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A Day in the Life of a Royal Literary Fund Fellow

The alarm goes off in darkness, far too early.The teenagers are already up, getting ready for the milk train that takes them to college 40 miles away.They look better than I feel - I'm not a morning person.T is wearing a dressing gown over his clothes – apparently today is a pyjama day.L is in a thin Guinevere style tabard with long flowing sleeves with her hair in a wild waterfall on the top of her head. She’s not wearing a coat or jacket and I’m sure she’ll freeze.  By comparison, I feel rather too formal in my respectable uni kit.I leave them on a windswept, deserted station platform looking like actors in a northern version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide.

The drive takes an hour and a half (sometimes 2 hrs) across the wastelands of the Pennine moors where no trains go. Dawn breaks as I go over the top. It often seems that half the cars and lorries in England are on the road in front of me, but I make the uni car park before the last parking place is taken.This is an achievement.A…

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