My biography, which is mine

Stop Press (2008-03-10):

On Tuesday 8 January, 2008, our son Duko Alfred was born!

As befits a natural born Groninger, he supports FC Groningen. (Where by “supports” we mean “wears branded clothing from”.)

Stop Press (2006-10-19):

On Friday 13 October, 2006, I married my girlfriend, who is now my wife.

When I was a child, I wanted to be a computer programmer when I grew up — even before I got my ten-year-old hands on a ZX-81. So I did a degree in Physics, a masters in Maths and a PhD in fluid dynamics and then went off to work as a research scientist for Dyson, the vacuum cleaner manufacturers.

Unfathomable Oceans

When it finally occurred to me that this wasn't quite what I wanted to do, I got a job as a scientific programmer at Bristol university, where I worked on software to apply dynamical systems theory, about which I know very little, to oceanographic problems, about which I know even less, although oceanographers do have the admirable habit of scheduling their conferences near nice beaches.

Meanwhile, I had been inspired by a trip to Norway to spend much of my spare time learning Swedish — there wasn't a Norwegian class available locally, and I figured Swedish was close enough for most practical purposes — and contemplating the possibility of a life somewhere more European than Britain is generally willing to admit to being.

Dutch is the new Swedish

At which point I met my girlfriend, who lives and works in Groningen, and decided that polders and windmills are just as nice as fjords and pine forests, even if Swedish isn't a very good approximation to the local language.

Since I don't follow the astronomy jobs scene it took another stroke of serendipity for me to end up at JIVE: my girlfriend happened to spot the advert in the NRC Handelsblad.

And now I've bought a car and joined the throng commuting from Groningen, and I've even managed to acquire a SOFI-nummer. Next on the list are finding a larger house, getting married, and learning enough Dutch to write my own Sinterklaas poems this year.