1978 was not a very good year for me. In those days a Law Degree exempted one from Part I of the Law Society of England & Wales Solicitors’ Professional Examinations, leaving only Part II to be taken. Once Part II had been passed, two years Articles began, at the end of which qualification could be swiftly obtained. The same amount of law had to be learned for Part II as had had to be learned for a Law Degree; but there were three years for the degree and just 6 months for the latter! This meant that in a 6 month period starting in February 1978 I was in Chester UK, studying at the College of Law at Christleton. Studying comprised notes dictated at writing speed for four hours each morning Monday to Friday, which had to be learned parrot-fashion each afternoon. This was just as awful as it sounds, but did give you all you needed to know for 6 out of the 7 papers which constituted Part II. The 7th paper, Accounts, had to be learned by a correspondence course. The exams were held in Leeds UK in September, and I passed.
This stuff was very stressful, and put a lot of strain on the relationship between me and Girlfriend 27 [the Mouse; see above], to whom I was by then engaged to be married. Indeed, it was the closest we ever came to splitting up. However, what really saddened me more than anything else was the sudden, unexpected and tragically premature death of Sandy Denny. She died on 21 April 1978, from a cerebral haemorrahage, after falling downstairs at the house of a friend and ending up in a heap by the toilet door. She was just 31.
Still, life had to go on, and the current Fairport Convention produced their second and final studio album that year, to which we shall turn next time.