About Me

Alan Brand




Currently living in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, previously in Toronto.
I started life in London, England, until I emigrated in 1967 at the ripe old age of 20.




Before embracing the challenges of retirement in January 2009, I used to work from my home-based virtual office as a self-employed computer consultant, specialising in custom application software and website design & maintenance : see www.xises.net



When I”m not on the computer, I like to do family things with my wife, Jan, and son, Zak (formerly known as AJ|Amy).
Left behind in Toronto, and sorely missed, are my adult daughters – Alexa, and her son James, and Leah, her husband Grant, and their son Nolan & daughter Kate.

Brand-A95-20171001-left front

I enjoy Classic British cars and until recently ran a 1958 Austin A95 Westminster (left) – she came with the name Jane
Elsie at home

I previously ran a 1959 Morris Minor Van (or Light Commercial Vehicle, LCV) called Elsie (above)

Since I hung up my virtual Classic British Car string-backed driving gloves and no longer get out with like-minded car guys on a regular basis, I have let my membership in actual clubs lapse … all that’s left now is a virtual club that I run, Grey Brits, whose philosophy is “No formality; No rules; No dues; No idea, really.


I still enjoy the music of my youth …Blues, R&B and Soul, pre-disco Rock N Roll – and I’ve learned to enjoy some Jazz, and Classical music (no opera or organs thank you!) in my dotage.



I read a lot. A lot. Mostly Fiction, heavy on spies and detectives, with the occasional dip into biographical adventure.

I mostly read on my e-reader (a pocket sized Sony Reader) as it’s just so damned convenient.

[October, 2019] uploading books to the Sony was getting to be a pain under Ubuntu, so I bought a kindle paperwhite.



I like to solve cryptic crosswords. In pen.

At least two a day, usually the Globe & Mail (easy), The Evening Standard (easy), and The Guardian (harder). I used to regularly tackle the Times and The Telegraph puzzles, but haven’t yet justified the paywall costs to continue with them.



Thanks to my decrepit knees … … I’m beyond playing sports these days. I like to watch Rugby, “proper” Football (soccer to my North American friends), NFL Football (Oakland Las Vegas Raiders). I confess to a morbid fascination with televised curling.

Craic Pots



I like to drink draught Guinness in pubs on quiet afternoons.



Health Warning: I have a severe allergic reaction to sulphur|sulfa and hence to some of the chemicals in cigarette smoke, similar to the better-known peanut allergy. Thanks to the smoke lingering on clothes and hair, I can be triggered into anaphylactic shock just by being near someone who smokes.


I like to buy things on Amazon … I hate shopping in stores because of the potential of bumping into smokers.