Alistair Elliot

House and Years at Fettes:
Carrington, Jan 1946-Dec 1950

Qualifications and career:
MA (Greats); various jobs, latterly librarian in Kensington, Keele, Shiraz (Iran) and Newcastle upon Tyne. Took early retirement Dec 1982. Married. Two sons.

Poet (eight books) and verse-translator (eight books); translated Euripides' MEDEA for Diana Rigg, and later reconstructed his fragmentary play PHAETHON (published but not yet produced). His latest book is IMAGINARY LINES (2012).

What is your most cherished memory from your time at Fettes?
Being bitten by a mouse in a fives court.

And your least?
I remember running a terrific heat to qualify for a house team and thought I came in first by a long way, but was not chosen. I've never been able to understand what happened. Maybe I came in so far in front nobody noticed or believed it.

What event or personality left a lasting impression on you?
Being taught by 'Gents' of course. Also the rumour that George Booth had published a book of short stories under a pseudonym – when asked about it, he always said, 'A veil shall be drawn.' Was the rumour true?

Were you a conscientious student?
I did the work, always, but it didn't seem a hardship, so I can't claim any credit.

Outside the classroom, how did you spend your free time at Fettes?
Walks in the Pentlands when possible. Talking to Cairns Smith.