About Me

Hi! My name's Christophe. I was born in 1976 in Normandy (France), although I haven't lived there for more than a decade. I currently live in a nice house in the Netherlands, with my very significant other (whom I will not mention in any more details, to respect his desire for anonymity) and our very cute dog Buddy.

I won't bother you with a full resume. Let's just say that I was lucky enough to study in a rather high-level institution (you may guess which one) and that I'm very happy with my current job, which is both demanding and very rewarding.

No, let's focus on things more relevant for this blog. I am a big language geek. I speak three languages fluently (my mother tongue French, English and Dutch), three more at various conversational levels (Modern Greek, Spanish and Esperanto) and a constellation of languages at very basic levels (basically just a few words and/or expressions). I am also a big linguistics geek, with a preference for grammar. I love to read descriptive grammars of languages, especially non-Indo-European ones. It just blows me away the variety of languages that are out there!

Related to my love of languages and linguistics, and actually the cause (rather than the consequence) of those two, I am a conlanger, i.e. I create languages as a hobby (before I get reactions like "that's useless!" or "what nonsense!" or "what a waste of time!" or even "you should get yourself committed!", let me ask you: what exactly is the usefulness of, say, a stamp collection? A hobby is something we do for fun, and not everyone has the same idea of what fun is. In any case, usefulness doesn't enter in the equation here). More exactly, I am an artlanger, i.e. I am interested in language aesthetics, and create languages for artistic reasons, as things of beauty. I have no interest in the issue of international communication (though I did learn Esperanto at some point). And although I've dabbled in world-building, my conlangs usually stand up on their own and are not just a part of a fictional world (usually, I do world-building for the sake of my conlangs, rather than the other way round. And then, normally just enough to provide some background to the language I'm creating).

I am an avid reader. I never go to bed without a book. As a child, I used to read about everything I could get my hands on (I had probably read about half the local public library by the time I moved out from my parents'), with a preference for comic books (or rather bandes dessinées), science-fiction, horror and astronomy books. Nowadays, my tastes have changed somewhat, and I prefer reading fantasy literature, some manga, as well as a few other odds and ends (I do have a complete collection of a specific bande dessinée, though). I do like Tolkien, but at the moment my favourite books are the Discworld series, by Terry Pratchett. And just as I love comedic fantasy, I also love comedic science-fiction, and I've read all the books from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series (yes, including Part Six of Three).

I used to be a regular cinema-goer, and although I don't do it that often any more, I do enjoy a good film. My tastes in films are broader than in books, although I still have a preference for fantasy and science-fiction. I don't watch TV very often, but I do like a few series (I've recently become a Doctor Who fan). I like musicals (Cats is just fantastic, especially live!) as well as opera. My musical tastes are all over the place, but tend to centre around two main attractors: Japanese and Greek pop music (!).

But besides conlanging and reading, my main hobby is watching anime and tokusatsu. I grew up with those, as in my youth France was about the only Western country that imported Japanese animated and live-action series, and I've never actually stopped watching them. I grew up with the likes of X-Or (Uchuu Keiji Gavan), Gigi (Magical Princess Minky Momo), Les Chevaliers du Zodiaque (Saint Seiya) and Bioman (Choudenshi Bioman), long before Americans and much of the rest of the world had heard of Dragon Ball Z or the Power Rangers. Nowadays, my tastes have remained quite broad, although I do have some preferences. My favourite anime style is the Mahou Shoujo style, especially since it was reinvented by the appearance of Sailor Moon (which to date is still my favourite anime series), although I do enjoy other anime as well (I currently watch Bleach, for instance, despite it being quite different from what I usually like). As for tokusatsu series, I'm still a faithful follower of the Super Sentai franchise, but I watch some other series as well, especially those targeted at an older audience (probably the first of those, and one I enjoyed immensely, was GARO).

I wish I was a better sportsman (I mean, it's healthy, right?), but I'm afraid I never got the drive to better myself physically. I did play quite a few sports, but never at a very serious level. I've played basket-ball for five years, athletics for six years (where I was average in the 400m sprint and triple jump, and awful at the other events) and volley-ball for two years. I regularly play tennis, although at a very leisurely pace.

I am a strong Free Software enthusiast (and I do mean Free Software and not Open Source. I am clearly on that side of the ideological divide), although in practice I remain pragmatic (i.e. you will find some closed-source software on my main computer, like Flash or Skype. Sometimes, especially when you don't live alone and have friends you want to keep in touch with, you just have to compromise). I used to have an old computer that ran Debian GNU/Linux (Unstable) next to its original installation of Windows Millenium (yes, that's how old that computer was!), but at the beginning of 2010 I finally took the plunge and purchased a new computer. This one came with Ubuntu (version 9.10, since then upgraded to 10.04) installed by default, and although I originally thought I'd change that I decided to keep it for now (if you want a good modern computer but don't want Windows on it, and live in the Netherlands, I can heartily advise OS4FREE. They are a very small company, but their prices are competitive, their computers are very good, and their service is top-notch. Trust me, I experienced it all first hand!).

I am fond of theatre, not only as an audience member but also as a participant (but always as an amateur). During my studies, I performed in one play, and a year later I directed another. Since I started my new job, I joined an amateur theatre club and have been relatively active with them. I was the sound engineer in a comedy where the sound engineer had a lot to do, directed an English panto (or pantomime, which has, strangely enough, nothing to do with mime), played in another (an original creation from another member of the theatre club), and in 2010 I directed a drama (the work I've been most proud of so far). I enjoy both acting and directing, although I must say I feel the job of director is more fulfilling than that of actor (but also much more taxing!). In any case, I'll probably carry on participating in future productions.

Well, that's about it I think. If you want to know more about me, just read my blog, which should give you a more detailed view of the way my (admittedly weird) mind functions. And if you have any more questions, just go ahead and contact me!