My name is Ian, I am a middle-aged man who lives and works near Alston in the North Pennines. I currently work at a local hotel as a Chef (by default!) and I am studying Accountancy at Carlisle College so that I can get better-paid work with not having to work evenings and weekends. This means I will be able to spend more time with my family and to be more involved with my local Church; as a Christian I attend Church regularly. I have three brothers (all of whom currently reside and work outside of the UK so I don't often see them) and one sister who last year sold next door to us (where she lived) and moved with my niece and nephew to a new abode 21 miles away to Hexham (Northumberland).
I have had a life-long interest in the weather, particularly interesting extremes of frost and snow in winter. Where I live we used to get a good deal of snow and regular severe winter frosts, but over the last 30 years winters have got milder and wetter. I graduated from Lancaster University in 1992 with a Degree in Environmental Science, which I did because I wanted to get work in weather-observing and prediction. My Dissertation was on the subject of the occurrence of extremely low temperatures in Britain and the reasons for it (in this I got a 2.1). Sadly, probably because I only got a Third Class Degree overall I never got offered work in meteorology and for 25 years have had to contend with cleaning jobs in old folks' homes, Kitchen Porter Work in hotels and (recently) catering. This is why I am re-training to do something for which there is high demand (and more pay/sociable hours) and also so that I can get more spare time to spend on my weather.
I also have my own Automatic Weather Station (AWS) and download weather-data regularly; however it needs maintaining and working full-time in a small hotel is seldom conducive to getting the time to fix problems as/when these arise.