About Me
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The bit about me

Bruce Lloyd at homeWelcome to delightful Dapto a suburb of Wollongong just 95 km south of Sydney. I have lived here for over 30 years since I transferred from Sydney's Pyrmont Power Station to work at Tallawarra Power Station on Lake Illawarra. Alas the Power Station closed in 1989 and has since been demolished but I am still here. (Come to think of it all the power stations I have worked in have closed - are they trying to tell me something?)

Wollongong is the best kept secret, beautiful countryside, surf, sand, the lake, the escarpment, affordable housing. Heaven on a stick... Shhh! don't tell those Sydneysiders or they will want to come down here too - keep feeding them the story about the steelworks and the heavy industry.

I was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in the UK where my father was a teacher. We lived in a bungalow on Undercliffe Avenue at the base of Leckhampton Hill but when I was about five years old my father obtained a headship at the village Primary School in Wrotham (pronounced 'root'em'), Kent. For a couple of years we lived in a council house on Tollgate Estate in Borough Green until my Dad was appointed Headmaster of St Mary's Primary School in Folkestone on the Kent Coast. Folkestone in the 1950s and 1960s was a great place to grow up; tobogganing down Sugar Loaf Hill in winter, swimming in summer, exploring The Warren and investigating the area's innumerable wartime tunnels and relics - it was just so much fun. Of course there was a downside, I had to go to school, I attended Christ Church Primary School and the Harvey Grammar School. I can't say I ever enjoyed school and it was a great relief to be able to leave just after turning 16 having taken my GCE 'O' levels to take up an apprenticeship with Post Office Telephones. What a difference, I loved just about every minute of this job and ended up as a technician at Tolsford Hill Radio Station.

In 1966, I immigrated to Australia on an assisted passage (thanks). I spent a wonderful couple of years alternating between living in Sydney and travelling the east coast of Australia from Cooktown to Melbourne (the days of full employment). What fun life was (and still is), wouldn't be dead for quids.

Two of my favourite pastimesAt the end of 1968 I returned to England on the P & O ship SS Himalaya, the trouble with the oceans are that they look exactly the same in the middle as they do at the edge anyway the trip cured me of any inclination to roam the seven seas. Back in England I worked for a few years as a Technical Officer on microwave radio transmission at the Post Office Tower in London before again leaving in 1972 to spend a year travelling through Europe and Asia. Since then I have lived in Sydney, Canberra (briefly) and even spent about a year back in London but after 1976 have rarely left Australia.

My hobbies are based around cycling and computers. My first computer was a Dick Smith System 80 bought in 1980, since then I have graduated via a Commodore 64 and a much loved 128D to the various incarnations of IBM clones. For ten years I ran a public access Bulletin Board called Powerhouse BBS.

I have been cycling on and off all my working life, though there have been long periods of "off". However it is only in the last few years that I have bought a halfway decent bike but even then they all cost well short of $1000. My bikes are nothing special, after a back operation I bought a Shogun Metro SE, a hybrid, because I was unable to cope with the higher gearing of my racing style road bikes. I needed something more comfortable and the Metro seems to have been the right buy. See My Bikes page for more details of my other bikes.

As well as cycling I enjoy reading, listening to music (ranging from rock to opera), attempting the cryptic crossword in the Sydney Morning Herald (OK, the Sudoku and Unisol as well), listening to ABC radio, watching a bit of TV (usually ABC or SBS though less of the latter since they put adverts in the programs) and as a season ticket holder I occasionally attend the odd theatrical or musical performance at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre.

Over the years I have become totally disillusioned with the main political parties, especially the ALP (Another Liberal Party) who forced the real Liberal Party even further to the right and speeded up our transformation from a society to an economy. To be honest apart from not voting for either of them and writing the odd letter to the local MPs I have done little about it until the Liberal Government's mean spirited castration in 1996 of our national broadcaster moved me to join the Friends of the ABC (big deal eh?). About the only thing that the appalling Pauline Hanson got right was putting the sitting member last because only marginal seats get any attention from politicians. Especially the time servers, seat warmers and party hacks installed in safe seats these days.

Apart from the hollow men (and women) with cash register hearts who currently run this country I also dislike tidying up, house painting and mowing grass... Um, perhaps I should rent a flat.

What Next?

National Workcover Steam Engine and Boiler Ticket After 18 years working for BlueScope Steel (formerly BHP) at the Port Kembla steelworks and despite the Howard government's policy of working until you drop I realised that, with an impending third back operation, retirement seemed to be my best option. In fact I actually stopped work at the beginning of August 2007 and used up my six months annual and long service leave before finally severing links with the company at the end of February 2008.

Since then I have been spending money like it is going out of fashion. I suddenly realised that most of my home equipment such as mower, edger, BBQ etc are over 20 years old and frankly they are knackered. Am replacing them in the hope that the new ones will last as long; I suspect that at 80 mowing the lawn will become a purely academic exercise.

Another thing my impending retirement made me realise was how daft it was driving around, usually by myself, in the 8 seater people mover that I bought when the kids were little. To cut a long story short I bought myself a relatively cheap, ugly, small car with a tiny 1.5 litre engine which has the added bonus that it will help me cope with the higher petrol prices. It has all the things the Luddite in me tried to avoid in the past - auto gearbox, power steering, central locking, air conditioning, electric windows etc. Oh well, I guess I will get used to them. I must admit I love the way the wing mirrors fold up against the body when you park it, I am sure I have nearly run the battery flat demonstrating this feature to people (simple things?). newcar2008.jpg (47545 bytes)

My Kids

My wife decided the grass was greener on the other side of the fence and buggered off over a decade ago allowing me to divorce her and fulfil a life long ambition to be a grumpy old man. The two eldest soon returned to live with me while the youngest remained with her until he too came to live with me. This was the state of affairs until fairly recently but now they have all gone their separate ways and only visit me on the weekends or whenever they find the time.

Katie finished Year 12 at Dapto High School at the end of 2004 and after working as a shift manager at Pizza Hut became a store manager for Subway. In February 2009 she moved with her boyfriend to live in Canberra. After a short period managing a Subway store followed by a period as an Assistant Manager for a well known bookshop in Queanbeyan she now works processing visas and passports.

She and Geoff have just bought their own house in the ACT.

Katie

Chris at HMAS Cerberus  

Christopher finally left school where he was wasting his (and everybody else's) time. He plays the drums and is mad keen on body boarding. Actually he enjoys most things as long as they don't involve any reading or writing. Oh... car salesman... Telemarketer... Chef... I can't keep up.

He settled down for a while as a bar tender and cocktail waiter at Hostage X in Wollongong.

Finally he found the need for a more permanent career and he has followed Andrew into the Royal Australian Navy. He graduated on the 13th August 2010 and seems to be enjoying the life immensely.

Andrew eventually came to live with me, his brother and sister in June 2005.

After several years working for Pizza Hut after school he worked in a part time job as a checkout chick(?) at Coles to provide the necessities of teenage life - essential items such as an Ipod and a mobile phone with a camera.

Andrew is now stationed at HMAS Waterhen after joining the Royal Australian Navy as a CSOMW. The life seems to agree with him.

Recently he bought a motorbike (madness) and a brand new Holden Thunder ute.

Andrew in Canberra

A new addition to the Lloyd family.

Jayden Dimitri Lloyd

Khyarn, Chris's partner and mum of little Jayden.

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Three Kids in HMAS Cerberus andycar.jpg (47249 bytes)

Copyright © Bruce Lloyd 2011


Last updated 13/06/2012

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