Continuing our series of blog posts about the individuals who make up the flex team, we hear from researcher and writer Kathryn on what she's doing today - and a little about the landscape close to home.
I’m in the Flex office today. Peter and David are here too. We’re all studiously working away and it’s Peter’s turn to make the next cup of tea.
It’s a beautiful, bright, sunny day, but there’s a bit of a chill in the air. I think autumn’s coming already – you can smell it. The trees outside the office are showing orange patches where the leaves are starting to turn.
At the moment, I’m mainly working on elements of a new digital edition of a client magazine. Today it has involved researching and writing additional “pop-up” content for one of the articles, and searching stock photos for suitable images. The team have been working on this together all week, though, and we have also defined a template for the magazine, among other things. Peter and I will be chatting with our digital platform partners a little later this afternoon to plan next steps.
As well as being part of a brilliant team of people who have become good friends, working with flex really suits my research and writing skills, but also stretches me – which is a good thing. I love working with words, and I’m gradually adding to my knowledge bank of all sorts of things that I would never otherwise have known! I’m really enjoying the digital publishing stuff we’re working on at the moment. I’ve done a little bit of work with html/xml in the past, and am also involved in editing/publishing outside of my work with flex. I’m finding it very interesting and also quite exciting.
My life outside work is probably as busy as it is when I’m in the office – I think it’s that way for most people! But it’s all good. I have a bright and energetic almost-seven-year-old son who has inherited my curiosity and interest in history, so he keeps me on my toes. We share a love of books too and have lots of fun together.
I’m also involved, purely for the love of it, in the production of a long-running literary magazine called Stand, which has been going since the 1950s. I’m one of the editorial advisors and mainly work on layout. I’ve written for the magazine too, and co-edited the complete poetic works of its founder, Jon Silkin.
I’m lucky to live in a very beautiful part of the world, so getting out and exploring is another big pastime pleasure. I did a long walk over the moors last weekend, passing Top Withens, the now ruined farmhouse said to have inspired the setting for the Earnshaw home in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. In the words of Kate Bush, I was “out on the wiley, windy moors” for some time – it’s a truly stunning landscape, and I was lucky to catch it on a sunny day with the heather in full bloom.
I’ve just finished reading The Last One by Alexandra Oliva. My sister lent it to me after the adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid’s Tale was shown on television – I was interested in investigating more feminist/female-authored dystopian fiction, and she thought I might enjoy it. It’s about a woman who takes part in a reality TV show out in the wilderness, with challenges aplenty. A flu epidemic strikes while she is undertaking a solo challenge, wiping out huge swathes of the population. She finds herself alone for days and days, but has no idea what has happened. As she continues to pass through apparently abandoned settlements, she believes that it’s all part of the challenge, albeit extreme and cruel – she assumes the dead bodies she comes across are elaborate fakes. It's a proper page-turner.