It is very hard to know how much to tell about staff and students, after classes were finished for the day. I wonder which escapades to keep hidden and which to reveal? As a rule of thumb I was counselled recently, “Only write that which you would have someone write about you”. On the other hand I have also been told to tell all and that it is only the scandalous stories that are of any genuine interest.
Some episodes have lodged in my memory for more than half a century. In today’s moral climate, I should be shocked and censorious at the abuse of young women ((or girls as they were called then), by predatory artists at BAA, in the 60s. Another part of me remembers events as a voyeur, watching from the outside. Although I was sometimes an accomplice, I was never a participant. The fruits of this Garden of Eden were not for me.
At this distance I take no ease from my virtue. If I had the remembrances of intimacy with any one of the eight young women who constituted my first teaching group at Bath Academy, I would be warmer in my old age. Was it that I was too timid? Perhaps I had, compared with the more mature, wealthier and more experienced men on hand, too little to offer Frances, Kate, Sarah, Bridget or Fiona. Or, as was said of me at the time, I was too puritanical. My righteousness is cold comfort to me now.