The bit about me
Welcome 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.
At 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.
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.
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.
Copyright © Bruce Lloyd 2011
Last updated 13/06/2012