Who is behind

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

and di2.nu?

Who Am I?

My name is Bond, James Bond... Haah just kidding.

My real name is Francis as you can see by navigating your way to my resume. I am an Englishman by birth and a traveller by temprament. I have lived / worked in half a dozen countries and visited a couple of dozen more - in Europe it is quite easy to visit other countries but I've also been to every continent other than Antartica. This urge to travel is probably genetic, many of my ancestors on both sides have served the British Empire in foreign climes.

I have, not surprisingly, earned rather a lot of frequent flyer miles, but what I consider more important is that in both America and Europe I have been to places where no one has ever been before, since I was, in my impetuous youth, a speleologist. For those dying of curiousity the caves in which I did such exploration were on the Loser Plateau in Austria and in Fisher Ridge Cave Kentucky. And who knows I may spelunk some more sometime.

I live with my wife, Miho, in a little town called Mouans Sartoux, which is situated on the French Riviera somewhere between Cannes and Grasse. My wife is Japanese and a talented photographer and pictures of me, our house and our cat, not to mention our friends, neighbours and assorted random strangers are displayed on her website.

My Interests

Once upon a time, as I alluded above, I was keen get lost underground. These days I am more mature and prefer to get lost above ground. In order to do this I am a keen hasher. Hashing combines my desire visit strange places with the desire to drink beer with like-minded souls and I stronly recommend it as a way to relax. I may not write much about hashing here although I have a subdirectory containing various hash stuff including my guide to laying trail.

I am a computer programmer by heart. I enjoy the thrills of converting chaos into order. I enjoy making things work and taking them apart to make them work better and I get really irritated when things don't work as well as they might.

I like photography. While I am no more than a keen amateur, I like trying to turn the beauty I see in this world into something that others also appreciate.

I have been interested in Science Fiction since I was about 8. Having spent nearly 3 decades reading the stuff - not to mention almost anything else I could lay my hands on - I am beginning to have the urge to write some. In the mean time Baen, in particular its Free Library and discussion board (see right) keep me hooked.

Finally I am becoming more political as I grow older. Of course I doubt my politics are widely appealing so I try not to shout about them too much (at least not before we have the revolution BWAHAHAHAHAHA) when I meet people in a bar. You might like to classify me as something like a libertarian or an anarchist but I doubt either really accurately descibes me. Certainly I disagree strongly with a number of other people who claim these tags.

Why this site?

Because I can?

Partly this site is a practical test of web design and javascript skills. If you like what you see don't be shy about contacting me to offer me a job :)

More critically this site is a place to put down my philosophy. I post regularly on the Motley Fool and this place is somewhere where I can let the posts I feel most stongly about find a wider audience.

It is also a place where I can share my fascination with the world. I do not claim that what I put here is earth-shatteringly important but I hope it makes some readers go WOW!