How it all began

Like lots of good ideas – and quite a few crazy ones – this started around the dinner table over a glass of wine.

“Sounds like the sort of thing Churchill might fund,” said my brother-in-law’s wife.

“Churchill?”

It was news to me. All the funding bodies I’d ever come across (and that wasn’t many) gave money to organisations, and preferred an established track record of budget management. They certainly weren’t about to take a punt on an individual with no academic research experience looking for answers in slightly unexpected places.

The timing was providential. Three days before applications closed, I found myself online, looking at past projects, working my way through the guidelines for selection. British citizen resident in the UK? Tick. Have an idea? Tick. Travel overseas? Tick. Want to benefit others as well as yourself? Tick. Looked like I met the criteria, and with the clock running, I couldn’t hang around.

Well, it probably wouldn’t come to anything. They’d almost certainly say no. Nothing to lose. I hit “send”.