For the interested among you, click on the thumbnail Above for the bigger picture!
I was born on the Banffshire coast in the small fishing town of Macduff on October 5th 1962. My Father is called Henry and was born in Whitehills, a couple of miles west of Macduff. My mothers name is Rosalind and she was also born in Macduff. I have the dubious honour of being the middle one of three children. I have an older sister Valerie, who is now a Nelson through marriage, and a younger brother Douglas. Douglas is 10 years my junior while Val is a mere eighteen months my senior. We all enjoy a good relationship contrary to stereotypical views on siblings We all reside in the Parish of Assynt with myself having strayed the furthest from the family home, living as I do in Clachtoll which is approximately 6 miles by road from Lochinver itself.
We all arrived in Lochinver in 1972 following my father's wanderlust which had seen us move several times in that 10 year period. Previous destinations had included Whitehills for a short time and East Africa for three years! where Henry pursued a career with the Government as a fishery's officer involved in training and conservation on the great lakes. We stayed in Mbeya and Mwanza before my mother decided that the schooling was not up to standard and dragged us kids home before my fathers contract had expired, thus abandoning him to his own devices for over a year. The move to Lochinver was to persue a career in fish selling with "Lochinver Fish Selling Co."
I sort of wasted my valuable time at School and fell out the other side with few qualifications to my name. I blame the fact that we all had to leave home at an early age as there was no secondary schooling available at Lochinver and, in fact, there still is not. Children now have to leave home early in the morning and travel 40 miles to Ullapool Secondary and then back again at night. A lot of travelling but, emotionally speaking, a vast improvement.
My time since leaving school has been filled with many differing jobs and one (thankfully short) period of unemployment. I worked at the local shop for a couple of years before entering a government training scheme (courtesy of Maggie!) with a view to becoming a Motor Vehicle Mechanic. That I did, at least for half way through my training at which point, due to the fact that I was a little older and wiser than your average apprentice, I came to blows with the Manager who subsequently sacked me!! Not to worry, I won an Industrial tribunal case against the garage and so was admonished. Following that I went into the Hotel trade, finally completing a two year diploma course in Hotel Management and then..... I decided against that career and went travelling in Europe instead!! On my return I ventured into Maggies army of self employed punters. Purchased a van and set myself up as Chimney sweep (Chim Chimenie) and window cleaner. A good deal 'cos after cleaning the windows you do the chimney which expells large amounts of black sticky soot into the atmosphere which lands..... on the windows which then need cleaning again.... and so on. Unfortunately it was a thin business plan and, during the lean winter months, I went quietly bankrupt. I sold the van, dissolved the business, and went into partnership with my father, who had recently become a self employed Fisherman. This has it's own story to tell so follow the link and be informed.
I then joined the local Pottery, Highland Stoneware, where I mixed Clay body, fired Bisque kilns and generally had a good time for four years. The Pottery life was, in a similar fashion to Hotel life, very sociable with regular staff happenings, even as simple as staying back late to get the work caught up with to the accompaniment of a large bag of beers! thoughtfully provided by David Grant the Boss. MAny a good time was had at parties and gatherings with the staff and management of Highland Stoneware and it remains one of my best jobs to date. Sadly the time came to move on and that time came when a career opportunity raised it's head in the form of a job with The Scottish Ambulance Service based in Lochinver as an Ambulance Technician which is where life finds me now, although I have made the advancement to State Registered Paramedic
I met, and subsequently married, Dorell in 1992. After a short time alone together, Joshua was born then, about two years later Wilson came along then, finally (hopefully) three years after that, Little Robyn Hazel popped up, affectionately known as Bob or Boobie (I know I know sorry) Here are Josh & Wilson and Robyn The pictures above are courtesy of Paul Nelsons latest gadget, the Digital Camera and was added on 22nd July 2003! Thanks Uncle Paul :))
|place kept for Robyn|
|Josh and Wilson. Official Secondary School Photo 2007 (Much more hair going on here!!|
|Josh and Wilson. Official Secondary School Photo 2009 Faces changing||Waterfall Poseur|
|Josh almost done the growing thing! Preparing for a life as a Musician||New Year Party Girl|
|And lets not forget Wilson of course|
At the time of our Marriage, I was in my Lobster Fisherman guise and Dorell was labouring away, as she is to this day (although in a limited capacity) in the Highland Stoneware Pottery. Shortly after this I joined her at the Pottery as the Lobster business went down the tubes due to a severe grounding of the good ship "Girl Ros"
The most obvious of my interest is of course Computing. However, this may not be as obvious an interest as it first appears. If you arrived at my Web page through the front door you may, or may not, have noticed the statement
This site has been constructed entirely without interference from Windows (3.1, 95, 98 or any other)
Also you may have noticed,
Allow me to explain, if I can! The majority of Computer users the world over use an IBM compatible P.C. computer system. Of these, approximately two thirds will be using the Microsoft Windows operating system. The other approximate third will be using either an Apple computer or an IBM P.C. running an alternative Operating system such as Linux or O.S Warp. For the most part these systems are totally incompatible with each other, although , in recent years there has had to be some degree of co-operation between the minority users and the Microsoft giant, if only to retain a degree of file swapping ability. I used, to build this original site, what can only be described now as a "Cult" computer. The Atari ST range of computers appeared in the early 80's with a graphical interface, very similar to early M.S. Windows, of windows and dialogues, mouse clicks and drag'n'drop file transfers. This was well in advance of any appearance of M.S, Windows by the way!
Anyway, I came into possession of one of these machines first and cut my computing teeth on it, after which it became a challenge to keep the old workhorse going for as long as possible. I eventually tracked down the final incarnation of the Atari, the aforementioned Falcon 030, which had a more powerful processor and better graphical capability. It is now accelerated to a massive 50 Mhz, which seems almost impossibly slow when statistically compared to the average Pentium P.C. running at about 1.4 to 3.0 Ghz these days However, as you can see, I managed to run an internet account and maintain a fairly decent (Sic) Web Site with it. I also do all my financial accounting and record keeping, Desktop Publishing, Faxing etc. on it with little or no problems (that I can't sort quickly anyway) recently, however, due to massive pressure from Spouse and kids, we have had to succumb to the proverbial PCee and now most of my time is dedicated to merely avoiding becoming a Microsoft drone.
My other interests mostly revolve around electronic gadgets of one kind or another but I do also have an interest in music. I play acoustic guitar on a regular basis but not in any professional or performance capacity. Just a personal enjoyment thing for the moment. I get a lot of material from the Internet in the form of song words and chord tables for songs which people like myself have placed there. Other musical interests are of course the listening of music on my little Hi-Fi. I went through a period of speaker system building and went through several permutations before arriving at my present setup which are housed in an ancient set of Goodmans floor standing cabinets. I purchased the electrics and drivers from a little company called I.P.L. accoustics (01271 867 439) and received a great deal of help from them in the construction and setting up of, what turned out to be an ear opening system. My musical tastes, although going through a period of inactivity at present due to the constraints of having young children in a small house!!, range from Kate Bush through to Led Zep and most decent stuff in between, with a huge soft spot for the work of Roger Waters
I also have a Motorcycle, although, again due to the constraints of my present situation, it resides in my Garage under a tarpaulin and has done for over 10 years.
|This is the publicity shot from Ebay of Douglas' CBX|
What more can I say? There is very little time left after doing my job and sustaining my kids on my days off for hobbies and interests. Hopefully these interests will remain for my retirement, or perhaps I will find a whole new set.
That was a not so brief resumÃ© of James K. Pirie