Postcards to Grandma

The postcards pictured below, among others, were given to me by my grandmother, pre-stamped, when I started university in September 1999, to encourage me to let me know how I was getting along. Originally privately posted to my gran, I posted pictures on them online elsewhere in 2006, having recovered them from her house after her death. The place they were posted is long-gone, so on 25 May 2019 I retroactively posted them here, back-dated to their original authorship.

Postcard reading: Gran, Hi! I didn't know that you didn't have my address down here in Wales until my mum sent me an e-mail and told me, so I thought I'd send you a card and tell you what it is, so that when the money runs out and I end up in the eating-cold-baked-beans-straight-from-the-tin stage, I can phone you and you can send a food parcel... Only kidding. Course is great; freedom is better; ladies are gorgeous. Lovely place here. All my love, Dan
A postcard sent by Dan to his grandmother, October 1999

Transcription:

Gran,

Hi! I didn’t know that you didn’t have my address down here in Wales until my mum sent me an e-mail and told me, so I thought I’d send you a card and tell you what it is, so that when the money runs out and I end up in the eating-cold-baked-beans-straight-from-the-tin stage, I can phone you and you can send a food parcel… Only kidding. Course is great; freedom is better; ladies are gorgeous. Lovely place here.

All my love, Dan

Postcard reading: Gran, No money. No time. Suicidally depressed. Knife-wound isn't healing... Only joking! Having a great time, really! All the fun of the fair! Aberystwyth remains typically rainy, but spirits are high and beer prices are low, so that doesn't matter! Having a Christmas Dinner with the Computer Society on Wednesday, and coming back to Preston on Saturday (18th Dec). Been a busy week, between Final Deadlines, Getting Stood Up, Living A Party Life and Sleeping. Think I'll have a long lie-in, tomorrow, and Honey Loops for breakfast! Yeh! Fond regards; Dan

Transcription:

Gran,

No money. No time. Suicidally depressed. Knife-wound isn’t healing…

Only joking! Having a great time, really! All the fun of the fair! Aberystwyth remains typically rainy, but spirits are high and beer prices are low, so that doesn’t matter!

Having a Christmas Dinner with the Computer Society on Wednesday, and coming back to Preston on Saturday (18th Dec). Been a busy week, between Final Deadlines, Getting Stood Up, Living A Party Life and Sleeping. Think I’ll have a long lie-in, tomorrow, and Honey Loops for breakfast! Yeh!

Fond regards; Dan

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #55:

In a fit of inspiration, after people keep on coming in to your room, in particular the guy in the room next door, and wiggling the cord of your wind chimes, much to your irratation, threaten that next time they do it, you may well have covered the cord with some unpleasant bodily excretion, and *that’ll* show ’em. Knowing that the greatest culprit is likely to come in and do so at any moment, dip the entire cord into a bottle of baby oil, and watch the shock and horror on their face as they grab hold of it, only to find their hand covered in a sticky, semitransparent white substance. “What is it?” they ask, in terror.
“Guess,” you respond, slyly. Hide your laughter and refrain from telling them what it really was until they’ve spent about half an hour washing their hands… Let’s see them play with your windchimes ever again!

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #54:

In a club, on a social gathering, be getting along really well with a young lady there. The fact that you’ve drunk, over the course of the evening, a number of double-vodka-and-lemonades that is rapidally approaching double figures, is irrelevent. It also seems somewhat irrelevant to you, when she asks you if this is your first time in a gay bar. Casually inform her that, no, it isn’t, and, when you notice (as the money runs out and the alcohol-damaged vision returns) that her arm is round her female friend, ask “I guess there’s no point in me trying to chat you up?” Sadly, be informed, that no, there is no point whatsoever in trying to chat her up. Ah well…
Why are the most attractive women *always* either lesbians or actually men? Seems unfair, really.

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #53:

Get an advent calendar! (the least said, the better)

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #52:

Ride a train through water several feet deep, at 5mph, after the station at Dovey Junction becomes flooded, and, using traditional Welsh logic, it is decided that it makes far more sense to plough through it (making waves, for God’s sake!) than have to organise buses all day. Blurrgghh!

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #51:

Spend all night playing e-mail tennis with somebody cross-campus, simply because it’s 2:40am and you haven’t got anything you’d rather be doing (except sleeping, but I’m not sleepy, soo…).

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #50:

Sit up ’til 5:00am coding for a project that doesn’t have to be in until a week on Friday. On the up side, discover the root cause of the bug that was holding back the progress of the Group Project, and, by redeveloping some source code, cut down estimated production time by two days. Get lots of praise for this. Be happy.

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #49:

Tear apart a pile of stolen computer keyboards to make a cool name plaque for your door, with real pressable buttons for each letter of your name, and not-pressable ones that say Enter, and Compose Character, and Do, and Lock, and, my favourite of all, stolen from an old dumb terminal, Rub Out. Also Blu Tack on some old network cards and a circuitbord. My room here is really starting to become a home…

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #48:

Discover, by sheer coincidence, that one of your more recent aquaintances down here (Claire) went to the same high school as one of your longer-running friends up North (Faye), and that they know one another! Freaky but completely true: the two parties are contactable on storm_lady0@yahoo.com and clb9@aber.ac.uk, for verification!

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #47:

Steal some old VT-320 keyboards from the skip outside the Llandinam Extension and smash them up to make a cool nameplate for your door out of the keys. It reads:
[D][A][N][I][E][L], then lower, [Enter], and then by the lock, [Lock]. Not bad, I thought.

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #46:

Go for two days on minimal sleep (a catnap on the train) and maximum alcohol (the secret joy of the London nightlife)… Well? It’s two of my friends birthdays!

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

This Cool Thing Of The Day was later featured as an On This Day article that I published in 2010.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #44:

Phone your father… That’s right – until today, I hadn’t spoken to him since he ‘deposited’ me in Aberystwyth. I have now. Well: there’s a first for everything.

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #43:

Meander down to the prom at about midnight, after seeing a hell of a lot of artifical light coming from there from the top of one of your many nearby hills. Yeh – it only turns out to be a pair of cranes, some enormous floodlights, five large lorries, flocks of people, some fires on the beach… and a film crew… Try to get past the council’s fences by arguing with the guard that you are the director. Fail. Look even more like a fool when the guard points out who the director really is. Ah well.

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #42:

Count your 20p piece collection (see “Cool Thing” #25). Realise you have exactly £6 (that’s 30) of them. Do your laundry

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #41:

Discover a major security flaw in the university network, that provides any user with half a brain, a computer in their room, some practice, and a lot of patience, the means to get the password of anybody else on your local workgroup, leaving them exposed to malicious attacks, e-mail theft, use of thier print quota, and all kinds of other problems. It’s such a serious problem that I’m not going to go into further detail here, in case this e-mail gets into the hands of somebody on the network. Later, discover that this loophole has already been discovered and is abused by at least one third year student. I’ve arranged for John (who aided me in discovering the problem) and I to meet with network services management to inform them of the problem – simply because we feel threatened by it

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.