I was in Oxford, and they have a rather nice sort of wild area reservation where — you get permission, you can go out there and walk, and I used to go out and collect insects. I went out, one cold March day, with a net, and there were no butterflies or moths, but some fly came by, so I caught the fly and thought, “Well, I must find out what this fly is.” So I got all the necessary books, and it didn’t fit at all. So I went on and on, and it wasn’t actually a fly, it was more like a bee. It didn’t matter. I caught it, and I went through all these books, and it just didn’t fit. Every time they said, “You’ll find that it now has different kinds of legs,” well, it didn’t. It just didn’t agree at all.
So I thought, “I can’t just give up.” So I went to this entomology department, and they said, “We don’t know what it is. You’d better go up to the Natural History Museum and ask them what it is.” So I got in touch with people there, in London, and went along, and the man said, “It’s very odd. This thing has never been seen in this country before. Most extraordinary thing.” And that became a little paper, and it was a little kind of sawfly. And the embarrassing thing is that this place I went to was where the professor of entomology was working, and his main project was to identify all the insects that he could find in that place. And here was this student who just spent one Saturday afternoon and caught something that was of immense interest and which he had never noticed. So that is probably one good reason why he didn’t accept to have me as a Ph.D. student. So it was a curious thing. That was my first publication. Nothing to do with what I later did.