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This section is, as the title says, a little of the life story of 'yours truly' and picture gallery. Well, if you can't love yourself, you can't expect others to love you either.

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I'm a Croydon girl, born and bred, with an accent to match and I hereby declare myself a serial 'H' dropper. To paraphrase the old saying, "you can take the girl out of Croydon, but you can't take Croydon out of the girl".

I mentioned on the front page that I had managed to get away from Croydon at her Majesty's pleasure. Well, that was via the military. At this point, I should like to thank the Royal Air Force for taking a chance on a waster, getting me away from Croydon and opening my eyes to the world. It spawned a real fire in my heart, gave me belief in myself and for the first time in my life, I felt I had a genuine purpose.

My adolescent life wasn't built around getting an education. Family wise, so long as you had a job and the Old Bill weren't knocking on the door, then you were doing OK. There's a deep family history there, but that bit can stay under wraps.

I was 'O' level streamed at school, but I hated the restriction that school placed on me at the time and I just wanted to go out to work. I rarely attended in the final year and left without qualifications. I found a local company that still had a 'not everyone needs to be Einstein to be worthy' attitude and were willing to give me a trial. I was recruited by a man by the name of John Merrick (I kid you not) who believed that sometimes, people just need an opportunity to show themselves. I've kept a major strand of that philosophy with me to this day.

I worked on the production and processing of Geiger Counters and Cathode Ray Tubes, which was an interesting experience. I ended up going to Croydon College for an evening Electrical Engineering course and won their 'Most Promising Youngster of the Year' award after only 18 months. That company was Twentieth Century Electronics, Centronic today. However, the pay wasn't great and I left after 2 years. I still hold that it was the best company I have ever worked for in the civilian sector and was a major stepping stone in my life from a little bit of luck and in no small part, due to my own tenacity. I then had about 3 years of non-descipt jobs before I saw an advert for the RAF. I'd always wanted to join the services and the Navy had been at the forefront of my mind.

For those with no formal qualifications (they were the days) you had to pass their entrance papers in a mix of Maths, English and Science. I'd obviously taken more onboard at school than I thought, as I p**sed the tests and ended up as a Sooty for 12 years. That's an aircraft technician on gas turbines and fuel systems, for those not in the know or Propulsion Tech for those in the know.

Prior to joining the RAF at the age of 21, I'd only been out of the country once, to Costa Dorada Spain. Twice if you count the Isle of Wight. 20 months later, I was living in Germany for what would end up being almost eight years over two tours. Normal tours are 3 years in length, but dear old Uncle Saddam decided to occupy a little bit more of his local area and I ended up with an extended second tour. I was offered my 22 years pensionable contract, but it was make or break after 12 years and I decided on break. I now had some aero qualifications, which gave me an opportunity to try my hand as a civvy.

Bristol was to be my landing point in the UK and I worked for four companies in the short time that I was there, as either a contractor or permie. It was in Bristol that I got my first PC, a Tiny with a big price, which spawned an interest in programming. Starting with a Word & Excel course in Bradley Stoke, which led to a little bit of Basic, then to VB6 and before I knew it, a job as a trainee Cobol programmer. Magic! No, I was made redundant after only 3 months. So, with a heavy heart, I returned to Croydon to seek my fortune. I bought an old Dell machine to run Windows NT Server and put Workstation on the Tiny. I paid for a network course in London and ended up with 6 Microsoft NT4 Server and SQL 7 qualifications. In 2000, I got my first network job and 19 years on, I'm still in computers.

Now possessed of the education bug and only three years into my IT career, I enrolled on a part-time evening class at a University not-so-near-me and studied law over four years. We only had about three hours contact time a week with lecturers, so a lot of research and reading on your own was the order of the day and a couple of hours study minimum most nights and more over the weekends into the bargain. Thirty six started that course, only four of us finished on time and I graduated with a 2.1, which for someone without as much as a spirit level when they left school, is pretty tickety boo. So, I'm now Becky Woods LL.B (Hons). There are only two of us in my entire family with degrees and the other is one of my sons. My sons were brought up to see education as a step in life and so I have a Retail Director in Kuwait, a Business Development Director in Digital Marketing and the other is an Application Support Analyst. So all in, I think I've done OK for a waster from Croydon.

I own my house outright, jointly with the other half that is and I owe not a bean to any bugger, except for contracts like Virgin Broadband and the like, which are 30 day cancellations anyway. I like decent stuff, but I don't waste my money on expensive cars or phones etc. My current phone is a OnePlus Six, the one before was a OnePlus One, which I always buy outright so as to be beholden to no-one. I'm not tight, I'm just careful in my acts of parsimony.

Please note that picture gallery will be added in the next couple of days ( today is 5th May 2019) as I'm only just updating this site after a couple of years of neglect. Please accept my apologies whilst I carry out the updates.

Neither my pictures nor my life story have been Photoshopped in a vain attempt to improve how my life really is. So, to conclude with Becky's philosophy. Apart from health, life is what you make it. Live with that fact or moan to someone else, because I'm not interested. No-one else will do it for you. Therefore, I am presented here in the same style that Oliver Cromwell requested of his portrait painter, "I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me ...warts and everything".

Picture Gallery