About me

I normally find it weird or difficult to talk about myself, but I will need to get used to this if I want to keep the blog going.

My name is Jonathan Whitmore. Most people call me Jon. A few people sometimes call me Jonny, you need to know me well to get away with this. I was born in 1987 and grew up in South West London. I am the youngest of three. I have an alder brother and sister, my sister is the oldest. My family are great and have helped me so much in my life.

I started to play the drums when I was 11. I should be a lot better than I am, I don’t practice as much as I should do. I started to get interested in music when I was about 14, before that I didn’t really have much of an interest in music and what I did listen to was pretty rubbish. To sum up my musical taste very briefly you could say I like ‘alternative rock’. I don’t really like that term but I am trying to be brief so it will have to suffice. My favourite band is Muse, closely followed by Dead Can Dance. I don’t like aggressively happy popular music. I have played in two bands, both of which are largely blues rock influenced. I formed the second band Black Arrow with some friends at university, considering how life likes to throw obstacles in our way I think we are pretty good! I started to learn how to play the bodhran, which is a type of Irish drum, in 2011 but became a little distracted by illness. This another drum which I should be better at. I also started to teach myself the guitar in 2012, as with the bodhran my progression on this instrument has been hampered by illness.

I went to University at Southampton in 2006 and studied archaeology. I met some amazing people and made some great friends, not only archaeologists! My first year was interrupted a little about two thirds of the way through when I contracted bacterial meningitis. This almost killed me (I’m serious) but I didn’t let that stop me finishing my first year. I may have just scraped through some assignments and exams but I made it to my second year. I managed to graduate in 2009 no thanks to my rubbish dissertation. I had an internship with English Heritage for a year and was able to live in the 19th Century Fortification which I also worked at. This job finished in the autumn of 2010 after which my life got a bit rubbish.

In late 2010 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which flared up very badly a few days before New Years Eve and affected me pretty badly nearly every day until June 2011. When things started to calm down I was able to get some work with archaeological field units based in London. I started a masters in environmental archaeology at UCL in October 2011. Now medication seemed to be keeping the UC under control and I was confident that it would not be dictating how I lived my life. Unfortunately in November my UC symptoms seemed to be becoming worse and by the end of the month they were definitely back and making uni very difficult. By February 2012 it was almost impossible for me to make it into uni. I took an interruption of study so I could return when I was able to keep the disease under control. It was becoming increasingly clear that any medical and dietary treatments were not working.I needed surgery to cure me of my UC. The surgery involved removing my large intestine and rectum (the badly damaged area which was being affected by the disease) and giving me a temporary stoma (when part of your intestine sticks out of your tummy) until I had another operation a couple of months after the first to reverse the temporary stoma so that my body could start using the internal ileo-anal pouch (an internal reservoir formed from loops of the end of the small intestine, the ileum). The pouch functions as a rudimentary large intestine, I do need to go to the toilet more than once in 24hrs and some foods can still cause problems but it is a great improvement. Recovery is still ongoing but I am getting my strength back gradually.

That should be enough talk about UC. It will probably rear its ugly head again, UC does not like to be ignored.

As well enjoying playing and listening to music, I like watching films. I am not really much of a comedy fan, I don’t really share the same sense of humour as most people. My favourite film is The Crow. I also enjoy reading but go through phases of reading as much as possible or hardly picking up a book. I can be a bit of a geek or a nerd (however you want to put it) at times.

I also like playing sport and doing exercise though this was not really possible when I was suffering UC (told you it would come up again). I would like to run a marathon, I had attempted to previously but was unable to as when I was meant to be racing was when some UC symptoms started occurring. Once I get my strength back I plan on getting back to a similar level of fitness I was at before. The plan is to get back into sports and activities I used to enjoy and maybe start some new ones.

That was a much longer “About me” than I had intended. As you might have noticed I have a tendency to ramble.

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