I was born and brought up in Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. I came to the University of Birmingham to study French at the end of the 1980s, graduating with a first class degree in 1991. I stayed on to do a PhD and began teaching almost straight away, becoming a full-time member of staff in 1996.
Translating (from French into English) is one of my passions. I hold the Institute of Linguists' Diploma in Translation (2001) and I am an Associate Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. I have occasionally worked as a business interpreter at trade fairs, on behalf of the French Trade Commission, and as a translator in a variety of domains, from alarm systems to bathymetrics. In June 2010, I won the New Talent in Translation prize, organised by the French Book Office (Ambassade de France).
In August 2015, I was awarded a Senior Fellowship at the Higher Education Academy.