The previous version of this post focused very much on my life before I moved to the Falklands. We lived a very suburban life in the village of Lymm, being an active member of the local community, as former chair and founding member of Lymm Ladies Circle and regular attendee at the Spread Eagle ‘Lymm Crafters’ group, whenever I was not away travelling for work.
However, since moving to the Falklands in 2018, life has somewhat changed. There, I spent my time roaming the open countryside with my friends and my camera, in our trusty Landrover, Rosie or on foot, searching for penguins, dolphins or whatever other amazing wildlife the Falklands could offer. I was a registered Tour Guide and loved taking cruise ship passengers out to look for local flora and fauna, exploring the beautiful coastline around Stanley. You can learn more about our adventures on our blog, Not Just Penguins. I also got sucked deeper into the world of wool and fibre crafts. I already knit before I went out there, but joining the Falklands Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, I soon found myself dying beautiful Falklands merino wool a rainbow of beautiful colours and spinning my own yarn. Since returning to the UK. I’ve continued this hobby, buying my own spinning wheel and recently restoring an antique floor loom to weave on.
My earlier life was very much shaped by music, in particular indie bands of the late 90s and early noughties, with Feeder and Easyworld having a huge impact on me during my teenage years. I have travelled the country attending gigs and met some of my closest friends through online fan communities. I love going to festivals as it combines the joy of camping with live music and I always try to get to Glastonbury (when I can get tickets!!), which is one of the most amazing experiences in the world. At school I played the flute and sang in choirs, but both of these hobbies have largely fell by the wayside since adulthood, although I have been a member of the Manchester Civil Service Choir and the Falklands Community Choir in more recent years. I’ve also been trying to teach myself piano on and off for years, but I don’t have the co-ordination, time or discipline to get good enough at it.
In 2013, I stepped into the unfamiliar world of improvised comedy. I’ve enjoyed taking part in a number of ‘improv’ workshops, including long-form, short-form and musical, mainly through ComedySportz UK who are based in Manchester, but also at weekends away organised by a group of improvisers – The Great British Improv Project, who run co-operative events in the midlands. Improv is terrifying and really challenges you to step out of your comfort zone, turn off the internal filter and just go with the flow, but I think it is a great skill to learn and hugely valuable in the workplace too. Improv teaches you to listen, embrace and build upon mistakes and to trust in your team – all useful qualities which can be very handy in life. I also love watching live comedy and try to get to shows in Manchester and up to Edinburgh Fringe most years.
Other more active interests include canoeing, swimming (preferably outdoors) and walking (until recently, with my dog – sadly she died suddenly in July 2017). I enjoy camping holidays in the countryside and road trips around America. I would really like to live and work in the United States one day and especially love visiting the US national parks – I have been to 10 so far (Grand Canyon, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Zion (only passed through), Death Valley, Yosemite, Channel Islands, Joshua Tree, Acadia, Great Smoky Mountains), plus many national forests and monuments and I hope to tick off a few more whenever I next return.