The unfinished autobiography of Dave Budd

My so called life

I was born in mid April of '54 (you work it out, it saves me an annual edit), in Keynsham, which is between Bath and Bristol. It was a one-horse town back then, with little to recommend it but the Fry's Somerville chocolate factory (built on the site of a Roman villa), now taken over by the Cadbury-Schweppes conglomerate. Before the factory, there was a big house wherein lived Lord Chandos: apparently Handel stayed there once and it's claimed he got some inspiration for The Messiah there. I can't see it myself. A false etymology of the name is Caina's Home - Caina was made a saint after turning the local snakes to stone: nowadays of course we know that ammonites are a tiny bit older than that! The town gathered some minor fame through (a) Horace Batchelor's football pools system ads on Radio Luxembourg, and (b) the album by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - I think they still included the DooDah bit at that time. I had a relatively uneventful childhood, progressing from a primary school within 5 minutes walk of home to a local Grammar school where I found I never had to work very hard to get results, something that doesn't really prepare you for the cold hard world, unfortunately.

A few months before my 16th birthday I won a motorcycle in a spot-the-ball competition: aside from a brief lesson on people's jealousy of other people's good fortune, that motorcycle made life wonderful: lots of fun and thrills, freedom to roam the highways, and... it was a babe magnet (despite the haircut I had at the time), which is exactly what a boy wants at that age (or any other, I suppose!).

I went on to university at UMIST but dropped out at the end of the first year: people did in those days. After a year or so bumming around I started a nothing sort of job in deepest Trafford Park in Manchester, and the next year I made my entrance into the world of computing as an operator here at Manchester Computing (picture). I've been here ever since, though I long ago moved out of ops (you can get really fed up with 12 hour shifts you know - however they don't do them here any more): first into user support on a CDC Cyber 170, then general apps maintenance on various platforms, on into Novell and DOS networking stuff, and now I'm going back to concentrating on apps again.

I got married in September of '75, and for a long time we lived in a flat just 5 minutes walk from the university, which is why I never learnt to drive a car for a long time - I just didn't need one. However we moved to nearby Stockport several years later to a corner semi with a pond with newts in it (I think newts are really cool) and a cat called Truffle.

In late 2001 I split up with my wife and moved to a new life up in the hills to the North of Manchester with Lindsay. Our son Jack was born in October 2003.
Where I grew up the main brewery was Courage's, so it wasn't for some time that I realised beer could actually be good rather than just palatable: nowadays my favourite is Samuel Smith's Celebrated Oatmeal Stout, but I'm on a sacred quest to find the ultimate bottled brown ale as well....

Having several members of the family work in that Fry's factory left me totally addicted to chocolate of course. Fry's are now just part of Cadbury's. It was not having a degree that led me to join Mensa, so I'd have some sort of proof there's a brain here somewhere. I later joined Densa for balance.

That's enough, I guess, you're probably asleep already.