About the Team | Liz

I live in beautiful South West France where I am renovating a house, creating a garden and generally enjoying life! I came here several years ago having spent more years than I care to remember as a business analyst for companies like Sainsbury’s, Pfizer and the NHS. Finally, I saw the light and decided to get out of the rat race and London to live a more balanced life.

For more than 20 years and in addition to my career, I also had a serious hobby – dancing and running a tango club. I first encountered Argentine tango as part of a Christmas lindy hop festival in Port Townsend and I was totally hooked. However, not only was tango in its infancy in the UK, so was the internet. There was no good information on real communities, it was either unavailable or unreliable. A friend and I travelled around Europe to find tango and teachers. I would pick up flyers and search the internet, but frustratingly I would end up spending four out of five days looking for something that either no longer existed, had changed venues, or simply wasn’t known by the locals.

What I wanted was current and reliable information. Back then, and sadly even today, pages and sites were put together by enthusiasts that often no longer maintained the information, but it was still there to lead people astray – hence my stumbling around Barcelona for four consecutive nights without a single chance to dance! We can all get a bit obsessed with something that gets overtaken later by other priorities and, whilst our dance shoes are gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere, the site we created and comments we posted are still out there and can be found by any unsuspecting would-be dancer. Of course, this is true of all types of events, interests, places and people…

‘I want to find permaculture courses in France’

‘I want to see what’s going on in Berlin when I visit next week’

‘I want to buy my best friend a gift of an Italian Language course, are there any near her?’

‘I want to find someone who could introduce me to Tango in Seattle next Christmas’

I wanted to solve this problem of listing, promoting and organising events online, within tango and beyond. Despite years of experience and a wealth of information spanning dance styles and communities, I too often also lacked the time, money, and talented help to maintain this information and help other searchers. London, my career and commitments inevitably got in my way.

A holiday was in order.

I have always loved France and wanted to try somewhere different. Blindly, I pointed my finger at a map and when I opened my eyes I discovered the Lot, a rural department perfect for winding down. I came with my sister and we discovered very good wines, little known outside the area, beautiful scenery which was unexpectedly green for July, friendly locals and incredible food and produce. We also came across a house which I inadvertently fell in love with – by the end of the holiday I had put in an offer and it was accepted!

On returning to London I discovered that the holiday had changed my outlook completely, I wanted to stop working and just go to my new house. When my client said ‘of course we will renew your contract at the end of the year,’ he was as astonished as me when I replied ‘sorry, I’m moving to France!’ By November the house was mine and in January I finished moving my goods and chattels, and I was installed and ready for a new adventure.

Never one to do things in a small way, in January 2017 I had moved lock-stock-and-barrel and launched into a completely new life, not a shred of evidence left in London. Since then I have been gradually renovating the house, converting one of two hectares into a flower and produce garden and the other, hopefully, into a food forest. It’s a slow, sustainable, and long-term project.

When I moved, I thought the problem of finding events – stumbling around this or that city searching for an elusive dance partner – would also be left behind. But then I met Ciarán online a few years ago and my interest was piqued by his project, which closely resembled my own past endeavours. He was building an events search engine with ethical socialising aspects and had a vision that was so resonant with mine that I knew we would be on the same wavelength. Something we agreed on was the importance of finding a way to identify the likely reliability and authenticity of information and Ciarán had an idea about how we might do this without a huge overhead. My IT and analysis skills and Ciarán’s vision and drive were a good complement and, with the rest of the team, we seem to have hit a sweet spot of shared vision and creative tension that every project needs, where we both challenge and support each other.

Life here is never dull, I am always busy! Alongside this project, I have found many new friends in this idyllic rural backwater. I share the house with three cats, in the garden chickens wander and produce delicious eggs, a ‘potager’ laden with fruit and vegetables, ducks for entertainment, and wonderful weather. Perfect! Even so, having jumped off the corporate treadmill, I find my interest in technology and connection can now be explored on my own terms. Our project has been a labour of love in the best possible sense. It has also been exciting to discover that so many others have similar concerns about the ways we use the internet to connect, especially through social media; and. that we find ourselves and our project a part of the ‘humane technology’ movement.

I hope we will help people to share and find the right information, at the right time, in the right place and, in this way, we will enable people to make wise choices and encourage real-world activities, connections and communities.