Education: Passed/Failed - Pete Goss
Thursday 24 September 1998
on 25 December 1996 turned back during
a round-the-world race to rescue a capsized
fellow-competitor. For the Millennium race
which casts off on 31 December 2000, he is
currently building a high-tech catamaran
Red sails in the sunset: It was pretty dodgy in Aden in the Sixties. Dad was a consultant in tropical agriculture in Aden, Australia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and, rather than farm us four boys out to boarding school, Mum taught us. In Aden, it was an unstable period, and at night we had armed guards around the house, which was shot at once. Dad had a mine- proof Jeep with a machine gun on top. We had this catamaran camouflaged in a wadi (a dried-up watercourse), and the plan was, should things get really bad, to sail out to one of the ships passing up and down the Red Sea.
Mother's pet: It was just like school: timetable, proper holidays, proper structure. The whole thing was geared to O-Levels, and was pretty good. If we did dictation, Mum would put it on tape the night before, and I would go into another room to press the Start and Stop button while she taught Richard, my older brother (I was number two). She taught us attitude, taught us to think on our feet. She would ask, "If there's a fire in the front room, what would you do?"
Plymouth Ho Ho: By the time I was 14 years old, I was back in England, and we were day boys at a boarding school in Plymouth - I'm not going to say what it was called. I hated every second. I didn't work, didn't study, couldn't wait to get out. I found the restrictions of daily school routine a bit petty - it just wasn't me, because I'd already seen a bit of life. It wasn't the school's fault.
No, but I read the textbook: I can remember one geography lesson during which we were studying the agricultural system of Pakistan, where we had lived for two years. I knew that what was being taught was way out of date, but when I tried to explain that positive progress had been made since the textbook was published, I was told to shut up and listen. Well, "sod you", I thought. From that point onwards, I just switched off, and as a result wasted a very good educational opportunity - something that I have since regretted. I left that school at the age of 16.
All hands on desks! When I was in the Marines, I was niggled about not having any O-Levels, so one quiet winter, I did a six-week course in Physics. I was quite chuffed - I got an A. After the Marines, I did a woodworking course, because I needed something in my back pocket apart from sailing. Now I've got kids, I realise how amazing my mother was: she wasn't a teacher, but she did a very good job. My older brother went on to a degree in agricultural engineering, Martin's got a degree in electronics and Andrew's doing his final year in civil engineering. I'm qualified as an Ocean Yachtmaster, but I'd like to go to university; I could really do some studying now!
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...