I've always loved words. The sounds. The shapes. If I discover a new one it gets stuck in my head and rolls around in there, making a space for itself alongside companions from English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and the odd bit of Welsh, Russian, Japanese, Spanish and Norwegian. Ever since the day I read The BFG cover to cover in one sitting and couldn't bear to put it down to eat dinner, books have been my constant companion. I remember reading a lift-the-flap book about cats with my grandfather, who died when I was four: books made an early impression. I studied English and Modern Languages at university and immersed myself in the words of the French and English literary canon, and then lived in France and tried to sound less like I was quoting Balzac and more like I knew how to hold my own in witty repartee with my peers. I've taught English to the directors of French companies, then French to Glaswegian teenagers who had never ventured further than the Maccy D's on Great Western Road, and then English to teenagers who showed me why poetry and Shakespeare and grammar and novels and films and all forms of words matter so much. In the process of becoming a teacher, I learned more about language(s) than I did at school or university, and becoming a mother has shown me just how very miraculous speaking is.
We take talking for granted, but it's an incredible thing.
My work is all about words now. You can discover some of the projects, from podcasts talking about all aspects of talking, to singing songs in lots of languages with babies and preschoolers, by clicking on the images below.