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?


  1. I have thought several times of writing a story about how I started working, but then I always realize that talking about myself bothers me.
    My first day of work was March 1, 1979: I had turned 23 two months earlier. I was lucky: I had applied for a job at a famous publishing house in my city, Utet – Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese, where a large music encyclopedia (DEUMM – Dizionario Enciclopedico Universale della Musica e dei Musicisti, i.e. Universal Encyclopedic Dictionary of Music and Musicians) was being prepared at the time. The musicologist who had designed that work, Professor Alberto Basso, needed an editor expert in medieval music, and I had just completed my studies on troubadours and the so-called Notre-Dame school (12th-13th century). My work activity was almost entirely connected to DEUMM, which was published in 22 volumes between 1983 and 2005. Then I also contributed to other reference works and published a book on Chopin’s music.
    That’s all 🙂


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