My name is Aimee Hartnell. I am small, fluffy, annoying, and overwhelmingly purple. I live in Oxford, England, with my husband Alex, two deranged bunnies, and a hedgehog called Lord Chuffnell,
and I finance my insatiable desire for hats, peonies and notebooks with pretty covers by attempting to teach Chemistry at Rye St Antony School. (Much as I love to bask in the aura of altruism
with which my devotion to the education of future generations surrounds me, I cannot deny that six weeks off in the summer, being home in time for Neighbours most nights and doing the flame test
whenever the whim accosts me leave me very little moral high ground on which to stand.) I began writing Chemistry filks (I'm told that's the technical term) when I was still in Year 12 and
sadly (or rather not) my output has rather dwindled since then; life does somewhat get in the way of trying to fit the word "anti-Markovnikov" into an appropriate line.
Despite considerable misgivings for most of its duration (except that week in the second year when we did group theory) I did a degree in Chemistry at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, with the supplementary subject History and Philosophy of Science, which was much more my cup of tea (cups of tea, punctuated by pints of cider, did indeed form the major part of my university experience, although going to a party dressed as pants deserves a mention as well). Because I paint and quote unfashionable poetry a lot, in my more pretentious moments I consider myself moderately artsy, and suffered from the academic equivalent of transgender issues for most of my education (what with this and not knowing whether I am blonde or brunette, the casual observer can only imagine the sort of identity crises with which I trouble myself in idle moments). This website is therefore, basically, not so much a manifesto that Science Can Be Fun as an outlet for my multi-faceted incompetence.
I realised however, while watching an episode of University Challenge in which an arts college battled a science college, that my allegiance does ultimately lie with the sciences. Most of all, I like the way you only have to understand an aspect of science in order to appreciate it, whereas you and I might both understand the poetry of Ted Hughes and I would still think it was bum.
The title Musical Chemistry has led some to believe that, as well as being Chemistry, I am also Musical. On the contrary, I suspect my musical intelligence of being only marginally higher than my kinaesthetic intelligence, which is generally accepted as being borderline retarded. I own both an electric and an electr-acoustic guitar, neither of which I can play properly, but have spent many happy hours singing Ralph McTell's Streets of London and strumming along arrhythmically while the bunnies watch in a transfixed and slightly disturbed manner. Who knows, I may even learn a new song some day.
I am terribly fond of fudge, period dramas on TV, bluebells, cycling downhill, horses, J. W. Waterhouse, woolly jumpers, nice leaves in Autumn, toilet humour, Blackadder, cake, lying in
bed, Les Miserables, ducklings, dying my hair silly colours, the Romantic poets, woods, hats, bushbabies (and related prosimians), Spring, stationery, talking out of my derriere, and
cinnamon. I am terribly irked by extreme girliness, uncomfortable shoes, Coldplay, hot weather, cycling uphill, bad manners, cauliflower, Coldplay, any kind of exercise, Ted Hughes, and
I'm genuinely terribly pleased that you've visited my website. No, really; whenever I consider the possibility of dropping dead next week and subsequently realise I have achieved absolutely nothing with my insignificant existence, it always mitigates my general sense of self-disillusionment to think that one or two people have looked at this website while they were supposed to be researching analysis of iron tablets by redox titration and had a half-hearted chuckle at it. (Chances are they were laughing at me being sad enough to create this thing rather than any humour contained within it, but still.)
Thank you for your visit, and do spread the word - up the geeks, I always say.