BBC interview at Bletchley Park and TNMOC

Yesterday was busy, and a lot of fun. The morning was spent travelling up to Bletchley Park and being interviewed outside by the BBC’s Adam Fleming and Simon about crowdfunding, the future of publishing and my book Saving Bletchley Park. It was a really fun interview that ended up with Simon recording close up audio of me knitting. Why knitting? Well one of the perks of my crowdfunded book, the one that sold out first included a pair of socks handknitted by me. Here are Adam, Simon and my daughter Leah, and the socks that I’ve just started knitting.


When the interview was over we went up to The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park to say hi and to see their new exhibitions. There are so many!

I saw the locked gates and fence that have been put up by Bletchley Park for the first time. I have to admit it was very upsetting to see them.




I was amazed by all the work that has been carried out at TNMOC. Lots of new exhibitions since I was last there including the women in computing exhibition featuring some real female tech heroes like Steve Shirley, Grace Hopper and Barbara Liskov. I was a bit disappointed that Turing Award winner and friend Fran Allen was not included, and that Steve was the only UK hero but, that aside it was really great to see so many women represented at Bletchley.




My daughter Leah had a go on several of the very cool vintage games and on the new Oculus Rift virtual Bletchley Park. An awesome project led by Chris Monk at TNMOC to create 1940s Bletchley Park for anyone to interact with. The project has only just started, but is looking great already with a virtual Colossus and the maze, complete with hidden Easter Eggs, that used to exist at Bletchley. Very cool and exciting, and needing funding.

It was fun to see Rory Cellan-Jones at TNMOC too, there to record BBC TechTent, taking pics of virtual Bletchley too. Chaperoning Rory was Helen Armfield who it was really great to meet IRL after knowing each other on Twitter for ages.


Helen told me that @documentally’s awesome social media meetup Station X is now running from TNMOC which is great news. If you live in the Bletchley area and want to meet up with likeminded geeks I highly recommend it.

I also had a great chat with Lin Jones, another of the very knowledgeable and dedicated people at TNMOC.

After lots of fun at TNMOC we headed back to London for another with Analia Plaza interview for Eldiario which was also a lot of fun.

After the interview we made our way down to my son and daughter in law’s place in south London for dinner. I wish I’d taken a photo of that, it was so delicious, dahl and rice, my absolute all time favourite meal.

We walked through Bunhill Fields Cemetery dating from 1665 as a cut through to the bus stop, I was amazed to find several famous people buried there including William Blake and Daniel Defoe. Incredible to find that just over the road from Google Campus in London’s Tech City.

We changed buses at the monument and took a couple of pics there too.

All in all it was a great day. You will be able to hear the BBC interview “Publishing Wars” on “The report” next Thursday at 8pm on BBC Radio 4.







Dunster Castle – a fabulous day out

We had a fabulous day out at Dunster Castle this week. From the cook and butler’s tour of the Victorian/1920s kitchens to the wonderful library, antique quilted and knitted bedspreads, beautiful gardens and working watermill there really was something for everyone. One of my best days out ever. Thanks to all the staff and especially the volunteers for such a great experience. We even saw a flypast by the Red Arrows as we left 😃









Urgent response needed – email just received

Can’t believe people are still sending these emails, do they get any response? I can’t believe that they do….

Attn:Sue Black

Good day to you , please do not ignore this email but carefully read for at the end this information disclosed here will be of great benefit to
both of us and I can also assure you of its safety. My Dear I will need your help in a certain situation I have just found my self . Am really afraid and don’t know whom to confide in.

I have been looking for a Trustworthy person to put his or her name to help me claim my funds $60,000,000.00 usd ( Sixty Million United States Dollars) Deposited in a security firm during my service in the army.

I will need to work with you in getting this money out of the security company were it was deposited in a packaged.

Get back to me and I will make the arrangement on how to get this done. I have no one to confide in, I don’t have someone to confide in I believe yo ​u ​will be of helpful to me that’s why i contacted you.

Also I will be reviling further details to you once you have give me your word of confidence to go ahead for this transaction to proceed further.

To prove my self to you, view attachment the copy of my passport, My military ID and the box before packaged and moved to the company, l have no access to the box as of now and the company does not know the content of the box for security reasons, my military lawyer who made the deposit declared it as an expensive personal belongings.

Therefore do not show anyone this picture for security reasons. waiting to hear from you for us to proceed immediately.

Thanks for your understanding.
Gen. William
U.S Army

100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter

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Thanks very much to Business Insider for including me in an awesome line up of women in their “Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter 2014″. I came in at number 35 and am in very prestigious and truly awesome company, with many great friends also on the list. Check out the top 100 compiled with help from Peer Index.

** I went back to school aged 26, even I didn’t manage to have three kids and get divorced by the age of 20 ;)




2 Awards in One Day!! #cwwomen #nia2014

Yesterday was an awesome day. I was voted 9th most influential woman in tech by Computer Weekly in the afternoon and we won the Nominet Internet Award for the best Online Skills and Training company in the evening.

There are so many great women on the Computer Weekly list, do check them all out. Dame Wendy Hall was rightly voted most influential woman, with the awesome tech pioneer Dame Steve Shirley in second place. Great also to see MP Chi Onwurah placed and several BCSWomen including the wonderful Hannah Dee :-)

The Nominet Internet Awards in the evening were awesome too. So lovely for #techmums to win our award and great that our fellow BGV alumni WriteLaTeX won an award too. Great hosting by Kate Russell as always.













#techmums meet #techma’am

This Monday I and 349 other techies went to a wonderful event for tech entrepreneurs hosted by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace. It was an absolutely awesome evening, I caught up with lots of fab friends, made lots of new friends and also had lots of lovely chats with people who are fans of Bletchley Park, BCSWomen and women in tech. A real night to remember, and thank goodness there are pics to prove it otherwise I’d be in danger of thinking it was all a dream….











Operation duck rescue

At home this evening I heard a cat miaowing strangely in the kitchen. My grown up daughter Emma went to investigate and came back with my younger daughter Leah, and a duckling in a bowl! One of our cats had brought in a small duckling. It was cute and seemed unharmed. We wondered what to do with it. Take it to a vet? Take it to the park near our house where we suspected it had come from? I went on to Twitter and Facebook to find out what the best thing to do was.

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The duckling was so cute! Here is the photo I posted it in the bowl that Leah put it in.



Lots of friends made suggestions via Facebook and Twitter, we started to phone the RSPCA only to be told by my friend Fiona on Facebook that the RSPCA might put it down! Oh dear.

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We decided to try taking the duckling to the park to find its mother.

Leah put the duckling into a box with a tea towel and we walked over to the park. Our cat Sophie who had brought the duckling in followed us down the road miaowing at us, what was she saying to us?


When we got there we saw some people sitting by a pond, we asked if they had seen a family with ducklings, they said that there was one at the other pond. We walked over to the other pond and saw a mother duck with some ducklings. Leah helped the duckling out of the box and into the pond. The duckling swam across the pond to the mother duck, who attacked it! We screamed “Oh No!” We were scared that the mother would kill it, but she just swam off.

The duckling swam around and around It then cheep/quacked around the pond for about 10 mins. We were really worried watching it swimming around anxiously. Finally it swam to the edge, got out of the pond and started running across the grass. We realised that it was running across to the other pond, the one where we had looked first.


We followed the duckling about 100 metres across the park to the other pond.  Emma filmed it. As we got closer we saw that there was a mum with her six ducklings at the edge of the pond. Our duckling ran over towards the mum, then went straight into the pond and started swimming around with the other identical ducklings. The mum then got back in the water and swam around with all of them.

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It was really amazing. We couldn’t believe it. Absolutely incredible. We watched them all swimming around together for a while and then came home. What a wonderful result. We had been almost convinced that the duckling was going to perish, but amazingly not only did we find her mum, but also her mum took her straight back as if nothing had happen.

When we got home Sophie was obviously extremely annoyed with us, she sat on the piano swooping her tail around aggressively. Did she bring us the duckling as a present and we had taken it back? I wish she could tell us.

Here’s the video that Emma shot of us running across the park after the duckling :)

[Been trying to post the video without success, will try again tonight 4/5/13]





I’m off to the Palace!

How exciting to return home after a lovely Everywoman lunch at Rockabox today to find this at home

I was so excited I couldn’t open it at first. When I did I found that it is an invitation from the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to a reception for the UK technology industry at Buckingham Palace. Which is cool, because that means there will hopefully be lots of friends there too. How exciting 😃

Now I just need to work out what to wear, any suggestions?

Girls in ICT Day – Geneva April 2014

I’m in Geneva for a couple of days to celebrate Girls in ICT day 2014 #girlsinICT with the ITU the International Telecommunication Union, the part of the United Nations that specialises in technology. I’m on a panel later on today. We arrived yesterday afternoon and after a short British Airways flight from London which took just over an hour.


After a 15 min train ride from the airport we were in the centre of Geneva


After checking in at our hotel we went to be interviewed at ITU and met some of the fabulous women who work there :) We just had to take a #selfie…


Then my daughter Leah and I went to have a look around and hang out.



Here we are outside the UN HQ building


This is Baby Plage, a fabulous mana made beach with play equipment made from recycled car tyres etc.


At the #girlsinICT conference Super Awesome Sylvia demonstrates her WatercolorBot


Leah looking forward to the digital music making workshop


Super Awesome Sylvia again :)


ITU Secretary General Hamadoun Toure welcomes us all to #girlsinICT day


The wonderful Doreen Bogdan Chief of Strategic Planning at ITU, a great role model for the girls here and for us all

Chief of Strategic Planning and Membership at ITU BlPz9DQIMAA-oEm

Sylvia gets lots of interest from the gilrs and tells everyone about when she met President Obama at the White House. Go Sylvia!


Sylvia interviewed again about what she has done and what she is interested in. Check her out at The Sylvia Show.


What an awesome day! …and it has only just begun, looking forward to more exciting stuff this afternoon.