My letter, was only the start of it…

Fortunately, given that he turned out to be the paedophile from hell, I never wrote in to Jim’ll Fix It for him to make my dreams come true. It’s probably for the best really. I did think it was funny when it was announced BBC Television Centre was going to be converted into luxury flats:

Model of how the flats will look

Especially considering the starting price was £700,000. I could imagine the estate agent showing some young couple who nobody could rightly work out had that sort of money round while saying something like, “Right where your kitchen table is, Jimmy nonced a 13 year old back in 1978.”


Anyway, if you’ve read any or much of this blog, you will probably get the idea that I do a lot of writing. A conservative estimate across all the blogs I write puts me at over three quarters of a million words thus far, and if I factor in my still unfinished book (21 years in the writing so far), it’s creeping ever higher.

As I mentioned in a previous post my first public exposure was on the letter pages of a magazine, issue 48 of ACE to be precise. I know it’s issue 48 because after an extensive amount of digging around I finally found the correct issue and my letter in all it’s precocious glory. God, I was a pompous arse when I was 16. If memory serves me right, I was in the middle to late “horrendous know it all” period by 1991. If I wasn’t constantly telling people stuff they didn’t care about, I was using 100 words when one would do and also sounded like I’d been battered with a thesaurus. Yes, I was a dick, and if I could use the word fallacy instead of lie, I would have and often did.

Thankfully I’m not quite so much an arse now; either that or as you get older, people assume that it’s not youthful arrogance and just right it off as curmudgeonly self confidence. Whichever, I’m more likely to call someone a lying tosspot instead of an espouser of fallacies today, which can only be a good thing.

It makes my toes curl to read that letter now, not least the fact I refer to the Super Famicon as the Famicon, or pretend that I sold my ST to someone (did I? I think my dad might have given it to one of his work friends when he brought himself his first PC, and gave me his “work” Atari STE. His PC was a 386 and it wasn’t as good as the ST for anything much). The obviously had some space to fill and a large rambling letter ticked a number of boxes.

Of course my star letter prize was a huge disappointment. It was a wake up to the way the world really works. Magazines gave prizes out of the games they were given to review, and considering games writing didn’t pay that well (a lot more than it does now but that’s another story), they were hardly going to surrender something they enjoyed playing.

Writing a letter to a magazine was still a big deal in 1991; you had to either hand write it, or in my case, type it on Wordperfect on the Atari ST, print it out, pop it in an envelope and put a stamp on it. None of this dashing off a quick email or just writing a forum or post comment that passes for correspondence today.

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