Born in Edinburgh, grew up in Fife, I now live and work in deepest, darkest, Englandishire. A software engineer by trade, I've worked for a number of companies in and around the Cambridge area; some have been amazing, some not quite so much.
I've had more hobbies and interests than I can remember, with most having fallen by the wayside over the years. Things are cyclical though, so while I may not be doing them at the moment, that doesn't mean I won't pick them up at some point in the future.
I started baking sourdough nearly a decade ago, and have continued to make it on and off over the years. Nothing beats cutting into a new loaf, toasting the slices and slathering them in homemade marmalade. I started baking cakes as a way of ingratiating myself with some new colleagues after I changed jobs. I baked for pretty much every week for five years, until the pandemic hit and I stopped going into an office.
Beer used to be my day-long obsession, joy and torment; now it's just an occasional sideshow. I have a three vessel home brew set-up in my shed, it hasn't been used much lately, but I hope to get back to brewing at some point.
I came to coffee late, and still don't particularly like drinking it hot. My normal routine is to make a cold brew concentrate and dilute it with tonic water; I'm nothing if not a Swedish hipster. Although I recently brought 4KG of beans back from a family holiday; I'm not going to waste those by mixing them with tonic water.
You could claim that I'm mildly obsessed with cycling, and I probably wouldn't argue. On road, off-road, or fully loaded for an adventure, as long as it's self-propelled on two wheels, then I'm in a happy place.
I cycle multiple times a week, all year, in all weathers. I also try to get out at least once a month, fully loaded, for a bivy; this maybe as part of an event, or just one my own.
I used to enjoy the occasional trip to the ice rink when I was a teenager. Since my daughter took up figure skating, I've been going more regularly and have even bought my own boots.
Like a lot of kids, my son got into Nerf and bought himself a load of different blasters. One thing lead to another and I now (occasionally) take the kids and our modified blasters to events in shopping centres, disused office blocks and cave systems.
I like to think that I don't have an artistic bone in my body. During the first COVID lockdown, my mental health took a bit of a nose dive, seeing painted stones around the village really cheered me up. So I started to paint some too, both to improve my mood and hopefully cheer other people up too. We occasionally stumble across one or two of my stones when out on the local footpaths, which is always a cheery occurrence.
Occasionally I used to convert the bathroom in our old house into a darkroom, and spend a day, or evening, developing film and making prints. I miss my darkroom, and going along to the local camera club. I've taken photos for competitions, for friends books and websites, but these days it's mostly just to record the grind of daily life. One day I'll find a way to have another darkroom…
I used to swim as a teenager, I wasn't very good. After a long time away from the pool, I started up again as I got into triathlon. At one point I was swimming five times a week and was faster than I'd ever been. when I gave up triathlon due to a persistent calf injury, I kept up the swimming at a local pool. I'd just started moving out of the pool, and into open water, when the COVID pandemic hit. I haven't started up again, as it's a bit too much of a trek to and from the river, for a quick dip.
Electronics have had a fascination since I was taught it at University. I can remember trying and failing to solder stuff together in my room while a student. I've always fancied a modular synth, so decided to combine the two and build my own. I haven't got very far, as it's a bit of a winter project, for when it's just a bit too grim to go for a long bike ride.
Given we're now in the midst of a climate emergency, flying halfway round the world to have a mooch about, or sit on a beach, isn't really something to boast about. I do like exploring new places though, seeing the architecture, trying the food, and what not.
I started buying records as a student in Aberdeen, dropping most of my student loan on 12"'s in Fopp. They lived in the attic for years, as there was no space for my deck, and boxes of records, in the house. I've started buying vinyl again, and as I have a garden office, the deck has pride of place. I also have an ultrasonic record cleaner, as all those years in the loft haven't been kind.