8 Things about Louise
Posted by Louise Barnfield on July 2, 2008
Nobody warned me the penalty for making my debut as a TalentedApps member would be the immediate bombardment from other members to publish an 8-things-about-me-that-you-never-needed-to-know-and-don’t-need-to-remember post. I’m sure it’s just a case of “if I suffered, you must too”, and I blame Jake for submitting me indirectly to this peer-pressure-chain! However, having passed an entertaining few minutes learning 8 Things you hate about Meg (I still don’t hate her, so what does that say about that title?) and another 8 Things About Amy, I guess it’s my duty to oblige their curiosity, if nobody else’s:
1. I’m a Brit who relocated to California in 1997. I was initially loaned from Oracle UK to Oracle HQ for a three month project, and never returned!
2. I don’t miss the weather, and I can live without most British consumables (as long as friends occasionally visit with a suitcase full of Marmite!), but I still miss my favorite sport of Real Tennis (or Court Tennis as it’s known in US). The game was adapted from a French game, Jeu de Paume, and brought to England by Henry VIII who built a court that’s still in use today at Hampton Court Palace. The game has a small but fanatical following in US, UK, France and Australia (and Netherlands even though there’s no court in that country!). I used to participate in various national and world championships, which has blessed me with many special friendships around the world. Sadly, courts in US are limited to the Atlantic seaboard. Maybe that’s because the game was introduced by the pilgrims, in Boston and other settlements, and they were presumably too busy drinking tea and whisky to think of traveling further afield.
3. My first job out of college was working for the British Broadcasting Corporation in London, where I helped produce radio programs on tape, which were then shipped to subscribing countries to play on their local stations. I was rarely seen without a stopwatch dangling round my neck.
4. In my early 20’s, I lived in French-speaking West Africa for two years (first Senegal, then Mali). In Senegal, I probably stank of garlic 99% of the time, mainly courtesy of a Senegalese friend who ran a restaurant famed for its unparalleled bouillabaisse. Thanks to working with a local government rice agency in Mali, I know (correction, I knew) how to build a 10-ton hydraulic trailer (shipped in kit-form from a UK manufacturer)…I guess it’s much like building IKEA furniture, apart from the hydraulic complications.
5. After completing my B.Sc. in Computer Studies, my first go-live project as an Analyst/Programmer was a security application (car permits, theft reporting, etc.) for a British university. The University’s IT department was a beta adopter of Oracle DB and Tools on Prime Computers (RIP!) and the first British university to make the leap to a relational database. We developed Oracle Forms applications on character-mode terminals, using COBOL coding sheets to mock up our UI designs, as well as programming in a mix of SQL and COBOL. OK, so that really dates me!!!
6. My father rivals Amy’s father as a Golf Dad! Mine taught me to play when I was five, with a cut-down wooden-shafted 3 iron. He bribed me with sixpences (yup, that truly dates me too!) for every shot over a certain yardage. Each time he felt his hard-earned money running out too fast, he upped the distance by 10 yards.
7. My folks taught me to swim for money too! …I guess I was a mercenary little squirt!
8. …and, to further punish you for reading this far, here’s a truly soppy one to end on – I’ve been married for almost 18 months to the man who (eventually) turned out to be the love-of-my-life, though we first met 27 years ago. A happy story, but you’d have to ply me with alcohol for the details!