MyFirstTime Contribution

The following somewhat-autobiographical post was originally shared via website on 15 November 1998. It was republished here on 22 March 2021.

What feels like eons ago, when I was a mere stripling of a 13 year old, I was ‘caught in the act’ of shoplifting. It hadn’t even been my idea, which pissed me off even more, but several weeks ago my friend Martin (equally young) told me about how he’d successfully stolen computer software from right under the noses of a nearby shop.

I tagged along with him, and he demonstrated his art of stripping away the security tag and the box, pocketing the media, and walking out under the guise of enquiring at the desk about something completely different.

Over the following three weeks we’d go in every few days, pocket a game or two each, and escape… The adrenaline buzz was frantic, and however cleanly we always got away, we always broke into a run the moment we were out of the car park. I stole, in total, about 8 games. Martin took, in the period of this story, somewhere in the region of 9 or 10. He had, after all, had a headstart!

However, on what must have been our 9th or 10th ‘raid’, it all went drastically wrong. We slipped into the store casually, as usual, and made our way to the appropriate aisle. I felt sure that we were being followed, and kept one eye always on the shelf assistant who always seemed to be watching us… Martin picked up the game – I think it was “Jet Racer” or something to that effect – and asked why I hadn’t already got one. I pointed out the assistant who I thought was watching us, and urged Martin that we should just leave. He wouldn’t have it. He dumped the security tag and the packaging between a gap in the shelves, and we hastened for the exit.

We got through the checkouts with no problem, and were just approaching the exit doors when out of nowhere the assistant I’d seen earlier appeared in front of us. He accused us of shoplifting and asked that we empty our pockets. I cam up clean, of course, but the fact that Martin was red-handed meant that I could at least be got for “Aiding And Abetting”… But no – when the police came Martin just had to fulfil his moral obligation to tell them about all the games I’d stolen, too… Fuck him, then…

My parents, as you can imagine, took it very well when I came home in a police car.


From my UCAS form:

   MEng Honours in Computer Systems and Software Engineering
   GG67       MEng/CSySE

   MEng Honours in Software Engineering
   G700       MEng/SE

   BSc Honours in Computer Science
   G500       BSc/CS

   BEng Honours in Computer Science
   G501       BEng/CoS

   BSc Honours in Software Engineering
   G700       BSc/SE

Panning Around Dan

The following graphic is almost 1½MB large, and may take some time to load. Please be patient. It will happen, eventually.

GIF animation "panning around" Dan

Retrospective (27 July 2020): I’ve just recovered this old web page from a backup. This image and the description above first appeared late in 1998 on the “about” page of my original blog. Remember when 1½MB was considered a huge weight for a web page?

GIF animation "panning around" Dan×

Placeholder for Dan’s First Blog Post

Dan’s first blog post was made on this date. Its existence and the date of its publication can be derived from other sources, but its contents have been lost. It didn’t have a title. It will have been available at (and then later from the date of its publication through 1 October 1999.

This post acts as a placeholder in the unlikely event that its content can one day be recovered.


Castle of the Four Winds is currently in the process of moving to it’s new location at Please alter your bookmarks and links, then check out the NEW-AND-IMPROVED-SITE!

My GeekCode

This page was posted to one of my first websites, on 25 March 1998 (as well as appearing in my email/usenet signatures etc.). It was republished here on 22 March 2021.

Version: 3.1 (

Mother’s Day

This image was shared here in hindsight, on 25 May 2019. I didn’t actually start blogging until around August 1998. I’m the guy in the top right, in the Independence Day t-shirt. Anticlockwise from me are my cousins Stephen and Thomas, my Uncle Tom (my mother’s brother), my sister Becky, my Auntie Anne, my sister Sarah, my maternal grandmother, and a woman – whose name I forget – that one of my cousins was dating at the time.

Dan with his Uncle Tom, Aunt Anne, cousins Thomas and Stephen, sisters, grandmother, and a woman who's probably the girlfriend of one of his cousins

Dan with his Uncle Tom, Aunt Anne, cousins Thomas and Stephen, sisters, grandmother, and a woman who's probably the girlfriend of one of his cousins×