Early Days (OS003)

Having all the time in the world, my mind has been wandering recently. I’ve been reminiscing about my life from early days and how I got to my situation of being between jobs. It’s not like me at all, pointless, not as if I can change history.

It’s a mixed blessing but I can remember my life from very early days, not quite my birth. I was born in Sheffield and went to school in the suburbs. My parents, frequently recalled my birth, saying it was like I wanted to stay where I was, rather than be born. To be honest, who would enjoy being yanked out onto that hard plastic bench, coverned in gue, blinded by bright spotlights, with a screeching mother and stressed looking nurses staring at you. I was a few days early anyway, so it wouldn’t have hurt to defer it a bit. Clearly, I had no say in the matter and so, I arrived, screaming as loud as my new lungs would allow.

I found food very overrated as a baby. Everything seemed similarly bland such that I could only recognise it by colour. Light brown or yellow was better on the wall than on the spoon. However, after the wall and floor redecoration, came the dark brown stuff (chocolate pudding). Worth waiting for. Tried to buy some recently as too good to leave behind when after teething. Couldn’t find it anywhere.

Not before time, my teeth made an appearance at which time books seemed the most edible offering. Anyway, how can you eat anything with one tooth?

Early School years were not enjoyable to me. Story time was OK but there never seemed to be much of a plot e.g. gardener chases rabbit, rabbit escapes. Repeat. Messing about in sand and water never interested me. I used to carry out my own little experiments, verifying Archimedes principles by floating a square wooden block in the school fish tank and teacher’s tea. Sadly, the teacher never appreciated these learning opportunities plonking me in the sand pit. Why do grown ups think we like sand? It’s abbrasive and it gets everywhere, in your shoes, up your shorts, in your hair and then Jimmy Smith throws it at you (for the fifth time this week). Then you build an impressive castle and some hyperactive kid smashes it down like some miniscule disgruntled tirant.

This is me, around 8 years. I wanted to be a pilot. No idea why as I was too young to see TopGun. Anyway someone explained what an Ejection Seat is and I went off the idea. I then saw a program about diving (Jacques Cousteau, I think) and thought that looked awsome, until someone mentioned the ‘Bends’ and I went off that. Something between the two I thought. Something on land or a bit higher, hovercraft driver maybe. Anyway, plenty of time.

Primary school was a bit boring. I realised that I had no sporting skills at all but I did learn to swim. I visited the area a few weeks ago and my school is now someone’s house and the swimming pool a car park. I was tempted to knock on the house, ask to look round and tell them where I got the ruler and where I fell asleep listening about the romans.

Secondary school was worse. History involved copying stuff off the board. How’s that teaching? I could have been copying a shopping list. I didn’t learn any history but I could have had a promising career as a photocopier.

English was strange. I dont know why I couldn’t write the way we all talked. For example, If I said to my mate,

“Wots tha dooing t’nite. Docta Oooos ont elly”

we would both understand it fine but write it on paper and the teacher would put a red line through it. A dunt think shi cud ave been Inglis er sen.

I liked some Science, messing with batteries and springs and stuff, oh and that Van Der Graaf thingy which made everyone’s hair stand up. The class comic thought the massive copper sulphate crystal looked like a lolly and gave it a good lick. Jimmy who was sat infront was not impressed when the inevitable happened. It took a while for the sand retribution but worth the wait.

I spent a whole term writing about ‘A Thompson Molecule’ before I realised the teacher was saying Atoms and Molecules. Finally, I asked who Thompson was, which cleared it up nicely. After the lesson, two others said they’d written the same thing and were glad I asked. The visit to see the school nurse about my ears was totally unnecessary. Thanks !

The best thing about secondary school was the food. Not bad and that pink custardy thing, awsome. I’ve tried to find it in shops since but no luck and the staff just look blank when you describe it.

I left school with a smattering of GCSEs and three poor A-Levels and did a course in Computing Science. At last, something I enjoyed. I lapped up programming right from the first Print “Hello World”; statement I wrote.

I guess I went into computing as I enjoyed maths and the teacher Mr Tuple once told us a story of a ‘computer expert’ he knew and how he could print off loads of spare paper by just writing a program to print just an ‘*’ on each page. I found this strangely fastinating and it probably pushed me towards computers as a career. How crazy is that?

Two days into the computing course, I found that this was incredibly easy to do. Even easier to open the printer draw and take out a wedge of paper. I guess he must have been talking about the days of line printers, punched cards and computers that filled a room with the same power as my smart toaster.

Anyway, I enjoyed my IT career for a good while until one disasterous day when I was sacked. Following this, I took a sharp drop in income and had to do something to supliment my income.

I think I mentioned this in my last Blog.

… Oliver Sudden

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