Meet the Flockers: Kay Szawlis
20 August 2021
Our Meet The Flockers series allows us to dive deep into what makes our flock tick. We spend some time on the sillier side of life, and get the answers to some unusual questions.
From favourite films, to bucket lists, this series offers a window into our talented flock.
What’s your favourite book and why?
That’s a tricky one. I love reading books and I read a fair amount (less so, since I stopped commuting…) but I rarely read the same book twice (too many books, too little time!). There are a few books that influenced my life, though. One of the major ones would be ‘The science of Jurassic Park and the lost world or: how to build a dinosaur’ by Rob DeSalle and David Lindley. This book made me realise that genetics and biotechnology is something I would love to study. I ended up doing my degree in biotechnology with strong interest in genetics.
Do you live by any piece of advice or motto?
I think my favourite one is ‘do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail’ – I try to live by it, though my anxiety often stops me from doing so fully. So maybe it should be ‘do not follow where the path may lead, carefully go instead where there is no path and slowly try to make your own way through life’. I do like the unconventional and I am not afraid to speak up, I just don’t have the platform (yet!) for trailblazing. But I am just getting started! It’s also what attracted me to SL – I think the whole company lives by this motto.
What’s something not a lot of people know about you?
I talk a lot, so there isn’t much people don’t know about me – but I guess in a working environment not many people know that I actually have quite an active and hectic life outside of my work. I live life at full speed and have a very eclectic set of hobbies. From lifting weights, cycling, doing gymnastics and running a rugby team (shout out to my U8s!) to knitting, sewing and cross-stitching.
What famous person in history would you want to spend a day with?
Another tricky one! I am not sure. I think it would be interesting to see what a day in life of the Queen is like. Otherwise, there are many historical figures that sound like interesting people, but I would probably feel intimidated by them or would feel insignificant in comparison. I’d love to pick Marie Sklodowska-Curie’s brains. Or Rosalind Franklin?
What’s your favourite cuisine/dish? Why?
I don’t think I am allowed to say anything else other than ‘Polish’ or they would revoke my passport! But whenever I feel homesick or sad, it’s good comfort food. I had this thing that whenever I made pierogi, I would phone my parents to ask something banal about the recipe. I knew the answer perfectly well, but it’s reassuring to know you can just pick up the phone and ask – I try not to take it for granted, now that I no longer have any surviving grandparents. It’s also my way of saying ‘I am making pierogi because I miss you’. My family is quite eclectic in its origins – my grandparents come from Lviv and Vilnius, my parents were born and bred in Wroclaw, and then I chose to live my life with a Zimbabwean partner in Essex. So after pierogi, my favourite dish is my partner’s oxtail stew with Polish dumplings – a bit of a fusion, which reflects our family.
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