In some ways they haven't actually changed that much because many of the things that I do now, like going down to the pub on a Tuesday night and so on, I had already started to do while I was a student. I still hang out with a lot of the same people and do a lot of the same things as I did while I was a student here. I suppose the thing that has faded for me was the sense of academic excitement to Oxford which I had while I was a student - I loved the huge sense of learning for learnings sake I had while studying there. The other thing is that I have so much less free time! I feel like I miss out on more than I used to in those days even though that's not really true, I don't think.
2. When you get your MP3 player, what's the one song you know you're always going to want on it?
One song! Well, I absolutely couldn't be without Beethoven's Violin Concerto (in D I think). It's an utterly exquisite piece of music. Then there's Lumina (a track from Joan Osbourne's Relish album) - haunting and heartbreaking. Virgin State of Mind (K's Choice). This is the Place (Red Hot Chilli Peppers). I could name any number of tracks that I couldn't even contemplate deleting from my lovely iRiver. If I have to pick my one singe desert island song it'd be the Beethoven though.
3. Being a woman in IT is still fairly unusual. How do you find it?
Yeah. I figure that it's always going to be an unusual choice for a woman because for whatever reason, not a lot of women think like programmers. I personally have never noticed any sexism in the workplace - if anything, the guys in the offices I've been in have been pleased to have women on the team as well. As long as you pull your weight there's no stigma particularly. The one thing I do feel that I miss out on is the opportunity to be matey in the office - the guys tend not to want to chat to me about their last night out over coffee or anything. It all feels a bit ... serious and I sometimes secretly yearn for the type of office gossiping that you read about in magazines.
4. Recommend somewhere in Oxford you think I may not have discovered, but would probably like.
Yikes! I've got no idea where you've already discovered! A recent discovery I made is that Chequers (down one of those tiny alleys off the high street) has a big inside with a nice non smoking sofa bit upstairs which is perfect for going to the pub at lunchtime should you desire to do such a decadent thing. Also that what used to be Ma Belle (on the Wheatsheaf alley) has re-opened as Le Bistro Je T'Aime (I think) serving pricey but extremely good food including snails in garlic butter which should be mandatory for all French restaurants in my opinion, but never mind. Also, now that the Kazbar has finally opened it's new extension it's a light and lovely place to go for lunch instead of being rather repressive, especially when it's hot (they've now got a sun roof but I've yet to see it in operation).
5. What do you think the main benefit of losing weight is to you?
It's mainly just to feel good for me. I'm a very vain person and I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and admire every inch of my reflection and I feel like I'm really close to that. I want to be able to try on the low-slung trousers in a size that (a) doesn't make me cringe and (b) means that once done up they actually look flattering - most clothes seem to be designed to flatter a slimmer figure. The health benefits are a plus and I wouldn't be doing it if there were health detriments but they're not a big motivator for me.