Why did you get into Optics?
I had retinal surgery on one eye when I was 17 and have been fascinated by eyes and optics ever since (Though it has taken a while to develop a bit more style when it comes to my own glasses—the ones I used to wear were awful!). I always thought it would be an interesting field to get into.
Where did you study? / What qualifications do you have?
I studied Zoology at the University of Glasgow and have my BSc (Hons). It was either that or Parasitology, but Zoology seemed more fun.
How long have you been with Urquhart Opticians and what do you enjoy most about your job?
I have been in optics for four years now, though only with Urquhart’s since August (and loving it so far). I’d say my favourite part of the job is helping patients find the right frame for them, it’s always so interesting to see everyone’s individual style and being able to find something that will suit them, sometimes something they’ve never even considered.
What is your favourite brand of eyewear and why?
I am a big fan of Face a Face frames, anything that has big bold statement pieces and a lot of colour is a winner in my book.
What is your most memorable patient experience?
Any time a patient comes back who remembers me by name and is happy with the glasses I have helped them pick. It’s just really rewarding to see someone happy with what we’ve chosen together.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to travel, and particularly enjoy trying new food wherever I go. I’m a very keen cook, so will often try to recreate a lot of things I have tried when I’m back home—with varying results. It usually turns out all right, though!
I’m a bit of a beachcomber in my spare time and can spend hours just walking along the shore searching for unusual things, I think my partner must despair at the amount of sea glass I have.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Impossible to choose. There are so many places I have been that I want to go back to and so many places I still want to go. If I had to pick a top three, it would be Kyoto, Seoul and Rome.
What is your favourite movie or book?
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series will always have a big place in my heart, though it is hard to pick an individual book. I’d say Reaper Man probably just edges out ahead, though Guards, Guards! is a classic.
Tell us your favourite quote?
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
Best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Cheesy as it sounds, being told just to be myself and that I will be liked just for that. There’s a lot to be said for not trying to fit yourself around others’ expectations, as long as you can live up to your own, and be happy with that.
One interesting fact about yourself?
I used to live in Japan and taught English there for a little over a year. I can remember just about enough of the language to get by and would love to make it back there some time, especially during cherry blossom season.