A little bit about me…
I could start with the end. Like one of those convoluted Christopher Nolan films where things are told from the end to the beginning and back again. Or I could start at the beginning, 35+ years ago in a small town called Wexford in Ireland…
In the beginning there was Margaret and Jim. They had four children, of which I am the fourth. Margaret and Jim parted ways when I was just 11 months old and found love again with other people, giving rise to another two siblings. Although I was born in a town called Wexford, I grew up in what is often referred to the real capital of Ireland, Cork City.
My older sisters taught me to read when I was around 2 or 3 years of age, primarily so that they wouldn’t have to read me bed time stories. It’s something for which I will always be thankful because ever since I have been an avid reader and learner. That early path to learning saw me achieve results at the higher end of achievement throughout my education, from Junior Certificate to a place in the top 5 percentile with my Leaving Certificate results and on to a 2h1 degree in Business Information Systems. Over the years I’ve followed this with a whole bunch of other learning both for work and for pleasure.
As a family, we did a fair bit of travelling, including a stint in South Africa when I was 6 (and where my siblings and I were very nearly leopard food during a particularly interesting trip to Swaziland). We were lucky to experience various trips to the European continent as we were growing up. In my adult life, I’ve also lived in Boston, USA and Derby, UK. And now I’m heading to Montréal to continue the adventure, with my wonderful husband Seán.
I’ve been working since I was in my teens, my mother being a firm believer in us not sitting around on our arses and actually doing something for the money in our pockets. From odd jobs (no, not the bond villain) to the cut and thrust of an emergency department and out the other side to the online world, I’ve always been happy to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in.
And of course, there are my “interests”. The things that get my brain firing on all cylanders. The things I’m passionate about.
I was 10 when I first picked up a copy of 2000ad, a british comic famous for the character of Judge Dredd. I was hooked. I’ve been reading and collecting comics in one form or another since then. And, as I mentioned earlier, I’m a reader. Science Fiction and Fantasy have been my “go to” genre since before I picked up comics. Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree probably has something to do with that.
I love a good movie too. I’m not quite so fussed about genre when it comes to film, but again the sci-fi / fantasy / explodey-things type films and TV shows intrigue me.
But it’s not just traditional film that interests me. Online video (mostly on YouTube) features prominently in my entertainment consumption and I’ve been following some video bloggers and online film makers for years. I’ll proudly take the “Nerdfighter” moniker conferred on the fans of John and Hank Green any day. I even made a zombie film based on the vlogging community back in 2008 as part of my Diploma in Applied Multimedia.
In fact, I’ve been part of online communities for nearly 20 years. I live and breathe the online world, and the social networks that connect us. These online connections are often dismissed as being less than real, of being cheaper than real world friendships. But I have to say, I have derived great value from them. From the people’s republic of Cork forums of the early naughties, to Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter today, I spend a considerable portion of my social time in the virtual. A by product of me working with the web? Or a driver me working with the web? Possibly a bit of both. Whichever it is, the web is where I am at. My friends are here. My entertainment is here. I even met my husband here!
It’s not all frivolity though. In 2008, I completed 5 triathlons in order to raise funds for the Irish campaign for Marriage Equality for the LGBT community. I was one of the first to participate in their “Out to your TD” campaign as well, which involved “coming out” to one’s local member of parliament in order to raise the visibility of LGBT issues at a political level. This was a fascinating experience, helping me to build confidence and courage in myself as well as allowing me to stand up and be counted, so to speak, as part of the LGBT community.
Of course there’s more. This is only one little web page and I’ve been around for 35 years. I’m never going to be able to fit it all into one box. But I hope this has given you a flavour of who I am beyond the snippets on twitter and the clinical information of a Linked In profile. Browse a bit, if you like. Read some of my short stories. Get in touch too. I’m always interested in making new connections and meeting interesting people.