"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



There Used To Be An Arts College Right Here

Me and the 28-acres of medieval estate
that sit atop this particular curve in the
River Of Dart have history. We go way back.
This curious hilltop helps bind me, inform me and nourish me still.
When I think about Dartington, I think about
the Henry Moore, and the Peter Randall-Page.
I think about the blackened bark of the 2,000-year-old yew tree.
The Tiltyard’s handsome grass terraces.
And everyone’s favourite odd-toed bronze donkey.
I read my first Sam Shepard play whilst I was here.
Which changed my life.
I saw my first Almodovar film, and my
first Robert Altman film whilst I was here.
Both of which changed my life.
Whilst here, I played a transvestite for the first time.
Whilst here, I bought my first Nirvana album.
Whilst here, a visiting tutor became the first person to tell
me about something he called the “information super-highway”.
Which was, ultimately, to change all of our lives.
When I think about Dartington,
I think about the fact that I simply
wouldn’t be doing what I’d doing today
If not for the unique learning experience
I was afforded during my 4 years atop this holy summit.
It was a course that didn’t hold your hand. Or help you tick boxes.
It was a course that gave you precious space outside of the curriculum.
Space to try things out. Space to fail. Space to pick oneself up,
and fail again. Or maybe, if you were lucky, succeed.
It was a course that gave back only that which you were prepared to put in.
And education in this country in general, is
much the poorer for its closing. It really is.
To my mind, at least, the landscape here
and the college are intrinsically linked.
They share a symbiotic relationship. And so,
whilst I’ve nothing against Falmouth personally
(I’ve never been), the notion of up-sticking
and leaving this sacred soil
feels more like a death knell
than simply the end of an era.
And, as I’ve come to appreciate as I’ve gotten
slowly older and more crotchety, once these places
of genuine idiosyncrasy are gone, they’re gone forever.