I've noticed a meme going round where bloggers have to say ten honest things about themselves. This strikes me as a good way to introduce myself, so here goes.
1. My Paramour and I have been together for 13 years and are happily child-free. Also, we live in the arse end of nowhere: a small town that hardly anyone has ever heard of, which has very little to recommend it.
2. As a result of having no children to spend our money on and living somewhere unpopular, we were able to buy a big ramshackle Palace a few years ago. It's rather less ramshackle now. We sometimes have a friend living here, if someone we know needs space, but at the moment it's just the two of us.
3. Oh yes, and the three cats.
4. I'm a professional researcher. I've been self-employed for 15 years. I don't want to have a proper job ever again.
5. I'm also a doctor, but only the academic kind. I dread being approached on a plane by a steward/ess asking me to help with someone who has been taken ill. I wouldn't know where to start.
6. I make part of my living by writing. Mostly non-fiction: research reports, occasional articles, a co-authored book back in 2003 (very nerdy research reference book, not an exciting read, trust me on this). And a little fiction: I sold my first short story to The Weekly News in autumn 2008, and hope to sell more this year.
7. I'd like to make more of my living by writing. I write a short story for a women's mag every week or two; I enter travel writing competitions; I'm working on a travel book proposal; and I'm also working on a novel.
8. I also write and deliver scripts for humanist funerals. I love doing this, but I don't do many, because (a) it's seriously demanding work and I couldn't do it well if I did it a lot, and (b) the pay isn't great. I don't do it for the money, but I do need to earn a living, so the research work takes priority and I fit in funerals where I can.
9. I think fast, read fast, talk fast, and touch-type accurately at 80-90 wpm - but I usually keep to the speed limit when I'm driving.
10. I'm tall and confident. I suspect the two are connected: I know not all tall people are confident and not all small people are shrinking violets, but I think the connection is true for me. Despite my confidence, I'm primarily motivated by fear. I need to challenge myself to do things that scare me emotionally. However, I have no interest in challenging myself to do things that scare me physically. I have no idea why.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. And I would like to offer public thanks to two bloggers who have been instrumental in encouraging me to start this blog (although if you feel the last thing the Internet needs is another flippin' blog, you may wish to go and hurl rotten tomatoes in their comments boxes). I've been reading blogs for years, but I wouldn't have started this one without the wonderful Zinnia, best humanist celebrant blogger on the planet, and the lovely Leigh, who could not have been more helpful, even if she was competing in the Helpfulness World Championships.