Tag Archives: Denis Thatcher

‘Munda Logic’ At Its Very Best — Trying To Push A Truck From Inside!

by Anura Guruge

Click image to ENLARGE & ENJOY.

I saw this on Facebook this morning and it just cracked me up. Judging from the kids it is definitely from Africa.

They are trying to free a truck stuck on an embankment.

One guy is pushing REALLY, REALLY hard while standing on the truck bed.


Immediately reminded me of the phrase ‘Munda Logic‘ from my school days in London.

I attended ‘Mill Hill’ Public School (meaning it was a fee-paying private school) from 1969 to 1971 before they expelled me for being a disruptive influence.

Pretty famous school — the place where the VENERABLE “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) was born! Yep. Look it up.

The alumni include Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA, and Sir Denis Thatcher, Margaret’s illustrious (2nd) husband.

It was a school with a lot of exposure to the British Empire in its heyday.

There were two expressions that were OFTEN used at the school, during my time, that were pithy, very precise and what today would be called quite racists — though they were not meant to be.

The first was ‘Play the White Man‘. It meant do the right thing. Stiff upper lip and all of that. Basically said, act like a British gentleman. ‘Play the White Man’. I still love and use that phrase. ‘Play the White Man’

The other was ‘Munda Logic’. The above picture is ‘Munda Logic’ epitomized.

‘Munda Logic’ — African Logic!

There was this realization that Africans, at the time, had a different thought process to others. Well, see above.

‘Wog’ was another favorite word. I was a wog — though I really wasn’t. Jesus was a wog — in that wog is specific to men from the Middle East (and NOT the far east).

So, Munda Logic.

Related Posts:
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by Anura Guruge

The Word ‘Dotard’ — Origins & Synonyms.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Dotard origins by Anura Guruge in NHlifefree.com

Dotard origins by Anura Guruge in NHlifefree.com

It, i.e., ‘dotard’, was a word I was familiar with (given my very British heritage) — though, of course, living in the U.S. I had not heard it in a long time. I am sure I first encountered it at the Public (i.e., private) School I attended, in North London, “Mill Hill School” — the read birthplace of the ‘Oxford English Dictionary‘ and the alma mater of Denis Thatcher (Margaret’s husband). It was a school rich in vocabulary and idioms, my two favorites, that I still treasure and use being: “Play the White Man” (i.e., do the right thing) and “Munda Logic” (African/black logic). Both are very profound and have many applications.


  • An old person in their dotage.

    That is where the word comes from ‘dote’ + ‘-ard‘.
    -ard‘ denotes someone with a specific condition — as in drunkard.
    Dote‘ refers to an imbecile!

  • An old person with impaired intellect.


Old English.

1st known usage was by the inimitable Geoffrey Chaucer in his beyond ionic ‘The Canterbury Tales‘ — in “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue“. It went: “Til they be wedded; olde dotard shrewe!”

Then it was Edmund Spenser (above) in 1590 & then Shakespeare (above) ~1598.


  • old man, elder, senior citizen, old codger, geezer, old duffer, pantaloon, graybeard.
  • senile, fogy, fuddy-duddy

So what do YOU think? You think ‘they’ got it right?

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by Anura Guruge

Alton Central School (ACS), To Their Credit, And Amazingly, Taking Part In ‘Code Day’ To Expose Kids To The JOYS Of Programming.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
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Yes, they had sent flyers home.

But, I only really heard about it last Tuesday at the ACS ‘junior school’ concert when the Principal spoke about it twice (one in each ‘half’). Since I had NOT read the flyer and I could only go by what the Principal was saying I had NO IDEA what this was all about. The Principal spoke MAINLY about all the FREE food that will be available and the local restaurants that are kindly donating that food. I am glad. But, I wished she had STRESSED, did a little jig, and explained that this was an initiative to expose kids to the unmitigated JOYS of programming. Yes, I appreciate, that the Principal, the Superintendent, William (Bill) Lander and the School Board are extremely ‘oral‘ — but a little bit of elucidation about the ‘code‘ aspect of the evening as opposed to the ‘gastronomic‘ would have been cool.

That ACS is taking part in ‘Code Day‘ is cool.

Not sure whether the kids will get a full, uninterrupted HOUR to write some code that evening — but this is a good start. I just hope the kids aren’t distracted by the food. Hopefully, and this is a BIG hope, some of the teachers will try and continue this program sans the free food. But, to be fair, Devanee was taught MIT’s SCRATCH ‘animated programming’ a couple of years ago at ACS. So, that was good.

See below, after the images as to why I am so gung ho about kids getting exposed to the JOYS of programming.


Click to ENLARGE. Use link below to access Website.

Link to access Website.

Link to access Website.


Click to access article …

I got a chance, in 1969, yes 1969, to take weekly 90 minute Computer Programming classes in school, viz. Mill Hill School in North London (also attended by Denis Thatcher and where James Murray, the primary editor of the Oxford English Dictionary once taught).

It was every Thursday and the classes were sponsored by the British International Computers Limited (ICL). They provided each of us with a BIG light green binder about computers and programming. I had yet to see a computer! But, computer programming and I clicked. Duck to the water. Natural affinity.

In those days there were no PCs. We didn’t have any terminals at the school. We wrote our programs on coding sheets; a practice that I continued to use, off and on, even when I worked for IBM, 8 years later — though by the time I was at IBM, and writing microcode, for the 3270 display system, I was classed as a programmer who wrote his code in ink (which I often did do) as opposed to pencil (because I was sure of what I was coding).

Our coding sheets were sent by mail (which is always overnight in the U.K.) to ICL. They punched it onto paper tape and ran it. The next Thursday we would get back our original coding sheets, the paper tape and the computer output. If you made a mistake you program would not have done what you wanted. But, it took a week to find out.

The rest is history. I went to Swansea College, University of Wales, to ‘study’ a 3-year B. Sc. course in Computer Technology. I, for the first time in my life, had unlimited access to computer resources. I programmed like I was possessed (in between near non-stop fornication). I had a great 3 years at Swansea. By my 2nd year at Swansea Ph. D. students were coming to me for help with their programs! One of my lecturers told IBM about me. IBM hired me during my 2nd year, after getting me to sit three IQ tests (as is permissible in the U.K., one of them at 10 pm at night) and told me that I can start work whenever I wanted — with or without a degree. Since I was having so much fun and really didn’t want to work — I hung around Swansea for another year and did get my 1st degree. Yes, I also do have a M. Sc. in Computer Science from the University of London — paid for by IBM.

Programming has been good for me, though in reality I didn’t write that much code professionally! I was considered ‘too good’ to just write code! A sign of the time. IBM and others wanted me to do more ‘executive’ tasks or do much more technical tasks such as Systems Programming or crafting microcode. I was IBM youngest ‘Planner’ — essentially a Product Manager. But, I wrote code in my ‘spare’ time — a program that I wrote as such in my spare time, which I called ‘NDSIO’, ‘New Display System Input/Output‘, where the ‘NDS’ was the now legendary 3270 display system, became a primary testing tool within IBM in the U.K., U.S. and Germany.

So, I am all in favor of kids being taught to program early.

A Fond Farewell & Big ‘THANK YOU’ To My 2nd Favorite Female Prime Minister, Mrs. Thatcher. A Great Lady. An Inspiration To All.

Anura Guruge

I meant to write about this a few months ago after I had watched it. The movie ‘The Iron Lady‘ is unmitigated tripe and an abysmal, pathetic representation of an indomitable soul and her exemplary husband, Denis.

Yes, given her age I kind of had in the back of my mind that this day would come. I am sorry to see her go. She chiseled and shaped my character.

Let me start with some bullet points about me and Margaret.

>> c. 1973, when I was a student at Swansea, I, accidentally as it happened, led a protest march of about 350 students, through the town center, me personally escorted by an Inspector of Police, with me wearing a Air Force surplus, WW II, double breasted gray coat — with a poster hanging from the top two buttons that showed a picture of Mrs. Thatcher with three (rather cute) exposed mammary glands and the slogan: ‘Thatcher Makes Another BOOB‘. She was the Secretary of Education and was trying to stop Student Unions contributing money to other unions, especially the Miners, to support their strike activity. She, to be fair, had a valid point. In those days about 99% of all University students in the UK got some kind of ‘grant’ from the Government to pay for their education. So her argument was that students were using Government money to fund strikes aimed at hurting the Government. I, even then, could see that. But, here was the problem. I did NOT get a grant, because I did not have enough residency (as yet) in the U.K. So the dues that I paid to the Student Union (and I was a HUGE supporter of the Union since I was a habitual attendee of all their concerts and dances) were mine — and I was not going to have Mrs. Thatcher telling me how my money could be spent. Looking back I sometimes shudder. I was also lucky that I did not end up in jail. Pictures of me leading the march appeared in papers. The funniest thing, I really had nothing to do with the march! As with so many things in my life, I was at the right place and the wrong time. Yes, they were having a rally around 3pm on a Saturday. The timing was crucial. If it had been held any earlier I would not have made it. When I was a student I never used to get out of bed much before noon — 7 days a week. I didn’t go to any morning classes — class attendance, at least in those days, not a requirement to get a degree. You just had to pass the yearly exams in the Summer. But, I would try to attend any and all student sit-ins, rallys, protests  or gathering  provided them were held at a civilised time. So, I am there in the crowd just as a participant. The Student Union officials and organizers are up on the steps of the Swansea Town Hall trying to address the crowds before the march. The President of the Union was an Indian guy. He was at the mike talking but the sound system was not working. So a cry goes out, can somebody fix the sound system. In those days I dabbled with amplifiers, speakers, mikes and sound systems all the time. So, I climbed the steps and fiddled around and got the sound up. I was still up on the steps when they started the march. Yes, I was already wearing my ‘3 boobs’ poster. The crowd waited for the people on the steps to lead the march. I was on the steps and I went along. The next thing I know, I am in the front row, I am in the middle, I am wearing a poster and there is no sign of the Indian guy. I guess the police were told that the march would be led by an Indian. So this Inspector of Police, wearing a cap with a checkered, black-and-white band, walks up to me and puts his hand on my shoulder. I genuinely thought he was a traffic warden since I had no prior dealings with Inspectors of Police. So I addressed him as ‘traffic warden’. He must have had a sense of humor. He never corrected me or told me off. Was quite polite, but to the point. He stops me and with that the march and says to me quite clearly: ‘There are about 3oo people behind you. Maybe more. If we get trouble from any of them I am holding you responsible‘. He really must have thought I was the Union President. I was probably 19 or 20. I was a dyed in the wool, non-inhaling hippie. I hadn’t had my hair cut in 3 years. I had been expelled from 2 schools. I was going to be a game warden in Africa. So what do I care. I tell him: ‘That is fine‘. There was no trouble NOT that I could have done anything. It was a blast. We all ended up at the Union bar and partied (and remember that the drinking age in the U.K. was somewhere around 14 or maybe 16, though I didn’t start imbibing till I was 20). So that was my 1st encounter with Margaret.

>> I voted, with pride, for her as Prime Minister (or at least to have her party elected which would make her PM)  in 1979 — her 1st run as PM.

>> I voted for her without fail in every election thereafter till 1985 when I left the U.K.

>> She is the ONLY prime minister, or for that matter, ANY national leader that I have voted for (as yet).

>> She, single handedly made me into the rabid ultra-right, conservative I was, c. 1976 – 2003, until ‘The Shrub‘ forced me to think otherwise. I was so right-wing that people, especially those that worked for me, would say (usually when they were suitably inebriated): ‘Anu, come the revolution they are going to line you up to the RIGHT of Thatcher before they shoot the whole bunch of you damn conservatives‘. I would take it as a great compliment to be thought of as being to the RIGHT of Margaret. [Yes, even in the early 1980s there were folks in the U.K. that believed that there would be a social revolution!]

>> It was Mrs. Thatcher that got me into stocks. Thank YOU, Margaret. It was the famous ‘British Telecom’ (BT) privatization. I like so many in the UK caught the bug. I, within the limits of what was permitted, made multiple applications for the lottery. Yes, I got some — but maybe 1/5th of what I had asked. Suffice to say BT stocks were a huge success. I was bitten. I bought into every other privatization after that — the BEST one, again, accidentally. This was before the ‘Web’. You actually had to call a broker to buy and sell stock. My broker was my London Barclays Bank. I used to take the Manager and Assistant Manager to lunch at least every 3 months, and as such they were quite nice to me. I happened to work next door to the bank. I had bought and owned, BA — British Airways. On a dip I wanted to buy some more. So, I call up the Asst. Manager and tell him to buy me some more ‘BA’ — because I was always on the road driving around the UK in those days. It is my accent. He thought I had said ‘BAA‘ – British Airport Authority, the agency that ran the British airports. I hadn’t wanted BAA. It was considered a risky investment at the time. So a few days later when I get my statement in the mail I discover that I now own BAA, rather than more BA. I decide to hold onto BAA. A couple of years later BAA outperformed all the other ‘B’ stock: BT, BP, BA etc.

>> Denis Thatcher went to the same school as I did, Mill Hill in London.

>> I was so behind Mrs. Thatcher when it came to ‘The Falklands War’ — and the day we won, I was at one of my regular restaurant/bar haunts in North London and I bought 400 UK Sterling Pounds worth of drinks (probably about $1,200 by today’s money) and PAID for them with my personal credit card, though as Customer Support Manager for ITT (Data Systems) at the time, I had a ‘no questions’ asked, ‘no limit’ company AmEx card for entertaining ‘clients’ and per ITT lore, every person in the UK was a potential customer and it was my duty to cultivate them.

I will miss Mrs. Thatcher. Yes, another female Prime Minister, the world’s first, came before her into my life. She was ‘Aunty’. I never met Mrs. Thatcher, and in case you are wondering, she (quite deservedly) became a Baroness when I was living in NH. So I never got around to thinking of her as such. She deserved to be Baroness and Denis a Baronet — in his own right. He was a great man. His portrayal in that stupid movie was so inane. For a start, I don’t think Denis ever had an ounce of fat on his lean, wiry body. The guy that played his part was just plain fat.

Goodbye Mrs. Thatcher. Thanks for all you did for me.