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For 2023 - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))

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Extras module Z800
Resources from the web site of Well House Consultants on the subject of Whimsy. We provide open source training course and business hotel accommodation in Melksham, Wiltshire, England

The odd ... the funny (amusing) and the funny (amazing). Don't take this section too seriously! We're not exaclty "joke on the day" but there are a few things here!
Articles and tips on this subjectupdated
4392Interview conditions,and other instructions to staff
"Interviews in Progress - please keep quiet". I had to chuckle - I'm working on the site of a large organisation this week, and as such it's naturally become very much more rule-infested and noticified than the typical smaller place. Instructions not to use your mobile phones in certain areas, not ...
4329Does Santa Claus need a CRB check?
My correspondence with a local council .... The TransWilts Community Rail Partnership has arranged for Santa Claus to be in the waiting room at Swindon Station on one weekend day in December when the train from Westbury arrives, and to meet with the children and their parents / guardians before it ...
4067The woman, the television, the bullock and Darlington
Escaped bullock surprises woman watching television in Darlington A headline in the Northern Echo - [here]. Is the surprise that the bullock was watching television? Is the surprise that the woman was watching television? Is the surprise that the bullock found the woman? Is the surprise that there's ...
3922Twerp - A person regarded as insignificant and contemptible
I've just received an email that was sent to me via "graham@twerp.org.uk", bounced to the sender, and was resent. And my wife received an email from a well reputed local company the other day, with the message "fix this bitch" attached to her original email by the manager to the minnion who responded. Ah ...
3912Sand to Arabia, Coals to Newcastle or Woodburners to Russia
As I'm filtering out unwanted emails, something occasionally catches my eye and I wonder ...  Hello, My name is Elena and I live in small city in Russia. I have small daughter but husband left us a few years ago. Due to deep crisis recently I losted job and can not pay the heating bills for our ...
3868How to make an ohno cake
I enjoy baking, but I always seem to be short of an ingredient or two, and I really don't like making a load of washing up with measuring containers. So I'll tend to use bucket cookery techniques. This is all very well for a long suffering family (at least most of what I produce is edible), ...
3851Who is this? Picture Puzzle
This is Takreem This is Allirog This is Arabypac Who is this? Public domain pictures from publicdomainpictures.net ...
3738Adoptive homes sought for abandoned babies
A dry winter, followed by a really wet April, has lead to a bumper breeding season for Welsh Dragons. Many babies are now looking for adoptive homes, as dragon mothers are a tough breed who insist on their babies wiping their noses at one week, their bottoms at two, and their shoes as they come ...
3462Hangers, luggage and possessions
I started writing a piece about the contrasts over the last two days - checking out in Newmarket, training in Cambridge, journey home, and then today to Taunton. But in picking out pictures to illustrate the contrast I found a very similarness in the subject of luggage ... The place I stayed in, ...
3369Local Council leads bans on many activities
We had a fantastic day out in Weymouth yesterday - it's really GREAT than we can make this trip on Summer Sundays now, by train all the way from Chippenham or Melksham. I was struck as we walked around as to what an active role the local council has taken in putting up signage telling you what you ...
3288Random Questions ...
Please make your choice ... Day out to Weymouthor Day out to London? Early birdor Night owl? Front dooror Back door? Scones with fruitor Scones without fruit? Heador Heart? Stairsor Lift? Raincoator Macintosh? Timidor Adventurous? Blondeor Brunette? Cup Finalor Olympics? Blanketsor ...
3226A busy morning for railway announcements
"We are trialling edible tickets to save paper waste, feedback please". - Merseyrail [link] Travelling by Train and Bus? Your tickets could be tax deducatble from 5.4.2011 [link] Limited Edition Royal Wedding Oyster Cards [link] Important Information for those travelling during Reading Festival [link] TransWilts ...
3223Answering at my earliest convenience
I'm just about to reply to a rather formally written letter. The author has asked mr to reply at my earliest convenience. This is the bathroom we had installed in 1999, and counts for the purpose; the "Customer Loo" only dates back to 2001, and the master bath is only just underway at the moment. Please ...
3215Solution looking for problem
We've replaced the shower head in our bathroom, and gone for a rather fancy model from B&Q which will give high pressure jets, a haze of finer water, or both. Good - I like it. And it has some LEDs which light up red when it's high pressure, green when it's a haze, and both when it's both:   Very ...
3203Melksham Town Council announces ...
"Did you find the sign that announced our next meetings open to the public?" 'Yes,' said Arthur, 'yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of The Leopard".' Thanks to Douglas Adams, 'HitchHiker's Guide to ...
3030Liquorice allsorts and Dolly Mixtures
A series of snippets / thoughts ... on such a variety of subjects that they can't be equated to any one type of sweet selection! Votes for prisoners The press is full of public outrage at the potential of prisoners being given the vote, and the convenient excuse of "Europe" is being used to pass off ...
2050Why the Pony Tail?
I'm not sure if "why do you have a ponytail" is a question about a course or about a subject we teach ... actually it's rather personal... but it's a good question and I have chosen to answer in this case. Here are three possible answers for the beard - and - ponytail question. Which do you think it ...
300Dentist's Waiting Room Syndrome
I have just opened an email offering "April Specials" Err ... it's the fourth of MAY! ...
2945Last, final, etc
"Your last chance to get this information" said the email. "If you don't get back to us, we'll take your name off our lists". But a quick scan through convinced me that this wasn't something I was interested in .... indeed, I couldn't really figure out why I had been selected as the recipient. Looking ...
2251Over a third of numbers start with the digit 1
Someone told me recently that over a third of numbers start with the digit one - which of course is untrue - it's 10% of numbers (if you allow for zero starts), or 11.11111% if you don't. Except ... If you take all the numbers that are used in a typical report, you won't find the even balance. Ever ...
2676Changing Times
We try to be helpful ... and when we were getting a lot of hits on our web site for people looking for arrivals at a local public transport place, because we were top Google hit for certain keywords, I dropped them a note to suggest that they make some changes to their web site wording. I got a really ...
2626On Malachite Green
"Malachite" - Copper Carbonate. But know to me as a rather rich, bright, exotic green colour that's so bright and rich it's rarely seen. I moved to the south east of London in 1959, at a very young age - with no car for our day to day family life (and that was no great hardship), we used the southern ...
2542My armpit was like a zebra crossing
Just as a zebra crossing is alternate black and white, so my armpit this morning was alternately warm and cold. The reason? The nose of a resting dog, pulling in fresh air from the surrounding room [cold] and blowing the air out again [warm]. You probably wondered what on earth I was going to be ...
2496A better design of mouth
When you think about it, having a mouth on the side of your face is something of a poor design in some circumstances. There's that awkward maneuvering of food on a fork, or with hands to get into the mouth, and the drips of curry and tomato source that fall onto your white shirt when your co-ordination ...
2397Signwriting is dead. Long live the sign.
Have you noticed that there's a sign up telling you everything you must and must not, may and may not, can and cannot do? And there are so many signs up there that seem to have been put up without giving thought to who will be reading them, why, and what they'll get from them. Let's see some. I ...
2256Is it Python past cheetah already?
When my son was young, we had a clock with animals rather than numbers around the dial at each hour, and we used to refer to times like tiger past zebra, rather than twenty past twelve. In retrospect, and in a more enlightened age, this must have been needlessly confusing - the telling of times as "animal ...
2250Bluegrass comes to Melksham
Well - what did you expect on a Friday afternoon - a sensible technical post, or something about some music? ...
2180Patterns in numbers - room occupancy
I have often spotted patterns in the room numbers we have occupied - describing a night where 1, 3 and 5 are occupied but 2 and 4 are not as "odd" for example, and I have been surprised at how often the let combination allows me to come up with some such form of wording. I woke ... dawn is early at ...
2157From the 51773 family
Having a dog around has brought all sorts of extra paraphernalia into the house - from leads and a rubber Frisbee through to water bowls and stair gates (and other things in between). And closely examining a bag that is in the kitchen (!) I saw this text on it. Now we had firmly been reminded when ...
2152My four feet!
OK - there has been quite a number of technical entries here tonight as I've been writing up some different diagrams I used during the course for these last days. So I thought I would make my last post of the day to show you my four feet ... and least I think they're mine. I recognize two of them ...
2143Throughout the year, around the world
What occurred for the first time this year on February 2nd in Greece, occurred in the UK on 22nd March and will happen in the USA on 10th May. The last occurrence of the year will be in Indonesia on 22nd December, and it will start up all over again in 2010. I'm giving you the dates of Mother's Day ...
2138Ski bore ... train bore ... dog bore
OK ... I'm going to try and avoid transmogrifying into a dog bore ... but Gypsy, who I introduced you to last weekend, has certainly made an impact on us! She's mostly greyhound, but not fully. We think the rest is Staffordshire Bull Terrier. She's blind in one eye, she has lead pellets embedded ...
2131Patterns in street names
Walk up Red Hat Lane and turn left onto Ubuntu Avenue. Carry on across Suse Street as far as Knoppix Road, Debian Way and Slackware Crescent, off which you'll find Fedora Close. We have clusters of streets named after birds, trees, flowers and even world war 2 heros in Melksham. Perhaps Trowbridge ...
2127Call in the professionals!
You would think anyone could put a door handle on right, wouldn't you? Ah - but you might be surprised! It's so easy to make a mistake like this one - where the hand can get caught between the handle and frame as you pull the door closed. This picture was taken of a shopfront in Salisbury on Friday. ...
2108Funny Amusing, Funny Amazing and The Smarts
Funny Amusing and Funny Amazing ... that was the title of a paper back book that Dad bought for half a crown when I was young, and it was so much fun looking down the rib-tickling things on the left had side of each spread, and the jaw-dropping things on the right. It's funny [amusing] how one word ...
2089The Longest Day - Wednesday, 28th September
You might have thought that the longest day was 21st June (in England) and 21st December (in Australia), but of course the longest day for a programmer is Wednesday, 28th September. That's the test day that you should use to see weather your text fits or whether your line folds ... the longest day ...
2028Things people say on the phone
I phoned up the local county council to report this depression in the road Well House Manor, and the young lady I spoke to told me she would send someone round in the next couple of weeks to "look into it". I am just imagining this group of engineers standing around, all looking down the hole.. Last ...
2009The Royal Mail Receipt
You might be amazed just how much goes on behind a small business like our ... here's a story, written up by Lisa, to Chris who look after the Petty Cash, that's just landed in my mailbox .... enjoy .... I have tracked down the answer to the Royal Mail receipt that had shown up in the petty cash box. ...
1988Melksham, Wiltshire. Town Crier Competition, 2009
"Coming to Melksham on 25th April 2009 ... Melksham's 1st Town Crier Competition - 30 criers and escorts in a cavalcade of sound and colour" Taking place in the Market Place - just five minutes walk from our hotel [about and bookings] - at 11 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. Peter Dauncey, our Town Crier, and his ...
Is 2009 going to be "The year of Michelle"? After a lull over Christmas and the New Year - usual in our business - enquiries are flowing again, and bookings picking up where they left off. And yesterday there was a predominance of Michelles. Question - "Did you get back to Michelle". Answer - "Which ...
1977Going round the block
Have you ever looked for a pattern in the roads where you live? Where to you end up if you turn alternately left, and right, and left, and right? Such is my mind that at times in the past (and now too, it seems!) I wonder about such things. Out or our gate, right, left, right, left, right, left and ...
1952Small Print
From an email just received: This message and any associated files, is intended only for the purpose of conveying SEASONS GREETINGS to the individual or entity (gosh that's rude - ENTITY!!!) to which it is addressed and does not contain information that is confidential, subject to copyright or legal ...
1886Keys to friendless churches
I don't know exactly how I found their web site - but I have come across the Friends of Friendless Churches. And I read ... The forlorn tower at Saltfleetby was taken on by the Friends in 1976. The tower, which dates from the 15th century, is the only surviving part of the church, so there is no need ...
547Taking the dog for a walk
I noticed it first at San Francisco airport, while waiting for the last member of our party to join us. A very VERY posh young lady walking around, also on the "meet and greet" run. And in her arms, this little dog carried as, it seemed, a fashion accessory. Looking around here, this business of "taking ...
1662Westonbirt Arboretum Postcode
The postcode for Westonbirt Arboretum is GL8 8QS. Why am I putting that on my blog? Because I was woken this morning - and not for the first time - by a phone call and a voice asking "what's the postcode of the Arboretum?". One of the hazards on having a strong online presence is that you'll come ...
1604M25 / South Mimms Service Area
Pat, behind the counter, was picking at the ventilation hole in the lid of the coffee cup she was about to give that lady in front of me at South Mimms Services at 6:30 this morning. "It could hurt a child" she said as she worried the little bits of plastic that were sticking up, before handing it over. ...
1440Useful command or messy screen?
I was writing a file the other day - a "Perl Object Oriented" course specification. Only when I looked back at my screen having cut and pasted it various times did I notice that my screen was covered in cat poo ...
1241If I say 'I am fine', what do I mean?
What comes after breakfast and lunch? ... a question I asked on Friday's Perl course; rather than a straightforward answer, I was invited to choose between tea and dinner. And having selected "tea" and asked of what it might consist, I was reminded that tea is a very different meal in different parts ...
1171Traffic light control for horses
Pedestrian lights are very common, and you'll find quite a few cycle lights around. But have you even come across lights specifically for horses to cross the road? The control panel, situated high up (at horse - or rather rider - level) carefully explains that red means "stop" and green means "go". ...
1167Leaning tower of Cheeser
I know, I know - it's a dreadful put on the "Leaning Tower of Pisa" but I couldn't resist posting up Lisa's breakfast. ...
1075I'm not the father
I look on with some amazement at the unfolding story of Anna Nicole Smith, who was just a vague name to me prior to her death in the last few days. A dark humour in my mind vaguely wondered about creating a web site for men to post up their "I am NOT the father of this baby" claims, but with so many ...
973Too much used to Skype
You know you're too much used to Skype when you press "enter" on a forum and expect the line you've just typed to be posted right away! ...
892A pattern in change
I just spent 1.12 on a couple of bits and bobs (yes, I've been out early!) and handed over a fiver. Q What was notable about my change? A I received one of each coin in common circulation - 2 pounds, 1 pound, 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p. Supplimentary comment Do you realise that in the UK, we ...
850Lighter moments
A lighter hearted day; some things I found amusing Yes, that certainly IS a bump in the road Bear Pairs! And as I was clipping my toenails, I wondered how prehistoric man kept HIS toenails short ... Picture of my toes NOT included. There's a limit to what you want to see, even on MY blog! ...
807Telling large from small
"How do you tell a large plane from a small one?". A question asked of me yesterday, and alas such routine physical issues are very hard to explain from first principles, aren't they? I'm glad I'm not writing a dictionary! "When viewed from a similar distance, a small plane subtends a smaller angle ...
784Which way to turn?
Do concrete mixers turn clockwise or anticlockwise? As I drove back to my hotel last night, I passed a line of three such vehicles, barrels zebra striped and clearly showing they were in action. And two turning one way, and one the other. Perhaps two were mixing, and one was separating the ingred ...
761Great new inventions
The Smelliphone on which you can not only talk to someone, but smell their breath too. An option for hands free phones lets you smell the rotting fruit they've forgotten on their office desk, or whatever else is around the handset. The personalised car alarm tone which you can download via your internet ...
758Very good for woodlice
I'm seated in 'The Cottage' at Well House Manor - here to start the week's work off before returning to '404' to give a course in a few minutes. The previous owner has left us a spray labelled "Ant and crawling insect killer", and there's a sticky label attached that says "Very Good for Woodlice". Hmm. ...
568NB ''Aspiration''
I was walking around the back streets of Melksham with morning and I passed a house with a steel narrow boat on the drive; covered in tarpaulins and with some green algae / moss growing on what had been, I'm sure, pristine black paint work at one time. Grass was growing up through the flagstones around ...
520Three life changing comments
Has your life been changed by a chance comment or apparently casual comment? Did you realise the possible consequences of the comment at the time? "Can Lisa come along too" By a friend asking if her chum Lisa could come along on a boat trip. Lisa and I are now married. "Do you know of an Internet ...
24Impossible terms
If I accidentally receive an email with the following text at its base: IMPORTANT: This message is intended for the addressee only and is privileged and confidential. If you are not the addressee, then please DO NOT read, copy or distribute it, but reply to the sender that you received it in error ...
701Minature Cyclists only - limited headroom
I don't know if any of you have come across Warrington Cycle Campaign's facility of the month showing off some of the thoughtless designs for cycle lanes .... but I came across my own example in Oxford earlier this week. In our current planning for Well House Manor, we're planning to provide a bedroom ...
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Well House Consultants specialise in training courses in Ruby, Lua, Python, Perl, PHP, and MySQL. We run Private Courses throughout the UK (and beyond for longer courses), and Public Courses at our training centre in Melksham, Wiltshire, England. It's surprisingly cost effective to come on our public courses - even if you live in a different country or continent to us.

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