Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

7 Things You May Not Know About Me

There’s a meme going around where you state 7 facts about yourself that people are unlikely to know. Apparently, you are supposed to be tagged to do it (and tag 7 of your friends in turn), but no-one has yet tagged me and I’m not intending to tag anyone else; however, feel free to carry to meme on if it interests you. So, the facts:

  1. I’m actually a published poet. A poem I wrote about a hamster was published in anthology when I was 10 years old, along with various other poems from my classmates at primary school. The anthology was called “Wah Hey! (North Yorkshire Edition)” – or something to that effect – and would have been published some time in 1993/4. My parents have a copy somewhere.
  2. I’m a somewhat active Wikipedia contributor. I have around 100 pages on my watchlist (mostly to do with trains and railways, I’m afraid) and check it at least a couple of times per day for interesting additions and to remove vandalism.
  3. As I’ve just admitted, I’m a bit of a train geek. This may have something to do with the fact that my father did (and still does, to some extent) work with the railways and thus resulted in a lot of train travel when I was younger. My interest in trains actually pre-dates my interest in computers, since I never really used a proper PC until 1995 (we had an Amstrad PCW before that). When I was around 11 or 12, the conductor on the train noticed I was reading a copy of Rail magazine and invited me into the cab of the train. So I got to sit next to the driver of a passenger train travelling at 120mph.
  4. I have lived within Yorkshire all of my life so far. The first 18 years were spent in York, and from then on I’ve spent increasing amounts of time living in Bradford – first for studying and more recently for work. This may not continue, however, as I have a job interview on Thursday for a position up in Scotland – as it’s a 4 hour journey from Bradford, and a 2 1/2 hour journey from York, it’s likely that I will be relocating.
  5. I’ve been in the audience for a couple of live TV programmes. The first was a segment of Time Team Live in 1999, when they were doing several digs in York and I was watching one of the digs. Though it was broadcast live as if they had just dug out an amazing artefact, actually, the whole scene had been rehearsed. So it was live, just a little faked. The second was in 2002 on a trip to Paris with college, where I was in the audience for Les Guignols de l’Info, which is a nightly 10 minute satirical show with puppets – very similar to Spitting Image for those who remember it. Obviously it was all in French so an understanding of the language and French current affairs was necessary, but we laughed enough for the TV network to not get too worried.
  6. I used to be a member of Xteq Systems, and contributed to their program X-Setup – now a commercial product called X-Setup Pro. Though I no longer contribute, some of my code is still in the program today, although much of it has been rewritten. It was my first time using VBScript, however, it’s been several years since I used it and so my skills are rather rusty.
  7. I’m a qualified canoeist, and hold British Canoe Union One Star awards for kayaks and tandem canoes. I achieved these both while in Scouts. Unfortunately it’s been at least 6 years since I was last in a canoe.


  1. Wow – good luck with the job in Scotland, Neil! Would both of you move up if you got it?

  2. Would have to – takes 4 hours by train from where I live at the moment 🙂 . Will find out next couple of days if I got it.

  3. Ha. I am a published poet as well! I think I was in middle school or high school. I had a poem of mine “The coming of Spring” published in some scholastic book, two of them actually. I can sorta remember how it goes, too.
    This reminds me I am to do one of these but with 25 on Facebook…

  4. Blank screen after posting a comment?

  5. Working for me… server may be timing out.