About me me and this site

About me me and this site

I have been interested in Science and Astronomy for many many years. It has always been the one thing that has linked my hobbies and interests.

Yes, I’m a nerd!

For years I tried to hide my nerdhood from those who didn’t know me. Despite my best efforts, and some terrible hair styles, I expect this was in vain.

In recent years I have learned to embrace my inner nerd.

As a child born in the 70’s, I grew up in the era of Rayleigh Grifter bikes, Battlestar Galactica (the original one!), Star Wars, Star Trek TOS, Space 1999, Space Hoppers, Computer Battleships, and ZX Spectrums.

The two gifts I received from my parents as a child that most influenced my life to come were, a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and a small Astronomical telescope.

The Spectrum had a pitiful memory, resolution, and games took ages to load from tape. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it immensely and it got me started in programming.

My telescope was a tiny 3 inch refractor and was extremely limited. It did, however, give my first views of star clusters, the moon and the planets.

Thanks, Mum & Dad!

Science, Astronomy and Me

I am not a scientist! And, I never will be. I’ve never regarded myself as particularly intelligent,  and to be honest, I didn’t do that well academically at school.

I remember, as a child, watching Cosmos on television and being awed by the worlds, stars, and civilisations that were described by the late, great, Carl Sagan.

My Dad had a copy of the hardback book that accompanied the series and I spent countless hours flipping through the pages looking at the objects and worlds described within.

With my old telescope, I think it seeing Saturn for the first time that was the most draw dropping.  I could see the pale yellow disk of Saturn,  encircled by the magnificent rings. This was REAL! It was a whole other world, and it was out-there, physical and huge.

The double cluster in Perseus, I think, comes a close second. I remember training my small telescope on it with a low powered eyepiece and seeing these two loose balls of stars embedded in a field of fainter background stars.

The other gift that most influenced me was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. I was given this tiny computer that had 48K of Ram (Wow!) and a terrible rubber keyboard. But the fact that you could program it and then save your programs onto tape was a game changer for me.

I spent the next few years programming my lowly Spectrum and avidly reading magazines and books on programming. It seems incredible to me now, looking back from 2019, that I did all of this without access to the internet!

Flash forward 3 decades and I am still working with computers, and work as a full-time software developer.

My writing

I am attempting to write a novel.  A science fiction novel.

I have read many, many, science fiction and fantasy novels since my teens, but this is my first serious attempt at writing my own full length novel.

Sure, I have always had an active imagination, but have never written a full novel. I’ve done the typical nerdy stuff, such as GM’d Dungeons and Dragons games, but have never sat down to write a full novel from start to finish.

To be honest, the whole prospect fills me with more than a little bit of fear. I am not quite sure where this fear comes from but to be honest it saps my confidence. I think that it is this lack of confidence that has held me back for years.

With regards to my novel, I have been putting the background world-building that supports my story together for the past year, and I have recently started to write the actual book. I don’t know how good it will be, but I know that there are stories within me that I wish to tell.

Wish me luck.