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My 10-sec Biography


Chris RobertsonWho 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 can plausibly tell folks 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.

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. Some of my work is shown on my personal web pages, which are under reconstruction at the moment. A link to them will appear soon.

Of late years I discovered the textile arts, and now spin (both drop-spindle and wheel) and dye wool and silk with natural plant dyes. Amazingly, this means I can have fun and produce marketable goods as well!

My other recent enthusiasm is creating 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.

My other hobbies include folksinging, keeping beasties (two dogs, four cats, axolotls, zebra finches, some goldfish, some frogs, and an unknown number of tadpoles), 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 the Blue Mountains, about 100km (60 miles) west of Sydney, with my husband Stephen Szabo; we were married in May 2001. It is beautiful here, calm and peaceful with clean air, native bush, birds, and animals, warm to hot in summer and cool to cold in winter, with an occasional snowfall. Not Paradise, but close enough to it.

*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... :-)