Hello! My name is Jane Blackall. A few years ago (while preparing my summer school theme talk on ‘The Authentic Self’) I challenged my friends to come up with a tweet-length answer to the question ‘Who are You?’ My description hasn’t changed much in the last few years but I have allowed myself to update it a little for 2018 (and look forward to revising it again before long):
Pragmatic mystic; Unitarian; old-fashioned leftie; amateur philosopher/theologian; armchair activist; maker; baker; birder; dancer; intense; sensitive; romantic; demi/bi; queer; soft; fat; peace-loving; cockney.
The slightly longer version: I have a remarkably full and free life for which I am extremely grateful. My ‘day job’ is working part-time for Kensington Unitarians, doing bits and bobs around the place (newsletter, website, podcasts) and also having a creative role in devising our programme, facilitating groups and workshops, and occasionally leading worship. I completed a (first-class, hurrah!) BA in Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at Heythrop College in the summer of 2017. I have recently been accepted onto the new transitional training programme for the Unitarian ministry which is due to start in autumn 2018. I am involved in various voluntary projects, most notably organising Hucklow Summer School, which is one of the things I am most proud to be associated with.
I previously had ‘another life’ working in academic research in the field of medical imaging and radiological sciences (I got my PhD at Guy’s Hospital and then did a post-doc at King’s and UCL). I’m glad I had this experience – if only to prove I had the wherewithal to do it – but I’m even more glad I chucked it in and held out for a way to do what I really love. Now I more-or-less go where the spirit leads.
In between work, study, and mucking about on the internet, I like baking, birdwatching, dancing, lino print-making, watching cycling and cookery programmes on TV, and and making a fuss of my beautiful friends. Almost everything is interesting so DO ALL THE THINGS.