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A selection of topical stories and captivating miscellany


The marketing team said they wanted me to blog, so I’ll blog. I’m surprised I’ve not done this before, those who know me will also know that I never shut up with my views on the cybersecurity world’s crazier goings-on, with stories from my past about people I’ve met and things I’ve done, and my general observations on life. But what do others’ blogs look like? What do they talk about and what tone do they use? Why do they do it and how? There are no answers to these questions that matter a jot, blogs are all so different and done for so many different reasons. How about I do it just ‘cos I want to and I’ll write as I speak? I’ll do it till I get bored or you do.


Recent Posts:

#15 - September 2020 "On human error…"

I was prompted to reflect on human error following a post by John Scott, Head of Security Education at Bank of England. He quoted Professor James Reason from his seminal book “Human Error” published in 1990.

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#14 - August 2020 "Things my Daddy told me"

It has been a real joy to write these various blogs over the past couple of years, and strangely comforting for me to re-read them from time to time. They record only some of the big stories of my life, there are many more to put down on paper and I will.

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#13 - May 2020 "Planes, Trains & Automobiles"

Recent times have been extraordinary. The global pandemic has turned all our worlds upside down. The Government’s initial and urgent actions to lock the country down were necessary, and the response of the public has been nothing short of glorious. The virus has been contained, lives have been saved, and the immediate danger has been assuaged.

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#12 - March 2020 "A child is born"

It is with huge pride that I announce the arrival on Wednesday 3 March 2020 of my fifth grandchild, a son Lonan to my eldest son Peter and his wonderful wife Katie. My wife Jo and I visited the new family on Friday, the little fellow was less than 48 hours old. I was overwhelmed by the strength of my emotions as I held Lonan in my arms and looked down at this brand-new, tiny bundle of love and hope, the first-born son of my first-born son…

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#11 - March 2020 "The day I nearly started World War Three"

It’s difficult for those who didn’t live through it to explain the tensions and fears of the Cold War. I joined the RAF in the early 1970s, at its height. I didn’t sign up through some sense of patriotism or to save the world. I certainly wasn’t (still ain’t) brave. I just wanted to fly jets, but when that didn’t happen (I wasn’t good enough, I was a danger to all those around me, see previous blogs!) I transferred to the Provost Branch instead. Little thought went into this decision; I wanted to stay in the RAF as it was a good life for a young officer, the beer was cheap, we’d get a married quarter, we’d see the world, and the social life was a joy. I was a deep thinker even in those days…!

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#10 - February 2020 "The day I met the Queen"

It’s 30 years ago now that I was awarded membership of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). I’ve never been quite certain why I got it but it was and remains a huge honour. I still remember the wave of good wishes I received from the whole range of people who touched my life and many others whom I didn’t even know…

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#9 - January 2020 "The con that nearly did for me"

They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’ve never signed up to this sentiment – I believe what doesn’t kill inevitably injures and scars you and takes a long time to recover from. Hopefully you’ll survive and continue to grow, but a bad frost never made a plant grow better…

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#8 - January 2020 "Happy New Year to you and your families"

Jo and I send our very best wishes to all our many friends in SASIG, the cybersecurity world and beyond and their families for the New Year and indeed the new decade. The signs at this end are for a great 12 months to come for us personally and for SASIG; we both hope with all our hearts that the world is kind to you all in 2020…

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#7 - June 2019 "Sub-Lieutenant Henry Smith RN"

Today is the 75th Anniversary of Operation Neptune, or D-Day as it is more commonly known. It was a crucial part of Operation Overlord, the Battle of Normandy. Neptune was the largest seaborne invasion in history. Altogether some 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June 1944. One of them was my father, Sub Lieutenant Henry Smith RN, aged 19 years. He was second-in-command of a Landing Craft transporting Canadian troops…

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