More About Me


Fun Facts:

  • When I was seven I wanted to be the youngest published author EVER, or a professional musician.
    Or a secretary. (Being practically minded, I had a back-up plan).
  • I am a recovering perfectionist.
  • I once held a crocodile. (It may or may not have been a baby crocodile. Still, those things can take your finger off and I was extraordinarily brave).
  • I majored in English Literature as an undergraduate, and I’m a book fiend. When I was a kid, I used to have at least six books on the go at any one time, and store them under my pillow. I still have at least six books on the go, but have since improved the storage conditions.
  • My family are from Africa, and I love its colour, heat and culture of hospitality.
  • Pre-illness, I was a runner, and would run 5 miles, three times a week.
  • I am small but loud. (5’4″ and used to be able to sing opera).
  • I have a post-graduate qualification in counselling, and I enjoy spiritual mentoring.
  • I got up to ‘Lower Grade One’ in Ballet before discovering, at the age of 6, that I was utterly malco-ordinated and would never make it as a ballerina. Now I just enjoy watching it instead.
  • I’m an extrovert, a ‘2’ on the enneagram (with a 1 wing, tritype 251 – the mentor), and an ENFJ with a general love of all personality quizzes.
  • I love good poetry, especially the Romantic Poets and Emily Dickinson, but can’t write it.

More of my passions: 

  • deconstructing perfectionism
  • answering the tricky questions of faith that most avoid
  • telling the truth sideways – creative ways of enjoying the Bible
  • describing the reality of chronic illness
  • training, mentoring and coaching others
  • finding hope in hard places
  • love – especially in marriage and parenting

A few of my favourite things:

  • singing and listening to opera arias (Cecilia Bartoli is my favourite)
  • eating dark chocolate and drinking black coffee (de-caff, sadly)
  • laughing at my own jokes
  • watching the sea
  • taking endless photos at family trips out
  • TV dinners with reruns of Gilmore Girls
  • murder mysteries (I like to pretend I’m a Sherlock-ian Poirot-esque detective)
  • trailing my hand out of the window in the car and feeling the wind between my fingers (always assuming I’m the passenger, not the driver)
  • dinner parties and storytelling
  • Florence (the place, not your aunt) and Greek islands

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5 Responses to More About Me

  1. Alison Blenkinsop 8th August, 2020 at 4:10 pm #

    Hi Tanya, I’ve come to your site after reading your article in Woman Alive for July, which I found really helpful. I love your description of being a recovering perfectionist – that’s me – and I too am an Enneagram 2 with a strong 1 wing (I didn’t know about the subtypes, but ‘mentor’ does fit well, though I’m learning to be less of a fixer now). I’m also ENFJ, and had ME for 6 years (not badly, but it was very difficult) in the 1990s. I’ve signed up for your blog posts and look forward to reading your e-book. I’m a retired midwife and former lactation consultant, and have just finished a course in spiritual direction. I think God is calling me to explore support for the bereaved and those with chronic illness or disability, and I’m sure your writing will be very helpful for this.
    Many thanks, and my prayers for God’s blessings on your ministry, Alison

  2. Alex Gowing Cumber 24th January, 2019 at 3:45 am #

    So pleased to have found you , I’m a Church of England priest , I’m paraplegic and on the autistic spectrum . I live with 24/7 care . I’m an artist and a person who runs out of words and uses non verbal communication …. all quite interesting as also dealing with severe hearing loss and visual motorcprocessing stuff ….. so a shakey , bed based , not seeing or hearing well person making good if blurry art ( Monet eat your heart out )
    I do facilitate art workshops for people living with dementia and learning disabilities and run a therapy practice working one to one with a variety of individuals . I do take occasional services especially at the 800 year old Church where my better half is warden . I’m in love with a pug dog . The daily service on radio 4 long wave is vital to my routine at 945 each day . Especially praying the Lord’s Prayer with people from all over the place . Dave Lucas and his disability and Jesus work and his friendship and weekly phone calls also sustain me .

    • Hazel Palmer 25th July, 2020 at 12:43 pm #

      Hi Tanya

      Am also pleased to have found you! Heart goes out to previous post writer, Alex (if that’s not patronising). I also admire both of you for keeping on keeping on and communicating about it.
      Thank you, Tanya, for the ACW webinar you led today and for helping me with the exercise. Would love to share my story, but how can I contact you personally? Have scoured website and can’t find a contact page/space.

  3. Julia Chambeyron 20th October, 2015 at 10:59 am #

    Dear Tanya
    Thanks for your blog and sharing your situation. I would love to interact with you! I am an Anglican priest living in France and struggling with a chronic balance disorder which I have had for 12 years. I write articles on Compromised Health for a forum a friend of mine has set
    I have just ordered your book in hard copy as can’t read for long from a screen. I really look forward to reading it – love the story of Ruth.

    • Tanya 2nd November, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

      Thanks so much for connecting with me! I really appreciate it. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be in the Anglican church in France – my instinct is that it’s a hard job! It’s great to meet you. Thank you so much for ordering my book! I’d love to know what you think of it when you’re done.

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