Origami Mark's 'personal' Photo Albums

  School and College Days
(17 pictures)
Here are some pictures of when I was at St Nicholas C of E Primary School Cottesmore, Oakham School, and then at Westfield College, London University. St Nicholas Primary School is still going strong, as is Oakham.
By virtue of it's expensive location, Westfield was always struggling to keep its head above water financially, and merged with Bedford College about three years after I left.
All I can say is that it was a brilliant place to advance an education.
It has gone through various partnerships since, and is currently paired with Queen Mary College, I think.
Breaking news is that the Westfield College campus has now been demolished for redevelopment, so there is no longer any physical evidence of those brilliant, formative years.
(2 pictures)
I spent the first 8 months after leaving College living in a minute bedsit in Golders Green.
As this was just up the road from College, I was able to keep in touch with my old College chums
Eventually they reached the end of their courses, and needed to move on. I got invited to join a flatshare in Kilburn, which I jumped at. My landlady was probably glad to see the back of me, but was most put out that I was leaving her place in favour of somewhere in Kilburn, for heaven's sake !
THe Kilburn gig was originally made up of Nikki, Melanie, another couple from College who wanted to shack up together against their parents' wishes, and me. Only myself and the male member of the couple were working. Whilst we were there I was amazed the differences in benefits the three girls managed to negotiate for themselves. Nikki made the most nuisance of herself at the benefits office and was on about £35 per week, Mel less so, and was on about £25 per week, and ther other one, whose name I forget, was a complete washout, and only on the basic £15 per week, which she spent on sweets and bottles of coke and lemonade.
It all came to an end after a couple of months because the landlord, who was into motorsport, went to that year's TT meeting on the Isle of Man and was killed in a race.
This meant that the business he ran (an insurance broker shop under the flat) was going to close down, and the property sold off, so we had to move out. THis was towards the back end of a really nice summer. I had concerns about being there in the winter months, because it was a massive place which would cost a fortune to heat when the weather turned. There were a few oil-fired free-standing heaters around the place, that looked a bit dubious to me !
The next few months are a bit of a blur as I spent the god knows how long dossing on floors and sofas whilst I looked for somewhere else more permanent.
Nikki, Mel and I kept in touch, having agreed we wanted to stay together, and ditch the other two, as they really were a pair of drips.
I pick the story up with pictures here.
  My time at Rule Financial in the City
(11 pictures)
After John Lewis, Oracle and Capgemini, I took a six-month break, followed by four years working in the City for a consultancy that specialised in offering services to the Investment Banking Industry. My role was as a Subject Matter Expert covering databases generally, and Oracle in particular.
I was surprised to see the level of penetration Oracle had achieved in this space. When I worked at Oracle as a Presales Consultant in the City, all we used to see was Sybase kicking our backside, because they were so much faster than us, and this won the users - essentially traders - over, even though to achieve this speed, they had turned off database logging - vital for recovery, if anything went wrong.
Anyway, Oracle now ruled the roost.
Suffice it to say that I did not get anywhere near the fortunes these bankers pay themselves - they guard their fortunes very greedily.
Here are some pictures of my stay there.
Looking at the Rule website , they now boast offices in London, New York, Boston, Toronto, Barcelona, Łódź, Poznań and Costa Rica.
They have been taken over by a German Conbsultancy, and many of the longer serving senior people at Rule have moved on.
  Mum and Dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary
(25 pictures)
Some snaps of Jo and my visit up to the in-laws to celebrate my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. It was an opportunity to introduce Jo to the family.
(29 pictures)
Some snaps of the lovely Imelda, who I first met on the interweb, when she was an art teacher in Uganda. She was interested in origami, so I sent her some models to use in her class. In return, she gave me some native African craft items she had made. Eventually, she relocated in the UK (Belfast to start, and then Glasgow). I tried to convince her to move to London, but to no avail. In any event, She was eventually awarded UK residency. We have since fallen out of touch. If you see this, Imelda, please get in touch and let me know when you are going to repay the money I lent you.
  Meeting with Cecilia - October 2014
(8 pictures)
Cecilia is a lovely girl I met at University. She was on the same course as me, and we became good friends. After graduation, she went back to her home in Hong Kong to teach Mathematics in a secondary school as well as get pretty high up in the Girl Guides. We kept in touch, and every couple of years she comes back to the UK to visit relatives here, and we arrange to meet (along with Josephine, a mutual friend) for a proper Chinese meal followed by Hargen Das ice creams. Cecilia has now retired from teaching and the Girl Guides, but keeps active with line dancing ... or is it lap dancing ... no ... no ... only in my dreams ... definitely line dancing.

Had another meeting with Cecilia eary in October 2014. Usual routine of proper Chinese meal (nice Spicy beef dish, and nice, if a little boney fish, some Chinese veg, and lots of rice), visit to M&M store in Leicester Square followed by Hagen Daz. Had a bit of a panic, as we thought the Hagen Daz store may have closed, but it was still there.
(9 pictures)
Here are some snaps of my good friend Pela. Pela was an exotic dancer, when we met, and we became good friends. We have since lost touch, and I think she went back to her homeland of Zimbabwe, where she is an accomplished sculptor. If you see this, Pela, please get in touch, if only to let me know you are OK.
  Meeting with Ross
(9 pictures)
Some photos of when I was introduced to Ross, one of Jo's friends. I thought he is dead now, having contracted HIV and AIDS through his philandering in Africa, but apparently not ... ladies beware !
(8 pictures)
I am pretty sure this restaurant, that had a serious downer on our bovine friends, served plates of the stuff. Everywhere you looked there was a cow ! No offence, missus.

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