Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oh sod it, the bloody thing's stuck again

Noggin In the 1970's when I was looking for a PhD place, I had an interview with John Postgate at Sussex. I was quite keen on working at Sussex as a friend of mine was going there, and I was also eager to work on nitrogen fixation, but it didn't pan out. I had a very amiable interview, but John Postgate wanted me to work on Azotobacter, and I wanted to work on Klebsiella. There were no experimental genetic systems for Azotobacter at that time, and I regarded it as just too big a risk for a PhD project, especially mine, so eventually I walked away.

Only years later did the significance of that day occur me. I had shaken the hand of Oliver Postgate's brother.

Oliver Postgate was the subversive genius that launched a thousand quips (such as the title of this post, played on the swanee whistle in The Iron Chicken, which got him carpeted by the BBC). Postgate was the original edupunk. Noggin, Ivor and the Soup Dragon were the foundation of my imagination and story telling.

Another part of my childhood died today. But don't be sad. Roger the cabin boy, Master Bates!