Clearing stuff that hasn’t been moved for 9 years has led to some unexpected discoveries (among which was a copy of a 1996 magazine which included a poem of mine I’d forgotten about). The most personally poignant discovery was my PhD award from the University of Strathclyde back in November 1991. I did the research in my own time, at weekends and evenings, while holding down the job as librarian of the British Geological Survey, and indeed moving to become the librarian of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh halfway through the six years it took me to get it.
The reason it’s poignant is that at the time I was completing the work my brother was losing his seven-year struggle with cancer, and two weeks after my graduation he died. It was such a stressful period that everything else seemed to fly past without making much of an impact on me, including, strangely enough, getting my degree.