Life with the Lowthers

Updated 1.12.2014

Hello, my name is Toby Lowther.

I am 15 years old, the second eldest child in our family.

Hobies and Interests

I have a range of interests and hobies.

I am myself a very great reader. At the moment I am taking an English Literature iGCSE - I am really enjoying the books involved, though I personally am less fond of the disection of these books. My taste in genre generally leans towards the fantastical - Epic (or High) Fantasy and Science Fiction being my favourite genres, though I have found more than one Historical Fiction novel highly entertaining.

Another of my hobbies comes in the form of special effects for film. I dabble mostly in the VFX (Visual Effects) side of things, do a large amount of CG work, including a small amount of 3D modelling. At the moment I am working on some visual effects for Luke Furmage's latest film Guardian Rebirth - head over to tukey99's YouTube channel in a few months' time if you want to see the result!

I also do a little conlanging, particularly as an accessory to my novels. A conlang or Constructed Language is a language designed artificially for human purposes. It involves a very unique application of the science of Linguistics, and I find it great fun. Some famous conlangs include Klingon, Esperanto, Lojban and J. R. R. Tolkien's Quenya. This, I find, is a major part of designing an in-depth and interesting world for any work of fiction.

I also enjoy some less unusual hobbies. I enjoy many board games, card games and computer games. I am, indeed, hoping to get the 3 core source books for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition this Christmas. I also play Games Workshop's LOTR Battle Strategy Game which has, strangely, been downbranded to "The Hobbit Battle Strategy Game" - despite this, I personally still play the LOTR game...

As far as card games go, while I do enjoy the odd hand of Canasta, I particularly like TCG/CCG card games, for example Yu-Gi-Oh! and Card Fight Vanguard. For computer games, again my interests turn to Epic Fantasy and Science Fiction - for example, Neverwinter Nights, Elder Scrolls, Command & Conquer, and Star Wars KOTOR.

I am not a generally "sporty" person - I would rather a good book or a YGO duel. I do, however, enjoy some sports, but generally nothing you "play". I swim, kayak, sail, canoe and windsurf. I practice archery, fencing and horse-riding.

As of this summer, I have also begun to play the guitar. Nothing very elaborate at the moment, but I am working toward Grade 3 of the London Collage of Music Electric Guitar exams. (I intend to do the exams on the acoustic guitar. This is not unusual - indeed, the concept of doing the exams on acoustic, despite their being "electric" exams, is mentioned in the coursebook. The reason I am aiming for these, and not the Acoustic Guitar grades, is because the Electric grades require more improvisation, where as the Acoustic grades focus on learning pieces.)

Additionally, I am very fond of history, though not much of the "modern" stuff - that is, I find anything since the Stuart Era generally rather dull. As I see it, the further back you go, the more interesting it gets. I find especially interesting those "underestimated" cultures - cultures which are brushed asside as "Barbarians" or "primitive", but on further investigation reveal highly advanced social structure, technology and mythology. As such, some of my favourite historical peoples are the Mongols, the Persians and the Vikings.

Pyrotechnics at the Puy de Fou Viking Longboat display.

This Year

This year has been a very full year, ranging from iGCSEs to nasal surgery.

Starting from the start, back in January we went to see the Moscow State Circus - the first time I have ever been to the circus. That was a truly spectacular display.

Unfortunately, this was an early peak - Febuary is marked by another first for me: my first surgery under general anaesthetic. These nasal pollips had been stopping me breathing through my nose for a year or two now without anyone, including myself, noticing, and having them gone was a relief... and a shock when I first went swimming and got water all the way into my face! I do have pictures, but I shan't torture you with them...

A reasonably insignificant March was followed by April, as it usually is... though this April was more interesting than the preceeding March, which is not always the case. April involved a trip up to Jorvic - that's York in the modern day. We have been many times, but it is always an impressive city. Also in April, we produced a film with our friends the Lewises - a short production about Boudicca and her revolution. I acted, but also got to produce the covers for the CDs.

The full cast of Boudicca - Warrior Queen of Britainnia.

In May we went on a bike ride with Riverside Church.

June brought around my fifteenth birthday, in France once again. It also brought about my first 2 iGCSEs and my first guitar (a birthday present). If you're interested in my iGCSE results, see the "Achievements" section. While we were in France, we went to Mont Saint Michel - a truly awesome sight, awe-inspiring and impressive. I would highly recommend a visit - seeing the abbey from the land end of the causeway as a seeming fortress built on a rock in the sea is amazing.

Mont Saint Michel in France.

July

Achievements

Being only 14, my notable achievements are rather limited, as can be expected. However, there are a number of things that I would draw your attention to.

Firstly, when I was 10 years old, I published my first novel. I have always dreamt of being an author when I am older, and this was my first major step forward (and last; I haven't finished another novel since!). It took me 2 years to write, and is of decent quality (everyone else says it's brilliant, though I still think I can do, and probably could have done, better). The novel is available here (click here), at a mere £5.85. Of course, it is self-published by a 10-year-old, so don't expect world-class writing, but it's great for a bit of fun.

Secondly, I have recently finished acting in a minor cinematic production - a YouTube video which you can watch below. I both acted in the film and did a small amount in the post-production VFX.

That's about it for achievements, until the Summer, when I will be taking my first GCSEs!