|Jul. 16th, 2030 04:25 pm All About Me|
Dated in the future so that it stays at the top of my journal, I am going to do a general 'about me', because it has been pointed out that there are some people on my friends-list who don't know as much as they might like to about me. My info page gives you an outline, but here is something more 'meaty'.
Personal Life: I am lucky enough to be...
I am lucky enough to be loved by some wonderful people: My life-partner timpootle, who I have been with since 18th January 2004, my boyfriend johnhulls since 6th March 2011), and my bestest friend in the whole world doctorstewie.
On 27th February 2011, timpootle asked me to marry him, and I said YES! - we got married on Sat 23rd February 2013.
You will note the mention of more than one partner - Do a Google search for 'polyamory' if this is a foreign concept to you, or ask me nosey questions - but you can find out more as you get to know me ;-)
And then there is the lovely welshlad - friend+, excellent masseur, and all round good bloke.
And fabby people like Mike, one of my oldest friends (who won't see this as he has an 'allergy' to social media).
timpootle and I live together in our own house in the Chorlton-cum-Hardy area of Manchester, along with my 2 cats, and our friend/lodger starshaped75 (James, he is lovely too).
I have a few health problems due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / M.E. but my health is a hell of a lot better than it was, so I can't complain really. I could do with losing a few (billion) pounds in weight, but doing so presents a bit of a challenge due to my inability to exercise much because of the M.E..... and also due, of course, to my love of yummy food dammit!
My Family: My mother sadly died in 2002, when she was only in her fifties, but she was an inspiration to me and she lives on in how I choose to live my life. My father lives in Orpington, Kent where I grew up, and is retired now. He is a complete maths geek, and I blame him for my two addictions: to books and to good food and wine. My younger sister is a maths lecturer in London (a Professor no less) and simultaneously does an excellent job (along with her hubby) in bringing up my nieces Millie and Emma, born in 2007 and 2010. I am rather proud of her.
Professional work: I work in the field of Personal Development.
In the mornings I work with adults, as a professional life-coach. I am the director of 2 coaching businesses: Happiness Coaching Business, and Purple Coaching Ltd. I coach a range of personal clients with a variety of issues, often around finding ways to feel happier and finding their life-purpose. I also coach entrepreneurs, teachers, and other coaches (coaching them, and also doing supervision of coaches).
In the afternoons my focus is on developing young people - I am the Principal of a tuition agency, recently re-branded as Purple Tutors was 1-2-1 Expert Tuition), which is also my own business that I run from home. My first degree was in physics, from Manchester University, so for myself I teach A level physics, and general/GCSE science and maths, but also I have a growing number of other teachers registered with my agency to teach a variety of other subjects. The agency side of things is a relatively new venture, so I'm not a millionaire yet, but have had an ad in yellow pages, and another ad in the flyers sent out by our local Pizza Hut, and also I was granted membership of the Institute of Directors, so I must be important ;-)
Voluntary work: In May 2008 I was elected as national Secretary of the Battery Vehicle Society, then in October 2010 I was promoted to be the Chair of that organisation, a post I remained in until October 2012. I am now their North-West Coordinator, having stepped down from being Chair in order to focus on my Coaching Supervision Diploma (a year long post-grad academic course that I completed in June 2013) and also doing an NLP diploma.
I also recently stepped down from being a parish councillor - up until February 2012 I was Vice Chair of Ringway Parish Council.
Instead, I now run a monthly meet-up for the charity Action for Happiness. For details of the meet-up please see Manchester Happiness. And I have just set up a group called the Manchester Armchair Philosophers, to encourage me to develop my interest in philosophy by meeting others who are interested in it too. I am also Chair of Chorlton Civic Society.
I donate to, and/or campaign for, Amnesty International, Shelter, Education Action International, NSPCC, Oxfam, BookAid, The National Trust, English Heritage, CPRE, Friends of the Earth, The Art Fund, Liberty, The Woodland Trust, The Royal Exchange Theatre, the Cats Protection League, RSPB, etc...
Interests: I sometimes think that I collect interests like other people collect stamps! To give you a flavour of some of my interests, I am a member of The Spitfire Society (aeroplanes not cars), The British Science Association (used to be called the British Association for the Advancement of Science, The Poetry Society, the Institute of Physics, the Stephenson Locomotive Society, The International Owl Society, the Institute of Ideas, the Association for Science Education, Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, the British Society for the History of Science, The Liberal Democrats, the Association for Industrial Archaeology, the British Humanist Association, the British Society for the Philosophy of Science and The Aviation Society, Manchester. Magazines I read include Philosophy Now, Old Glory, Flypast, New Scientist, and of course I read the magazines sent out by all of the societies/charities already listed. And I have recently started going to Chorlton Unitarian Church - a thought-provoking place open to agnostics/atheists/believers alike.
I have lots of other interests not covered by the societies above: I love science-ficton, written or televised, and am a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek (all of them), Babylon 5, the new Battlestar Galactica, Bladerunner, 2001, Star Wars, and various authors including Cordwainer-Smith, Asimov, well, in fact I'll read any Science-fiction really.
Anything mechanical is liable to get me excited: the roar of a Merlin engine in a Spitfire, the thrust of pistons in a steam engine, in fact engines generally look good, smell good... I used to rent a house next to Manchester airport (and the excellent Romper pub) where I could sit in my garden and watch aeroplanes taking off, which was rather nice. The aeroplanes are a bit smaller when viewed from Chorlton! And being into technology, and environmental issues, I combine these two themes in an interest in electric vehicles of all sorts (perhaps to offset my guilty pleasures of 'dinosaur-burning' aeroplanes and steam engines!)
I am also a nature lover, enjoying walks in the countryside (health-permitting), skipping around barefoot on the grass in the morning when it is covered in dew, watching the birds, smelling the flowers, breathing in the beauty of the world, and generally probably being a bit of a hippy given half the chance. I feel a tremendous connection to the planet, and it has been observed that I seem to have a bit of a way with animals. This brings me tremendous happiness. I enjoy trying to photograph things around me - I would love to learn to be better at it, having a feel for what makes good art, but lacking the talent or expertise to produce it myself.
I love music of all sorts. I used to sing regularly in various choirs, and solo, but these days I am content to sing in the shower, or wandering round the house if I am alone ;-) I also play the piano a little. I will listen to music from every conceivable genre, and enjoy it all. All time favourites include Beethoven, Genesis, Beiderbecke, Marillion, Abba, Mahler, Annie Lennox, Stomp,.... And I really enjoy going to concerts, and especially drum clinics - there is something so fundamental about drums and percussion generally. I have doctorstewie and the_hatstand to thank for getting me hooked on seeing/hearing drummers play their instruments solo.
I enjoy pretty much anything that stimulates my mind - so I read quite a bit of non-fiction, and I love getting into a good discussion about 'stuff' down at the pub, or wherever. One of the highlights of my year is the Science Festival each September, where I can hear talks on all the latest developments in science, and also the Battle of Ideas in November, where I can attend debates on all sorts of things. But also I enjoy thought-provoking fiction, plays, art, etc.
Life Philosophy: So, what do I think it's all about then? Ultimately I believe that the universe is a good place, and I say that not out of the naiveity of someone who hasn't faced any challenges in life, because I have, but I still think that life is pretty great, actually, if you have the right mind-set to see it. I have had some pretty shitty things happen to me in my life (rape, violence, Depression, bereavement, health problems etc), though probably no more or less than the rest of us have really. And to balance that I have had some pretty wonderful things happen to me in my life too. Without the bad, perhaps I wouldn't appreciate the good so much. So, overall, I am rather glad to be here :-) Honestly, it's worth getting up in the morning just to smell the flowers and feel alive!
My self-chosen life-plan (I am non-religious), is to try to do something good each day, and fulfilling that aim is what makes my life worth living. I believe that everyone can make the universe better in their own small way, and that is purpose enough for me. I don't believe in any sort of God, nor any special purpose to life. But I do believe that human beings are fundamentally a pretty good species, even though we make a fair few cock-ups along the way. And I believe that for however long I am here, I should make the best of it, by trying to contribute more to the universe than I take from it. I like to think that I do that. But I am probably too close to myself to assess whether I really do or not.
In addition, I firmly believe that we make our own luck, because I don't think luck is about what happens to you, it is about how you perceive it. I believe in those cliches about 'mistakes' actually being welcome 'learning opportunities', the glass being half-full, and life being what you make it. I know mine is.
In summary, I am a polyamorous (and bisexual) humanist and thoughtful optimist, with a background in science and with beliefs that could perhaps be described as agnostic with a strong bias towards atheism. I think I am probably a Unitarian too.
My favourites: colour is purple, chocolates are Guylian belgian seashells, wine is Sancerre or Champagne, composer is Beethoven, programme is Doctor Who, aeroplane is Spitfire, juice is Orange (smooth, no bits).... I'll add to this if I think of any others.
For my birthday, I always like to throw a birthday-bash, over the end of August bank holiday weekend. People generally turn up early afternoon on the Saturday, and set up tents to camp overnight. This used to be in my garden, but I shall have to rethink that now I am in Chorlton with more of a yard than a garden - perhaps people can camp in Longford Park down the road?! Anyway, I provide a buffet etc on the Saturday evening, and there is usually a pub lunch on the Sunday. In recent years there has also been some live music (varying from pop to jazz) provided by a group of friends on the Saturday night, and then random musical entertainment provided by anyone who fancies blowing, hitting or plucking something. It's great fun, and probably the most chilled-out weekend in my year. Anyone who knows me is welcome - I see it as my chance to do something nice for all the people in my life, to show how much I appreciate you all. And I certainly don't expect presents, though I don't get offended if anyone wants to buy me one. So, if you are a recently added friend reading this, do please add the last weekend in August to your diary, and I'll see you then!
NOTE - for 2012 there was no big birthday bash, due to 'life-stuff', but it returns to the usual bank holiday date for 2013, which will be my 40th, so I hope to do something special :-) - The date for your diaries is: Sat 24th - Mon 26th August 2013.
Other ways to find me online:
And my Google calendar is here: Google Calendar
And finally my amazon wish-list is here, in case you are determined to buy me a birthday/christmas/whatever present for some reason:
And there I shall stop.... Anything else you want to know? Just ask.
PS You may have come across me online previously going by the name "SaintMaryUK", or "AFPSaintMary". In Summer 2010 I changed over to using "MaryRPerkins" as my online handle, and more recently "MaryRCrumpton", because I would rather put my real name on what I write. Also because, although the nickname "SaintMary" was one given to me rather than one I chose myself, it still felt rather egotistical to use it!
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