There are, I guess, times when it is more interesting to read a person's random ramblings about themselves than about what they actually do. I hope this is not one of them, but anyway, this is the easy part to write - so I'll ramble on without pause.

I am Norwegian (or the shameless plug) by birth, and probably by nature as well - but having lived outside of Norway since 1995 I have come to feel distinctly European - although how one can feel distinctly about something as woolly as that I am not sure.

I did my undergraduate & MSc work at the University of Oslo, doing my MSc thesis with Per Lilje. After that, and some crawling in the mud and learning the joys of camping in a wet military tent when the temperature dropped below -10C (there aren't any), I went to the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge to my PhD with Richard Ellis.

This is getting rather dull and you don't need the details: Oxford, Munich, Porto and now Leiden. If you really wanted this you would have looked at my CV page instead!

When I don't work, a rather rare state of affairs (unfortunately), I like to read books, dive/snorkel, cook (food) and travel I guess. When I say books, that covers a rather substantial range - from astronomy, maths, computing, & physics books (maybe some people would rank these as work books) through linguistics and history (anything really old, history after, say, 16th century has less fascination to me) through to fiction, sci-fi & fantasy and comics, graphic novels (a rather dodgy sounding concept I think, a really graphic novel he sniggered while his mind played images of those archaic icons Beavis and Butthead).

Linguistics I hear you say - or rather I hear myself say in a schizophrenic kind of way - thinking about your audience always makes one go a bit schizophrenic. Ah but I digress. Linguistics. Yes, I find linguistics really interesting - the evolution of language, the relationship of language and how they influence each other is a fascinating topic.

And nature. Animals. Like those too - even though they don't really speak in the way I am thinking about it. What they do is communicate and they do it in all possible ways - the cephalopods are without question the coolest chatterers of the animal world to me. Much more fascinating and baffling than whale songs - is it just because we find songs a more familiar concept than psychedelically shifting skin colours that the whales appear to have a more central position in our collective psyche? (Not that there is anything dull and dreary about whale song of course!).

I am really glad I am writing this as a static page rather than as a blog - saves me the hassle of defending the undefendable character of my musings above. And I can stop here - without a proper ending. That's it folks. I'm fed up writing chaff.