Other Stuff

This page aims to give a brief overview of some of my other (non-mathematical) interests, just in case anyone is interested!


Me on the blocks, ready to go!

I have been a competitive swimmer for many years, originally with the Elmbridge Phoenix Swimming Club (from 1995 to 2003), and then with the University of Warwick Swimming and Waterpolo Club (from 2003 to 2007). Whilst at Warwick I competed in several BUSA national competitions, the high point of which came in 2006 when I qualified for the final of the 200m butterfly at the BUSA long course nationals: I eventually finished 10th. I was awarded university half-colours for this achievement.

Between 2007 and 2011 I was a member of the City of Oxford Masters' Swimming Club, and competed (reasonably) regularly with them. Most notably, I represented them in the Midland Masters' Championships three times, in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2009 I finished with one gold and one silver medal in the 18-25 years 200m individual medley and 100m breaststroke respectively, in 2010 I won a single gold medal in the 25-29 years 400m individual medley, and in 2011 I finished with one gold and one silver medal in the 25-29 years 100m individual medley and 400m individual medley respectively.

Whilst I lived in Edmonton I was an active member of the Edmonton Masters' Swim Club and competed with them in several competitions. The highlight of this period came in 2013, when I was part of a relay team that broke the Canadian record for the men's 160+ years 800m long course freestyle relay.

Unfortunately, shortly after leaving Edmonton in 2014 I developed scapular dyskinesis in my right shoulder (an artifact of 20 years of competition!), which ended my competitive career; the picture to the right was taken at my final competitive meet. I continue to train regularly, but now for fitness and pleasure rather than for competition.

Other other stuff

I was a member of the organising committee for the New College Middle Common Room (usually shortened to MCR; basically the graduate body within the college) from October 2007 to March 2010. Most of this time was spent in the role of house officer, who is the person responsible for the day-to-day running and maintenance of the MCR facilities. In this position I oversaw the move of the MCR from its original premises in the Sacher building over to the Weston Sports Pavilion, and I worked to develop the common room facilities in the new location.

Whilst effecting the move, I also obtained qualifications in food hygiene for catering and a personal licence to sell alcohol. This enabled me to open a fully-licensed bar in the new common room, which proved very popular with the student body and, through profits on sales, helped to raise money to fund MCR activities. Needless to say, managing such an enterprise provided quite a challenge in the latter part of my doctoral studies!

As a side effect of spending a couple of years running a bar, I developed a taste for new and unusual beer. This led to me taking up beer tasting as a hobby and, eventually, to brewing my own beer at home. For around 6 years my girlfriend and I had a tumblr blog where we reviewed interesting beers as we discovered them; by the time we ended the blog, for reasons of dwindling time, we had reviewed over 1800 beers! If you're interested in reading literally thousands of pages of us rambling on about beer, you can find it here.

This page is maintained by Alan Thompson and was last updated on 17/11/19. Please email comments and corrections to verily(at)alanthompson.rocks.