Hello, if you're interested in knowing a bit more about me, here's a brief summary of my background.
Early career: With a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Oxford University and a DPhil in Cognitive Psychology from Sussex, I decided that I liked universities enough to stick with them. I progressed to Senior Lecturer in Psychology, teaching mostly research methods and statistics. This was a compulsory subject for Psychology students and most of them hated it. They were always going to hate it, so I didn't take it personally. My job was to make it as painless as possible.
When my then-husband Ian got his dream job (motoring journalist) in another part of the country, I considered the universities in Cambridgeshire and, following Groucho Marx, decided that I didn't want to work for the one that was more likely to accept me. Seeking alternative interesting jobs in the area, I ended up as Research Manager at the Institute for Alcohol Studies. It was certainly interesting! There, I learnt about science communication to a large audience, quite a bit about political lobbying, and a smattering of hair and makeup, courtesy of the BBC.
After a few years we were ready for a change, and so began the hippy dropout phase of my life. Ian went freelance and I gave up paid work entirely, and we moved to Wales in search of the good life, as many have before us. I wrote about my attempts to be more self-sufficient in a blog called Growing things and making things, if you'd like to read more about it.
While I was doing battle with slugs (and mostly losing), Ian started a Youtube channel, Hubnut, in which he talks about old cars. That became increasingly popular, to the point that he was able to give up his other work (editing magazines, at that time) and make Hubnut his full time job.
Alongside this, I got involved in politics. The first time I heard Jeremy Corbyn speak in his bid to be leader of the Labour Party, my first thought was, "He doesn't look anything like a politician - he'll never make it." My second thought was, "What, I can vote for him? Where do I sign up?" Hundreds of thousands of others were similarly inspired by this unassuming and deeply principled man. Quite a lot of us proceeded to give a great deal of time and effort to the attempt to turn British politics towards a more humane direction. It's been tough and we've suffered great setbacks, but the struggle continues. At time of writing, I am Acting Chair of the local section of the Labour Party.
You may have noticed that I referred to Ian as my "then-husband"; our marriage ended amicably in early 2018. We remain friends and I continued to work with him, running the Hubnut shop, until the end of Oct 2020.
I'm now working on a new project, for which this website plays a supporting role. We live in an age of information overload, clickbait, and fake news. It is increasingly difficult pick out the truth from the spin and make sense of it all. Although there are good fact-checking websites, as a teacher at heart, I want to give people the tools to recognise fake news for themselves. I'm working on a series of videos called, "How to read the news". I'll tell you more about these as the project develops; my next challenge is learning video production.