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September 2017
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The Hoardiculturist #8

I haven’t blogged for an age, so thought I’d mark my return with The Hoardiculturist, my regular (but irregular) series on the stuff I collect. So far I’ve covered Pez dispensers, succulents, postcards, Xmas records and lots of other tat, but the hoard I am about to reveal is (arguably) my most embarrassing by far.

Let me explain. When I was a kid I was given a thin paperback book called I-Spy Car Numbers, which was given to me by my parents as a device to keep me quiet in the back of the car on long journeys. The idea was that I would gaze out of the windows of the family’s blue Austin Maxi as it hurtled down the motorway and ‘collect’ the number plates of cars, which could be entered into the book to show where and when the car was registered. For instance, an NV prefix would reveal a car came from Northamptonshire, while RC appeared on the plates of cars registered in Nottinghamshire. The challenge was to complete the book by trying to find number plates for every county in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

I don’t think I ever finished the book – an Isle of Man number plate remained elusive – but this book did lead to a lifelong obsession with groups of numbers and letters. However I must make it clear that I have never felt the desire to stand at the edge of railway platform with a limp luncheon meat sandwich in one hand and a notebook in the other, while waiting for the British Rail Class 07 diesel locomotive 480686-480699 to shunt past.

No, my collection of numbers can be gathered easily from the comfort of my own home, meaning I’ve never had to don an anorak or fill a thermos with weak sugary tea to indulge in a bit of number spotting. For I, dear reader, collect word verification codes, the sequence of letters and numbers that often have to be entered into a box so you can enter a comment on blogs.

Sadly I’ve lost many of my favourite word verification codes over the years, but still clearly remember my first – cadig. A rare sequence of letters that I have never seen since. If any spots it, please let me know, I’d love to be able to jot it down again.

Unfortunately modern word verification codes lack the subtlety and the romance of those vintage codes, which were put together with the kind of skill that only an artisan with years of word verification training could attempt. Still, some new fangled codes cut the mustard – here are a few of my recent favourites that can be found in my collector’s book. As you can see 12 March was a great day for verification spotters.

Underchro – spotted at Silvertreedaze 11 March 2010
Clanclem – spotted at Lazytrollop 12 March 2010
Ungness – spotted at Soilman 12 March 2010
Rencess – spotted at Gary’s Garden 12 March 2010
Phorywo – spotted at Otter Farm 12 March 2010
Peliz – spotted at Claire Potter’s Eco Blogspot 13 March 2010
Ridenic – spotted at the Idiot Gardener 13 March 2010
Yr322 (a rare letter/number combination) spotted at Blogging from Blackpitts 14 March 2010
Subbatio – spotted at Sea of Immeasurable Gravy 14 March 2010

12 comments to The Hoardiculturist #8

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