Hello....My Name is Simon Reap and I am at home in Hampshire (moved down
from Market Bosworth in Leicestershire). I haven't included a photo here
because a) I don't have one, and b) I could never see the point.
I am a Computer Programmer and sometime House-husband and enjoy
I have taken an interest in the case of Derek Bentley, hanged in 1953 for a murder he did not commit. (frameless version of page)
I have written a small Java demonstration game - the classic
pencil-and-paper game of "Boxes"
(only 8k bytes when compiled).
For cycling enthusiasts, I've written a Java applet to calculate
Gear Indices and so on for deraillieur systems.
I sing in a couple of local choirs (one sacred, the other more secular).
I've put rehearsal versions of some of the songs we sing.
For 18 months I was a househusband, looking
after our first daughter, full time. It was very satisfying and rewarding, and I
was glad that I had the opportunity to do it. I took an active role in our then local
Baby and Toddler group,
and NCT branch (though that has since closed down - the nearest one is now in
I try to be voracious in my reading, but there are a few authors I
He's a fantasy author with an emphasis on humour and internal logical
consistency. He has some newsgroups dedicated to him:
alt.fan.pratchett has been likened
to a wide ranging pub conversation, with Terry Pratchett's books as an
occasional subject of the conversation.
alt.books.pratchett is more like
a cafe, where the conversation is not supposed to veer from the books and
is where important (to somebody) announcements are made, such as fan
meetings, signing tours, new books and so on.
There is an online resource, full of more information than you could shake
a rat onna stick at .
P G Wodehouse
A very English author, though he spent much of his life in America. His most
famous creations, Jeeves, Wooster and the Emsworth clan, all embody an
earlier, more privileged age of butlers, evening dress and country homes.
The humour is in the situations that the characters find themselves in, and
in the beautiful turns of phrase used. See alt.fan.wodehouse.
He is a Miami
Herald journalist, a native of and based in Miami, Florida. He
writes (exclusively?) about Florida low-life, in locations from theme parks,
through plastic surgeries, to strip joints. He cares deeply about the
threats to the ecology of southern Florida and the corruption of business
and political life. I think that he is also very funny. He wrote a couple of
books with William D. Montalbano, but has really flowered since he went
solo. I like all of his books, but Strip Tease (a Pan paperback) is
particularly fine. It's also been released as a film
with Demi Moore. He has his own web site.
He could possibly be described as a chronicler of modern manners, though I'm not sure that is how he would like to be reported, and it doesn't even hint at how witty and humorous he is! Perhaps "a very funny confessor for the modern male psyche" might be closer (though he's very good at female psyche too).
This ex-Agony Uncle's works are mostly about the interactions between characters in a social group, either as a settled group or when new members are introduced to it. The characters are mostly in their thirties, so 10 or more years younger than me, but still recent enough that I remember the joys and despair of those years, and I can easily relate to them!
Some of the eight novels have a small active cast (e.g. His n Hers), while others have more than can be remembered without extra (yet willingly expended) effort (e.g. The Life and Soul of the Party).
His most recent work is non-fiction, the story of his decision to write a todo list of everything he wants to do, and to complete as many of those tasks as possible. It is as funny as the novels and very inspiring - my own to-do list is growing (but slowly!).
See more information at his own website or myspace page. His next novel is "The Importance of Being a Bachelor", due out on May 13th 2010.
Listening to music
I try to maintain a catholic taste in music, but seem to spend a lot of time
listening to singer-songwriters. These are some of my favourites (in the
"if there's a new album out, I will buy it" category):
A british singer who went "From cult to legend, bypassing fame and
fortune on the way", Pete was active from about 1967 to 1974. For most
of his songs, he wrote the music and Clive James (yes, the Clive
James) wrote the words. There is a wonderful Web Site
run by Steve Birkill with a full discography and the lyrics
of most of the songs (some with annotations!). There was a low-traffic
mailing list called Midnight Voices, but this has been retired and
replaced with a web-based Forum. Pete made a previously rare
live appearance at Monyash, Derbyshire on the 16th August 1997, and an even
bigger gig on the 20th September 1998 at Buxton Opera House, Derbyshire (I
know, 'cos I was there!). In October 2000 he appeared in Milton Keynes, and
I spent a great day running the sound desk - did I choose the right career
path all those years ago? I repeated the exercise in Sutton in November 2004.
He's now more often on stage (see the website for
gig details). From May to October 2003 Clive and Pete were on their second Nationwide,
then Worlwide (well, Australia and Hong Kong), tour.
Pete recently released a double album of older songs,
the Lakeside Sessions,
and has released an album of new work,
Another album of reworked older songs, Midnight Voices, "The Clive James - Pete Atkin Songbook Volume 1", was released on 11th March 2008. The original 6 LPs have also been re-released (again!), by Edsel.
Many singers have covered Hiatt songs. Perhaps that is a good thing since
he, like many other singer-songwriters, isn't too hot in the singing
department. Still, he does tend to get more emotion out of his own songs. He
writes from the heart, but is never maudlin. There was a now-retired Hiatt mailing list
(details on Shot of Rhythm),
an active commercial site,
and the KCRW radio station with audio clips (search for
JH Tracks and Interviews).
Loudon Wainwright III
Generally lighter than Hiatt, examples of his song titles include
"Jesse won't like it" (about the warped artistic taste of Senator
Jesse Helms), and "T.S.D.H.A.V." (or "This song don't have a
video", of which the lyrics are entirely about the song not having a
video version). I've found a fan Web Site,
and his agent's site.
Again, KCRW has LWIII tracks and interviews.
k d lang
I've long been a fan of the Canadian chanteuse. She seems equally at home in
all of the musical styles she's used, from C&W, through New Country, to
"lounge singer". Find out more at her own Web Site.
I also like Harry Chapin - thanks to Peter Afendoulis for reminding
me how good he was! See his archive page or official site for more details.
Many years ago I made a living writing
programs, mostly inter-computer communications stuff (SNA, TCP/IP), and mostly
in C. 15 years ago I became a househusband for a couple of years. Then, for a while,
I wrote workflow systems for Toptech UK (originally Simdell EDMS, a business unit
of Systems Team plc) in Coventry. When their South African parent went bust I
escaped and started writing SMS systems for part of Logica(CMG), now itself released as a separate company, Acision,
near Reading (and great fun is is too!).