The Anonymous Widower

The Lady In High Heels

As I walked along the travelator to the Jubilee Line, I was passed by a lady walking fast in the space between the two moving walkways.

She was striking from behind in a short leather skirt and very high heels. Almost as if to show herself off, she was carrying her lightweight coat over her arm.

It got me thinking about C; my late wife.

In the 1960s, she wore skirts, as short as any girl does today, but she never ever wore heels higher than four or five centimetres or so!

She even got married to me in flat shoes!

But she did show herself off and would deliberately click her heels as perhaps she walked between tables in a high class restaurant. I remember her doing this in a Michelin-starred restaurant in London and when I told her how all the mainly-male diners had followed her with their eyes, she was obviously pleased.

December 3, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

An MP Guilty Of Sexual Impropriety

One night many years ago, C and myself had a dinner party. One of the guests brought her husband with her. At the time, the husband may have still been an MP, or he may just have just lost an election.

At dinner, he constantly fiddled with C’s leg, but she had been warned of his probably behaviour, by one her best friends and had worn protection in the shape of a long dress, with layers of petticoats underneath.

Even with permission, it was difficult to find you way in!

C handled herself and anyway, he was the sort of man, she wouldn’t have fancied in a whole century of Sundays.

A few days later on meeting her friend, C related the incident.

Her friend then told her what had happened at a party that she had given. One of her female friends had got rather drunk and had been led upstairs by the MP.

Everything was apparently going well, until the MP got undressed.

On seeing his filthy grey vest that was full of large holes, the lady came to her senses, laughed extremely loudly and long and returned to the party.

November 3, 2017 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Andrea Leadsom’s Lack Of Judgement

Andrea Leadsom may now have apologised to Theresa May according to this article on the BBC, but I believe the whole affair, shows a remarkable lack of judgement on her part.

In some ways it’s personal to me, as my family has a rather unusual genetic trait.

I have traced me male line back to The Tailor of Bexley in 1800 or so, and I’m certain that is where my coeliac disease came from.

What is curious, is that most women born into the direct male line of the family seem unable to have children, although nieces of the direct line have managed it.

It seems that if you’re the daughter of a coeliac in my family, you can’t have children.

You might say, as I’m a man, who only fathered sons, how am I affected?

Looking back on my family history, it has been riven with arguments and at the bottom of this, there has been the problems of some very strong females, both born in and married to the family.

I’ve also met others, who have similar problems in their families, which leads me to the conclusion, that the significant problem of childless women, should be left to themselves, their family and their doctors.

So to bring it up as an election issue, is just not on. In fact, as Michael Gove was adopted, you can accuse her of other things as well. I lived with an adopted woman for forty years and they are both proud and sensitive about their status.

As a Prime Minister, Leadsom will have to deal with lots of sensitive subjects and I don’t think she has the judgement and tact to handle some of the more difficult problems of this country and the wider world.

July 11, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

I Had To Look Twice!

When I picked up Monday’s copy of The Times, I had to ook twice at the picture on the front.

I Had To Look Twice!

I Had To Look Twice!

I was asking myself, why they put an old picture on the front.

But then, I realised it was the daughter-in-law.

So do men, marry women, who look like their mother?

I didn’t as my mother was dark with brown eyes and C was a blue-eyed blond. But once when I visited her in hospital before we were married, everybody thought I was her brother!


January 14, 2016 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment

Fifty Years On!

The students are going off to University about now!

Fifty years ago, probably to within a few days, I went off to University for the first time.

In some ways my situation was unusual in that I had been offered an unconditional place by Liverpool University and the way they worked, you had to accept them or possibly lose it.

I didn’t actually go to the University or Liverpool before it was time to go up to University about the end of September.

So on the day of my first trip North of London, I packed everything I was to take in a big cheap cardboard suitcase and took the Tube up to Euston to get a train to Liverpool.

My first memory of the trip, was coming into Lime Street station, through the deep dark wet cutting that actually goes under the University. At one point, I remember thinking looking out into the gloom, that the North is rather dark.

When I arrived, I had to get a Crosville H13 bus to my digs at Huyton. I managed the climb up the hill with my case well enough and found the digs at 178 Huyton Lane after a short walk!

I’ll admit that at times in those first few weeks that I did feel a bit homesick. But it’s amazing how quick University can get that out of you.

It all worked out right in the end.

The next year, I met C, who was to be my constant companion for nearly forty years until her sad death in 2008.

I’ve made a good success of some of my life and I only have a couple of regrets.

After I crashed my Cessna, I should never have given up flying.

A few years before C died, we had a long chat about the future and we virtually decided to move back into London. But we chickened out! Probably, because she liked her work too much and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t persuade her to join a Chambers in London.

It wouldn’t have changed the course of her life, but we would have had a couple of good years, in this wonderful city that I love.

I still visit Liverpool and she is the other lady in my life!

But then both have been very good to me!

So if you’re going up to University for the first time this week! Don’t worry!

September 20, 2015 Posted by | World | | 1 Comment

A Touch Of The Battersea

The Times has a report today about a web site called, which is searching for the sexiest MP.

I gave it a try and all the MPs I was shown to judge, had rather a touch of The Battersea about them!

July 1, 2015 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

I’d Like A Muse

As Christmas arrives and it will be my seventh since the death of my wife; C.

It’s obviously impossible to want her back in the same way that some divorcees want a sanitised version of their previous partner, without perhaps the violence, gambling, drinking or leaving the toilet seat up.

But I got to thinking about what I actually want and in some ways I think I’d like a muse in the way that many artists, writers and thinkers did in the past and probably do now.

C and I both had our own areas of work, but there was also a grey area, where I suggested things she might do to make perhaps a difficult case less stressful and she would criticise some of my wilder ideas, designs or flights of fantasy.

It was fun and we enjoyed life to the full. I look at the things I used to do with her that I rarely do now, as I don’t like doing them alone.A list includes going horse racing, to the theatre and I don’t go to the films as often as I used to. As to trying out good restaurants, I don’t really bother unless I’m travelling. A good meal always needs good company to make it worthwhile.

I also love going shopping with a woman, where we choose clothes for each other. I haven’t done that for some years.

What I don’t need is a cook or skivvy!

If C was my muse, then I like to think I was her consort!

December 18, 2014 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

J And C Reunited In My Kitchen

I needed a few more mugs and just had to buy these when I saw them in Marks and Spencer.

J And C Reunited In My Kitchen

J And C Reunited In My Kitchen

But I did have to buy them on-line, as they seem to be two of the rarer letters.

I’m reminded of a story from my past.

I was working for ICI at Runcorn and I’d designed and built an instrument to measure water in a particular chemical stream. It needed to be fitted and wired into the plant in their Rocksavage works. I was told to arrange the fitting with Charlie Akers, who was the senior electrician on the plant. I turned up one morning at the electrical workshop in the plant and Charlie gave me a tour, which showed me all the dangers and how to do basic things to avoid getting into trouble. To this day, when I’m climbing metal staircases and ladders, I still do it in the way that Charlie showed me, to avoid getting nasty chemicals or dirt on my hands.

Charlie then took me back to their workshop and then proceeded to pull a new white mug out of a box of about a couple of dozen and then with a small brush put my name on it. He then said that now, I’d had no excuse to not come here to have a cup of tea before going on the plant, as no-one wanted any accidents.

It was this attention to detail about Health and Safety that was the reason that Rocksavage Works had at the time, the best accident record in ICI.

A couple of years ago, when I went over SELCHP, one of the guides had noticed me climbing some metal stairs and asked if I’d ever worked in plants like that.

After all I’ve been through, Charlie’s lesson is still imprinted in my brain.

August 18, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , , | 2 Comments

One Of The Most Depressing Days Of The Year

I hate June the twentieth, as it was my late son’s birthday. He would have been forty-four today, if he hadn’t died of pancreatic cancer four years ago. I never hate my late wife’s birthday in the same way, but that could be eased as another son virtually shares it.

So why did England’s kamikaze defending have to ensure their exit from the World Cup last night?

The media will be full of this depression today.

To make matters worse, BBC Breakfast is talking to a lady, who lost her husband and daughter in a speed-boat accident.

I’ll have to find something stimulating to do.

If my son were still here, we’d at least be arguing the whys and wherefores!

My only comfort is life could be worse. I did try to organise a luxury trip to the World Cup some months ago, but failed.

I would feel a lot worse, if I was waking up in Brazil.

June 20, 2014 Posted by | Health, Sport | , , | 3 Comments

Do I Pass The Branson Test?

Richard Branson is being quoted on the BBC about his ten tips for success in business.

So as someone, who likes to think he’s been successful at times, how do I think I stack up?

1. Follow your dreams and just do it!

Guilty as charged!

2. Make a positive difference and do some good

I argue, that I was part of the movement, which of course included the mighty Artemis, had a lot to do with transforming project management, so that important projects are now more likely to be implemented on time and on budget.

Unfortunately, some people, who tend to be mainly politicians and government employees, don’t abide by the principles we laid down.

But it did deliver the London Olympics and it looks like it’s going to deliver Crossrail in the next few years.

3. Believe in your ideas and be the best

Guilty as charged!

4. Have fun and look after your team.

I certainly had fun and it is not for me to say, if I looked after my team.

But I will say that many people, who I worked with in the past, are still friends. Some also looked after me, through my troubles of the last few years.

5. Don’t give up

Many people after what I had been through with the loss of my wife and youngest son to cancer and a serious stroke, would have taken the easy way out.

But then London mongrels have more fight, than a whole kennel-full of pit bulls.

6. Make lots of lists and keep setting yourself new challenges

I managed bugs in Artemis with lists and I still use them extensively on a card for each day. But then my father was the master of creating paper-based management systems, so it must be in the genes.

7. Spend time with your family and learn to delegate

Not sure about this one, but I’ve always organised my work from home since 1971. I can’t understand those who commute!

I don’t know about delegating, but if I have a problem that needs solving, I usually delegate by finding the best and getting them to do it.

8. Try turning off the TV and get out there and do things

I always have the TV on and have done for years, as I created Artemis, whilst watching the box.

But I’ve always been open to distraction by a pretty woman, who wants to take me somewhere to enjoy ourselves. C was a master, at coming in and saying that we perhaps go out to see a play in a Cambridge College.

I am obsessive about completing major tasks, but very easily distracted.

9. When people say bad things about you, just prove them wrong

I use criticism as a motivating tool and generally go on to prove people wrong.

10. Do what you love and have a sofa in the kitchen

C and myself, generally did what we loved and lived in the kitchen. We had a sofa there since we moved to Debach about 1980.

Even today, I live in a large living room, with a bedroom behind and a kitchen in the corner.

I can’t understand why people want to live in houses with masses of rooms and an eight figure price tag.

I certainly do what I love, too!

So I think I followed Branson’s principles pretty well!

Would I add any of my own? Yes!

1. Experience as much as you can of life

So if someone offers you a trip in the sewers of East London, don’t turn it down!

Branson is certainly not short on experience.

2. Never forget anything

I have an elephantine memory, but there are successful people, who make sure everything they have read, written or said is archived.

You never know, when you might need that information.

As an example, I went on a Health and Safety course at ICI. Some of what I learned has been invaluable since my stroke, when navigating my way around streets with impaired vision.

3. Don’t get divorced.

Branson hasn’t! But I suspect, he’s not always been a Saint, where the ladies are concerned.

4. Steal ideas from the public domain or experience

Two things in the design of Artemis come to mind.

The report writer of the original Artemis broke new ground, but I stole the template from a dead IBM program called 360-CSMP, that I’d used at ICI.

The other was perhaps more trivial. When I developed the PC version of Artemis, I needed a strong well-designed interface. So I mimicked the keyboard and the function keys on the old IBM-PC and used the bright colours from a BBC Television program called Three of a Kind, which used jokes on the screen in a system they called Gagfax.

One of my colleagues disagreed with my choice and said we’d employ an expert to choose them. But we didn’t and I won the argument by default.

5.Don’t trust lawyers, accountants, bankers and patent agents

I could add a caveat here, in that if they have a stake in the success of the venture, then in many cases it turns out for the better.

I’ve only met one accountant and one banker that I would ever trust. Sadly both, are sorting out God’s problems!

As to lawyers, I got to screw my own for forty years and luckily we bred a good one. So if I need a good one, I can generally get a good recommendation.

On the other hand, the biggest mistake, I made in life, was when after C’s death, I didn’t sell everything and move to something like a two-bedroom flat in Docklands or the Barbican!

I’d love to hear Branson’s view on what I call Professional Theft



March 16, 2014 Posted by | Business, World | , , , | Leave a comment