About me

I’m British, female, fortysomething, and have had a cochlear implant since April 2010. This blog describes my learning curve over the last few months: adding the language of hearing to my other languages. I’ve never let the lack of hearing hold me back in learning languages – or anything else, for that matter. I have loved words all my life: other people’s words (literature) and other peoples’ words (foreign languages). My interest in language seems to have cropped up at the same time as I lost my hearing as a child, from what my mother has told me: so perhaps I was determined from the word go not to let being deaf hold me back.

Of course, being deaf means that I’m interested in communication issues of all kinds: the communication barriers and problems faced by deaf people and the ways in which we as deaf people solve them.

The CI has broadened my horizons in learning “hearing language” and for the most part, the sheer interest of learning the language has motivated my blog. However, I’m also a native English user with a first degree in English Literature. Unlike most of my fellow students, I chose not to specialise in, say, the Victorians by choosing options on the 19th century novel and Victorian melodrama, but instead opted for a grounding in every single period of English literature from the Anglo-Saxons to the present day.

I also know British Sign Language (BSL), French, German, Latin, and Old English, with a smattering of ancient Greek, old Norse and langue des signes française (LSF). With that grounding in ancient and modern languages, Romance and Teutonic, I do reasonably well with my receptive and translation skills in Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, and Portuguese. I’m passionate about the history of language and its transmission, the psychology of language, and language issues as they affect deaf people, as well as the fascination of seeing and hearing language in action – something most of us do in one form or another every day, through hands, eyes, lips, passing on our own thoughts and receiving those of others in conversation or in the media.

The nature of my job in historical research means that I get to fossick around in both old documents and foreign-language material on occasion. Sometimes the documents are so old that they are virtually written in a foreign language, or they can actually be old foreign-language documents. Translation is a major part of what I do for my day job, therefore, but it’s been an essential life skill in other respects, too, even if I’ll never be one of those specialist interpreters working between Finnish and Portuguese at the EU.

7 thoughts on “About me”

  1. Hi Pidge!! Wow……..cool blog!! Can’t tell your a writer at all 😉
    Here’s hoping your op went well and look forward to reading about your recovery and switch on!!
    Best wishes,
    Graham (soon to be joining you in Southmead!!)

    • Hi Graham,

      Well, I’m home, and thank you for your good wishes. They looked after me really well at Southmead . . . everyone was incredibly kind. So that’s brilliant and you will be in excellent hands.

      The main technical problem was the crashing of my computer at home!

      I’m so glad to be at home again, and back online! Will update my blog later on.


  2. Hi Pidge

    Yes Interesting Blog Pidge,Keep it up, its looking GOOD… Mine is a MESS at moment have even missed out a few operations in my youth would you believe lol.Well 1 tends to Type away, then next day or week even, memory comes alive.

    Its case of type adjust type adjust, so many things..Thats why Im having rest til I come back from Scotland 28th Oct..

    nice Blog

    • Thank you CJ! I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog as well – glad to see your sense of humour is intact after everything you’ve been through!

      Enjoy the rest of your trip north of the Border!


  3. Hi,

    My name is Elliott, and I recently started a user-generated website for reviews of music for cochlear implant users. I came across your great blog. We are trying to get a number of reviews prior to launching our site and I am writing to ask if you write a single review on your favorite song or any other musical work.

    The review could be fairly short ~3 sentences.

    We could definitely provide a link to your blog, as well.

    Here is a link to our preliminary website: EdisonParkMusic.com

    Thank you!



    • Hello Elliott,

      I’m very happy to help. Let me have a think and get back to you, and I’d love a link back to this blog. Your blog looks great, very user-friendly.

      Will you be tagging your posts with genre, artist and name of work? I write another blog for work and tag extensively there, so it makes it easy to cross-reference similar posts.

      I’m thinking about writing another post on music on this blog so you have given me some inspiration!

  4. Michael Erard said:

    Dear Pidge,
    I wonder if I could get permission to use your great photo of the Ferguson tape recorder that you posted in 2012. Please get back to me at michael.erard@gmail.com.
    I’m hoping to use it in a story that I’m including in Schwa Fire.

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