INTRODUCING MYSELF . . .
I’m friendly and approachable, and I love meeting new people.
I was born in London, though my family name comes from the Baltic and Russia. Indeed I am very much multicultural, and I have many family and special friends in all corners of the world. I’m keen to spend time working in other countries, and even settle abroad in the future.
I’m also helpful, and I was once a volunteer for a UK charity that provides advice for the public on all kinds of practical concerns.
I can speak basic conversational French, which was one of my best school subjects, though I do need to brush up on vocabulary. For the last few years I’ve been trying to teach myself Chinese and had some lessons, but my level really is still very elementary. Most of all, I need practice speaking it in real settings.
I’m a research biologist by training, with a background in evolution and also the history of human health. I’ve written papers and contributed to books. I’ve also worked in biodiversity monitoring with the UK Forestry, and researched methods for identifying species by computer. In recent years I’ve been teaching science and English. Ideally I would like to spend some time in science research or teaching abroad, and even eventually settle there.
MOST IMPORTANT TO ME . . .
I cherish my friendships and close family. I enjoy people’s company, and I endeavour to be enjoyable company to others.
I also greatly value my wellbeing, when my interests in travel and nature keep me active, and I get excited applying my mind to my hobbies and work. I’d find it hard to live without the chance to be creative.
My independence. I like my own space and freedom when engrossed in a project, or when I’m eager to do something. But at the same time I’m adaptable, and most comfortable when others are happy too.
I take pride in my work and hobbies, where I’m something of a perfectionist. I like to be engaged in a variety of things at the same time.
My belief and experience are that there are always new and interesting things to learn about life, and that everything works out well in the end.
HOBBIES AND INTERESTS . . .
Butterflies and moths. When I was a child I went on a children’s holiday camp. I enjoyed it so much I wanted to bring back an educational souvenir – and chose a butterfly book. This fired a lifelong enthusiasm and my training in biology.
Piano playing. My passion arose when I was taken by the ragtime in the film The Sting. This led to an interest in classical composers, my main ones just now being William Bolcom and Debussy. However my particular favourite pieces cover a diversity of composers, and I also play light music.
Photography. I have an accredited qualification, and is something I’m keen to develop as a sideline, marketing pictures as self-representing artist.
Creative and comedy writing. As a doctoral student at Southampton University I belonged to The Pig Fondlers Guild, who wrote and put on shows for charity.
FAVOURITE THINGS . . .
Travel. Of places I’ve visited, Rome, Venice and Pompeii, Boston USA, and Beijing China. I love mountains and forests, and especially historic archaeological sites, gardens and parks.
Books. I wish I had more time to read novels, but I enjoy books about cultural history, illustrated art, nature and travel books.
Music. As well as playing the piano, I love listening to Middle eastern and Oriental ethnic music. Favourite pop bands include Abba and Queen, and songs by Lily Allen.
Shows. I love musicals and light opera, including Cats. My favourite film versions musicals are Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Lost Horizon (1973, based on the story of Shangri La). I also like stand-up comedy and going to the fair or circus. Talking of cats, I’m a cat lover, though I don’t have any pets just now.
Movies. The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, all Alfred Hitchcock thrillers and Marx Brothers comedies, and Pixar cartoons. My favourite fantasy film must be Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
Food. I can cook, and my favourites are fish including sushi, well flavoured and mildly spicy dishes, and salads. But I’ll eat most things and am always keen to try new ones. I’ve even eaten dried insects. But I don’t eat a lot of very fatty food, and prefer whole-grain varieties of bread and cereal. But I do love indulging in the occasional treat! :)
WHAT IT'S LIKE TO HAVE ME AS A GUEST . . .
I’m quiet and tidy, and would not listen to loud music or TV late at night. I’m a non-smoker and always have been, and I don’t like wild parties.
I enjoy people’s company, and I would hope to be good company for my host. I would expect to help around the place, and be respectful of it.
Around town, I like walking because I get to see much more, or using public transport. For long journeys I like flying or riding on fast and modern trains. However I do also like historic trains and routes. The only thing I don’t like is camping. My favourite places are family run guest houses and flat shares.
I’m new to Airbnb, so I’ve never hosted or been a guest before. But I feel honoured to be a member, and am very much looking forward to the experience of being a guest and making the experience as enjoyable for my host.