Thursday, 7 October 2010

"You want to become a what?!"

Dear Friends

As some of you may already know (depending whether you've been listening to me at all over the last four months) this year I have taken a huge leap into the unknown and switched career paths.

After earning a crust for three-plus years in the financial services industry - and hereby I deny any responsibility whatsoever for anything the banks may have gotten up to in that period (remember, the stability of your bank may go down as well as up) - I came to the staggering conclusion that this was not for me.

But whence to proceed now? To which field of labour could I apply my brimming CV and my boundless enthusiasm - and of course, by now total availability - for maximum enjoyment and reward? Hm...

The answer turned out to be a happy union of skills and interests, old and new. My work experiences to date were, more or less, a mixture of working with information (i.e. setting-up, administering and supervising various databases) and people (i.e. client-facing reception roles, group-work, and my silky-smooth telephone manner).

My private interests, on the other hand, fall roughly into two categories - drama, literature and a general interest in culture and the Arts; and researching history, family history, etc. (I do have more strings to this particular bow, but, for neatness of style, let's stick at two).

Which profession would make fullest use of a literate person, good with people and with information, with creative interests and a fascination with knowledge? It turns out the answer is...

Image Courtesy of The Morrab Library Website


In point of fact, that's an unrepresentative - albeit very lovely - pictorial vision of the modern library. As I am rapidly learning, it seems librarians information professionals (if you please) are evolving into a hybrid creature: part-techie, part-community worker, part-human search engine, and part-management consultant. The bookish-end of things seems rather far off and faint at the moment, although I'm sure we'll get around to it.

For yea! That is the grail of all my questings - I am now officially a student again! Six years after graduating the first time (and TEN years after first coming up to Bristol as a bright-eyed, hope-filled newbie undergrad) I have once more hooked up to the educational system! The sensation of coming back to the world of study (and students) after six years in the outside world is quite surreal, and I am still adjusting to all the implications, even now...

This time around, I am the University of the West of England, studying for a master's degree in Information and Library Management. I'll go into what this contains in another post; suffice it to say, it is very different to the last time around.


My apologies if the first part of this sounded too much like a CV - I've written so many of the wretched things recently, it's becoming habitual. This is a very condensed version of how I got from leaving the bank to where I am now, but, concealing true names and places, it does have the saving quality of the truth about.

Anyway, you're through it now. Next post will be a weekender piece about Warren history, what became of my ancestral halls, and just what a group of French monks built on top of it...

And of course, if you have been, thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Who on earth is Lord Blue-Glass?

Dear Friends

I thought I would start our little sessions here with an exercise in self-exposure (quick nurse, the screens...). I have title this blog The Blue-Glass Files, referring to my long-serving alias/avatar/alter ego, of Lord Blue-Glass.

This title has served me faithfully and well as a cover name in a variety of online sites, chat rooms, marketplaces, and the like. Of course, those of you who some of my email addresses will have recognised it by now as well.

But who is LBG? Where does it come from? Is it connected with Bristol blue glass? And, in a very real sense, why should you care?

To answer many, or none, of these questions, please come back with me as long ago as 1998; aye, even unto the ivory towers and gilt palisades of Cornwall College and the salad days of my A-levels. Summers were long and golden, hope sprang eternal (it goes on like some budget version of Brideshead Revisited for some paragraphs. Let's skip on a bit...)

Two important things happened.

First I worked out there was more to computers than just typewriters-that-could-do-sums. I date this as the fall from innocence - my faith in philosophical and philological values, and certainly my handwriting, have never recovered.

Secondly, and more significantly, I found out it was possible to play Mornington Crescent online. Previously, of course, I had only played at a provincial level, which was thin on the ground in Cornwall, even then. Many was the night one desperately pitted the unstoppable force of Trevithick's Second Conversion against the immovable object of, say, Brunel's Advanced Tunnel Looping, or else snatched a spirit of victory from the grim maw of defeat with a well-judged (and ethically dubious) Goonhilly Shunt. Good times, good times.

But, I hear you cry (or was it just the echo coming back) wither came the noble title? Since, by common consent, all true MC professionals play under assumed names, to spare the innocent and guilty alike, a true fighting name was needed under which to pass. I had recently (recent to first playing online MC) listened to Dylan Thomas's great and masterful radio drama, Under Milk Wood. A minor character there is the eccentric Lord Cut-Glass, who dreams of clocks, and tick-tock, and so forth. Some minor aberration in my mind either mis-remembered or altered the name, and thus a legend was born...

It pre-dates my coming to Bristol, home of true blue glass, by some two or three years; that this is where I have ended up is perhaps happy chance, or kismet, or fate - call it what you will, or at least what you are allowed to. Lord Blue-Glass I started out, and Lord Blue-Glass I shall defiantly remain.

The name, indeed, has thus far outlasted its original purpose, as I retired from professional Mornington Crescent playing shortly after leaving university - the online game is very much a young person's sport these days. I remain, however, a keen follower and promoter at the amateur level, and am always ready and willing to throw caution to the wind and launch pell-mell (except Sundays and Bank Holidays) into a match, for old times sakes...


Well, that has been a nice little exercise in whimsy, memory, and (believe it or not) large portions of the truth. I thought you ought to know the LBG saga at the outset, to save confusion later on.

My next post I hope will be in more serious vein, concentrating on my current studies in the field of librarianship. The next one after that will be a little light weekend blog.

In the meantime, enjoy yourselves and, if you have been, thanks for reading.


Sunday, 3 October 2010

Welcome, one and all!

Dear Friends

Welcome to this, a daring new venture for me, and I hope a source of diversion and interest for you. I have not attempted to join the blogosphere before; a mixture of pride, fear and good old-fashioned English reticence combining against me.

However, recent events have prompted a change of heart. You need to know more about me - no, honestly, you do - and consequently I have to find a way to getting myself out there. As it were.

This project will run alongside my Facebook presence; hopefully some of you will already know my activities therein, and anyone else is welcome join the throng. Hopefully, too, this blog will allow me to write on certain subjects at greater length than FB allows.

What will I be writing about? Well, rather unashamedly, about me! Or rather, the things that occupy, interest, define or divert me. There have been rather a lot of these things, down the long arches of the years, so let's cover a few of them here:
  • Work (both past and future)
  • Academic study
  • Family history
  • Acting (Kelvin Players and others)
  • My books
  • Radio drama and radio comedy
  • Friends
  • Shoes, ships, sealing wax, etc. and a variety of miscellanea
I will try and chop up these various topics as time goes by, so you get a different bit with each posting.

If all this sounds a trifle ambitious, I can't promise to post too regularly, because, you know - I have a life... but as often as I can.

I would also welcome your feedback, old friends and new critics alike, as to style, substance, anything you'd like to hear more of (or indeed less of). This is learning for me too, you know.

With that, I wish you all I wish myself (but only if I can have it first), and thanks for reading.