After leaving school at a tender age I quickly realised that there were few occupations available where I could utilise my talent for inertia. Unfortunately, the 'Dandy' and 'Beano' had erroneously neglected to include job vacancies in their publications and so I had no other recourse than to apply to the local Co-operative Society for the vacancy of furniture salesman, being the closest I could be to a bed without actually sleeping. 

A motley selection of other jobs followed which involved selling televisions, labouring on a building site for two hours and working in a textile factory, watching machines do all the work for you. A brief sojourn as an odd-job-man led to a reappraisal of my career direction and a couple of seconds later I applied to become a somnolent politics undergraduate. 


Three years of digesting granular coffee straight from a spoon and I emerged as a fully-fledged graduate with a little knowledge that was supposed to go a long way. With no vacancies at the Co-op and the still glaring omission of job adverts in the comics, I opted to teach at the local Further Education College. 

Squandering opportunities to progress my academic career, I moved into a management position whereby I could indulge in breakfast meetings with other sleep deprived quasi-academics and bemoan the evils of OFSTED whilst concocting marketing strategies to encourage less fortunate individuals into learning a new language, flower arranging or brick-laying or, in a blur of efficiency, all three at the same time. 

A chance encounter with three other reluctant employees of the learning monolith and a blues band evolved to educate the untutored ears of a local population nurtured on a diet of pop-pulp. However, with the need to invest in increasingly expensive guitars, a brief sojourn as Head of Department in a Secondary school helped fuel my indulgences. Unfortunately, the need to behave in a responsible manner proved too demanding and, for a second time, a career reappraisal led to the decision to make a positive difference to my own and others' lives by choosing not to teach. Now, having written three novels and in excess of twenty educational books and contributed to numerous revision guides and magazines, I’ve decided that words have a currency, which allow me to browse guitar magazines along with several other enlightened individuals in W H Smiths.   

Music still forms an important part of my life along with my wife and four children. Occasionally, I am coerced into sailing and shuffling around the odd mountain but, thankfully, not at the same time.   

© Pete Townsend 2015