is, no and I think// erm I do- I think just hugely enjoyable, er I think er the aspects of language erm are just fascinating, it's I just, I love the, I especially love the Scots language, erm because I understand it although I I can't really speak it, and you're the same. //That piece of paper, yeah, so.//
F1038 //I'm the same, yeah.//
F1037 So even quite broad Scots and and erm a specific vocabulary which is different from English, I still understand.
F1038 Yeah. //It's//
F1037 //It's quite good.// //It's like being a spy,//
F1038 //yeah.// //[laugh]//
F1037 //but sort of in disguise, you know?// //People say things and you understand it.//
F1038 //Yeah.// //Yeah, it's er//
F1037 //How the hell do you know that? [laugh]//
F1038 I think if people like, if they think you've got an English accent,
F1037 Yeah.
F1038 they'll think, I don't know, it's really weird like my mum did a Spanish course and she's, and my parents have lived in En- er Scotland for twenty-seven years,
F1037 Yeah.
F1038 and erm when she arrived she did a Spanish course and she could not understand a word of what they guy was saying, //because he was Scot-//
F1037 //Because he was a Scot?// Isn't that funny?
F1038 He couldn't, and so she had to give up the course because she couldn't understand let alone Spanish, //couldn't understand Scots.//
F1037 //Yeah.// Isn't that funny?
F1038 But now sometimes like when we're in a taxi, a //taxi-driver, I//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 I speak to the taxi-driver, like //my mum's lived//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 here for so long,
F1037 Yeah.
F1038 but she still doesn't, I don't know whether it's cause I went to school with //someone,//
F1037 //Yeah.// //It is, I think, yes, you've grown up with it, so you're//
F1038 //[inaudible] with all Scottish, yeah.//
F1037 familiar, i- it's like being bilingual, I I think you know, it's like kids who grow up with erm a a foreign parent, you know, foreign, that's not fair, but you know, sort of a British person growing up married to a French person, //sort of thing,//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 and the child speaks French without ever learning to speak French, and I think you're probably exactly the same.
F1038 In a sort of strange //way! [laugh]//
F1037 //Yes, you've, yeah you've// just assimilated it, //sort of through your skin and//
F1038 //Er,// //I wish I had a Scottish accent though,//
F1037 //ears obviously.// //I know, I agree with you.//
F1038 //especially// //yeah.//
F1037 //Yeah, I agree with you, absolutely.// Particularly when it comes to something like poetry,
F1038 Mm.
F1037 because erm it's wonderful, you know, it sounds so stupid er if I //try and read it.//
F1038 //[inhale] Yeah!//
F1037 And it's no point trying to assume an accent because then that sounds offensive, I //think, it's like, you know, like a sort of a bad stage Scots,//
F1038 //Yeah, it does. [laugh]// //[laugh]//
F1037 //erm sort of// er, you know, putting on an accent, but yeah, I I agree with you. Particularly I think for literary purposes, it's a great pity, it was drummed out of me as a child, erm I wasn't, I wasn't allowed, er and I can in little bursts, erm but I I don't think I can sustain it for any length of time, //without//
F1038 //Mm.//
F1037 English creeping in. And I think it is a great pity. //All political of course.//
F1038 //Yeah, I I wish.// //I know! I wish, I just wish//
F1037 //Yeah. [laugh]//
F1038 that I had, cause especially at school,
F1037 Yes.
F1038 I don't s- mind so much now, because I'm mixing with other //people with English accents, but when I was at school//
F1037 //That's right, yeah.//
F1038 I had such the rip taken //out of me, like//
F1037 //Yeah, absolutely.//
F1038 well well not in primary school, I lived like
F1037 Yeah.
F1038 quite, you know, I lived, I went to primary school in Shawlands, it it was a good mix //of classes, all that kind of thing,//
F1037 //Yeah, yes.//
F1038 erm and it was a state school and then I go to Mearns Castle //outside East Renfrewshire//
F1037 //Yeah, yeah.//
F1038 affluent area of Scotland and things //and and I//
F1037 //Quite interesting, yeah.//
F1038 got the absolute rip //taken out of me, I had//
F1037 //Isn't that funny?//
F1038 stones thrown at me. //I couldn't walk home from//
F1037 //That's quite bad.// //[inhale] That is quite bad actually, yeah.//
F1038 //school, [laugh] they had to take me out and// stuff cause it just got so bad, //cause of my English accent.//
F1037 //Gosh.// That- that's quite bad, no //both my kids speak with an English accent,//
F1038 //Uh-huh, it's ridiculous.//
F1037 really erm I suppose because I did, you know, mother tongue //and all that.//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 Er and they are both down in England but but they they were educated up here, erm and both went to independent schools, erm and again quite a good mix of people, but funnily enough, although they don't really have the accent, like you, they understand very well, and I'm quite sure when they were at school - erm they were both at school on the east coast - they er, they were able to sort of switch er, you know, into the vernacular almost if they were with very broad friends, or shopping in the town or whatever, //you know?//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 Er, but they're both extremely patriotic Scots now that they're south of the border, //you know?//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 Erm, they don't quite run around shouting "Och aye the noo", but //er [laugh]//
F1038 //Yeah. [laugh]//
F1037 but they're definitely very Scottish, rugby matches, you know, //that kind of thing, yeah, absolutely.//
F1038 //All that kind of thing, yeah.//
F1037 So erm, //no, so your parents have been here for twenty-seven years? How old are you?//
F1038 //Uh-huh.// //Er, nineteen.//
F1037 //That's very rude, sorry.// Oh oh okay, [laugh] sorry, I won't tell you how old I am. [laugh]
F1038 [laugh] //be alright. [laugh]//
F1037 //Fine, er no, suffice// to say that I've been up here much much longer than that, erm, how long have I been up here? Oh, thirty, thirty-odd years. //Erm, so quite a long time there.//
F1038 //Mm, yeah.// //Mmhm.//
F1037 //But er, but I love it I must say, erm//
F1038 So you went through education in England?
F1037 I am old enough to belong to that generation erm where s- really University was frowned upon. My my father considered that educating girls was a dreadful waste of money and completely unnecessary. Erm because er nice girls er married suitable blokes and erm had nice houses and nice children and did things like erm look after their husbands and er have dinner parties, //and//
F1038 //Mmhm.//
F1037 go to the hairdresser and things like that. Erm, I obviously never really fitted the mould very satisfactorily, erm but and I was at boarding school myself and my headmistress and my English teacher decided that I would go to University, erm which was fine because everybody was going to University, and I was at boarding school, so, you know, parents weren't really consulted, and erm I was going to go to Bristol to do English and Drama, and when my father discovered that this was the plan he absolutely, erm just absolutely forbade it, said it's just not going to happen, and it didn't. //So er, I//
F1038 //Oh, that is//
F1037 I did go to drama school but that was a bit of a waste of time because er that was in London, and they wouldn't let me live away from home, so I was commuting from Kent up to London to go to drama school, //and//
F1038 //Oh.//
F1037 you know, we were given things, well theatre tickets, all the time, for all the big London theatres, Shakespeare Company, all that sort of thing, I could never ever go, cause I never, I was never going to be able to catch the last train back. So i- that was a waste of time, a complete waste of time. So erm er I just decided I would leave home, so that that's pretty much what I did, erm took a secretarial course locally, in our our local technical college in Kent, and erm my father went abroad again and I decided I would stay here. And came up to Edinburgh. And and that was, and then started a a sort of a round of erm courses of one sort or another, so I I I've done all sorts of things, and then finally, a a very good friend of mine, said "For God's sake", I think she got sick of me, said, "For God's sake, why don't you just go to University?" she said, "It's what you want to do".
F1038 [laugh]
F1037 So after having missed it first time round, erm what, three, four years ago, I did-, one dreadful January day, I was sort of moping around the house and erm no not really doing anything, just feeling rather sort of "[sigh] What shall I do now?" sort of, you know, kicking the floor, the door, and you know, sort of ne-ne-ne, and erm she said "Just go", so I phoned there and then, and spoke to a brilliant girl, erm whose name I can't actually remember, but she was she was the er I think admissions secretary in erm down in Gibson Street, //which is where//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 the erm sort of a- access courses run, access is for people who are either, well don't have really qualifications to come to University, cause I had A-levels but they were no good. [cough] So I spoke to her, and said "I want to come to University", and she said "Okay, that's fine, I'll send you the form", and I said "No, no, you don't understand, I want to come now!" //[laugh] And this was January, and she said//
F1038 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F1037 //"Well you can't", and I said "Oh, but, you know, it's, there's load of the, you know, I've only missed one term", and she said "No, you can't come now, but I'll send you a form".// So, got the form, filled it in, that was, took a deep breath, that seemed fine, no problem, lots of support from husband and kids and all the rest of it.
F1038 Yeah.
F1037 But, erm we had a kind of pre-enrolment meeting, er some time in October I think it was, and I went down to the Tinderbox and had coffee and cakes so that my tummy //wouldn't rumble. [laugh]//
F1038 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F1037 //I was feeling rather fat, [laugh] it was delicious.// //Carrot cake, yeah, no, special microphone [inaudible].//
F1038 //Just like "oo-oo" going to the microphone, "rr-rr". [laugh]//
F1037 I was really afraid that might happen, you know, rumbling tummy. //Anyway, erm//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 so we went along and th- I I mean loads of people it was it was really, i- a real sort of mixture and of course ages and everything, er i-i- not I think probably not like your age group, you know, come to University and you're all more or less of an age, sort of, you know, like late teens, early twenties, mid-twenties, anyway complete sort of mixture of people, and drink, wine on the side, and for the first time, ever, I couldn't. I abs- I couldn't, I took a glass of wine and had to put it [?]down[/?]. I felt so terrified, I was absolutely //erm,//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 I anyway, I thought, it's no good, I've told everybody I'm going to do it, so we went and we we had a chat from all sorts of people which was absolutely brilliant, and erm and then started classes, er and and then I had to fill in my UCAS form, //which was utterly bizarre, having done it with my//
F1038 //Mm. [laugh]//
F1037 kids not so very long ago. So I had to fill in my UCAS form and I had to erm pass my exams, and got my place, and that was, you know, like two years ago. I still can't believe it really. It's, I'm going into Junior Honours; so are you. But you know, at my age, it seems utterly bizarre, that I I just can't, we, yesterday we got our pieces of pink paper, erm, which was, is really the course booklet, and a form to fill in and erm I, you know, I kind of er, I felt like a a child //in a sweetie shop, you know, I didn't know what I wanted to do, all this choice, and and to think that I've actually got there.//
F1038 //Mm, uh-huh.//
F1037 So anyway, that was, so that's why I didn't go to University first time round, wasn't allowed. //er, and er, I know.//
F1038 //That's, it's a good thing things have changed.// //Yeah.//
F1037 //They have, absolutely.// Erm, no it was, er but you know lots of my friends are the same and they say things like "Well, I couldn't go to University now", but actually being at University's not difficult, erm I think getting over the guilt is much more difficult, you know, having been a wife and a mother, and all these things, you know, people still expect demands on your time, you know, you sort of say, that's why I say, come up to, you know, come up to the library and get away from //people because//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 if you're there, it's like "Oh, mum, mum, c-", they're not home all that often, you know, "Could you just iron this shirt?" Or I said to my husband the other night, "I have an essay to finish", and I said erm, well he came in from the office, and I said "Look, I'm telling you now, you're going to have to go for a carry-out this evening, cause I'm going to start, you know, working now and I'm I'm not going to stop I'm not going to stop for anything until I've finished this essay." So he said "Oh, it's okay", and erm anyway about quarter past nine he wandered into the study, and he said, erm, "Were you serious about that carry-out?" //So I said "Yes". [laugh]//
F1038 //Oh no! [laugh]//
F1037 And he said "Well, do you want to phone and?" and I said "No, I don't." I said, "Just go and get a carry-out." But this is, you know, and he was like "Ah, oh all right then". //But er//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 er it- it's very difficult to sort of sever that connection, you know? //Er, and the only way to do it is to not be there, you know?//
F1038 //[laugh] Uh-huh.//
F1037 "Right, bye!" //I'll have to say I do love it.//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 I I I really do, I, erm even if I don't have early lectures, I I still leave the house quite early and I sneak off to the Tinderbox, //and er I have my cappuccino and I get//
F1038 //Oh yeah, it's good, yeah.//
F1037 my poetry book out and er I sit there for half an hour or an hour or whatever, and erm it's it's it's just wonderful I think, erm it's er very selfish, it's not going anywhere, I'm not going to have a career, not now, I'm far too old for that.
F1038 But yo- I mean if, you shouldn't, I think there's too much pressure //nowadays, on as soon as you leave school go to University,//
F1037 //[inhale]// //That's right, yeah.//
F1038 //to get a career.// I mean, I think you should do something because you're really passionate about it, //and I think the problem is//
F1037 //That's right.//
F1038 I mean I I personally, I wish that I'd maybe left it a year or two years after I'd left school, //before I did, no.//
F1037 //You didn't do a gap year? No. Yeah.//
F1038 So, I I really wish I had because I think when I started thinking about what I was going to do at University at sixteen, it was just everyone went to University, //sixteen, decide what you're going to do.//
F1037 //That's right. It's expected, yeah.//
F1038 And I'd er originally chose Business and English,
F1037 Right.
F1038 that was my original choice, so I really limited myself,
F1037 Yeah.
F1038 and then about two, three weeks, I started getting doubts after I started Business, and so the only places that do Business in Scotland are St Andrews and Glasgow,
F1037 Right.
F1038 so I immediately [?]missed[/?] myself, went to St Andrews, didn't like that, //so basically I was like "Well, I'm going to be staying at home",//
F1037 //Okay.//
F1038 so then I thought, maybe I just want to do English, so I went down to Durham //University,//
F1037 //Yes.//
F1038 and erm that looked really good and things, except, oh,
F1037 The accent? //Okay, no, it's er//
F1038 //No, no, it wasn't, [laugh] it wasn't the accent, no! [laugh]//
F1037 some people, I think the Geordie accent's wonderful, but I know people who say "Oh, I couldn't po-, I couldn't bear it", you know? //No, that sort of, I think it's wonderful, yeah.//
F1038 //No, no, it wasn't that at all.// Yeah, I, no, I like //it, but it was//
F1037 //Yeah, I do too.//
F1038 it was mainly that, I went down, and I'd originally applied to University College, and it looked amazing, you know, big //castle, that kind of thing,//
F1037 //Yeah, absolutely.//
F1038 and, but I didn't get in there, I got into St Margaret's which is all women,
F1037 Ah.
F1038 and I remember, and I don't mind, it's not that I need men to be about, //but I think//
F1037 //No, no.//
F1038 it's more natural //environment//
F1037 //Yeah, I agree.// //Totally, yeah.//
F1038 //and I'd always been to mixed schools, so I just thought.// //Yeah.//
F1037 //All women, it gets terribly bitchy.//
F1038 Exactly, and I went, and it was so embarrassing, this college, th- the questions, they were like "Are we allowed boys
F1037 [inhale] //Oh, oh no.//
F1038 //to be in the college?" and stuff, I was just like "Oh!"// And then I went to the English, I mean the English Department's fantastic //at Durham University, it's//
F1037 //Yes.//
F1038 very good department, but they chose, there was two lectures that they put on; one of them was erm one of them was on "Jekyll and Hyde",
F1037 Yeah.
F1038 and the other was on "Ode to a Greek Urn". //Now, I don't really like, [laugh] I know!//
F1037 //Right. [laugh]// //[laugh] Okay, you do-, [laugh] go on.//
F1038 //[laugh]// //And I just sort of feel, if you're trying to sell your subject,//
F1037 //[laugh]// //Yeah, [laugh] is//
F1038 //"Ode to a Greek Urn",//
F1037 perhaps not the way to go. //[laugh]//
F1038 //No, exactly, so I went to that, and I thought "Okay, this is a bit strange why they did that",// //And then I went to the "Jekyll and Hyde", and I thought that would be better,//
F1037 //[laugh]// Yeah.
F1038 and er my dad came with me, cause obviously we drove //down together, to Durham,//
F1037 //Yeah, yeah.//
F1038 and I was like one of the only people there with a parent, //and my dad came to the lecture//
F1037 //[laugh]// //Yeah.//
F1038 //cause he was quite interested, he was "Oh, go and see what this is all about."// And erm half-way through the lecture //I mean now I realise it was so theoretical and things, and it, they just, none of them seemed to have a sense of humour, like, and I don't know, I just found it, maybe I was just being childish,//
F1037 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F1038 //maybe me and my dad were just being childish,// //but they said, erm "Jekyll and Hyde" has homosexual overtones,//
F1037 //[laugh]//
F1038 because, what was it, the exact wording they said, erm oh I don't know if I've got them the wrong way round, but er, Jekyll, which is the bad one? Jekyll? //Hyde is the bad one.//
F1037 //Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Hyde is the bad one I think, yes.//
F1038 Jekyll goes out the front and Mr Hyde goes in and out the back. //And that was//
F1037 //Yeah, oh right. [laugh]// //[laugh]//
F1038 //and me and my dad, [laugh] started laughing, [laugh]// //cause it was so ridiculous, and they said it with such a serious face, and all these, like, erm there was school groups, you know,//
F1037 //[laugh] Oh wonderful! [laugh] Yeah.//
F1038 from English schools and things, o- and none of them were laughing. //And then this group of teenagers in front turned round told me and my dad and went "Shhh".//
F1037 //[laugh]// [laugh] //[laugh]//
F1038 //And I was just like "I'm not coming here".// //[laugh]//
F1037 //[laugh] Ah, what a// //shame, honestly, er, yeah.//
F1038 //It's just, I know it's a shame, but//
F1037 No, certainly one or two of my er children's er friends went to Durham, and I think they did have quite a good time, but Newcastle is even more fun apparently, //er//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 it's not as academic, but apparently the social life is just brilliant at Newcastle. //Er, yeah.//
F1038 //Oh, we- I went to visit a friend at Newcastle Uni last year and it is// //great, the clubs and things.//
F1037 //Absolutely amazing, the clubs and things in Newca-.// I think that's absolutely right, no th- they've got one or two friends who had an absolutely whoopee time at Newcastle. Not a great degree, but god, what fun, you know? //So, er, no they//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 er they both we- actually went to Uni down south, because they were educated up here, I shunted them off down, so er our son went down to Warwick, erm which is a lovely University, brilliant campus, just a beautiful campus, so he did History down there, and Victoria went down to Oxford, not to Oxford Uni er but to Oxford Brookes, //er which used to be Oxford Poly,//
F1038 //Oh yeah,// yeah, my mum and dad went there. //yeah, [laugh] Oxford Brookes, yeah, well when it was//
F1037 //Did they? Oh really, how funny. Er, yeah, er// //yeah, Poly.//
F1038 //Poly, yeah.//
F1037 I b- I mean an excellent, I don't know //why they changed the Po-, I mean some//
F1038 //It's a good Uni now, mm.//
F1037 of the best Polys they didn't need to change them. And she did English, erm and she did have friends who were at Oxford colleges, doing English, and funnily enough, erm they reckoned that erm, thi- this probably is politically incorrect, I'll have to cut this, er but they reckoned that Oxford Brookes was offering a better English course than Oxford Uni, because they hadn't really changed the curriculum at the University, er at Oxford University, for ages and ages, and she was doing all sorts of things, like Caribbean poetry and really kind of funky stuff, and they were they were still doing the same old things. //And erm//
F1038 //Right.//
F1037 and she did that with Catering. She had a wonderful time, great place to be at, //Oxford, and she did have friends at the college too, but//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 she's not hugely academic, erm but erm er intelligent, but I think she doesn't really like having her nose in a book all the time, so it was a great place for her. //Er,//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 and she's she's finished u- they've both finished up down in London, but erm but no, quite difficult ch-, I didn't have a choice, it was Glasgow or nothing. Are you pleased you're here now though?
F1038 Yeah, I mean I really really love //Glasgow,//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 erm I love the city and things, but I do want to get away. //I don't really want to//
F1037 //Yeah, I think living at home actually, there comes a point where where it's I think it's almost dangerous because I think it almost jeopardises relationships,// because I think there comes a point, [laugh] certainly in a parent's life, where actually you'd be quite happy if your children didn't live at home, //you know?//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 Erm, I love seeing my kids but more than four days is quite a strain, you know, because they're grown up. //Erm, you've got your life,//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 and you do your things and I want to watch something on the telly, and it's like, "Mum, how can you watch that?", "Well, you know, I'm old, I wanna watch it, shut up!" //"Leave me alone!"//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 My glass of wine, my television programme. //And er//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 so I I think it's, yeah I think there comes a point where you do actually need to cut and run. //Well that's//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 without a doubt, but Vancouver, no, er, //yes, Vancouver, yeah.//
F1038 //Well hopefully I'll go away next// //year and erm,//
F1037 //Yeah, no, that's brilliant. When do you, when will you leave?//
F1038 er it'll be, I'd have to leave mid-August, probably, I have to be there about a week before term //begins the very beginning of September.//
F1037 //That is so fabulous.// //I must say//
F1038 //So,//
F1037 we all get these things, you know, into our email boxes, and I th- looked at them once and thought, I wonder how it would go down, you know,
F1038 [laugh]
F1037 with the husband and the children and, you know, the dog, if I actually did sign up //to go and spend a year abroad, I wonder//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 I just wonder [laugh] what would happen. //But//
F1038 //Yeah. [laugh]//
F1037 erm I don't think it would go down very //well [?]that said[/?] I don't think.//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 er i- it's bad enough dealing with the guilt of being at University, because it is incredibly self-ce- centred, I'm having a wonderful time. Erm, haven't done a stroke of housework for the last two years. Erm, er, I I do fortunately have a a friend who comes and helps out, a nice girl who helps me in the house. But erm only iron if I'm really pressed but she does the ironing for me. Er first year at University, couldn't see out the kitchen windows, never washed them at all. Kitchen windows were filthy. I mean we do have somebody who cleans the outside, but I hadn't cleaned the inside, and you know, when you're cooking and sort of, //you know, greasy vapours and//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 what hav-, couldn't see out the kitchen windows, didn't care, not not in the least bit worried.
F1038 [laugh]
F1037 So, total self-indulgence, but I do think going abroad would be pushing it a bit, I have //to say.//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 Think that wouldn't be great. //So your mum and//
F1038 //No.//
F1037 dad were at Oxford Brookes? That's quite funny. What were they doing there?
F1038 Er, cartography. //They both did cartography.//
F1037 //Oh really? Wow!// //Map-makers?//
F1038 //So,// //yes. [laugh]//
F1037 //Are they still doing that?//
F1038 Erm, well my mum hasn't, er was been u- unable really well to work for the past eighteen, well, she works, but //she's at home//
F1037 //Yeah.// //Yeah.//
F1038 //having to do all the// //horrible things.//
F1037 //Yes, all, that's right.// //[laugh]//
F1038 //Poor mum, erm// but er, my dad's yeah, he does GPS mapping at Glasgow er City Council.
F1037 Amazing.
F1038 So, but the reason they came up here was cause the oil industry. //They were involved with//
F1037 //Yes.//
F1038 Shell and BP and things. Well originally, what was it, Britoil or //something.//
F1037 //Yeah.// //That's absolutely fascinating.//
F1038 //So.//
F1037 I must say you don't meet many people who are cartographers. That's that's completely, I I've no I've no idea what it involves even, you know, apart from, do you have to do Geography, or is it a science, or //be able to draw good pictures?//
F1038 //Erm, there's an awful lot// technical drawing originally, //but it's changed so much.//
F1037 //Yeah.// //Right, of course, computers and things I suppose.//
F1038 //Now my dad's like, oh,// I don't get to play around //with pictures, like, he's got to do everything//
F1037 //Yeah, that's right.// //That's right.//
F1038 //on computer.// And er //erm//
F1037 //I mean even architecture's like that now.// //You just, you know, you just sort of//
F1038 //Yeah, sit down//
F1037 take this from here and and slot it in, so you don't actually have to sit and draw plans if you don't want to.
F1038 Yeah and you sort of put things on top of things //on the computer.//
F1037 //Yeah, that's right, yeah that's right, exactly.//
F1038 He's had some really weird things to do, he was laughing the other day about how boring his job was when he realised, [laugh] when he got a a, someone asked him to find out how much pavement space there is in Glasgow, //to work out how to clean the chewing-gum off.//
F1037 //[laugh]// //Yes, okay. [laugh]//
F1038 //The chewing-gum cleaning.// //And he was he was sitting there like "Oh,//
F1037 //[laugh]// //Oh God, honestly.//
F1038 //this is not good."// But, [laugh]
F1037 It's quite bad actually. Do you know it took me ages to realise what all these marks on the pavement were, these kind of white splodges everywhere.
F1038 Uh-huh.
F1037 And it's chewing-gum. //And er//
F1038 //I know, it's horrible.//
F1037 in somewhere like Korea, erm it's actually er er a criminal offence.
F1038 In Singapore //as well, yeah.//
F1037 //Is it Singapore? Well it's, I knew it was some eastern place,// where you're not allowed to chew gum in the street and you're certainly not allowed to spit it out //and it is actually an offence//
F1038 //Uh-huh.//
F1037 and you can be, well sort of //fined on the spot or hauled up. I think it's not a bad idea, actually,//
F1038 //Fined, yeah.// //I know, I think it's disgusting//
F1037 //I must say.// //Yeah.//
F1038 //when people s-// I hate chewing-gum anyway,
F1037 Yeah.
F1038 but if people want to chew it, fair enough, but when you spit it out, that's //oh it drives me nuts.//
F1037 //I used to have a coffee shop in another life,// before I before I came to University. I've done loads and loads of things, always, you know, sort of looking for the thing that //gave me ultimate sa-, actually what gives me the ultimate satisfaction is sitting reading poetry.//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 Er but it did take me a hell of a long time to find that out. But so all these other things I did, I I trained as a chef at one stage. And I had a restaurant, coffee shop. //And the one thing that I really used to hate, you know, you'd go//
F1038 //Cool.//
F1037 and people had stuck their bloody gum under the table, or under the chairs! //It really is.//
F1038 //It's disgusting.//
F1037 So you'd go in and er, you know, to sort of clean up or something or or, you know, wipe down a table or move a chair, gum stuck to the underneath of it. //Absolutely horrible. No, exactly.//
F1038 //It's just, I mean you wouldn't do that in your own home with your own chairs, so why do it// //it's like dropping litter and things.//
F1037 //And why, why, why would you stick your gum under your chair?// Are you going to detach it and put it back //in your mouth when you've finished your coffee?//
F1038 //Oh.// //Uh-huh.//
F1037 //Or// do you just expect somebody else is going to detach it? Why not just put it in the bin in the first place? //[laugh] I know, horrible.//
F1038 //I know, it's just a wee bit of sticky stuff underneath, it's horrible.// Urgh!
F1037 No, I'm not I'm not a great gum fan, I have to say. Erm, I can remember when chewing-gum was introduced from America. I wasn't very old, I would be about four or five years old, and it was just coming in from the States at that si- time. But by far the most exciting thing was bubble-gum. I don't know if it still exists even, does bubble-gum still exist? //And I used to wear glasses, as a child I used to wear glasses,//
F1038 //Yeah, er, [laugh]//
F1037 so you would blow this enormous bubble and then it would break onto your glasses and //it would take a week to scrape the gum off the lenses. [laugh]//
F1038 //I know. [laugh]// //Aw, [laugh]//
F1037 //[laugh] That's quite bad. But I haven't seen bubble-gum around for years.// Can you, would you know, can you still get bubble-gum?
F1038 I think so, I mean it was popular when I was in primary school //for a bit.//
F1037 //Maybe, maybe it's// just an age thing, maybe you grow out of bubble-gum so there are still pi- primary school kids who are blowing up //enormous bubbles and splattering their specs.//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 But erm //but no.//
F1038 //I could never quite get it.// I got one about that //big. [laugh]//
F1037 //No, no, i- it// the- there are, you have to practise for hours, that's absolutely //correct, you really do.//
F1038 //[laugh]// [laugh] //Just imagine sitting there like [pretends to blow gum] [laugh]//
F1037 //Yes. [laugh]// //But//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 er, yeah, but you see, I I had that opportunity because my father's a Welshman and er I was an only child for the first nine years of my life, and we used to spend a lot of time in Wales as well as quite a lot of time in Scotland, and erm er there was a village shop and I used to, I used to be, those were the days, able to walk down to the village, on my own, no fear of being molested or abducted or anything else, and erm er and there was a wonderful little shop in the village, there were only about three shops anyway, and er it sold the most amazing range of bubble-gum. So I would take my pocket money and buy bubble-gum and then I'd be able to walk back through the lanes practising, or go and sit somewhere on a bale of hay and just practise blowing bubbles, so, //erm,//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 so my, the Welsh bit of my childhood was devoted to becoming an expert bubble-gum blower. //[laugh]//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 That's er, yeah, it's probably as well I've grown out of it //actually. [laugh]//
F1038 //[laugh]// So your dad was a Welshman?
F1037 My, he is he is a Welshman, yeah. He'll be ninety this year, //yeah, South Wales.//
F1038 //Oh, that's impressive.//
F1037 Yeah, he's he's brilliant actually, he really is. Erm he's er h- he's got all his marbles. He lives alone. He has a housekeeper, which is good. Er, but he's erm, he's lost, he's got what's called macular degeneration, so he's lost his core vision but he has peripheral vision. And erm he, after my mother died, [cough] and er he'd sort of got over it, a bit, he decided that he needed a new project, erm and he's registered blind although he's not completely blind, so he decided he would learn how to use a computer. So erm because he's an ex-serviceman [cough], there's an organisation St Dunstan's which looks after blinded ex-servicemen I mean even people like boys who would be blinded out in Iraq they can go and get retrained, but they also do things for people like my father's age group. So he went off to them and erm he's got, he can now, he's he's just about to go on his next course to learn how to use email. Er, so it's er, he's got a a thing that speaks to him. I think it's called Cicero or something. So that er what he can't see, o- h- he's got a thing that magnifies the screen, so what he can't see even with peripheral vision, erm it talks to him. //So now after sort of ten years of//
F1038 //Mmhm.//
F1037 a loss of independence because of course he couldn't drive, and he couldn't read his own mail or read the newspaper or anything else, so suddenly he's now able to write all his own letters and do all sorts of things. He can read letters because the scanner will look at it and will speak it out loud to him. So at the age of ninety, he's erm, he's learning //computer skills.//
F1038 //He's actually more independent// //than he was. [laugh] That's//
F1037 //Yeah, absolutely, so// absolutely brilliant, but yeah he is a Welshman, still a Welshman. And in fact we're going down to Wales, erm in about a week's time, er to erm inter my mother's ashes, //er, which are,//
F1038 //Mm.//
F1037 she died a while ago, and she did have Alzheimer's, which was unfortunate. She was as mad as a hatter, erm actually before she had Alzheimer's she was quite batty, //but erm//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 er but she she was Scottish, and it was I think from her and from my grandmother that I developed er a love of of Scottish literature, quite honestly, I think I have her to thank for that. //I think I was brought up with it.//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 But er so we're off down to Wales in er about ten days' time. //So, it is beautiful I must say. It's er, Wales is is a lovely place.//
F1038 //It is a nice place.// So you're more into Scottish literature than the Welsh side? //of things, definitely.//
F1037 //Definitely, there's no question.// Funnily enough we were talking about this at some stage and I think I think it's almost erm, I know it sounds a bit peculiar but it's almost erm it's almost as though it really was in your blood. You know i- it's it's something, it's a cultural thing, which I think has to go back generations, because I'm half Welsh and half Scots, I've been probably had equal exposure, I was educated at a Welsh school, I'm very pro-Welsh, I love Wales, but I have erm a a sort of, I don't know, a a kind of gut reaction to things Scottish, it's it's a c- sort of complete involvement, and it just it just, er Scottish literature, Scottish culture, erm I- music, er actually our son's a piper as well, but you but you know the whole thing the fo- the folk folk music, you know, //traditional Scots music, fiddle music,//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 all of that erm I just i- I just really enjoy and I I don't think you do, my best mate, the one who sent me to University, is English, I mean English through and through, married to a Scotsman, and she absolutely, er, she doesn't dislike Scottish things, but she just has absolutely no connection or engagement with it at all, and she can't really understand because broadly speaking, erm I was educated south of the border and and I think, er although my mother was a Scot and I spent a lot of time in Scotland, erm we have very similar backgrounds and upbringing. But so I I think that that S- that being Scottish, I think it is something to do with being in the blood and I I know it sounds a bit fey and peculiar, but I think it's I think you've got to be born with it, I think it's in your bones and your blood and everything else,
F1038 Mmhm.
F1037 the culture, sort of, you know, what, collective, inherited memory or something where it goes back into the mists of time, where //we were//
F1038 //Uh-huh.//
F1037 running around the hills, //and er//
F1038 //[laugh]// Running in the heather. //[laugh]//
F1037 //Yeah, murdering the English.// [laugh] //[laugh] That's right, exactly, yeah.//
F1038 //That's the thing, that's what, I don't know what makes me what's makes me Scottish or English,//
F1037 So,
F1038 like, I don't know if erm mm if I mean, yeah, I'm not Scottish but I am, //cause it's all I've ever known.//
F1037 //Yeah, well that's well that's// right, and I think if you're born here, I I don't think that matters if you're born and bred, I think that makes, I mean you'd be allowed to play rugby for Scotland, //because you were born here, so that's not a problem.//
F1038 //Yeah, wow! [laugh]//
F1037 So, erm, no I th- I think, erm I do think Glasgow is a brilliant city, I think I think Glasgow has an am- an amazing identity. I don't know if you've seen, there's erm there's a book, a a little paperback thing called "The Patter", which is erm a book of of Glasgow, [exhale] I don't know whether it's slang or whether it's language, but you know it's it's just, I mean the whole the whole character of Glasgow and Glasgow people is is kind of feisty and and //I don't think and e- yeah, you, yeah, that's right, and my children//
F1038 //I like it so much, it's so funny, I love it.//
F1037 living and working in London, they come up and every single time we come up to Glasgow and they say "God, you know, I do love Glasgow," and "Oh, this is better than London", //and the shops now are fabulous,//
F1038 //It's friendlier.//
F1037 it's friendlier, it's funnier, it's //it's erm I think the the whole//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 thing is erm and er parts of it, I mean Pollokshaws, Pollokshields, er beautiful houses there, //I mean pa-, you know, driving through it.//
F1038 //Yeah, some lovely bits.//
F1037 parts of it are absolutely, the West End, I think the West End is amazing.
F1038 Yeah. //Alexander Thomson, is it,//
F1037 //I I// //yeah, that's right, Greek Thomson, that's right, yeah, yeah, lovely stuff, yeah.//
F1038 //Alexander Greek Thomson, a lot of th- the stuff round Pollokshields was done by him.// //It's nice.//
F1037 //But er// no and and the West End itself I think is amazing, I love the shops, er er, you know, and er, the shops, the restaurants, the whole atmosphere of the West End. And I di-, I knew nothing about it. I didn't really know er what the West End was or where it was, because it it, I'd never had occasion to be here until I came to University.
F1038 Yeah.
F1037 And suddenly there's this amazing kind of bit of Glasgow which is almost separate with its own //identity, kind of//
F1038 //I know.//
F1037 buzzing and alive and even the second-hand shops are more exciting I think, er.
F1038 All the student stuff, the nice student stuff gets put there, as opposed to my local charity //shop. I'm like "Oh, er, go to West End."//
F1037 //That's right, exactly.// //That's, no but that's exactly what, er//
F1038 //[laugh] Yeah.//
F1037 the beginning of this s- not this semester, last semester, the beginning of the year, as I was driving past there was a really nice [laugh] erm kind of Afghan hairy coat //in the picture in//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 in the window of the erm er, I don't know, i- doesn't matter, anyway, erm I thought, that's, I really quite like that, that would be quite a useful thing, you know, wear that to lectures, it wouldn't matter if it got sort of screwed up under a seat. //So anyway, went back, it had gone.//
F1038 //[laugh]// //Aw,//
F1037 //[laugh] So that's// //so, yeah, no that's it, but it was so//
F1038 //I hate it, that's the thing, you see something, oh.//
F1037 good, it was o-, it wasn't going to last for long, but it was obviously somebody had seen it and thought //but that's, you know, yeah, ex- definitely.//
F1038 //I'll have that! [laugh]// //Yeah.//
F1037 //But er,// but no I didn't, unfortunately, but no the books and things, er in the second-hand shop, absolutely excellent. And er nice food shops, nice erm, nice restaurants. I like the food shops, I like thin-, there's a brilliant fishmonger along er the road, er //and the vegetables,//
F1038 //Yeah.// //Vegetables are, it's it's nice.//
F1037 //all the vegetables out on the street, and// yeah, much better //than the supermarket.//
F1038 //sort of community-ish.// As opposed to the city centre and things.
F1037 That's right.
F1038 And as opposed to out in Newton Mearns with the Avenue shopping //centre.//
F1037 //Oh.// //Abs- actually it's grim that//
F1038 //There's just nothing, there's nothing there.//
F1037 bit, there's a good Marks and Spencer's food store there, //which I sometimes//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 go into if I if I got a reason to do a big shopping, nip in there and er go to Marks and Sparks, but it is fairly //yeah, I think it's, it is, it's pretty bland, it's not very exciting, is it?//
F1038 //[inaudible], but// yeah, they knocked away all the village er shops and built that in the early eighties, I think.
F1037 Is that right?
F1038 I mean I work I work in the chocolate shop there.
F1037 Oh right.
F1038 Which is an interesting exper-.
F1037 [laugh] //Okay. [laugh]//
F1038 //People get, grown// people getting upset cause you don't have chocolate gingers in stock. //It's ridiculous, it's pathetic, th- they actually//
F1037 //It's pathetic, isn't it? Absolutely.//
F1038 people get, oh, I'm not, I won't start ranting about that, //but it's just it's//
F1037 //[laugh]//
F1038 sad, it's //actually sad how//
F1037 //Absolut-//
F1038 obsessive people people get with chocolate. //It's just//
F1037 //I'm quite obsessive about chocolate,// //mind you, can't live without chocolate. [laugh] I love chocolate!//
F1038 //no, but, yeah, but you like chocolate, there's people// there's like grown people that'll go, "Oh, I n- I need cho-, I need chocolate //gingers" [inaudible] and you're like//
F1037 //That's ridiculous, actually.//
F1038 "you don't need //them", [laugh] and it's just//
F1037 //[laugh] You want them, you don't need them.// //Actually, they probably definitely don't need them, erm it's, erm no I'm not going to say it it's alright, what I was going to say.//
F1038 //oh it's ridiculous.// //Like, no, but yeah.//
F1037 //Fat people. [laugh]// //[laugh] Yeah, yes, exactly.//
F1038 //I sometimes feel like I'm fee- I I like I'm feeding the obesity problem.// Because there's people come in, oh there was this one woman and she was quite large as it was, but then th- her son came in, and he I, poor little boy, he was too big for his age, //I feel really bad saying this.//
F1037 //That's hopeless.//
F1038 But then, we had a four for ten-pound Easter egg offer.
F1037 Yeah. //Fo-//
F1038 //And he's like "Mummy,// //can I get chocolate?" and she's like//
F1037 //[inhale]//
F1038 "Yes, yes, choose something." He was like "Can I have an Easter egg?", and she was like "Yeah, yeah, okay okay". //Erm she w- and she saw the four for ten pounds and she was like//
F1037 //[inhale]//
F1038 "Do you want four?" //[laugh] And we're like "Please,//
F1037 //Oh my God. [laugh]// //No! [inhale]//
F1038 //please say you didn't eat it all at once", and he was like "Yeah."// //[laugh] Erm, and so//
F1037 //[laugh] That's awful, that is absolutely//
F1038 she bought him four Easter eggs, I mean that's just horrific! //I was like "That's//
F1037 //Yeah, no, it's quite bad.//
F1038 that's", oh //that's just//
F1037 //No it's t- it// er it's like, [laugh] I was going to say, //I'm I'm conscious of that camera. [laugh] Er I was going to//
F1038 //[laugh]//
F1037 say it's like standing beside fat people i- or behind fat people in the supermarket, and you look in their trolley and you think, "Well why would you buy that?" you know, "You've got //fizzy drinks which are//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 full of artificial colours and sugar and go- //and you've//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 got loads and loads of prepar-, it's w- actually it's one of my pet bugbears is is is why are p- why are people fat? Because they don't know how to shop and or cook. //Er, because//
F1038 //It's not like// they're not told, //they can't get the information.//
F1037 //No, we- years ago// government decided that teaching children to cook in schools was a waste of time. They took away er sports fields, and they took away domestic science, basically. //So a generation//
F1038 //Mmhm.//
F1037 has grown up with not the first clue how to cook anything, so they can't go out, they don't know what vegetables look like, they don't know what, they can't go and buy a cut of meat, they don't know how to cook fish. //But they can buy something//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 from the supermarket which is loaded with salts and sugars and colouring and because the portions are never big enough and they don't really satisfy they fill up the corners with crisps and sweets and biscuits and so on and so forth, and you know, it's er, I I do- I think until they teach, Jamie Oliver had a go, which is fair enough, but it- it's much much more fundamental than that. I think you need to go. And I don't think, I did, as a cook, I did actually look into this with our local independent school and said to them "I will come and er I'll do a course, a sixth-form course, for your children, going out to University" in fact I said I'll give them a six-week course, erm prepare a little booklet for them, you know, how to buy, what to shop, how to budget, and er, you know, how to make a meal for your friends, do a roast or something so you can have mates round for supper, //cook something for your mum and dad, that sort of thing.//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 And they said "Oh well, erm we teach them" er something like "food science", and I said "What's food science?" And they said "Well about things like washing your hands", you know, I said "No, y- they need to know how to buy wholesome, inexpensive food, and prepare it safely, so that they are not either starving themselves to death because they've put on so much weight through eating junk or in fact, you know, are eating junk anyway.
F1038 Mm.
F1037 And couldn't, er that was a little while ago, well before I started University obviously, but er very difficult but I think until you actually get it into schools, er at a fairly fundamental level, and I think when I was at at at secondary school, when I started secondary school at the age of thirteen, didn't matter what, I went to a grammar school, erm and i- in those days that's what it was, there were no comprehensives, you had grammar schools and secondary modern schools, erm and I went to a grammar school but even within the grammar school, you were streamed, and even A-streamed children still did one year what was called Domestic Science, and we learned to make things like custard and bake a cake and make something like a shepherd's pie, and
F1038 That's so much better //than what I did.//
F1037 //That's right, we only did it// for a year, but in fact, and I think that's what's needed, you know, //take boys and girls//
F1038 //Totally.//
F1037 and say, teach them all, teach girls how to change a plug or whatever, and teach boys how to buy vegetables, peel vegetables, //you know,//
F1038 //Yeah.//
F1037 cook a pot of mince, whatever. Anyway, //that's one, [?]as I say[/?],//
F1038 //D- do you want// know what they taught me in Home Economics //in my first and second//
F1037 //Go on.//
F1038 year at school? I got taught how to make a salad, //and how to make a sandwich.//
F1037 //[laugh]//
F1038 And a really basic sponge, and most of the time was spent, I mean
F1037 Theory.
F1038 most of it was spent on talking, doing other things //like//
F1037 //Yeah.//
F1038 we didn't do that much cooki- that much cooking, but when we did, erm it was, I remember making a sandwich, I was so annoyed, [laugh] all these little eleven year olds, like "Rrr I'm not stupid". //And everyone//
F1037 //That's right.//
F1038 everyone in the class was looking at each other thinking and, fair enough, I understand that maybe it was it was for all schools, like, //and stuff but, I mean most people would make//
F1037 //Yeah, but a sandwich? I mean, why would you teach a child//
F1038 know how to make a sandwich, I would imagine.
F1037 Well I think, I think the sad thing about that is er we we have started I think as a nation to live on snacks. So in fact people have sandwiches instead of where you used to have lunch or dinner or whatever, people have a snack, you know, they have a slice of pizza, they have a sandwich, whatever. Why would you not teach somebody actually the basic components of a proper meal, rather than yet another snack?
F1038 I know. I reme- just remember a sandwich! [laugh] //We never made//
F1037 //That's pathetic, it really is.//
F1038 like a shepherd's pie, //or lasagne or something like that, and I wanted//
F1037 //Yeah, absolutely, that's right, yeah.// //Yes.//
F1038 //to learn how to make that.// I mean children want to learn how to make something //exciting.//
F1037 //I think they do.//
F1038 We made like, we made lots of cakes and sugary things, //like cup-cakes//
F1037 //De- th- that's just abs-.//
F1038 we made cup-cakes loads. We made like a Hallowe'en cake, //and like, ju- and you know, y- by the//
F1037 //[laugh] Okay.//
F1038 you know how to make a cake, but you don't know how to make //a meal.//
F1037 //No, that's hopeless.//
F1038 No, I think that's not really //good.//
F1037 //No, that's it's it's not it's not a good idea, I think er// but I I think it's a great pity that er Domestic Science was taken out of schools, sports fields were taken out of schools, and they wonder why people are waddling around on crutches because they're too fat to stand up on their own two legs. //That's er.//
F1038 //Yeah,// that's the chief of it.
F1037 It is, it's very sad.

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Information about Document 1445

Conversation 33: Two female students on Scotland, and University education


Audio audience

Adults (18+)
For gender Mixed
Audience size 2

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness Aware
Degree of spontaneity Spontaneous

Audio footage information

Year of recording 2006
Recording person id 718
Size (min) 47
Size (mb) 269

Audio setting

Recording venue Lecturer's office
Geographic location of speech Glasgow

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Not previously acquainted
Speakers knew each other No

Audio transcription information

Transcriber id 718
Year of transcription 2006
Year material recorded 2006
Word count 11628

Audio type



Participant details

Participant id 1037
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment College
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Student, Wife, Mother
Place of birth Malta
Country of birth Malta
Place of residence Symington
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Royal Air Force
Father's place of birth Solva
Father's region of birth Pembrokeshire
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's place of birth Girvan
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All the time
Scots No Yes No Yes At work, for study


Participant details

Participant id 1038
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1980
Educational attainment Highers/A-levels
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Agnostic
Occupation Student
Place of birth Glasgow
Region of birth Glasgow
Birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Cartographer
Father's place of birth Maida Vale
Father's region of birth London
Mother's occupation Cartographer
Mother's place of birth Hale
Mother's region of birth Cheshire
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All circumstances
Polish No No No Yes Learner - has taken a level one course
Scots No No No Yes