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30-Second Interview with Oliver Flory

The Pelican 30 Second Interview

During the interregnum, we thought we could take an opportunity to get to know some St Giles people a little better, so each month the Pelican will feature a 30-second interview with a member of our congregation, staff or wider community. This month we interviewed Oliver Flory, Churchwarden at St Giles.


Where is home for you?

White City, north of Shepherd’s Bush. I was brought up in a village in Buckinghamshire, near High Wycombe, so the country still occasionally feels like ‘home’.


What is your earliest memory?

I think probably getting lost in the old Lion Terraces at London Zoo, which in those days were a jungle of rather splendid brutalist concrete.


What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A zoo-keeper - is a theme developing here? Sadly, I have little aptitude for cleaning up dung and still less for maths (essential for proper scientists)!


What is your favourite time of the year?

Early autumn (about now in fact). Leaves turning on the trees, bird migration in full swing, and glorious evening light.


What is the worst job you’ve done?

I was a porter in a West London auction-house, lots of heavy lifting, a sale every week, and an enormous commute from Camden (where I was living at the time) to Chiswick!


What is your favourite smell?

The smell of a crisp sunny winter’s morning.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?

It is slightly nerdy, but potentially the over 2,000 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians recorded on my life-list (I don’t 'do' fish or invertebrates). It’s a huge project, categorised taxonomically, and I am very proud of it.  


When you’re not at work, where would you most like to be?

Bird watching around London, with the promise of a good lunch or dinner to come.


Who would play you in the film of your life?

Someone said I looked like a less worried Tom Hollander last weekend! I think that was quite generous.


What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

To appreciate the natural world around us. 

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