Blythwood Road, Crouch Hill.jpg


I've mostly edited articles on technology, the biological sciences and geography. Recently I seem to have made most edits to font design (in particular the history of my favourite), but there's no reason why that shouldn't change in future. Other odder work on here has included adding some marvellous pictures of vintage thermocyclers to that article and lots of stuff on British rivers. I'm probably more of a dabbler than a specialist, as that list suggests, and I also contribute to Wikidata a bit. I’m interested in how people learn about Wikipedia: I do a lot of reading through new pages and edits by new contributors, and also sometimes search Twitter for keywords relating to Wikipedia. If you’ve come across me unexpectedly that may well be why! I do try to answer questions in detail and refer people to explanations of things that are hard to understand.

My favourite tool on Wikipedia is the Google Books citation generator, a really great way to quickly link an article up to good sources. For adding photos I recommend Flickr2Commons and I also use HotCat a lot. You can read the template messages for communicating with new users that I'm working on, on which feedback is welcomed, and my guide to spotting hoax articles.

My academic degree is in biochemistry, but I tend to not make so many edits in that field since I've forgotten everything it's getting a bit too specialised for me. (Ahem.) That said, I am planning at some point to leaf through a textbook or two to check systematically that every topic in a basic biochemistry textbook is well-covered. My favourite wholly original article that I’ve written has been on reverse-contrast typefaces, a journey into the shouty world of nineteenth-century posters and what happens if you invert the normal form of the alphabet sideways. It's almost like if cubism had come a century earlier, and it was great fun to write about. Some day I need to add a few more pictures to it. My favourite article I've reviewed has been the page on Dril, which I haven't edited as much as I'd like to; the article I've reviewed that made me most go "surely we have an article on this already?" was on headers in football (not until 2016, apparently).

I've once been described as giving the impression of being "an old lady, with white curly hair and tea" from "stereotypical Downton Abbeyesque Britain". I'm not that keen on tea though! Or that old...

What do I want to achieve on here? Well, in editing Wikipedia, I try to make articles start with the one most important thing a reader is likely to want to know, then continue in loosely descending order of priority and chronology. Judge the quality of my contributions according to how well I've stuck to that rule! I'm passionate about the quality of the lead of Wikipedia articles, and love trying to improve vague ones.

My aim with any developing topic, from computer programmes to how printing has evolved from metal to digital, is to create a balance that reflects the diversity of Wikipedia's users: I want to write articles that both give a historical context and tell someone coming to the topic for the first time what they need to know. People looking up a Wikipedia article on an application may, for example, want to know where to find guidance on how to use the latest version, wonder what happened to it on the way from beta to the version they are now using, or just be wondering why its icon is a square smiling face. All those goals are valid and I want to make sure there's something for everyone here, ideally clearly marked into sections telling the reader where to look, and preferably with a picture too.

You were wondering why my name on here is a little London street? I just sort of liked it: it sounds vaguely British with an outdoors, healthy-walks-in-the-Chilternsy flavour, without actually being any real place in particular.

You can view my edits to Wikipedia here and my uploads to Wikimedia here.

Recent articles writtenEdit

Current project(s):
 This user is a member of WikiProject Statistics.
 This user is a participant in WikiProject Typography.

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