What is going on?

If you are outrageously sharp-eyed, you might have noticed that I now have blog entries in my archive going back to 1991. Welllll, I’ve decided to add some entries from my diaries, and other things what I have written. I have stuff that dates to before the first permitted date on blogger, so for now I will date them in the blog post, then alter them if blogger ever sort it out. Also I am turning the other pages on my site into blog entries, so I can update all style etc at once. Will take a little while, but I’m motivated at the moment.

Happy Birthday to my darling wife

Yep, my beautiful partner mrsfb is 21 (once more) today. Yay her! We’ve got her friend S over for a meal cooked by me tonight, then off out to a posh Indian restaurant on Saturday. In our house, birthdays, in fact any occasion of note, mean good grub.

Getting a bit more writing done at the moment, not loads, but it is a start. Good.

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The P.Wyndham Little Project

P.Wyndham Little
45 Merchiston Crescent
Edinburgh EH10 5AH
Tel.0131 229 2700

Monday 20 November 1995
Dear Neighbour,
NOT FAIRCHILD
In the 1960’s even a minor “outside” T.V. broadcast called for several vans packed with power greedy and unreliable heavy equipment. I could not see how NASA could send equipment based on this technology to The Moon. You may recall that there were very many rocket launches. In my impatience, I asked for books on electronics and component manufacture to be placed in the new Blair Library at George Watson’s College. Before long I suggested a new way to make power transistors which I named The Silicon Epitaxial Planner Process. Perhaps you know that the first of these cheaper, more reliable and more capable transistors was coded 2N3055 (ZN3055). Some months later came my ideas for what I called Silicon Chips and the Fairchild 723 Regulator, the first Microcircuit.

I asked for “Shake-yer-money” to raise oil prices so that we may bring home the North Sea Oil and Gas, which I suggested “Sir Humphry” should look for, and fund the all new micro electronics industry.
I asked if we may all have the chance to own the roof over our heads, even if it be only made out of straw. I asked if Mrs Thatcher would make available funds from North Sea Oil and Gas to grant you money to repair your home.

I ask you today if you will help to secure a fair deal for those who pay for this technological revolution daily.
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG
Saturday 10 August 1996
Dear Nigel Griffiths,
“Sir Frank Whittle”
The 39 Steps?
Anyone visiting Pitlochry (Pit-Loch as in coal) is likely to be impressed by the hydro-electric schemes as I was. I had a notion that the an engine could be made for an aeroplane. Often I would watch the oscillating fans run in Binns shop on Princes Street while my mother shopped there. I knew that the air coming through a fan was spread out and that a case was needed to direct the thrust only in one direction. I also knew that a piston engine would get in the way of the flow. It is now so long ago I wonder if I did suggest the fuel be burnt in the air flow. What I do remember is that I suggested the name Jet Engine and that a large intake fan, driven by the exhaust, would be needed to prevent a backfire (twaddle). I believe that Rolls Royce still name their engine models after rivers to remind those who work with them.
I wanted there to be a Barns Wallace who I called Sir Frank Whittle with a tale I made up as “big medicine” for all those who worked with this equipment. I made up the name Whittle to remind me that the idea for it came from me…Little.

I do not suppose the tale was ever believed since any who have worked on jet engines will tell you that “in them days” design and development of such a system took many times more man hours than there is in a human lifetime. In addition such a radically new engine type would be full of newly invented components and materials.
I enclose a fees and expenses letter from The Royal Bank’s solicitor, Mr Tick. Since where I would like to see you thrust that would be unparliamentary, perhaps you could return it to me once you have read it.
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Saturday 27 April 1996

Dear Nigel Griffiths,
I expect this will all create a very great deal of confusion.*
While still only an infant, I used to enjoy the deep tones from my father’s radiogram. I gazed inside this cathedral for the worship of the thermionic valve where “High tension” electricity prohibited touching or cleaning. I understood that the crystal detector in a crystal set was a diode and wondered why “they” could not just add another whisker to make it do the same as a triode. What an advantage! A portable radiogram! Wireless policeman! I do not suppose that the “point contact” device ever worked, but the idea of it must have driven the researchers, because soon after this the M’Lord OC71 and OC72 devices appeared. Within 10 years almost every teenager owned a transistor set by the end of the 1960’s. Wireless policeman did not appear on the beat until the Silicon Chip reduced the weight and size of new electronic designs.

Yesterday I again sent out 260 CVs to employers and employment agents who refuse me employment on the excuse that I have no relevant qualifications or experience. I ask today: “What use is a man or woman with qualifications and or experience if he or she has no ideas to bring to work.”
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.
* from a British made movie


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Tuesday 13 February 1996

Dear Nigel Griffiths,
The Mrs Minever Rose *
I suppose it was the platform garden at Craiglockhart Station.Themovie pretended to be an appeal for American aid. The story however exposes a social psychology which makes it almost impossible to make any alteration to any aspect of life without at the same time creating a conflict.
I thought that the reason for the squalor of Fountainbridge and Easter Road must be due to industrial and commercial failure. While not yet a teenager I suggested that my school arrange visits to local workplaces for classes, so that I could see what was needed.

My main impression was that automation was needed throughout to free the slaves. I was told that automatic equipment was much too expensive and unreliable. This only confirmed what I has already concluded as I gazed at the transistor radios in Methuen & Simpson’s shop window, that an advance in electronics was needed.

On Wednesday 31 January 1996, agents of the Royal Bank of Scotland attacked my front door and put me out of 45 Merchiston Crescent. I can only now suppose that banks and building societies now take the homes of the long-term jobless.

I can only remind you that I indicated in 1980 that it was my hope that these financial instituations would make provision to write off these debts from the money they made from high interest loans to buy all the new goodies which my ideas have brought to the market.
Perhaps Lady Beldon is needed on Tobacco Road $.
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.

* from that fine movie Mrs Minever
$ the title I suggested for that fine movie.


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Friday 15 June 1996
Dear Nigel Griffiths,
Another fine mess.
While still an infant I wondered sometimes why some had enough while others were left with nothing. I thought that not enough was produced to go around and that the “foolish notions”* of some upset those who did the producing. In particular those who wore bowler hats seemed not to do so for protection from the climate but as a crown. Expensive highland evening dress seemed to have become a status symbol also. I did not care for either the dress or the manners of the wearers. I was my idea that two clowns from the circus should sent these people up in the movies The Music Box and Bonnie Scotland. I suggested the names Laurel and Hardy and Stanley and Ollie. I thought much later that a tool maker should take the name Stanley to remind all of The Boys.

As I may have mentioned, I suggested that super bands playing music which had been carefully composed by a classical guitar player (“Julian Breem”) were needed to help sell transistor radios and build an electronics industry with better jobs. I proposed the names The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. These bands also played their part by promoting Jeans and by painting up their Rolls Royce motor cars. The Two Ronnies took over from The Boys some years later

There seemed also to be strong stigmas. Overalls were an indication of low rank. I believed that if trousers to flatter any figure which I called Jeans were made out of Denim the same material used for overalls, these would sell like hot cakes and give youths of all walks of life something in common.

All of those great strides in social engineering, through common education and experience, seem now to be eroded by the new class structure which has appeared: Those who have done well under the Conservatives and those who have not.

I ask you today if you will urge The Prime Minister to call the general election sooner rather than later and before the wounds of those who have done badly under his government become any deeper.
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.
* “Robert Burns”


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon John Major
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA

Monday 29 July 1996

Dear Prime Minister,
“Lloyds of London”

As for the movies Reach for the Sky and The Dam Busters I came up with a fanciful tale which I thought would be big medicine to all those who had dealings with insurance. The men with the wavers near the place I called Waverley as I watched many a fond farewell.

I suppose it was made into a movie at about the same time as that other tale The Bovery. The tale came before the New York street name as in Sunset Boulevard and Sierra Madre.

I wonder if any in the present government or at The Bank have ever seen these great movies. Surely not.

I have to point out to you today just what you have done by allowing the debt collectors to storm the homes of the long-term jobless. Until the dust settles few will have the confidence to buy or rent a used house, lest they later meet a confrontation with the previous occupant. In my own case I wonder if I will ever have a house. The council say I have low priority. The previous owner of any house I could pay for is likely to be homeless and angry like myself. How would he view the new owner, the man who had the ideas which brought a second industrial and commercial revolution and ruin to the displaced? It is clear to me that if I do not buy at once the money I now have will be frittered away.

You and your miserable government bring shame and international indignation on our nation by your negligence. I shall be glad when you are put out!

Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Sunday 1 September 1996

Dear Nigel Griffiths,
Hunt for Red October?
I ask you today to look at the contents of your pay packet and ask yourself: “How much of this did I earn?” and “How much of this is as a result of the productivity brought by new ideas and inventions?” “Do I work harder today than I did ten years ago, twenty years ago, thirty years ago?” “Do I now have more in my pay packet than ten, twenty, thirty years ago?” “How much of this pay is as a result of investment by previous generations in new capital projects such as; Nuclear Power, North Sea Oil and Gas, University and other Further Education, The Deltic Diesel, The Jet Engine, The Transistor, The Silicon Chip, The Liquid Crystal, Sellotape and Magnetic Recording Tape, New Technologies for White Goods, Home Building, Improvement and Maintenance, New Technologies for Office and Factory Automation, New Technologies for Food Production and Packaging, New Technologies for improvement of Motor Vehicles.”

What would “Sir Humphry Davy” and “Sir Frank Whittle” think about these so called fat cats grabbing all the cream which “their” ideas have laid out for all to sup? What would they think about the displaced being turned out onto the streets by the money lenders? What would those whose hard labour built the railways, the factories, the power stations, the oil fields and the mines say about the displaced being turned out onto the streets by the money lenders? I say that if they could, they would rise up from their graves to give you all “the biggest punch right up the froat”*

Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.
* from the TV series “Steptoe & Son”


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Monday 9 September 1996
Dear Nigel Griffiths,
“General McCullie?..Who was he?” “Well , he wasn’t very important but .. he always used to say, “Take it in turns”.”
*
As I may have mentioned before, my grandmother lived at 45a George Street, from where we used to go out on expeditions around the grand Princes Street shops during the 1950s. One day I was admiring the portable wireless set in the sitting room. I thought that it would be better if it had a picture on the front where you could see the newsreader. I did not know how “they” could no it, but I thought about it.

Later at home, my mother asked me the same question. I thought that “they” could make the picture out of lines with something like the “magic eye”” (the model for the modern L.E.D.) on my father’s radiogram. I proposed a name for this new type of wireless set: TELEVISION.

Much later during the 1960s I thought we needed a Barns Wallace/Sir Frank Whittle to “explain” how Television developed from early beginnings. To the best of my knowledge, and as many will tell you, there was no television or anything remotely like it before the 1950s. I thought that the story should be that a Scot invented Television and that the first devices were based on a mechanical technology. If you look at Saturday’s Weekend edition of The Scotsman, you will see the device for which I suggested the name:”THE “TELEVISOR””. I do not suppose that this machine ever worked. However, I still hope that there will be as good a movie about “the inventor” who I called John Logie Baird as was made out of the other tales I made up for Wallace, Bader and Gandi.

I have to tell you today that I have had no response whatever to the papers I have distributed over the last two years. I believe that but for wireless broadcasting “Sir Humphry” would have no means of communication with many of the people of this nation, and further that without its moderating influence on the foolish notions of some, World War III would have started years ago.
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.
* from Dad’s Army : “The Harvesters”


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP

93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG
Friday 10 January 1997
Dear Nigel Griffiths,
Motorway Madness
We sometimes had a picnic at Aberlady. There is a section of the A198 outside Longniddry where the East Coast Main Line runs next to the road. I thought it was exciting when we were able to outpace the trains and frustrating when a slow lorry got in the way. I imagined that it would be grand if there was a Dual Carriageway…a what? The next time we passed, work had started on a second carriageway. One day there was a breakdown on this new carriageway. I believed it would be safer if there were a breakdown lane…but no breakdown lane was built. I hoped the busy sections of the A1 would be improved by dual carriageways…and there were.

Anyone who has crawled up the A6 between Kendal and Shap behind a smoking lorry can imagine what it was like to travel on Britain’s trunk roads in the 1950’s. I thought that trunk roads should be built like the railway lines…like what? I meant with no sharp curves or steep hills to slow the traffic. I suggested a name for this special new type of roadway: Motorway and that the first of these should run between London and Leeds and be referred to as The M1. I thought the idea for the motorway would have come from Germany…and you know, they now say that Hitler built all the German Motorways.
No one has ideas like I have ideas? I say that “Sir Humphry” will have to find out.

Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG
Saturday 11 January 1997
Dear Nigel Griffiths,
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.”?

Until very recently, if your state had no coal, you had no electrical power. Where there is no electricity, every article produced has to be worked by hand. The result is poverty and unrest leading to peoples republics.

I wanted to see film of the nuclear tests. These pictures still amaze me. I wondered if “they” could make electricity with it….make what? How? I was familiar with the insides of a torch battery and imagined that if carbon rods were introduced, they could be used to slow it down so that The Bomb could be used to boil water. What nonsense!..?

Nevertheless, some time later I was asked what name One would call Her new nuclear power station. What would One call Her hall? And so it was called Her hall: Calder Hall (Caulder/colder). I cannot now remember if the name of the local river brought the inspiration or if the river was named later. I imagined One switching it on and a giant indicator showing the power fed to The National Grid.

I wondered if submarines could use nuclear fuel instead of diesel. I believed that they might be able to stay submerged for weeks at a time, enabling them to cross under the North Pole. Hence the name Polaris. Ice Station Zebra, the Alastair Maclean chiller movie, came during The Cold War to support Polaris and decisions made about the mission to The Moon.

Yours sincerely,

P.Wyndham Little.


An Explanation of Sorts

Sometime in 1997 I found the above on my doorstep, typed exactly as above, folded as if for an A4 envelope, stapled once. I’ve no idea how it got there, who put it there, why it was there. I read it, put it down, shook my head then read it again.
For some reason I decided to hang on to it, and about a month ago remembered it and read it again. Talking to a friend about it reawakened my curiosity, and I decided to do something about it. So I’ve put it up here, to see if it would shed some light on itself.

So what else do I know about it? Well, its clearly written by someone Scottish, and it suggests they grew up in the 50’s. I’m a fan of the writer Alasdair Gray, and the tone is reminiscent of his style, particularly of his book “The Fall of Kelvin Walker”. I strongly doubt it is actually written by him, and even in the circumstance that it was, how did it end up in on a doorstep in Oxfordshire?

I’ve searched online for any form of reference to P.Wyndham Little, but with no success whatsoever. Nigel Griffiths is the Labour MP for Edinburgh South, and did work at the DTI at the time. The OC71 transistor appears to have been around in 1955, so timing is a little out, but is is true the transistors were in many of the radios of the 60’s.

This sort of thing doesn’t happen to me every day, but it happens often enough to keep me off-kilter. If you have any ideas at all that you thing might help, or you find something related, please mail me at mail@flotsky.co.uk

Update 20th April 2003

Major developments. I’ve had e-mails from two seperate people in Edinburgh who have received very similar sets of letters, hand-delivered just like mine were. Both found me via google, and one of them has found an
interesting link. Its for a reunion of the class of 1972 at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh. They were trying to contact a Wyndham Little. As the person who brought this to my attention pointed out, this would make him from Edinburgh, in his fifties and fairly well educated, all of which fits in with what the letters suggest. In the first letter he does make reference to having been at the college.

Update 25th July 2005

I have recently had an e-mail from someone who remembers a P Wyndham Little from University:

I studied at Edinburgh University in the 70s and there was a chap of this name in the class. I think the P stood for Paul, but he was always known as P Wyndham Little. He was clearly quite eccentric, as he wore a suit and carried everything in a smart case. He also drove an old black car, something like an old Riley or a Wolseley.

Update 19th November 2005

Completely new entry about new letters

2000-2005

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Messed up today

Decided to import 900 rss feeds into my bloglines account. Not a top idea frankly, took some time to order and sort them all out. There is definitely only so much information one can handle. Sometimes I think I want to try and suck the internet dry, scoop it all into my head. One day I’ll be able to just plug it into my mind directly, but for now I’ll have to take it easy

Likes

Writers I like

  • John Irving
  • Kurt Vonnegut
  • Hariuki Murakami
  • Iain Banks
  • Alasdair Gray
  • Hunter S Thompson
  • Norman Mailer

Music I like

  • The Beastie Boys
  • Chemical Brothers
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • The Doors
  • The Orb
  • Krs-One
  • Public Enemy
  • Wu-Tang Clan

People I Like

  • Muhammed Ali
  • Evel Knievel
  • Mick Foley

Games I Like

  • Super Mario Sunshine
  • Super Monkey Ball
  • Unreal Tournament 2003
  • Gran Tourismo 3
  • SSX Tricky
  • Soul Caliber 2

It is all about the live.

Still loving Xbox Live as a gaming mechanism. Have dug deeper into it now, played about 5 or 6 games online. Most games have seperate websites to allow you to check your stats on, the system for meeting up with friends you have played with before is fantastic. Basically have been spending too much time playing it, and am loving it.

Have started to make minor changes to the site, you may (or may not) have noticed a new logo up top. Hopefully will start restyling this site over the next few weeks.

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Still building, not there yet

Fun weekend with mrsfb, bought her an engagement ring. Which is an odd thing to do for your wife 🙂 It had been lost a little while back, and no amount of searching and lifting floorboards had been able to find it. So we did the next best thing, and I got her another.

Last night was spent getting to Elite ranking on Burnout: Revenge. Lot of work to manage that, and the next level is going to take a lot more. Basically need to win every single race out of about 169, of which thus far I’ve done about 60. So there is still a fair bit of life in the game yet, to get me through the cold winter nights.

Also need to think about what games I am looking for next, ideally need some different themed games for the xbox, with xbox live in them. May end up getting a golf game for mellowness sake. Last night, when I closed my eyes, I could see traffic.

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Building up

I feel I’ve got a long post building up inside me, but its not ready to come out yet. Partly because I’ve got to work at the moment, but I’m also figuring it out. Something about technology and communication, and how the consumer is now leading the mass media by the hand to where it wants to go.

It partly comes from listening to an episode of Web Talk Radio, which is a great tech podcast, deals with a lot of cutting edge tech issues, but in a very casual and chatty manner. Each episode is a bit like a good geek dinner party. Anyways, there was a great quote from one of their guests, Peter Yorke. I can’t remember the exact terminology, but in essence it was “Piracy is now a symptom of the failure of the media to keep up to date with technology”. I totally agree with this statement, and want to expand my thoughts on it in a long and rambling manner. His example was specificly with the Video iPod, and that by only allowing a single video format (MPEG4) to run on it, Apple were totally out of step with the demands of their consumers, who want to run anything off their mac or pc on it. In being so limiting, selling such a small selection of media in a single format, the consumer who wants to watch a much wider selection, is forced to look elsewhere.

Anyways, as I say, I’ve more to say on this, so I’ll work my day, chill out tonight, have a haircut tomorrow and gather my thoughts.