GUID Evening

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), globe.

In computing, a GUID is a common term. A globally-unique ID. It does what it says on the tin – it is a one of a kind, not another one in the world. Make the most of this one, it’ll never be repeated.


Do Not Adjust Your Screen

for Fandango’s One Word Clallenge (FOWC), screen.


for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), hectic.

Well, I was going to talk about my day today, but… sheeeee-it! So instead, let’s go back to a period that was very hectic, in retrospect.

I had a spell out in the USA, and came back to the UK at the start of 1997. I felt I’d kinda hit a ceiling in my job, so decided to start my own business, hiring myself out as a consultant. I had been project managing, but clients were not looking for project managers, so I had to fall back on my software development skills. In fact, they were a useful tool to have, and I’ve made that fallback a few times since then.

By February of 1997, I had my first client – IBM. They had a site down by Southampton in the UK, so I duly movede into a rental down there. Since I arrived back, I’d been staying with my mother anyway, so was pretty much no fixed abode. And I’d always lived in cities, so Southampton seemed a good fit.

As time went by, I started to get settled in the area, I found new clients down there and decided I needed to meet some more local people.

I met (the woman who was to become) my wife in May, 1998. I would ABSOLUTELY NOT recomment acting this quickly to anybody else, but we hit it off straight away. At the same time, I’d decided that I liked the area, so would look for somewhere to put down permanent roots. The countryside down here is so beautiful I thought it might be pleasant to live in the middle of it.

By September 1998 my “wife” and I decided that we might have some kind of future together and we kinda both said, not really that we wanted a baby together, but if it happened, it happened. I thought It’ll be years yet, because that’s how long it normally takes couples, but little did I know. A month later, she was pregnant.

At the same time, I had made moves on a house. Half a mile outside of the New Forest, which is a National Park here in the UK. I decided I liked the place, so just offered their asking price. In what seemed an interminable few months while the legal was sorted, I moved in just after christmas 1998, in early January. “Wife” moved in very shortly afterwards – the big step had already been taken, so living together was no big deal.

I’m not quite sure what happened about marriage. There was non of your down on one knee nonsense, for sure. I can vaguely remember that it happened in bed, and I guess I must have asked her, or so she says. But she also promised to obey me, and look what happened there!

In any case, my pregnant wife and I were married in March 1999. We got a cancellation at the Registry Office, and our honeymoon was a holiday we had booked before we even decided to marry. We had two witnesses at the wedding – the legal requirement – and celebrated immediately afterwards by taking Afternoon Tea in a nearby hotel.

All was peaceful for a few months, except that she grumbled more and more as she got bigger and bigger. We went away again in June, and every bloody five minutes was a toilet stop! The baby duly came along in August, 1999, after 26 hours of labour. While she was merrily swigging away on gas & air, I had to go out for a Burger King partway through to sustain my energy levels!

Again, a quiet few months while I got used to a fairly new wife, and a very new baby. I was still working in all this time, I’d had two or three local clients, High Street banks, but in March 2000 I was offered a role up in London. London is in a different league altogether. Alongside NYC, there is nowhere better in IT.

A busy three years…


For Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), guidelines.

I read today’s prompt, and it did indeed prompt me to look again at the WHO web site, in case anything had changed re COVID-19. The link I found was

I paid particular attention to their Mythbusters page, but I have to admit I was quite disappointed. Because the myths included things like you can’t catch the virus in hot countries, which I though had been debunked long ago. By now the answer to that is pretty obvious.

I was also quite disappointed by some of the things that weren’t there. I’m reading that people have been advised not to sit on seats in public areas, and am wondering just how probable it is that an infected person would sit of a seat, sneeze, leave the virus on the seat, then an uninfected person would come along (within a certain time period), sit on the seat, pick the virus up, then transfer it into their eyes or mouth. I’m sure it must be possible, if improbable, but unfortunately the WHO do not attempt to quantify the risk.

I’m looking at articles from March, which say that close contact was a problem. In March, less than 2m for more than 15 minutes was considered close contact (probabilities again!). Today, the WHO web site says that we should keep 1m distance from anybody showing signs of the virus. No time period mentioned any more, but they introduced that bit about people showing symptoms. So, I’d like to read something definitive. I’m reading anecdotally that people are afraid to pass each other in the street. That sounds like nonsense, (in that, I’m sure it is happening but the risk seems like nonsense), but all the same I’d appreciate if the WHO could bust that particular myth.

Before you jump in and tell me, I’m sure there is a reason why they are afraid to publish anything that might not be cast in stone, because they don’t want to publish things that might be subsequently found to be wrong. But they are the WHO, after all. People look to them for guidlines.

StrokeSurvivor X

written for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), indignant.

Today’s prompt took me back to when I applied for a Disabled Bus Pass. In the UK, bus passes are handled by the local council. The cash benefit is handled by central government, but as soon as the local council knows that somebody receives that benefit, they tend to just wave the other through.

When I looked on the local council’s web site, I found a blank application form as a PDF. I was meant to print it off, fill it out, send it in.

Because my hand doesn’t work, I have trouble filling anything out. Does it maybe strike you as a bit perverse that somebody is applying for a disability benefit, yet the bar is set so that a disabled person is not able to apply? Yup, me too. But I rest easy knowing that the local council will somewhere have a disability czar, who gets paid £100k/year to think this stuff through. Then gets the answer wrong.

Now, for the most part, I can cope with PDF forms. I actually have the Adobe Acrobat program, which allows me to type onto the blank form, before I print anything out. So, not only do they get a filled-out form, but it is neatly typed and therefore easy to read.

But this form required a signature. So, a disabled person is expected not just to fill the form out, but to sign it.

I was feeling belligerent at this point. So I called them and asked, how on earth do you expect me to complete this form?

Get your carer to do it for you, was the response.

Anybody who knows the stuff I write about here, you can imagine how I felt. And, put the other way, likely anybody who does need a carer would not be mobile enough to use a bus pass!

I should probably finish the post there, to satisfy the prompt, but in case you’re interested…

I typed the form out, then signed it with my bad hand, just a big X. But, you know when politicians talk about joined-up thinking? You might think, it’s a chance in a million that a disabled person would not be able to sign a form, but actually strokes are the most common cause of all disability, and many stroke survivors are left without full use of their limbs. There are an estimated 2 million stroke survivors in the UK, out of a total population of nearly 70 million. And 2/3 of all stroke survivors are left disabled. So, I bet I’m not alone.

And Thursday’s Rant is…

written for Fandango’s One Word Challenge, bombastic.

As soon as I read today’s word, I started thinking who was that guy in that musical I saw as a kid? Baron whatsisname? It finally clicked that I was thinking of Baron Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. That’s as close as I’m going to get today to bombastic.

As a grown-up, I always hated musicals. Strangle ’em all, shut ’em up 🤣

Rotten Pot

Written for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), potpourri.

He’s done it again! The other day, he gave us one French word which has crept into the English language, and today he gives us another!

This one had me stumped, because I did not know the word pourri. But, hey, that is what Google is for! So I found that:

Pot=Pot (I knew that one!)

Okay, a rotten pot? I suppose I could get there. Potpourri is mostly dried flowers. I guess you could fit that. They were once living things, now they have been dried, so I suppose one might call that rotten.

There’s a far more interesting answer, though, that I picked up from Wikipedia:

Way back in the Napoleonic wars, French troops were fighting in Spain. The Spanish had a stew, which was basically made up of all sorts of everything; a real mish-mash. The soldiers took this recipe back to France, where it was called pot pourri. I guess that’s a reasonable explanation, too.


for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), warrior.