If you were given a surprise 3 day holiday from work, what would you do?
"The first thing I’d do is a city break - I love travelling, particularly Spain - although it’s obviously much harder at the moment, with the pandemic, and a new baby at home. I’d probably go to San Sebastian. It’s wonderful. All the little tapas bar, and you just go in, have a little snack and then move on to the next one, like a “restaurant crawl.” Or maybe, Seville. The fish and chips in Seville… oh they’re amazing, they’re like crisps. And they’ve got the Alcázar there which is an amazing place to visit."
"I’m lucky enough to have travelled to some really unusual places too. When I was younger I went on the Trans-Siberian Railway, all the way from London to Beijing. I went via mainland Europe, and on the way I went over to Siberia and Mongolia. Of that, the most unusual place was Ulanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. When we were there we rented a Soviet camper-van and drove around the Gobi desert for a week."
"I lived in Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia too. It’s where I met my wife, we were both junior doctors there. It’s 2 hours south of Brisbane and it’s sub-tropical, it really looks like a tropical Wales!"
How do you spend your family time?
"I’m married and we have a young baby - she was born in lockdown which was quite challenging, but also positive in some ways as we didn’t have too many distractions. She keeps me very very busy! I also have a dog, Coco, who’s quite jealous as she’s been dethroned as the baby of the family. She’s a Maltese, she’s 7 and she’s really sweet and kind natured - we recently discovered she loves mango!"
What makes you feel like you’ve succeeded? What do you value the most outside of work?
"I value my time, which I don’t have a lot of anymore. I really value spending time with my friends and family, but that’s obviously been very difficult over the past year or so. I really like having time for my hobbies like a bit of fair-weather gardening."
"I like getting the chance to cook, I like to travel, and I love to combine the two and bring back ingredients or new dishes. I went through a stage of making a lot of tacos, after we went to LA, right down to the corn tortilla - it has to be corn, not flour, to be authentic. I do a reasonable lentil dahl with coconut milk which is healthy and full of flavour. I got interested in cooking through Jamie Oliver. Before Jamie Oliver, tv chefs would have everything measured out exactly, but Jamie showed that you could cook great food more casually and quickly."
If you weren’t doing medicine, what would you?
"Probably working in tech. I’m a scientist at heart. When I was young, my grandad was a chemistry teacher. He had a lab in his garage and we’d do chemistry experiments - we made a battery, one year we made our own radio.
In the 80s and 90s when I was young, I liked coding - we had a BBC Micro computer. I think that’s why I really like working with engineers and other technical people. Its interesting how each of the disciplines in a tech company have their own method of working. I enjoy how they can all work together and interact. I would still be working in healthtech as you can make such a big difference to people’s lives through better software."
What’s your most prized possession?
"My iPhone. They’re amazing. I remember when I had a Nokia, with a colour screen, basic internet and no apps. All you could do is call and text and check the weather!"
"Now, you’ve got a device in your pocket thats got an amazing camera, the entire internet, games, books, puzzles, news, videos, you can do everything, keep in touch with anyone anywhere, all in your pocket. I think I have a healthy relationship with it though - I don’t ever have the phone at the dinner table and I limit my use in the evening."
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