Monday, 22 February 2010


If you've arrived on this page hoping to learn about ancient Greek history then it is time to hit the backspace button. However, if you are regular readers of this blog then today I'm taking you on a trip back towards the middle of the twentieth century. Well mid 1960's to mid 1970's to be more precise.

Somewhile ago I scanned a number of my old Kodachrome slides into digital format. Then more recently I photographed a number of old photographs in my parent's album. I've just been looking at them again and I thought I'd use a few of them in a blog about the early days of Troy.

Here's me, with my sister when I'm about 10 and she's about 6. We are at Sewerby Park in Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast.

The next photo is taken towards the end of August 1966 when I'm eleven years old and about to start at the local Grammar School. I've always looked younger than my age and the short trousers in this picture don't help matters. Most of the boys in the first year at the Grammar School (now called Year 7) wore short trousers. It contrasts with Troy Junior, who has worn long trousers in winter and short trousers in summer to school since the age of seven or eight. Note too my school cap! It must be realised here that I'm proudly wearing the full uniform including the cap as the photo is taken just prior to me starting at the school. Later of course, I wouldn't be seen dead in a school cap although the prefects tried to enforce the uniform policy. Also, array of pens in blazer pocket (cringe!).

It's a photo of a photo and not very clear, but you get the general picture.

The next photo is taken about eight or nine years later. Away from the parental home I've grown my hair long in the style of Dave Davies from one of my favourite bands, The Kinks. Here, I'm running the shop in my university hall of residence. As we were fully catered with three meals a day, the shop just supplied the extras; chocolate bars, peanuts, biscuits, coffee, tea, sugar as well as things like washing powder. Looking at the photo, I'm also surprised to see cigarettes as I have absolutely no recollection from the time that we ever sold them.

Being elected "Shop Manager" by our Junior Common Room was, so far, my one and only election success in life. I won it by a landslide. My favourite memory of running this shop involved coffee speculation. In December there was an article in the newspaper regarding very poor coffee harvests. So at Christmas, instead of running down the stock and banking the money over the holiday, I instead used virtually all our funds to buy coffee from the cash-and-carry. In January we were short of most stock but the price of coffee had gone up about 80%. I was selling jars of coffee below supermarket prices but still making a substantial profit. When I was asked how we could undercut Sainsburys, my response was simply "bulk buying".

I have many happy memories of my time at the University of Nottingham. I'll leave you with a couple of photos taken on the campus, one in summer, one in winter.

Monday, 1 February 2010


I can't believe it is February already! Where did January go? So much for my resolution to blog more frequently - nothing posted since 12th January!

I thought I'd better give you a News Update.

Firstly, my computer has packed up working. Well when I say it won't work, what it actually does is open to the initial Windows screen. Here I have four users - Troy, Mrs Troy, Troy Junior and Guest. The first two are password controlled. Whichever one is clicked on, Windows opens for about four seconds showing the background screen but no icons. Then it logs back off and reverts to the first Welcome screen. So none of us can get into Windows and get at any of our files on the C drive. Now fortunately I've got all our digital photos backed-up and also some of my excel files but there are a handful of important files that I can't access and for which I don't have any back-up copies. AAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHH!

I also have a netbook and I've now got that connected to a proper keyboard and a large widescreen but that still doesn't get me to the files I need - tax return details, all my savings details (which are spread around several banks) and "interesting" things like my cars' petrol records etc. etc. It would take "forever" to recreate them. I was told that I could get into Windows "Safemode" by hitting the F8 key on boot up. I did that but even the various safemode options log me straight out of Windows when I try to open it. The data is safe on the hard drive but presently totally unaccessible. Any ideas anyone? £25 reward to the person who comes up with a satifactory fix.

Secondly, I owe you an update on the problem we were having with our car remote controls and all our neighbours' electric gates etc. We got a person from OFCOM to come out but the first time (Sod's law) everything was working okay. He came out a second time and then discovered that someone (not us!) had installed a faulty device to their TV to transmit signals around their home. This device was faulty and effectively sending out jamming signals to our remotes when it was being used. So the situation is now sorted.

Thirdly, almost a year ago I told you about how my MGF car had died from a totally broken engine. We finally got a quote for £1,864 to replace the engine with a new one (and put in a new clutch whilst the engine was out). We decided to go ahead but the new engine supplied was faulty and wouldn't rev past 1,500 rpm (ie. useless). The company fitting the engine had a long run in with the engine supplier and finally they got a further engine from a different supplier. The whole episode started at the end of last February and we didn't the car back until late May. That was still in time to enjoy the "barbeque summer of 2009" with it being a convertible. It's now done about 2,500 miles on its new engine and last week passed its annual MOT without any issues (thank goodness!).

Fourthly, I had to take over, with no notice, as Chairman of Troy Junior's school's board of governors. Just as the Head Teacher resigned! (No connection!!). I can't say anymore for confidentiality reasons, but already year-to-date I've spent nearly 30 hours just on this voluntary position! And the HT recruitment process will take up a lot more of my time over the next couple of months.

So, I've not had a lot of time for blogging, or indeed surfing the Internet in January.