Jacob, can you tell us something about yourself?
My name is Jacob Hicks. I’m 52 years old and I am a part-time physics teacher at Milbury Secondary School.
Part-time, you say. How do you spend the rest of your time?
Well, I do experiments.
What kind of experiments?
Oh… um… At the moment I am tracking planetary motions and planetary moons, but I’m doing lots of things, really… Like tracking the International Space Station and other satellites in the night sky… umm… and I helped out a friend with his common vole project on the allotments.
Seems you have quite an eclectic range of interests.
Yes, that would be correct. I have always been like that.
Can you tell us a bit more about your childhood?
I was born here in Milbury and my father was a brick worker at the brick factory. Me and my best friend Dave always went out and did experiments. Like keeping track of the bats in Mr Patterson’s shed or testing which one of us could go faster down the hill. Me on my bicycle or Dave running.
So you were interested in physics from a young age?
Yes. I actually got a masters in biological physics and for my PhD specialised in biomolecular interaction. After that I got a research grand from the University of York for research into DNA replication and genome stability. This was in the eighties when DNA research was still in its early stages.
And now you teach unruly teenagers physics at the local secondary school.
… Indeed. Sometimes life takes you places you don’t really want to go.
Do you want to elaborate on that?
No… not really.
Is Dave still your best friend?
He is actually. Dave works for York Council and is head neighbourhood warden here in Milbury. His wife got them a dog when their children left home for university. I think he likes the little yapper now…
Any more of your childhood friends still around?
Well, there’s Dave’s sister Peggy. She also finds me a bit strange, but doesn’t seem to mind.
And then there is Priscilla. She never was my friend, though… Archenemy, more like. She has returned to Milbury recently and is again making my life a hell. She still holds a grudge it seems that I skipped a grade in secondary school and then joined her class. Of course I was the smartest one in there…
Do you have any other friends in the neighbourhood?
Well, there’s Emily. Don’t know if I would call her my friend, but she helped exonerating me from a murder charge in the spring. She’s Dave’s niece and is now living with them after having been in trouble with the police in her hometown. She dresses like no one in the neighbourhood ever does.
And then there’s Abe Monday. He’s a mate of Dave and me and he was our local bobby, but after the murder he went into CID. That will do his career good, as he’s only a young’un.
One last question. What are you going to with the rest of your day?
Umm… I have to do some shopping for my mother and then feed Spike. After that the International Space Station will come over and it’s a lovely evening to see it.
Thank you for this little talk, Jacob and have a nice evening!
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