Just the facts.
I write, draw, and program the Beholder projects.
Current Beholder project:
A story about a cat.
Release date uncertain due to work commitments
(mine, not the cat’s).
I’m a Computer Scientist by training — until recently I was working full-time
in the Comp Sci department at Royal Holloway, where I studied in
the 1980s (I taught there in the 1990s, too). You can see some
remnants of my earlier time at RHUL (as it is now known) in my
and vintage illustrations.
I keep Exploding Pen ticking
over, which publishes the Beholder book projects
The Knot-Shop Man.
For seven years I worked full-time at civic-tech pioneers
mySociety, a UK-based charity and
that makes websites and digital tools that empower citizens all round the
world. I became part of their small international team and got to meet,
and learn from, some truly remarkable people.
Illustration & writing
I started freelancing as Beholder in 1989. My illustrated novel
Book of Pages was drawn around that
time. It took a while to get published, though... by which time
online projects The Concuspidor...
and Planetarium had gone live. Some
commercial work from my freelancing days is in the
I’ve been an occasional teacher of engineering drawing — on paper taped
to drawing boards! — to students of conservation at the beautiful
West Dean College. Sometimes I
help out with a friend’s engineering company too.
Not brawling for no prizes. In skirts. Weird.
Sotenjuku dojo in Egham and Staines
Bangkok (Phra Khanong)
Over the years I’ve trained at aikido clubs in many different countries,
and a variety of different dojo in Japan (including, of course, the hombu
dojo in Tokyo).
I spent over seven years, on and off, in Thailand. For two and a half of
those years I was a volunteer at a girls’ school, where
I taught art to 6-year-olds,
and English to 11-year-olds.
I’m an ex-biker, and I miss it. Many, many years ago I had a trusty
CX500. My last bike was this
Honda NT650DV. If you don’t know about bikes, you’ll think:
ooh, big bike. If you know the difference between an NT
and a CBR, you’ll think: Dullville.
Another thing now in my past was being crew on a Drascombe. Two masts,
tan sails (you care? OK: a gunter-rigged yawl with a loose-footed main)
and the whole thing the size of a very large wardrobe.
For not entirely practical reasons, I used to be a member of the IGKT:
I‘ve been a reader of the following things for a long time:
The celebrated satirical magazine, featuring some of Britain’s
A fine example of blogging: personal, silly, clever, funny
Three worthy causes to which I belong:
There are a number of people whom I greatly admire, and luckily for me
several of them are my friends, colleagues and teachers.
Finally, in a list of no particular order, here are some people whose lives
or work have aspects that, to my mind, are deserving of a standing ovation: