My name’s Simon Perks and I live in Somerset, UK, with my wife, Natalie, and Molly and Ozzy, my Labrador dogs. Welcome to my home on the web. You’re very welcome, so feel free to grab a cup of tea and make yourself at home.
I’m a political and social philosopher by training (to the extent to which anyone can actually train to be something like that) and worry a lot about the challenges that we face as a society. I’m also a chartered public finance accountant and a public finance specialist, which gives me a practical perspective on things, too.
I have a keen interest in politics, political philosophy, public policy, public finance and the delivery of public services. And I write about the things that concern, frustrate or quite simply outrage me, with a view to helping to bring about positive change for people and for our planet.
I blog here regularly(-ish) about what I’m thinking, what I’m doing and what’s going on in my life. This includes anything from the books I’m reading and the things I’m working on, to the stuff the dogs get up to and the food I’m growing in the garden. You’ll also come across things about astronomy, archaeology and various other topics that interest me.
Here are the dogs. Molly’s the orange one and Ozzy’s the black one.
And here are some photos of the garden in early spring. I’ll try to remember to update them when there’s a bit more growing later in the year.
Natalie and I try to live in as eco-friendly a way as we can, to reduce our impact on the environment and the climate, and to encourage others to do the same. We don’t live off-grid, or anything like that, but we do grow a lot of our own food, eat a vegetarian diet and try to avoid buying things we don’t need. We’re far from perfect, though, and there’s lots more we could do. I’ll keep you updated as we progress on our journey.
I’m a big fan of the outdoors, too, and love being outside with the dogs. I’m training our youngest Labrador (Ozzy) in search and detection techniques, finding both live people and trace scents. You can read more about our search and detection work here. We also do canicross (running with Ozzy attached to me via a bungee lead) and lots of ‘normal’ running, hiking and exploring. You’ll read quite a bit about that, too.
Here’s Ozzy after we’d just got back from one of our training sessions. The white bottle on my rucksack is talcum power, which we use to better understand air flow in the search area.
To earn money (and because it’s fun), I run Sockmonkey Consulting, a small strategy and performance consulting practice working with organisations across the public, not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors. You can find out more about my consulting activities here. I’m working hard to build up the business and to try out new ways of working. And I’m keen to share new ideas, tools and tech that I find useful.
Although my family and I now live in Somerset, I’ve lived and worked in the UK, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. I have degrees in political science and theoretical physics. I speak English, French, German and Russian fluently and can get by in Dutch and Mandarin Chinese.
Before I set up my own business in 2011, I worked for ten years in the public sector practice of a ‘big four’ international audit and consultancy firm. And, thankfully, survived to tell the tale. When I’m not writing or consulting, I like to run, hike, kayak, row, paddleboard, read, grow plants and bake things. I also drink quite a lot of tea.