I was born and brought up in the Midlands. I went to the local comprehensive school before going onto the local VIth form. At the time, it was a toss-up between Maths and Modern Languages as to which discipline I would pursue. In the end, I chose French and allied this with a growing interest in Politics and International Relations. My undergraduate degree allowed me to pursue both of these themes and I was also able to combine both in my postgraduate research. The dual focus on France and all things political is now a key feature of my teaching. Even the Maths has made a comeback. As the Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment for the College of Arts and Law, I do a fair bit of statistical analysis.