I arrived at Milton Keynes in 1983, ready to start my job at the Open University. When I got here I couldn’t drive. My boyfriend was ill. I’d just had a big row with my boss. And the town centre was bleak!
There was nothing going on between the shopping centre and the railway station – just streets. It was utterly bizarre, and I was miserable. This new town and its infrastructure had been built, but there were no buses or anywhere to go to! But in time, my boyfriend got better and became my husband.
Monica enjoying working at The Open University
We brought a house in Bletchley. The buses started running, which we used a lot – we didn’t leave home without a bus timetable and the map of MK. I became a real fan of Milton Keynes in those first 3 years – it was so different than anywhere I’d been before. After that, we decided to move to the country so brought a house just outside Olney where we still are now. We love it there as you have the best of town and country.
“In the last few years I have become well known for my work on the Rosetta probe Philae lander. There’s a clip of me on the BBC Science pages which makes me cringe, but that people say I should be proud of, because it shows my passion for science.”
We had a son, who is now grown up, married with a son of his own. His family are looking to live in Milton Keynes too, which we are delighted about. In the last few years I have become well known for my work on the Rosetta probe Philae lander. There’s a clip of me on the BBC Science pages which makes me cringe, but that people say I should be proud of, because it shows my passion for science. The landing was one of the most exciting days of my life. My husband and I spent a large part of our scientific career working on the lander. And even though it didn’t go as planned, it achieved so much for science. That instrument was designed and built here, at the Open University in the specialist labs in Milton Keynes. It couldn’t have been built anywhere else – the knowledge was right here. It was a great, great day.