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When I first met James in 1988 he was still at Imperial College studying for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He told me then that, despite being actually very good at it, he didn’t find it remotely interesting. He had chosen the subject for all the wrong reasons. primarily because he felt that it was what his father would have wanted him t do and because, it Italy, it was considered a very prestigious degree. I used to go off to work leaving him at home to study. When I returned home in the evening I would often find him lying on the floor surrounded by open books. It was years later that he told me that he used to lay them all out just before I got home so that I wouldn’t be mad at him for not studying. Needless to say, he ultimately dropped out from the course, his heart just wasn’t in it.

He did however always regret not having done a degree and so it was great when I was able to provide him with the opportunity to return to university for a second time. This time he chose a subject in which he had a genuine interest – Psychology. He also studied hard (although he never seemed to need to study as hard or for as long as most people, me included) and came top of his class with a first class honours degree.

Work commitments prevented me from being able to go along to the degree ceremony and to this day I bitterly regret not having made more of a fuss at work and making sure that I attended. I should have been there! Thankfully his sister Jole was able to be with him on the day to celebrate.