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This isn’t a list that’s easy to get onto. It’s a list of people who have built with me a strong relationship where I feel comfortable in their mocking of my quirks and quiddities.[Quiddity: 1. Philosophy: the inherent nature or essence of someone or something. 2. a distinctive feature; a peculiarity.]
If you want to be on this list, there is only one way, and I warn you, it’s hard work. You’ve got to share a bit of your soul with me (think more Brené Brown than Voldemort).
Whilst I look most like my great-grandmother, I also look a bit like…
Midget – she’s small but dangerous.
The Grandmother and Grandfather
Nonna / Nanna and Granddad
Tall Aunty and her tall family
Short Aunty and her shorter family
I charge these people with making me laugh
Chewbacca – Once upon a time we were colleagues and behaved with great professionalism in each other’s company.
DeepThought – Was once on University Challenge…
Lady Quackers – Physics partner who crocheted and knitted as I doodled.
Noph – Wrote my earliest stories about talking dogs with me. Knows all my secrets.
The Blacksmith – The Midget’s dear boyfriend who cooks a mean curry.
The Goatherd – A recluse who likes to row.
The Grump – Bakes the best carrot cake.
Mathematical Genius (MathsBio) – a mathematical genius who lends me grown-up books.
Rapunzel – Nobody would dare lock her in a tower. Leading the way for women in cryptology.
Wonderful people met whilst travelling
Grand-mere and Grand-pere – a retired French couple who work harder than most people I know looking after their land, farm and family.
Maria and Leonardo – A Sicilian couple who taught me woodwork.
I love to quietly explore, to wander with curiosity leading the way. The beauty of my curiosity is that it sits on the periphery of my comfort zone. It’s not a dive into the great unknown, it’s just wonder what is around the corner.
My style of travel isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Betty managed 6 hours in the ancient city of Pompeii before reaching a level of despair, and this poem, by the Midget, illustrates the torture of being dragged around Eastern Europe. The places I pick to visit and the items I pack for the journey are inevitably not the same choices as you should make.
Instead of thinking too much about the ‘what’, my stories focus on the process of quenching this curiosity.
There’s a beautiful chapter in Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel in which he discusses the avid curiosity of avid adventurer Alexander von Humboldt, and contrasts it with his own desire to stay between the crisp white sheets of the hotel bed-linen.
The challenge of travel is not so much picking a destination and getting there. It’s knowing when to stay in bed and when to climb the mountain. It’s allowing yourself to visit a museum of Etruscan pots, and ignore the Eiffel Tower, if that’s what’s right for you. The challenge of travel is exactly the same as the challenge of home, it’s being honest to who you are. Travel is just an easier arena to exercise these muscles.
Now, if you know anything at all about me, they you’ll know that I’ve got a Physics degree. This means my friendship group is a diverse set of people however it is dominated by scientists, mathematicians and computer engineers. There’s a predominant ‘Star Trek’ philosophy that’s seeped in to my mind-set of sharing knowledge for the benefit of mankind rather than keeping secrets.
Wonderful, free, open-source software:
For photo editing and beautiful drawings
For creating and editing vector graphics (SVGs)
For editing audio tracks and converting music files when they’re the wrong type.
In terms of videos, I occasionally need to edit XML files (SVG picture as raw code) I also use NotePad++ for editing stuff for this website.
Not so free software:
This is where I put together my whiteboard animations. It’s where the magic hand comes from that draws my pictures.