Broadband Internet – March 2003

We got ADSL broadband at 512k and at the same time we got a proper computer network. Broadband not only allows us to surf on two computers at the same time but because it’s “always on”, it allowed me to run this website from home for free!

Flairing bottle and video – December 2002, Christmas present from Kix

Kix got me this flaring starting kit. I broke lots of things practising, except the bottle – which is unbreakable. I got quite good at it without water in the bottle but can’t do it for real.

Pub Optics – December 2002, Christmas present from Kix

Kix got me four pub optics that dispense 25ml of anything. I’m not actually a big drinker but I like to make cocktails and these help me to keep track of appropriate measures.

Sony car miniDisk player – December 2002 Christmas present from mum and Grandpa

My travelling buddy with a friendly multi colour display which flashes and pulses with the music. MiniDisk might not be a hot technology any more but I’ve got lots of disks and it’s better than CD (much better).

“Cassandra”. 26th June 2002 – 1st March 2004

I mistakenly bought Cassandra with a serious problem that I didn’t spot in the test drive. She couldn’t carry passengers without bottoming out and making horrible scraping noises. Throughout the 2 years I owned her, she became less and less reliable. She started not starting and cutting out mid-journey. She met her end in a […]

Fire Breathing

Kix got me a fire staff for my 22nd birthday. You soak each end in parafin and light it. I learnt some staff tricks but only to a basic level. The strange thing about a fire staff is that it spins more slowly when it’s alight. It makes a glorious noise as the burning ends […]

Nintendo Gameboy Advance – 2001, Christmas present from Grandpa

The Gameboy Advance is a marvellous little toy from Nintendo, housing a 32-bit RISC CPU and an 8-bit CISC CPU which gives me the capability to re-play all the NES games I grew up with in addition to excellent new ones such as “Tony Hawks Pro Skater” and “Advance Wars”. I modded my GBA using […]

Backwards Clock – 2001, Christmas present from Kix

All three hands travel anti-clockwise, and the layout of the numerals is somewhat unconventional. Whenever this clock is in a promenent place in the house I get so used to reading it that normal clocks confuse me instead.

My own www Domain – Christmas present from my Aunt

My Aunt gave me the “” domain for Christmas. There is actually another “tom fotherby” so I’m glad I got the domain early before personal homepages and blogs took off.

My own PC – 2001, 21st birthday present from Dad

This was my very first computer. She was so top of the range and expensive (£1700) that I felt slightly inferior when I first sat down in front of her. I chose her myself and although, as a student I was moving places quite frequently, I got a 21 inch monitor that weights a tonne […]

The Rubix Cube

At one point I used to be able to use these codes to do the rubix cube in 2 minutes. In the 1st year at uni we had three cubes and used to race each other. Layer 1, No codes needed, just do it! Layer 2, Have finished layer on the bottom. This moves top-middle […]

Portable miniDisk player – 2000 Christmas present from Dad

MD is better than CD for portability and this is small and top of the range. Bad points are that it doesn’t have a radio and I’ve found that the battery doesn’t last very long any more (luckily it comes with a clip on external battery pack).

Fyrefli Fire Diabolo – Summer 1999

I knew my juggling hobby had got serious when I bought a fire diabolo. You have to use special Kevlar string and you can’t drop a fire diabolo because the hot metal bends easily so that it won’t spin straight. The wicks don’t burn for too long – I was a little disappointed.

Mister Babache Harlequins – Winter 1998

After travelling round Europe seeing street performers and starting to learn to juggle with my friend Rodrigo, I joined the university juggling club and decided to specialise in the diabolo. These harlequin diabolo’s have kept me occupied for hundreds of hours. Diabolo of choice: Two Heavy duty Mister Babache Harlequins. Robust rubber cups, 335 grams […]

Swimming Pool – Autumn 1998

Dad started building our indoor swimming pool when I was 17 and it’s beautiful. During school and Uni holidays I used to finish every evening by doing some exercises and then putting on some music and just floating around the pool. I also had fun with my brothers playing “Marco-Polo” in the dark, climbing onto […]