So I’m Mel, a cheese-loving, gin-drinking, mildly sarcastic, French and Scottish* twenty-something currently living in the village of Leigh, north of Auckland, New Zealand. Our marine lab overlooks a reserve where we go snorkelling during our summer lunch breaks. We’re utterly spoilt – despite the demands of academia, it’s a ridiculously idyllic lifestyle. Please don’t hate me.
Whilst my labmates and I are remarkably adept at justifying snorkelling and surfing as “science,” I actually study shark and ray behaviour. It’s not nearly as glamorous as it sounds – honestly, I spend large amounts of time accidentally getting fish in my hair and raging at a computer screen because Microsoft Office and all stats programs are the spawn of the devil – but overall it’s heaps of fun. I currently work on completely adorable eagle rays and swell sharks.
Super cute or what? That’ll be Beefeater. I name all my rays after gins. And all my sharks after whiskies. Who said science isn’t fun?!
When I’m not busy being a totally badass (ahem) shark scientist or mucking around in the sea, I can often be found in the kitchen with my shark-shaped oven gloves. You won’t be surprised to hear that I love food since, you know, I write a food blog (slight giveaway there).
Pottering around in the kitchen provides relaxation and a welcome break from all the procrastinative snorkelling work that a PhD involves. Most of my baking goes to the lab where it usually disappears with alacrity – my labmates are a wonderful bunch and enthusiastic taste-testers.
I try to eat local and seasonal as much as possible – I’m lucky that this isn’t particularly difficult in rural NZ – and cook and bake from scratch where feasible. I thoroughly enjoy taking the time to savour the food on the table, preferably with good company and good wine. Clichés? What food blogger clichés?
I started blogging in my final year of a Zoology degree at St Andrews University. This obviously had nothing to do with my considerable talent for procrastination. Sharky Oven Gloves has carried on throughout my travels since then – leaving St Andrews, my post-Graduation stint in Edinburgh, my move to NZ to start an MSc at Auckland University, my move up to Leigh and subsequent transfer into a PhD – albeit with some periods of neglect whilst I focused on sorting those life transitions out. Priorities and all that jazz.
So there you have it, a rather long-winded insight into the girl behind Sharky Oven Gloves.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Here are your options for getting in touch:
E-mail: sharkyovengloves [at] gmail [dot] com
Facebook: Sharky Oven Gloves
*Apparently this confuses people. My Dad is Scottish, my mum is French. Fairly straightforward. But just to complicate things, I was born in The Netherlands and grew up in various other countries. Thus I’m a TCK (Third Culture Kid). Well, TCKA now (TCK Adult). My accent changes more or less constantly, so I sound weird when I talk. Apparently.