I am Neuroscience PhD, a humanist, skeptic, feminist, avid reader, science enthusiast, woolly-liberal über-nerd, and, as of October 2015, father to the Lykketroll.

I moved from England to Norway in January 2012 and live in Lørenskog with my wife, the Lykketroll, and our two aging rescue cats, Socrates and Schrödinger. 

I am on paternity leave from the 4th of July to the 18th of November. 

The job I am on leave from is as an  Associate Professor and Head of Studies at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. My background is in child neurodevelopment (my PhD looked into the relationship between fatty acids like omega-3 and cognitive development in young children) but I now work on a hodge-podge of things roughly within the field of Universal Design of ICT 50% of the time, the other 50% of my time I am Head of the 'General' Studies (Allmenn in Norwegian) Unit, which is comprised of around 24 academics within a range of fields, including mathematics, physics, Norwegian, and technology and leadership.

In between working and doing the usual dad things,  I like hiking and running in the beautiful Norwegian outdoors, cooking and playing video games. 

If I believed in souls I would say that mine was born in Norway. 

I plan to sleep when I'm dead.

An idiot-proof knitted skinny tie

I just finished my first knitted tie project. It’s not the most complicated thing I’ve ever made (that would be a pair of booties that I made for a friend’s baby; see gallery), but I’m super pleased with it because, unlike most of my knitting, I managed to control my stitching the whole way through and ended up with something even-looking and actually wearable.

I knitted most of it as distraction during Liverpool’s awful performances this season; because of it's just straight knitting, with no real fiddly bits, it really is a doddle to make. The measurements are give-and-take as I kind just made it up as I went along. I got a little excited and decided finish it earlier than I peraps should have, rather than knitting the extra couple of inches to make it properly long enough.

I've described the pattern I used below (if you can call it a pattern). I don’t know the proper knitting lingo, so I’ve just written it out as I did it. There are doubtless better patterns on things like Ravelry, but this one's easy enough that a moron like me managed it. I took a picture of the yarn so you have an idea of its type weight, but I really don't know enough about yarn and knitting to be recommending a particular kind or anything.

  1. Cast on 10 stiches (for a fairly skinny - but not so skinny it’s totally hipster - tie).
  2. Knit until the tie is approximately 50 inches (127-ish cm) long.
  3. Add one stitch at beginning of the row and another one at the end.
  4. Knit for 5 rows.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 two more times (you should now have a total of 16 stitches)
  6. Knit together the first two stitches and the last two stiches on the row
  7. Knit two full rows.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you’re left with a single stitch.
  9. Tie a knot using the last stitch as the loop.
  10. Use a needle to carefully weave the yarn through a 4 or 5 stiches (a couple of centimeters) along one edge of the tie and then cut (this is safer that just cutting the yarn at the knot).

I then blocked my tie (I lied, I do know one technical term!). Blocking stretches and flattens out the tie (saving you knitting a couple of inches), and it also gets rid of the flecks of dust and yarn that’ll come off and stick to your lovely shirt that you just washed and ironed and don’t want to have to brush down because WHY, LORD.

  1. Wash the tie carefully in warm water.
  2. Rinse by squeezing rather than wringing the tie.
  3. Pin the tie down (posterboard pins work great), stretching it a little between each set of pins. I borrowed this sponge kids playset thing my wife bought especially for the job, but you could just as easily use an ironing board.
  4. Leave to dry overnight.
  5. Strut around town with the extra spring in your step that comes from knowing your knitted tie's the real McCoy, and not some hipster guff that cost 20 times as much from Zara, or wherever.

Recipe: Norwegian cinnamon twist buns (Kanelsnurrer)

Recipe: Rocket salad pizza with a yellow pepper sauce