My interests outside of work
Kevin McCloud has a lot to answer for: a few years ago I convinced my wife that it would be a great wheeze to refurb and extend our house whilst living there with two young children. I couldn't find a builder to take on the work within our budget so ended up running the build myself. It was tough for the rest of the family at times, but I really enjoyed this time and learnt a lot of transferable skills in the process - and my sons haven't stopped making things since.
Designing & building furniture
Once the house was finished I got inspired to start making my own bespoke furniture to make the most of our new space. So far it's ranged from a sideboard to beds, tables, floor lamps, shelving units and a barbecue trolley. I like the challenge of making something beautiful out of humble and sometimes recycled materials and am starting to run out of space for new creations so may have to turn my hobby into a sideline.
I've always sketched when planning or prototyping at work, but have found myself enjoying this in more and more in my spare time whether it be for our house build, my next piece of furniture or in my almost daily home art club with my son - who's much better at drawing dinosaurs than I am.
Perhaps a better title would be eating, but I've enjoyed rustling up tasty meals since childhood. These days I can often be found making something healthy and invigorating in the kitchen or slowly cooking something special outside over a fire whilst doing my best Francis Mallmann impression.
Where I live it's easy to get out to explore the Surrey Hills and surrounding countryside on my bike - it's also quite easy to get lost but that's all part of the fun.
I love to experience different cultures, eat different local foods and explore different environments, but am still happy getting away from it all without leaving the UK.