Born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire; I grew up in Zambia and Western Australia, before returning to Britain aged eleven. Swapping the sun drenched beaches of Australia for the grey maudlin weather of Britain was a shock to my system.
Although born a Yorkshire-man, I really self identified as an Australian Surfer. This was a problem, stranded in Yorkshire 60 miles from the sea.
I went to the School of Hard Knocks, and then from there to the University of Life where I got a degree in Common Sense. Following this I went on to get my PHD and finally became a Master of the Ridiculously Obvious.
My formal education was as Ossett School, West Yorkshire. I did not enjoy my time there – it was pretty horrible. Their motto stuck with me and become tattooed on my soul.
“INUTILE UTILE EX ARTE” –
(Useless things made useful through skill)
Ossett is a shoddy town in the grim north of England. Shoddy is waste rags that are recycled into other materials like underlay. To be fair the school re-cycled the motto from local Shoddy and Mungo manufacturers.
What is shoddy? shoddy is recycled woollen fibres – thick. Shoddy is essential Recycled wool.
What is mungo? Mungo is recycled woollen material made from recycling fine rags. Mungo is recycled woollen material.
First Job at’Mill.
My first full-time job aged 15 was working in a mill, sorting rags into two piles; Ones with zips and toggles and ones without. Some brave comrade then fed the rags onto the conveyor that led to the giant chopping machine. The chopping machine was like some ferocious metal teethed demon. It chewed and gnawed and rendered the rags to shoddy and every now and then a person also. Sifting through the rags it was an enlightening ordeal that seemed to prepare me from the coming schism in our society between right and left and the future bewilderment.
Mungo or Shoddy, Flotsam or Jetsam? Where did I fit in? I stumbled through my education like an alien cuckoo. Escaping mainstream integration, I ended washed upon the shores of various Libraries and drowned myself in books. Libraries are funny places.
So I read and read. Libraries were a wonderful things back then, the shift was just coming from card based systems to computer based searching for books. Anybody remember library tickets. 🙂
I am old skool.
Computers came and I swiftly became embedded. I would spend the next 30 years working in the IT industry, gradually moving into web development. Currently living and working in Cornwall, Great Britain.