We live in SW London, England, about 5 miles from Heathrow Airport, 3 miles from the top of the M3 motorway, and ten miles from Central London. There is a frequent bus from the airport, and trains every 30 minutes from Waterloo, both being a half-hour journey.
If you are a serious puzzle collector, then why not contact me if you are in London? Please email me for address, directions and telephone number. I was born in 1957, live in an unstately home in Teddington in SW London with my girlfriend since 1990, Alice, sometimes known as the Puzzling Object. She has no interest in puzzles at all, but I am working on it!
As well as enjoying puzzles, I also love trying to find the perfect pint of beer, being a member of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. I very much like Belgian beer, especially that from the Cantillon brewery in Brussels.
I love music, especially traditional Country-Western music, acoustic blues, rockabilly, rock’n’roll, early Beatles and sixties pop. "He Stopped Loving Her Today" by George Jones is possibly the best record ever made. I have listened to very little music made after about 1977. More music interests. I also seem to be the only fan of veteran French star Johnny Halliday.
I was born in Dartford, Kent, birth place of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. I attended St. Alban’s Primary School in the town, moving to York Road Junior School for one term before moving to Eastcote in NW London in 1964. I attended Newnham County Primary School until 1968, when I started at John Lyon School, Harrow. I host the Over Surtees Club, a point of contact for Old Lyonians. I joined MENSA in 1983.
I left John Lyon in 1975 with A-level maths and a handful of O-levels. My first job was in the wills department of National Westminster Bank, in a third floor office overlooking the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Subsequently I have worked as a stock controller of coffee production, a barman, assistant steward in a social club, stock controller, tester of radioactive bars (Polonium 210 for the elimination of static electricity), a stock controller, then a whole string of IT jobs, including tech support on PCs, IBM 5520s, networks etc., EDI, email systems, consultancy and software testing.
Subsequently I settled down to a career in IT, including technical and sales support, Quality Assurance and software testing.
I was a hospital radio disc jockey with Radio Wey, (listen live!) in the late seventies. I did a 2 hour interview and record choice with Mike Read, and also played in a charity football match along with folk singer Ralph McTell, ex-Wings guitarist Denny Laine, and punk rocker Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69. Mike commentated from the grandstand at Walton & Hersham’s ground, and there was a great jocks' party afterwards. I came second in a disc jockey competition once.
I enjoy the fiction of Stephen King and Dean R. Koontz. Jeffrey Archer tells lies but writes wonderful books. Lewis Carroll is wonderful. Just recently I have discovered Robert Goddard. I also like the Rebus novels of Ian Rankin.
American Graffiti is by far the best film ever made. Other good ones are West Side Story, Shawshank Redemption, Rebel Without A Cause, Goodfellas, That'll Be The Day, The Conversation, If..., Dr. Strangelove. In the late 1970s I was co-compiler (with school friend Clive Solomon, later manager of pop band Pulp) of two books on pop chart statistics, Record Hits volumes 1 and 2, both long out of print. In November 2002, the BBC website said of the book,
"Pretty unremarkable to look at until you realise that this book was the predecessor to the Guinness books and when you look inside, each page was typed. Artists are listed in alphabetical order and there are chart stats plus an index of artists and song titles. Now that’s dedication to a project." - Jo Tyler.
I was responsible for manually alphabetising every record which ever made the British Top 50, and that was in 1976, long before the availability of home computers! It was all done on strips of paper, then labouriously hand copied. Alice still asks me why Kenny Ball was left out. I can only assume that I dropped him on the floor...
I am very interested in heraldry; the life of Dr. Sam Johnson ( I greatly admire him for his 'game' of sometimes taking the side which opposed his own beliefs in an argument); and geocaching, and Google Earth.
Alice got me listening to "The Archers" on Radio 4 about 20 years ago, and we've hardly missed it in all that time. It's a daily 15-minute soap opera set in a fictitious village in middle England. Very little happens beyond farming problems, village fairs, the local pub, and the details and gossip of the local and varied families. Unmissable!!!
In June 2007 I received the following email, "I decided to put my name in Google this evening and I came up with your web site. I had a look around, very well done. I am across the pond in lovely Florida. I visited London last year and was very impressed. I have visited Ireland before and I love both countries. I am also a huge soccer fan. Just though that I should introduce myself, being that we have the same name. - Martin H(enry) Watson
Apparently, searching for your own name on the internet, is called "vanity surfing". I was told at the age of seven, that the head boy of my new primary school who had just left, was also called MARTIN WATSON. My local doctor also has another MARTIN WATSON on his books. Several years ago I was looking for a new job. One day a message was left on my telephone, telling me that I had secured a second interview for a particular position. As I hadn't yet had an interview, I returned the call and found that they had left a message for the wrong MARTIN WATSON.
There is also a blues singer called MARTIN WATSON, a boxer called MARTIN WATSON, a scientist at Durham University called MARTIN WATSON, and I think I once recall reading about a MARTIN H. WATSON who had completed a marathon.
If you search on the internet for MARTIN WATSON plus a word relating to one of my interests, (Teddington, puzzles, Alice, etc), you will almost certainly find my website. I'd never actually met another MARTIN WATSON, and you're the first one to contact me. My middle name is Harry, not Henry, but it's pretty close!”
Just lately I have become very enthusiastic about tracing my family tree. I am researching the background of Frederick G G Lewis, on behalf of a friend.