• Although born in Edinburgh, my parents owned a number of small hotels so as a child went to school in a variety of very nice places in East Central Scotland; Dunbar (East Lothian), Burntisland (Fife), Dunning (Perthshire). My Secondary School was Morrison’s Academy Crieff (Perthshire) where I received an excellent traditional education (including Latin). My Highers were in English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
  • After a couple of adventures (briefly a soldier and a journalist) I went to the University of St Andrews (1977-1981), which I loved and eventually got a BSc (Hons) First Class Botany, having studied Zoology and Philosophy, too.
  • After a break I studied for a PhD in Marine Biology (1982-1985) at the University of Liverpool. Most of my two years of field work, looking at how seaweeds survive big waves, actually took place Marine Biological Station at Port Erin (Isle of Man).
  • After another stint working I became interested in computer technology and completed the first of my two Masters in 1990, MSc Parallel Computer Systems (Occam, transputers and so on) at Bristol Polytechnic (now UWE).
  • In the late noughties I started what turned out to be a long term fascination with languages and linguistics. Between 2004 and 2009 I undertook odd modules with the Open University; L314 A buen puerto: advanced Spanish, L310 Mises au point: advanced French, U210 The English language: past, present and future (Distinction), E301 The art of English, E303 English grammar in context. Eventually by completing AA300 Europe: culture and identities in a contested continent they gave me a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities with English Language, which was very nice.
  • Inspired by my OU degree (and having become a tutor there too – free courses!) I continued to study to the Masters in Online and Distance Education (MAODE) I had actually started way back in 1999. I did the modules; 801 Foundations of open and distance education (1999), H800 Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates (2010), H809 Practice-based research in educational technology (2011), D843 Discourse analysis (2012, Distinction).
  • I have continued studying with the OU and successfully completed Auftakt: intermediate German (L130). I am awaiting the result of L313 – Variationen: advanced German but now have OU qualifications in Spanish, French and German. I also have an A-Level in Italian (2012), a GCSE in Portuguese (2011) and earlier this year gained a B2 certificate in Catalan. I like languages!