Me (Fandango’s Friday Flashback)

Yay, it is Friday again, and Fandango has just published his Friday Flashback post. The idea is that he picks a post from this day in a previous year, to give newer readers a better insight into what does and doesn’t make him tick.

I have always liked that idea, so shall also post my own reminiscence. As much as anything, it reminds me of where I was, where I am now, and how far I have come. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining along the way.

Oh, and thank you to Jennifer at Paperkutzs for allowing me to use her image.


I have an unusual flashback today. Unusual because it is not to an old post.

But did you notice the date? 2 October, 1989, was the day I started my very first job.

I was fresh out of university, and the job was as a scientist at the UK’s Atomic Energy Authority in Oxfordshire. After the war, the UK invested in developing civil nuclear energy, and realised that an agency was required. The Atomic Energy Authority was formed in 1954, with Calder Hall, the world’s first commercial nuclear reactor, opening in 1956.

Calder Hall is an idyllic name, isn’t it? But as the world realised how dirty nuclear fission was, the site was rebranded over time, first to Windscale and then to Sellafield.

The production of nuclear power is a complicated business, and involved gaining knowledge in several branches of science. Including high-energy electricity. And, by the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher was looking to shrink the state sector, so a lot of these non-essential spin-off areas were privatised. We were in limbo – technically, in the private sector, but with all that civil service baggage.

As it happened, I was mostly involved in neither nuclear nor electricity, as I was introduced to computing, which became my new career. I didn’t like that job, although I ended up staying more than four years, while I gained the skills which would set me off in the real world. I felt straight-jacketed in that environment and fared far better when I moved away from their rigid structure.

How about you? What was your first job? Do you fancy telling us all about it? Why not comment, or even better, write a post of your own, pinging back to this post so we can all find it?

Did you hear that?

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 2 October 2020, amplify. A bit dystopian today, sorry about that.

It starts as a whisper, a distant rumble,
A sound unassuming, refreshingly humble,
No inkling at all of what it has planned,
You might even not notice, it’s not all that grand.

It’s increasing a bit, but still just a hum,
In terms of a loaf, I would call it a crumb,
The keener among us might prick up our ears,
With sensitive hearing, the noise is quite clear.

The sound, it is louder, increasing with speed,
The people around me are starting to heed,
Questions arise that just say what we feel:
“What is that noise?” and “Hey, what’s the deal?”

Uncomfortable now, we’re all in a state,
Harsh and annoying, beginning to grate,
Oh, what an earth could be causing this sound?
We’re looking perplexed as all talking is drowned.

We cannot ignorew it, we all look around,
There is no escape, we are standing spellbound,
Is this the latest in modern warfare?
As the increasing din becomes too much to bear.

The noise is so loud that the room starts to shake,
Glasses are shattered and coffee cups break,
People are screaming and out of control,
And rushing for exits, to find some foxhole.

With chaos around me, I’m trying to flee,
The air becomes toxic with flying debris,
People thrashing around as if caught in a riot,
I feel something strike me, at last it is quiet.