I have had a love for languages since I was very small and must have only been about five or six when I started pestering my mum to tell me words in French.
For me, the most exciting thing about starting secondary school was being able to learn foreign languages. This love affair continued throughout school, into university and beyond.
Over the years I have had encounters (some fleeting; others more serious) with French, German, Spanish, Polish and Italian, but of these German remains my greatest passion.
As far as I am concerned, there are few things more satisfying in life than getting your mouth around one of those lovely crunchy sounds that characterises the German language. It's just like eating a gloriously juicy apple!
I also love spending time in Berlin, which is where I spent my year abroad as part of my first degree. I remain in close contact with my good friend and former landlord, Manfred, and try to visit him and his wife there on a fairly regular basis.
The other great city in my life is Manchester, which has been my home since December 2004. I suppose you could call it my adopted city, although I still get the occasional sidelong glance on account of my southern accent. Nevertheless, I am assured that this is gradually softening and that the odd* northern vowel is creeping in here and there.
In my spare time, I enjoy singing and performing as a member of Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus and am involved in my local parish church.
* The word "odd" is, of course, open to interpretation.