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My 10-sec Biography


Who am I? My name is Chris Robertson, and Golden Gryphon Productions is the business name under which I market the goods I make. I do lots of things -- I'm a polymath (Renaissance Person).

Born in Sydney, Australia in 1952, I had a happy childhood and eventually went to Sydney University, where I began my career as a Zoologist, graduating with first-class honours and the University Medal in 1974. I then went to Canada to do a PhD in Animal Behaviour, but after everything that could possibly go wrong with it did so, I rather sadly gave it up. At this point I found I had somehow become a computer person,* and earned my living as a contract programmer (C, Unix, Web Design, Windows) until late 2002, when I found myself Unexpectedly Unemployed. In this sad state I have remained to this day, except now I am Retired.

Since 1990 I have become increasingly interested in the Arts and European medieval history. I joined the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), a Medieval-ambience social and educational group, where I am known as Lady Yseult de Lacy, and found it enthusiastically encouraged the creative side of me I had ignored for many years.  These days I not not really active in the SCA any more as there's too much travelling involved.

I found I loved the beauty of medieval calligraphy and illumination, tried it, and to my surprise became very good at it. I wrote poetry as a teenager (who doesn't?), and started writing again when I joined the SCA, finding my mature work had settled into the style of Elizabethan love poetry, simliar to that of John Donne. Again to my complete surprise, I started writing songs, both medieval in style and modern folksongs.

Of late years I discovered the textile arts, and used to spin (both drop-spindle and wheel) and dye wool and silk with natural plant dyes. That meant I could have fun and produce marketable goods as well! However, after ten years I felt enough yarn had gone by my fingers, and I now only spin a very little.

I also create reproduction medieval manuscripts, mostly Books of Hours, printing them on an ink-jet printer and hand-binding them. Interesting and fun, and I also sell them. After ten years of this I am becoming a little weary of sewing up books, and now only bind a few now and then. 

For my current ten-year enthusiasm I am helping to run Toukley  & Districts Art Gallery, a delightful little gallery in Wallarah Peace Park just by the bridge from Gorokan to Toukley, and have even sold a couple of paintings there.

My other hobbies include folksinging, keeping beasties (two cats, fish, zebra finches, and some frogs), gardening, reading (mostly F&SF), building things, and cooking.

In the past I have travelled around assorted bits of North and South America, the Galapagos Islands, and New Zealand, but these days I am settled in Gorokan on the Central Coast of NSW, about 100k north of Sydney, a couple of blocks away from a lovely salt-water lake, in a nice little villa with a small, mangeable garden. I am amicably separated from my husband Stephen after 16 years, and we are both getting along much better these days

*I learned to program on a Friday night. Seriously.  I took home a book on SPK, a subset of PL1 (a now-archaic programming language), read about three-quarters of it -- doing the exercises in my head -- then got up on Saturday morning and started writing a program to analyse some of my data. Can you say "duck to water?" Yes, I thought you could...