Brought up in Fife, Sussex and Perth. Went to university in Edinburgh, where I photocopied my first fifty poems and flogged them for my cider money (1 set of poems = 5 shillings = 2 pints of cider). Went on to study German poet Hoelderlin and so became Dr Ashton. So what else? Worked on farms, historic house restoration, had lots of children, newspaper editor, gardner, just whatever helped us limp along when the money was tight. Had a sort of smallholding and hope to go back to that again soon (I'm a proper country boy, me). Still married, still forgiven. Still going strong with the stories, but I don't like it as much as writing poetry.