Things learned in life……or not.

‘Himself’ is writing up some wonderful life’s experiences. He is looking forward to me posting some of mine. So, here goes…….

Many lifetimes ago in 1982 a friend who would eventually become a god-parent (should  the god thing be capitalised?) to my youngest son some years later –  walked into our local pub in the then small market town of Shipston-on-Stour.

A bunch of us friends in for an after work drink that early evening were always pleased to see this guy who was universally recognised as being a mad, unconventional but gifted IT geek – employed to keep all aspects of a local factory’s computers – systems and networks running. Later, in his spare time he was an advisor to the then budding new internet service providers and users. He was also responsible for my reluctant dabbling in the world of computers.

This particular evening he took up his usual high stool position at the bar and announced that he had taken a ‘personality test’ at work that day and thought we might like to have a go at it to see how we’d do.

He told us we had to draw a house, tree, sun, snake, person etc…….and our drawings would/could  be analysed by  someone who was deemed by someone…..or deemed themselves fit to be an analyst.

Various people within earshot including myself,  blagged a piece of paper and a pen from the bar staff and undertook the task. I watched everyone else scratching and scribbling away and frustratingly, for someone who spent all their spare time with a paintbrush and box of acrylics in hand, stared at my blank paper until our time was up.

As everyone delivered up their efforts for scrutiny I fiddled with my blank sheet of paper. The problem I’d had with the test was that I was spoilt for choice. This was a personality thing – right? What style to choose? How to tackle the subject in a way that I liked when under time pressure? So many options (personalities?) to consider I just couldn’t get started to commit something that I wasn’t happy with to paper.

I apologised for flunking the test and joined the admiration of the elaborate artistic efforts of the others, productions which were all full on pictures of the given subjects. When discussion of the various works of art was exhausted, my friend Dave who’d introduced the ‘test’ beckoned me towards his ‘throne’ at the bar; “Oi……..come here.  Wanna have a look at what I turned in for the test today?”

“Yes please.”, I said……….already in awe of whatever it was I was about to see.

Out of his pocket came a small crumpled piece of paper which he put down in front of me on the bar and ironed flat with his hand.  Here is what he’d drawn:


Next to a pile of pictures full of houses with gardens, streams, views, people and in one case, even the family dog, there on the bar was a perfect example of the value, power and beauty of logic, not something I’d previously lacked entirely……..but up until that point certainly not a main driver.

So – thank you DP for the much needed upgrade to my operating system. The installation went well. My ‘inner machine’ has continued to function reliably over the years with only the very occasional crash and during any rare malfunction I can always find the system restore button in the shortest of time for a successful reboot.