Venerable Researchers: Bluebottle

1 Conversation

This week's interviewee is Bluebottle, without whom h2g2 would not have so many Entries about the Isle of Wight.

When did you join h2g2?

I've had a look and apparently it was 2nd June 1999.

How did you hear of/find h2g2?

Through Peregrin. He had heard of it on Tomorrow's World and, as he knew I loved the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, he persistently insisted that I should sign up. Eventually I did.

Why did you join h2g2?

Mainly because Peregrin convinced me. But I also got my friend The Fish to sign up the same day, about half an hour after I did.

Did you jump right in, or did you lurk awhile first?

I jumped straight in, but it took me a while before I plucked up the courage to write and submit an entry for Approval (as it was in those days).

Have you written an Edited Entry?

Erm, yes...

How many?

227 solo edited articles at time of writing1, with a further 32 in various stages of Peer Review etc. Also a dozen Flea Market rescues and various collaborations.

One day I'll write something worth reading, honest!

You already have! Just a few (score2) things.

What was your first Entry?

I contributed to the collaborative entry What to buy the Person Who Has Everything, but my first real solo effort was film review 'Blade' - the Film. That was back in the days before Peer Review, and I submitted an entry on Blade at the same time as Darreny-Warreny. Our two articles were combined. I wrote the first paragraph and everything after the 'Plot' header, he wrote the middle three paragraphs. The first article that is entirely mine is Yaverland, Isle of Wight, UK. Yaverland is a village next to my home town of Sandown. I thought I'd write about the neighbouring village first before building up the courage to write about my home town itself. I still haven't built up enough courage to write about my home town.

What is your favorite Entry (of the ones you've written, if any)?

Walking Hadrian's Wall. It brings back memories of a great time in my life when I went on a walking holiday with two of my closest friends, known on h2g2 as Peregrin and The Fish.

What is your favorite Entry by someone else?

The ones that I wish I'd written.

Which are...?

Do you belong to/have you started any clubs/societies/what-have-you on h2g2?

I started the H2G2 Waterworks & Beach, which for a couple of years was the most popular place to hang out on h2g2. I also started the Wessex Researchers Group and belonged to various other societies.

Is that/are those club(s)/society(ies)/what-have-you(s) still active?

Not really. This is a shame as when it was popular it was great fun, but times move on and there's less role-play on h2g2 than there was.

Yeah, I've noticed that I seem to have discovered role-playing just as it was dying out. The more formal role-playing, at any rate: somehow I doubt anyone'll stop consuming all the wonderful edible and potable smileys we have!

Have you held any volunteer positions in the past?

H2G2's first VicePresident. I was also one of the first ACEs, briefly a Guru, and a Photographer.

Are you a current volunteer?

Yes, I'm a Community Artist, Scout and Scavenger and also the 'Bloke who does things with pictures' Curator. I'll give most things a try, although I don't think I'd make a good subeditor; I think I'd change things too much.

Which elvised researcher do you miss most?


He was a real character who became h2g2's first President. His posts were far wittier than anything I could come up with, and he was a very good friend.

Have you been an elvised researcher?

Yes. When I left uni I didn't have regular internet access for about 4-5 years.

What brought you back?

I got internet access again, and where else would I go? The internet was made for h2g2!

Have you been known by other names on h2g2 (not necessarily other accounts)?

Bluebottle has always been Bluebottle, but I've had various other accounts whose log-in details I've long forgotten, including:

Count Sprackula

Dead Frog

Fish Called Honda

Venus in Blue

Venus in Fly Trap

Perhaps one day I'll get around to asking one of the nice Gurus to help me resurrect those accounts?

Is there anything from h2g2's past that you miss?

A lot of the people who have come and gone. Definitely people. Other than that, the role-play. There's not as much of it now as there was.

Is there anything from h2g2's past that you wish you hadn't witnessed?

The times when people I know have fallen out of love with h2g2 for various reasons, or have left under a cloud.

The times when h2g2's future has been extremely uncertain when we weren't sure whether it would survive.

What aspect of current h2g2 do you wish had been extant when you joined?

The number of edited entry badges! The first badge I got was the 100 Edited Entries badge. Now you can get them after writing a mere 25 entries.

Have you been to any meets, of any size, whether "official" or not (meet=over a dozen, minimeet=6-12, micromeet=less than a half dozen)?


How many?

Erm, let's see. the London 11 December, 1999 meet, the 13 May 2000 London meet, the 25 November 2000 London Meet, the 7 July, 2001 London meet (the first BBC one) the 12 May 2002 Reading 2002 Meet, the Southampton 2002 Mini-Meet and Manchester 2012 Meet. I think possibly another London one.

Was my self portrait there?

Yes, at most, I think - certainly the most recent ones I've been to.

The first meet my self portrait attended was the Radish,Leeds, August 2001.

How many copies? smiley - silly


If you've been to multiple meets, what's the farthest you've travelled to one?

Manchester. I don't drive so rely on ferry, bicycle and train.

Am I asking too many questions?

Not really. Ask away!

Is this getting annoying?

Not for me, but whether people actually are enjoying reading me going on about myself is another matter entirely. smiley - winkeye

I'm enjoying it!

How about now?

I'll have to think about that and get back to you.

Fair enough.

If I were to give you a mufflewhump, what would it turn into, keeping in mind that they can't turn into anything sapient nor anything that can act against the giver's (ie, my) interest, and that they only work on h2g2?

I've always wanted a kettle smiley: v/_\3

As opposed to a smiley - chocolateteapot? (Granted, that takes longer to type out.)

Had you even heard of mufflewhumps before the previous question?


Have I given you one before?


Did you know me before this interview?

How do you define 'know me'? I've certainly seen around on h2g2 a lot and I took you in paper form to the Southampton 2002 Mini Meet.

For the purpose of these interviews, "know me" is defined as knowing me from h2g2.

Do you have a question for me (fair's fair, after all)?

Yes. Would you like me to put the v/_\3 on and make you a cup of tea?

Yes, thank you.

Next week, we'll be hearing from Pastey, who's going to have to reanswer at least one question...

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