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.