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1972: I was born in a south west London suburb. It’s all a bit normal, suburban, 1970s/ 80s childhood really. Bog-standard comprehensives; fingerless gloves; Now That’s What I Call Music vols 1,2 and 3; Betamax videos; Angel Delight; fondues; Twister and Kerplunk all featured at times. I started horse riding when I was about eight and mainly scrounged rides in exchange for working at riding schools—which meant very little riding and a lot of mucking out.
1990: I spent a year training to be a British Horse Society Assistant Instructor. Actually slightly less middle-class gap year than it sounds. Again, lots of mucking out.
1991–1994: I studied History and the History of Scientific Thought at Leeds University. Since I had never wanted to pick one or other of the two cultures, history of science seemed perfect and I graduated with a first.
1994–1996: I worked for the Royal Parks Police training police horses. Sharp-eyed fact fans will notice that this did not directly relate to my degree, but that’s what happens when you graduate after the Tories have been governing for 15 years.
1996–1997: I studied for an MA (econ) in the History and Social Anthropology of Science, Technology and Medicine, graduating with a distinction.
1997–2001: I wrote my PhD thesis on the history of the reproductive sciences in Victorian and Edwardian Britain.
2001–2004: I undertook a Wellcome Trust postdoctoral position in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science.
2004 I bought my first horse, and my life changed completely. And oddly enough I became an awful lot poorer overnight.
2004–2006: I took up a research position at Exeter University.
2006–2007: I was a temporary lecturer in modern British history at Cardiff University
Abstracts for some of the publications I produced during this time are available here:
2007–2010: I worked in the health care sector. I finally resigned from a clinical audit position in November 2010, after discovering that working in health care can have distinctly adverse effects on your health, but more of that later in the blog. Suffice it to say that getting out of health care is the best thing I’ve ever done for my own health.