Who am I?

Professional background

I obtained a BSc First Class Honours degree in Cellular Pathology from Bristol University (England). The course was set up to train students so that they could become active in medical research.

Following this, I completed a PhD in Immunology. My thesis was on mechanisms by which the body sets up an immune reaction to its own components. More specifically, my researched used an animal model of autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, where the body starts to destroy its own red blood cells.

I realised in the course of this research that I found it difficult to work with animals. Nevertheless, I pushed through to get the PhD. After that, I spent a short time in a hospital laboratory in ex-Yugoslavia, followed by a stint running a university departmental library.

Returning to the UK, I studied for a Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies. Following this, I worked for 15 years as scientist and information specialist in a charity seeking to reduce the use of animals in medical and scientific research and testing. During this period, I wrote numerous reports, made many presentations and collaborated with scientists from academia, government, industry and the voluntary sector in the UK, Europe and USA.

Now, I am a freelance translator of medical and closely related  documents: journal articles, documents related to clinical trials of new medicines (SPCs, PILs, regulatory pharmacology, drug registration, ethics committee correspondence), hospital reports, pharmaceutical industry SOPs, hospital reports, etc, etc,. I translate out of Polish, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Slovenian, French, German and Spanish into English. You can find my company website at tehuti.co.uk

Life and interests

This is just a brief summary, because I hope to expand on my interests within the pages of this site.

Having spent most of my life in large cities, I revel in the peace of the small Welsh community, where I live with my cats. I can never get enough of looking out across the valley to the mountains. I now consider myself Welsh by choice if not by genes. I have a blog about living in The Rhondda and a website which aims to cover every manner of topic connected with Wales.

One of my main interests is Egyptology. I am also interested in various aspects of esotericism, Jungian psychology, mythology, folklore and comparative religion.

I fiddle and sing with Bristol Harmony West Gallery Quire.West Gallery was the music of the English village church, performed by a small group of singers and the village band. The Victorians replaced the fiddles, clarinets and serpents, and the raucous (oops, I mean rousing), full-blooded music with organs and Hymns Ancient and Modern (hiss, boo!). Thomas Hardy writes about the extinction of one such quire in his Under the Greenwood Tree.

I love classical, world and folk music and am trying to learn more about Welsh folk fiddle and songs. Apart from fiddle, I started playing the harp since moving to Wales and very recently treated myself to a digital piano, which I am now also learning to play.

There is never enough time to read as much as I want. I read all sorts of fiction and non-fiction, but particularly enjoy fantasy and murder mysteries. Some time ago, I got involved in Bookcrossing, and love to leave books I no longer need in random places for others to find and enjoy.

When I turned 50, I took up running for the first time in my life. I continued for a few years, but very inconsistently, until life got very much in the way. A further attempt was again scuppered by some fairly dramatic events. Now, at 60, I’ve started again and completed the C25K programme.. Experiments have however shown that Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run system suits me far better than continuous running. I completed the Women’s Running 10K in Cardiff and actually managed not to be last! Now I’m hoping to go further and, I hope, a little bit faster!

Why this web site

I started this site because I am fed up with being messed around on revenue-share sites.

For example, Hubpages censor some hubs by putting code in them so they no longer appear in search results from Google, Bing or any other search engine. The reason cited is “lack of engagement”. What this means is that the censored hub has not received a certain (undeclared) number of views over a certain (undeclared) period. In effect, Hubpages is punishing those of their contributors, who produce material that is not aimed at the mass market. In my mind, this is a phenomenon morally akin to the book burning of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451″. Squidoo had a similar policy until the site died. This means that subjects of minority interest are subject to censorship, while trivial “cool” topics are encouraged and rewarded. It is lamentable that not only is this policy seen as desirable, but it is justified as a “quality measure”. Meanwhile, vapid semi-literate articles are praised and given high profile exposure just because they are on topics that appeal to the masses.

A newer development has seen a purge of hubs that according to HP discuss too many products. So an article that tries to give people a number of different ideas, for example types of percussion musical instruments to buy for small children is deemed undesirable simply because it shows more than a couple of possibilities. Personally, I LIKE to find articles that show the range of things available when I am thinking about a purchase and I count it a service when someone else takes the trouble to do some preliminary research for me! I assume I am not unique in this.

I’m also fed up with people saying a web site has to be centred round a really narrow subject area. I have no desire to start hundreds of sites, each with a few pages, nor tie myself down to writing endless article variants about one tiny topic. This site is going to be a place where I write about things that interest me. It will also serve as a refuge for content of mine that I do not wish to have buried out of sight due to policies elsewhere with which I do not agree. If any of it creates some income to cover my hosting fees, so much the better. Mainly though, I want to have a place where I can write about anything I want, be it obscure topics or ideas for purchases, without fear of my hard work being swept away for no justifiable reason. Some will say I am digging my SEO grave by featuring such diverse content. To be honest, I really do not give a toss!

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