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conversations that change your life

When I was sixteen i went climbing with the local mountaineering club. I spent time climbing with a professor of economics. He made economics sound fascinating. I changed to do economics at A level, did it a year early, and this probably helped me get in to Oxford to study Politics, philosophy and economics. Of course I dropped the economics after a year because I realised it wasn't that interesting after all...but still, as a result of a few conversations over a weekend I had changed my life.

I'm fascinated by people who have had a conversation, probably with a stranger, and then changed their lives as a result. If you have - let me know- comments are on for this one.

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Reader Comments (6)

This is a difficult one Robert. Apart from the fact that I think the only reason I studied psychology was that I rather liked a girl in the year above who went to do it, I can't think of any profound changes in direction. That might be because conversations are so often taking me off in different directions that it's hard to know what path I've actually come off. The trouble is I too easily get enthused by people. Like chatting about polymathy for example - that's leading to interesting stuff!

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentered o'grady

I was living in Moscow at 16. One of my fathers friends was a fellow called George Costakis and from time to time he would visit us. During one of these visits I was passing through the room and he said to me and to my father that I had the eyes of a priest.
This simple comment from a man I considered mysterious and thoughtful caused me to move towards this kind of study.

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjohn m

The conversation I had with Tahir Shah when I saw him in an Oxford bookshop (finally) gave me the impetus to get my arse out of the UK and now things are(finally!) coming along nicely. : )

Obviously not worth puting this on your blog but there you go!

September 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDerek Crankshaft

when I was sixteen, seventeen we had a tenant in the house, thanks to her I gained courage and entered an arts&craft secondary school and it changed my life

September 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdoriso


When I was 4 years old, in the late 1950's, i used to go over to my old neighbour Leroy's's back porch to watch him whittle, or peel sticks as he called it, as he smoked his after supper pipe of sportsman's.

He had become my surrogate grandfather when he whittled me a pair of canoe paddles for the birchbark canoe i was to get from my grandmother out of popsicle sticks.

He was originally from the farm,, wore old-fashioned suspenders and had a big backyard garden with a fascinating scarecrow, in which he planted many crops including corn.he was always hoeing weeds.

He still had a candlestick telephone in an alcove.

One night, when I went overafter supper, i found him sitting on the steps taking the shoelaces out of an old pair of shoes.

I asked him why he was doing that. He told me, ''These old laces are still good.''

Then, he opened the shoe box that was beside him and took out the laces from the new shoes, wrapping them neatly and tying a knot around them.
Next, he laced the old shoelaces into the new shoes.

i was further confused and mystified when he then placed his old shoes in the box the new shoes had come in.

My mother was big on throwing old things in the garbage.

''Why don't you throw them away?'' I asked.

He said, '' You never know when you might need a piece of leather.''

He then went to an upstairs room, with me on his heels, and placed the box on the neat high shelf.

I have been a recycler since 1958.

September 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarc Vautour
A short conversation about adventure, with a girl who always had them but didn't realise, led me to do the same...having adventures without thinking of them as 'adventures'. The day after that talk, I entered the merchant navy, spent three years sailing the world, and now I live in Taiwan with the princess of one of the indigenous tribes and frequently have 'adventures' without realising.
Destiny is an over-used but little understood word. I am realising mine by not submitting to it, but my choosing whether to follow it or not.
I'm not in the habit of responding to blog articles or putting any writing at all on the internet. However, the writings of Mr Twigger have on occasion helped me formulate or fortify my own beliefs on life and 'manhood', though maybe Mr Twigger should not be so humble about his achievements and instead do a Hemingway and wave his proverbial around till he gets more awards and money...he deserves it.
August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterD Moore

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