About Jon Sandys
I'll keep this relatively brief, as of the 7 people who stumble onto this page, at least 4 of them will be after information about the site, rather than me (click the link above for that).
My full name's Jonathan William Eldon Sandys. Working backwards - "Sandys" is pronounced "Sands". Why the Y is there I have no idea. My two middle names are taken from each of my grandfathers, and I've been Jon since...my early teens, I think. Just kind of developed over the years, and broadly speaking the only people who call me Jonathan now are my immediate family. In case you're interested, I was born on the 10th February 1979.
Usual early life - born, learned to talk, toilet trained before I was 20, etc. I did OK at school without overachieving (always been a fast reader though - I'm sure some connection can be drawn between reading/eye coordination/mistake spotting). My sister and I are academic opposites in many ways - she's got a knack for languages/literature (and if I'm honest, a much better work ethic than me), while I'm more at home with maths (or "math" for the Americans among you) and sciences. I got into drama in the 6th form (ie. when I was 17/18) - I was never particularly good, but enjoyed the atmosphere, plus being at an all-boys school it provided a rare opportunity to meet girls. Sounds slightly pathetic now, but meeting girls is pretty important to your average all-boys-school-attending 17 year-old.
Largely due to a lack of acting ability I never continued drama beyond school, but a couple of my friends did, one of whom went on to perform in Riverdance, among other things, and another is a stand up comic and writer for the BBC. I did end up on stage in 2002 - the aforementioned comic had written a play for the Edinburgh festival called Spinning Jenny, and I was helping out backstage, plus being the understudy for his part. As it happened I was needed twice during the month, and despite forgetting at least one line managed to pull through. I'll leave it to the professionals though.
But I digress. I got the right A-level results (not sure of the US equivalent - exams I took in my final year of school, ie. when I was 18) to get me into my choice of Southampton University doing Accounting and Finance. If I'm totally honest, as my time at university wore on I found myself more interested in this site than my degree. Still, I enjoyed my time there a lot, and came out with a 2.2 (most UK university degrees go down the scale 1st, 2.1, 2.2, 3rd, pass, fail), which while not being great, I was happy enough with, largely because by then I'd already decided I wanted to do this full time rather than actually be an accountant. Handy degree to have for keeping on top of my finances though.
I stayed in Southampton running the site for a year after I graduated, as I knew various people doing 4 year courses, then moved back home in mid-2001. By that stage (for anyone cross-referencing with the site history) I was already on the Big Breakfast, and running the site was taking more time, but eventually towards the end of the year my parents gently persuaded me to get a "proper job", which I did (part time at least), with a data storage company. I know, it sounds hugely exciting.
Fortunately the above-mentioned Edinburgh play was approaching, so I used that as an excuse to ditch the job, given I'd need a month off for the play anyway. In due course the site was doing well enough that I could focus on it full time, and it has slowly become my actual job, without even a need for quotes around "job" (although one or two members of my family might disagree). In 2004 I was finally financially stable enough to buy a flat and move out for good. The site continues to go from strength to strength, and life as a whole's ticking over fairly well - I'm starting to feel slightly more like a grown-up, but mentally I'm just as immature as I've ever been. Excellent.