Bob Coulson had spent his life teaching higher mathematics. I had spent most of mine trying to avoid doing sums. In fact, me teacher had once belted me around the ear for drawing what he described as 'stick soldiers' on the edge of my maths book when I should have been doing fractions ... and stuff.
But Bob had a sideline. He was well into his World War II, and not the common or garden stuff either. The bold Bob was, to put it mildly, a code-breaking fanatic. Bletchley Park and SoE never held any great fascination for me, but Bob could wade through all that techno blurb like a knife through butter.
Between 1939 and 1945, the most advanced and creative forms of mathematical and technological knowledge were combined to master German communications.
British cryptanalysts, Alan Turing at the forefront, changed the course of the Second World War and created the foundation for the modern computer.
"You know the story about Apple Mac?" Bob had once asked me.
I admitted that I had no idea what he was talking about.
"There's a rumour you see ... some people will tell you that the Apple logo is a tribute to Alan Turing, the computer pioneer at Bletchley. He committed suicide by biting into a poison apple .. hence the Apple Mac Logo."
Frankly, I was amazed.
"That true then?" I asked.
"Nah, not according to Apple," smiled Bob happily. "They say the Apple is a tribute to Newton. I like the story though!"
Bob was another of those types you find lurking in the shadows of military history forums on the internet. I'd researched his Great Uncle for him once. He was delighted to find out the old lad had clocked an officer and received 3 months FP No. 1!
Some people cringe when they hear a detail like that. Bob loved it.
So, when I got the papers from Morgans, I zoomed a scan of them down the line to him with the additional comment: "Do yer stuff."
And he did. Which is why I'm still writing this story. Good on yer Bob.