It all started with a library book sale in Belfast where, hidden amongst the boxes of old stock, I found a Russian textbook. Captivated by the Cyrillic script, I bought it and started learning.
That was in 1994, and although I didn't progress much further than "How are you?" and "What is your name?" at that stage, the seed was sown. My love of language, music and literature led me to learn French, German and Spanish at school and Welsh in my spare time, and then to take a year out to teach myself Russian before starting a BA Russian and German at the University of Sheffield.
The rest, as they say, is history.