About Juniper

Beginnings


I was born in Hungary but spent most of my life travelling around the world chasing sick plants thanks to my father’s profession (who is a plant pathologist). It was inescapable for me to become fond of science and travelling. If you read Gerald Durrell’s ‘My family and other animals’ book you can imagine my childhood just not on a Greek island and I had no acquaintances like Spiro but nonetheless the same.

At the age of 16 my secondary grammar school got into trouble because of politics. My teachers were the kind of people who made a stand if the government or regulations (or both) were not making any sense. In that year the opposing party won the elections and my school was put on a ‘black list’. Needless to say everyone was stressed and the mood in the school was pretty grim. So I decided to bake a 100 cupcakes one weekend.  On a Monday I asked a ‘special meeting’ to be announced in the speakers around school. The teachers started coming into the room where I laid out all the cupcakes and to some reason twinkle lights… And I gave my very first speech in front of everyone.

“Although I am just a student I want to let you all know that you have my full support and everyone needs to be reminded that miracles can happen” so dig in…

It sounds so cheesy now that I think back but it is exactly what I meant. I was not the perfect student but I always thought that teachers are unappreciated and I am the one to remind them why they wanted to become teachers in the first place. I am known for hiding chocolates, custard slices, feathers, ‘Keep Calm and Love Ladybirds’ mugs, sea shells even now for my lecturers. Some people think that I do it for getting good grades. Rubbish. I want to treat others in a way that I would like to be treated. (I would be overjoyed if someone would hide sea shells for me!)

Then I got ‘kicked in the butt’, I had a big skiing accident in 2013. I love skiing because of the speed and the large amount of mulled wine. I was with my skiing school, following the instructor nicely when I fell and boy, did I fall badly. To this day I cannot remember one hour in my life, nor the fall or skiing afterwards. The moment I first ‘woke up’ I was looking at the sky and when my friends approached me with chips asking me how I am doing, I said “I think I am in shock”. Then I got to do what I’ve always dreamt of: I was airlifted from the mountain by a helicopter! Sadly I was fastened down and I was given a couple of shots so I could not look out the window… Though I tried..

My skiing googles broke on my face and when I looked in the mirror I looked like coming from a horror movie with amazingly real looking make-up of cracked lips and scars. I spent two months in my dark room, without being able to read, watch movies, listen to music or go for a walk. When you have that much time you have a lot of time to do the most dangerous thing… think about life. The doctors told me that without the helmet I would not have survived that fall. I thought about this quite a lot. I have not even done anything in this life and it almost ended.

So buckle up, let’s get started.