An Arab lady and a European lady playing chess. From Alfonso X’s Book of Games of 1283

This is where I tell you a few things about myself. Not that I have the slightest idea why you’d find them interesting. I was born in Greece but moved to Oxford with my parents when I was six. After a few years we moved back to Greece, but tended to spend a couple of months every year in England. This went on for fifteen years. It has made me bilingual and somewhat confused. Part of me is very, very British, part of me not remotely so. There are some things I will never understand. Cricket, for example. It has been explained to me repeatedly but it continues to elude me — its rules as much as its attraction. On the other hand, I played rounders at school, jam roly-poly with lashings of custard is my idea of the perfect pudding, and I approve of eccentricity, in both dress and behaviour (a very un-Greek thing to do. Eccentricity is not something the national psyche approves of. Sadly.)

I eventually moved back to England, to Leeds this time, to do a Master’s and then a Ph.D. in Musicology. This was after getting a B.A. in English from the University of Athens.

I read a lot. Both fiction and non-fiction. I love science as well as history, but I am, if I’m honest, a history buff. I decided to study history as a hobby, rather than as a profession, since there’s already three historians in my immediate family. Discussions on the price of wheat in 14th century Crete — or how someone mentioned in one particular notarial register can be proved to be the same person as someone mentioned in a chronicle as having taken part in a rebellion — would be, and still are, the normal fare round the family table. I thought three people dealing with that sort of thing every day were enough for one family. Still, it hasn’t proved possible to evade the bug altogether. I read a lot of history. Looking at this website you could be forgiven for thinking that my favourite period is the middle ages, but you would be mistaken. In fact, my greatest weakness is for Roman history.

Unsurprisingly, I love music. But my tastes range from Motörhead to François de Couperin, and from Rammstein to Mahler. I am a geek –unashamed and proud to be called one. I am a dedicated pen-and-paper gamer, and a vocal advocate of all things Open Source. I’m also an archer. I haven’t shot in some time, unfortunately, but put a bow in my hand and I still know what to do with it. I also know what to do with several of the Chinese weapons in my collection. I have trained with a fan, with a flute, with a spear, and with a Dao sword. As Kung Fu goes, I’m terribly rusty, so knowing what to do with them, wouldn’t necessarily equate with actually being able to do something with them. These days I practice Chen style Tai Chi, and the new weapon I now know what to do with is the Chinese straight sword. I’m fairly certain I would be able to do something with this. Next thing to learn will be the Tai Chi spear. *rubs hands excitedly*

I live with my husband and two black cats. Fyren and Phaedra. Yes, my tom is named after the character, not the other way round. He’s as insatiably and recklessly curious as the character of my imagination, so it just had to be.