The Author
the author
Who is this shadowy figure of chaos? Bestriding the world like the colossus, a veritable behemoth of the blogging world? Read on and you might find out.

I am a born and bred English-type person. Raised for many years near Cambridge (luckily not quite within the ‘fens’). I spent 4 years studying and climbing in Sheffield (a city I grew to love) before starting out in the world of full time employment in 2001 in an office known as the ‘chicken shed’. In January 2008 I moved to Australia on a two year assignment; I am not entirely certain I will be wanting to leave.

I am not the worlds foremost party animal, preferring conversation and contemplation to dancing the night away. I have few new friends, but many old ones, who are wonderful people and always amaze me with their kindness and integrity.

Should you have the inclination, you can contact me here. Alternatively (if you really want freak me out) you could try me via Skype.

The Blog

The-way-to-the-centre has been running (after a patchy start) since March 2003, and is a mix of mostly uninteresting commentary on subjects ranging from astronomy to what I had for lunch. No-one I have ever met in person has ever left a comment here, though I am not much of self publicist and only ever put the URL as the occasional signature to an e-mail. I have come close obliterating it completely on several occasions, for several reasons, but have never hit the delete key. One day you might come here and just find ‘FIN’ though. T-w-t-t-c started life on Blogger before shifting to my own domain name and it is currently powered by WordPress 5.0.14.

Most of the CSS noodling is done to look best in Safari, but is checked so that it looks ok in Firefox too. I don’t have IE on my iBook MacBook but check it passable when I am at work.

The-way-to-to-the-centre is kept alive and spam-free by a large number of plugins. You can see the full list here.

n things and counting
  1. I was born in October 1977, with two older brothers and one older sister.
  2. It took me a long time to learn to walk – I would get my siblings to get me things.
  3. I can throw a boomerang.
  4. My first car was a 1979 mini van, which I still own.
  5. Rarely is a pint of tea more than 3 feet from me at anytime.
  6. I prefer pure Assam with with milk and two.
  7. The hardest climbing I have done was graded 6b (English). I once soloed (without a rope) a 10m high grade 5b.
  8. I read, lots.
  9. I once got out of lessons at school to look for albino frogs.
  10. With just a pencil, straight edge and compasses I can draw a triangle, square, pentagon and hexagon sharing the same baseline [and a heptagon and octagon with a bit of thinking].
  11. I completed my Duke of Edinburgh silver award, but never got the book signed off.
  12. I believe in hope.
  13. I once did two jobs at once, resulting in 16 hours of work on Fridays, but free currys for life.
  14. I flew 10,000km to spend 19 days with the person I love. I would do the same for a second.
  15. At school I was the 78lb weakling, but could outrun almost everyone.
  16. I used to collect insects.
  17. I can explain how soil turns to liquid during earthquakes, complete with equations and diagrams.
  18. I can spell floccinaucinihilipification.
  19. In the pub I will have either cider or whisky at my elbow.
  20. At university I played badminton once a week for 3 years. I lost twice.
  21. I can’t swim, I think it is genetic.
  22. I used to play a decent game of chess.
  23. My favorite authors are Robert Rankin, David Eddings and Terry Pratchett.
  24. Sometimes I like to listen to the same song on repeat play over and over and over.
  25. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by crippling self doubt.
  26. Phillip Pullman’s physical and theological arguments make me think of the ‘Fish Slap Dance’ from Monty Python (and I thought the books were rubbish too).
  27. I can name the eight stars of the ‘plough’ as well as the principle constellations and bright stars as seen from 52 degrees north.
  28. I hate impolite and discourteous people.
  29. I nearly always get the numbers in countdown, but have never solved the conundrum.
  30. I make a mean feta salad and pasta bake.
  31. Phonecalls and crowds scare me.
  32. I rarely say ‘no’.
  33. My favorite music is by Massive Attack, Tom McRae, Red Hot Chilli Pepppers and Bjork.
  34. Favorite songs are ‘Space Odity’ (David Bowie), ‘Losing My Religion’ (REM) and ‘Street Spirit’ by Radiohead.
  35. I had my first ever nightmare in March 2004.
  36. I am scared of spiders and crabs, but not lobsters.
  37. My forearms are bigger than my biceps (bouldering does odd things to ones physiology).
  38. At the end of each set of university exams, I played ‘Bulletproof’ by Pop Will Eat Itself on full volume.
  39. Once, I attempted to develop complex number theory for 3 dimensions.
  40. I recently joined the Young Men’s Reformed-Cultists-of-the-Ichor-God Bel-Shamharoth Association Gym.
  41. I can juggle 3 and 4 balls, do 3-ball tricks and want to try juggling balls of fire.
  42. If it’s 5am I am far more likely to be up late than up early.
  43. Given a choice I would take -10 degrees over +30 degrees.
  44. During one university project, I got so sleep deprived that I lost the ability to speak.
  45. I’ve been gliding once and dream of learning to paraglide.
  46. A pizza without anchovies and olives isn’t a real pizza.
  47. I love a good acoustic tune.
  48. When I get obsessed with something, I see little else.
  49. I read the Telegraph, and don’t understand the politics of newspapers.
  50. The first thing I saw through my telescope was the ‘Ring Nebula’ (aka M57).
  51. I have only ever watched one football match, and that was because I had no choice in the matter.
  52. I hold a 1st class honors degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Sheffield University.
  53. I am a serious weather geek.
  54. There was once an incident with a sheep and a hill which (seemingly) permanently damaged the LCL2 in my left knee.
  55. The word ‘colophon’ makes me think ‘talking out my ar$e’. This is not a colophon, it is an ‘about’ page.
  56. My favorite film quotes are ‘let me come with you, I can see, I can see perfectly’, and ‘Badgers?! Badgers?! We don’t need no stinkin’ badgers!!’
  57. I have a propensity to use footnotes1 and italic text.
  58. For some reason I acquired the nickname ‘Dark Prince’ at work. I assume this is due to my constantly sunny disposition.
  59. Some years ago I spent a less than enjoyable afternoon in A&E having gravel picked out of my back after somersaulting off my bike onto a freshly resurfaced road. I also lost all the skin off my palms and have scar on my hip where I was impaled on the shifter.
  60. My highest archery score for 5 dozen arrow at 20yds (a ‘Portsmouth’ round) is 544/600.
  61. I am addicted to caffeine.
  62. I used a P166 as my main computer until November 2004.
  63. Since 1995, I have written all exams & signed important documents with the same pen – a Parker 45 Stainless Steel GT FP (with blue-black ink from an ink-pot).
  64. I have eaten pretty much everything (barring Vindaloo and Phall) from your average curry house menu.
  65. To clear my mind, I like to multiply large numbers without a calculator.
1 Like this one. 2 Took me about 8 years to find out what the injury was called.

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