Interests and expertise

These are the areas about which I have some knowledge:

Blogging

I have run Three Beautiful Things since 2004, and various other short-term projects. I also wrote posts for a blog at Wellard's Academy. I have promoted these blogs in various ways, including using social networking sites.

Classical Civilisation

I have a degree in classics from the University of Durham.

Conservation

I have taken part in several National Trust volunteering holidays, where I tried scrub clearing, hedge laying and tree-planting.

Creative writing and journalism

As well as my professional experiences, I have attended a large number of writing classes and courses, including weekly workshops with Bridget O'Connor, Sarah Salway and Linda James. I have also been an active member of Tunbridge Wells and District Writers Circle. I work for a local newspaper, the Kent and Sussex Courier; and I worked for a gardening magazine between 2001 and 2004. I have also worked with book publishers.

E-learning

Working on the front-line at Wellard's Academy has given me an understanding of what works and what doesn't in e-learning. 

Gardening 

I worked for three years on a consumer magazine about gardening. During this time I picked up a working knowledge of the language of gardening and discovered that my university Latin helped me find my way around plant names.

NHS and The Department of Health

My work at Wellard's Academy has given me a working knowledge of the NHS in England, Wales and Scotland, so I know my PCTs from my SHAs and can dig up any document you like from the Department of Health. I also worked on an e-course about cardiovascular disease, so I have an understanding of this area, too.

Outdoors

I have had a lifelong love of the outdoors and am an enthusiastic walker. I walked part of the High Weald Landscape Trail in Spring 2007, and I completed the Tunbridge Wells Circular in four parts during the same year. I  attended a Ray Mears Bushcraft Course in August 2007 , spending a wonderful wet week in the woods learning how to make fire, carve a spoon, make water safe for drinking and sleep under a tarp. On this course, I discovered that I have more than a passing knowledge of native plants.

Spirituality and nature worship

I was an active member of a pagan group for several years, and have links with The Tribe of the Hundred Wells. In between rituals and outings to sites such as the Margate Shell Temple and the Long Man of Wilmington, we held workshops on topics such as incense-making, creative writing, dragons and shapeshifting.

Travel

2001: Nepal; Islamabad to Beijing

2006: Ten-week overland holiday in Africa taking in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.