Not at Work !


Rachel, Matthew and I are once again sharing our house with our two cats, Copernicus and Kepler, a pair of white and tabby moggies. In the summer of 2007 we finally moved all of us togeether to Leeds having had a year where the cats were in Cambridge, Rachel and Matthew in Exeter and me on a taain between Leeds and Exeter. The cats were born on the 23rd of September 1999 at our local Blue Cross cat shelter.

They are, of course, named after the famous astronomers and mathematicians, Nicholaus Copernicus, who proposed the heliocentric model of the Solar system, and Johannes Kepler, who (amongst many other things) devised his three laws of planetary motion. There has also been a NASA satellite called Copernicus, a ultraviolet telescope, built by Princeton University. There has been a proposed mission called Kepler, but this hasn't been funded yet. Meanwhile, our Kepler and Copernicus are rapidly taking over our lives.

Along time ago I used to live with another pair of cats, called Persephone and Zoe, Zoe unfortunately got run over, but Persephone (Percy to her friends) still lives with my former landlady and housemate.

Quaker Stuff

I have spent a lot of time doing stuff related to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

When I was a student I was very involved in the local Quaker group of students - Cambridge Young Friends. As a graduate student I did a lot of stuff to do with the national group - Young Friends General Meeting, of which I used to be listed as being the mug and dogsbody. I think this is supposed to mean Treasurer, but you can never be sure. It was great fun, but I don't miss it a bit - since I've long since reached the point where sleeping on floors is just doesn't quite cut it !

YFGM is part of Britain Yearly Meeting, and I worked on the planning group for the Yearly Meeting's Summer Gathering in 1999. This was held at the University of Kent at Canterbury and was dead good. I did the web-site for this event and tried to work out whether we would break even.

For a while I was Overseer to Young Friends which meant that I had a responsibility for the pastoral care of Quaker students in Cambridge - one consequence of this is that technically I was the Quaker Chaplain ! For a couple of years, I was the assistant clerk to Quaker Home Service Representative Council and its successor Quaker Life Representative Council, a twice-yearly conference on maintaining and supporting Quaker meetings. As assistant clerk, my job was to help plan and organize these gatherings.

Before we moved to Exeter, I was the Treasurer to Cambridge and Peterborough Monthly Meeting (Quaker meetings in Cambridge, Peterborough, Huntingdon, Wisbech and Oundle). For a couple of years I was also the convenor of the wardenship committee for my local meeting in Jesus Lane, Cambridge. I'm no longer the webmaster for both Jesus Lane Meeting and for the Monthly Meeting. I gave up all the time consuming Quaker tasks when Matthew was born, and all of the fun ones when we moved to Exeter. Now we've moved to Leeds maybe we'll have some time again.

Nationally, I served on RECAST (otherwise known as the Working Party on Representation, Communication and Accountability in our Structures - you can see why we needed an acronym !). This was looking at a whole range of ideas and thinking on the theology of how Quakers structure their organisation and business practises, and trying to find ways to help improve the spiritual life of Quaker Meetings in Britain. Just a small task...

We reported to Britain Yearly Meeting in the summer of 2005.


Yes, I have one I think.


Rachel and I got married on the 25th of May 2002. There's some pictures of the event.

And on the 6th September 2005, our son, Stephen Matthew (known to everyone except the Inland Revenue and the bank as "Matthew" and not "Stephen". We have lots of pictures of him and a blog for keeping friends and family up to date.

As a result of travelling 600 miles a week on Virgin Voyager Cross Country trains last year, I am now expert on the trains (ok, but the toilets smell), the on-board coffee (good and fair trade to), the time-keeping (one disaster and several annoyances, but not as bad as I feared), the ticketing system (just bizzare at times) and the overcrowding (longer trains between Taunton and Bristol in the morning and Leeds and Birmingham in the evenings please Mr Branson).