I was born in Cheltenham on 31st Jan 1960, the first of what turned out to be three children - I have two younger brothers. I was educated at St Christopher's School and the Sacred Heart School in Bahrain, then Aylesbury High School and Bedford High School. Two years in the sixth form at Westwood House School Peterborough provided me with enough A levels to go to York University to study English and Education.
I've been separated from my husband for a long time and live in Sheffield with my youngest son and a mysterious black cat called Mab, the older kids having flown the nest.
In 1992 I began a distance learning degree course with Westminster College, Oxford, and obtained an Oxford University first class degree in June 1998. I have just completed a PhD in "Contextual Theology in Cyberspace" at the Urban Theology Unit, which is the maverick colleague of the Sheffield University Biblical Studies Department. I've worked for UTU for several years, first as secretary then as part-time tutor and lecturer, and was recently appointed Senior Lecturer when I returned to full time work now that the PhD is finished. I also tutor and write module teaching material for Oxford Brookes University Distance Learning theology courses.
I'm not a complete geek, but I do enjoy the social aspects of internet communication, especially the uk.religion.christian newsgroup, which is the focus for my PhD research. And I'm a complete sucker for action/adventure computer games...OK, I confess, Tombraider. I have a blog at Blogspot which I deleted and restarted in Feb 06 to mark the fact that for the first time in 13 years I was no longer a student.
According to an online questionnaire (and well all know how accurate they are!) I'm a Myers Briggs type INTJ, and I am an enneagram type 5. Although we worship regularly at an inner city C of E church, I prefer to think of myself as grassroots ecumenical: with a Quaker father, and a (late)lapsed RC mother, it's hard to be anything else! In my university days I was a member of MENSA, but let it lapse many moons ago because I did not find it very congenial.
When I have the time I read whatever novels I can lay my hands on (but not family sagas or bodice rippers) and I love listening to Messiaen, especially his piano music, and Miles Davis type jazz. If I need cheering up, David Bowie seems to do the trick, and I recently acquired a cd of 70s pop music which spins me back to my mis-spent youth with a mixture of nostalgia and relief that I survived it. Recently I've learnt to appreciate folk music, and I'm very taken with Kate and Anna McGarrigle. My nerd credentials are sustained by a taste for Nick Drake's music. If I had more time, I'd spend it at the theatre, especially the Crucible Studio which usually has a programme of small scale and experimental drama. During our time in Cairo, I produced 3 shows for the local Am Dram society: School For Scandal (NOT my choice), Iolanthe and A Winter's Tale. Art galleries and exhibitions also give me great pleasure.
But my idea of heaven is a quiet evening with close friends discussing life, the universe and everything over a bottle of wine. People fascinate me, and my few close friends are, after my family, the things I treasure most. I value intimacy, trust and honesty, and although I love a good get together with acquaintances, a tete a tete with someone special is where I feel most comfortable. I can be abrasive in company (and usually am!), largely because I am slightly uncomfortable in a crowd, and however hard I try, it's always obvious that I don't suffer fools gladly.
When I grow up (!) I want to be a professor of theology. Until then, I'm enjoying a belated adolescence. Although I have the full portfolio of traditional female skills (a public school education, y'see) I don't much enjoy being domestic. On the other hand, I can repair the washing machine, maintain the car and keep several steps ahead of the kids when it comes to computers. I just can't seem to get the hang of traditional gender roles...