Knowledge Base

Blogger Profile: @jeff_elephant - Tech, Wine, Travel and Healthy Living


I came to London to study finance and I stayed to work. I’m still here and now I have a British passport but honestly, nothing about my accent, habits, culture and hobbies is particularly British. Like many foreigners who studied here, I liked the diversity of the student population (it was an education in itself) but found the British education system a bit old school. I have continued to study for a number of professional qualifications in my field, finance, but a few years ago I started studying professional wine courses in my spare time at the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET).

Tech Interest:

My interest in Tech came out of a period at work where I was involved in a technology project. I became interested in Tech, and approached my tech geek friends to recommend some tech blog sites to read and to expand my knowledge base. A number of months after joining giffgaff, I found out through a giffgaff blogger that I could get involved in writing blogs for giffgaff. Many blogs later, I’m still finding new blog topics to pitch to @zobia22.


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Tech Usage:

I am by no means a tech geek but I use a Dell laptop running both Windows 7 and Linux Mint. I was interested in Linux for a while and finally realised how easy it is to install Linux as a 2nd OS on a Windows laptop. I strongly recommend fellow giffgaffers to give Linux a go.

In terms of mobile, I am an Android fan, running a Samsung smartphone and a Sony SmartWatch. However, I guarantee you that my next smartphone will not consider Samsung, as I don’t like their software.


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giffgaff Blog Focus:

As someone with a finance background, I have found my interest in blogging generally revolves around startups, entrepreneurs and emerging markets (in particular China and India). Occasionally, I write about apps or other software products that either I regularly use and swear by, or I find these new products interesting and I want to write about them.

My main objectives for blogging are: learning more about tech (tech products, tech companies and the tech industry), educating and raising awareness among the giffgaff blog readers of my blog topics, and personal enjoyment. I enjoy writing and blogs allow me to be creative. Blogging for giffgaff gives me access to a far wider audience than I would otherwise.


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Healthy Living:

I am from the West Coast so I’m pretty health conscious. I go to the gym 5-6 times per week, usually to classes and sometimes to do my own workouts. In terms of food, I’m pescatarian, a vegetarian who eats fish/seafood, and I eat a low gluten, low GI (glycemic index) diet. I do not drink beer (it’s full of gluten) but I do drink wine, spirits and the occasional cider in summer.


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I am a bit geeky in that I like to study. As mentioned above, a few years ago, I began studying for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s (WSET) professional wine exams. I am Level II Intermediate and Level III Advanced qualified, and I am currently studying towards my Level 4 Diploma. The Level 4 Diploma involves 7 exams and 1 major essay, and is regarded as the benchmark qualification globally for people working in wine and spirits. Going to classes on Saturday is super fun but trying to find enough time to study on weeknights after work and before the gym, and on weekends outside of class is hard work.

My favourite wine shop in London is The Sampler, which was the first London wine shop to introduce the enomatic tasting machines. These computerised tasting machines allow you to try small tasting samples of wine using a credit card sized card with chip technology. If you live in London or regularly visit, I highly recommend visiting The Sampler.


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Above: Palmyra in Syria, Esfahan in Iran

Travel & Art:

I am also an avid traveller, I have lived in 4 different countries and I have travelled to over 40 different countries. My favourite part of the world is the Middle East as I love visiting old countries with amazing historical sites. If people like to travel, then I would strongly recommend that you up the ante and challenge yourself by living abroad. It is far harder than backpacking for a few weeks or months, but far more rewarding and educational.

Also, I am a fan of modern and contemporary art and frequently visit London’s art galleries.

Feedback From The giffgaff Community:

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to suggest any possible blog topics by leaving a comment below. 


Jeff there's definitely some gluten free beer out there which you might want to try. Brewdog's Vagabond Pale Ale is the first that comes to mind, but I'm sure there are many more. a quick google search came up with this:

@rong42 Gluten free beer! I've never tried it. There's a BrewDog at the top of Brick Lane and Bethnal Green Road in East London. I'll definitely look out for this beer next time I'm in the area.


Good to put a name to a profile @jeff_elephant . Thank you for sharing.


As previously mentioned I'm very much a Linux fan, in fact I've just converted my wife to Linux Mint. So if we can use it and appreciate it then anyone can. Like you I'd recommend it to anyone.


I am also a great supporter of life long learning and applaud anyone who wants to check out new things and new interests, so bravo for that. I spent the last 20 years of my working life in Learning and Development and even in my 60's I continue to explore new and interesting things. (Well interesting to me!) Smiley Happy

@scrips49 Glad to hear that you are converting people to Linux. I have converted around half of my team at work to giffgaff!


I find studying does great things for your brain outside of work. It exercises your mind in different ways than work does!


Are there any courses or qualifications that you recommend for giffgaffers (across various topics or fields)?


Brewdog are definitely not my favourite, but they do a lot of experimental stuff, and have definitely been one of the leaders in the UK craft beer scene. The bar the top of Brick Lane isn't bad, though I hear that the one over in Shepherd's Bush has even more taps. I think they've opened a bottle shop somewhere near King's Cross as well


For me @jeff_elephant it's about what suits the individual as you'll appreciate it is often about learning styles. Some prefer the classroom environment and to interact with other students whilst others are happy to read or use e-learning, although motivation is often a key factor in the latter two.


It's a bit like comparing what happens when you get a new piece of kit. Do you read the instruction manual from cover to cover first or do you, like me, put it all together and only look at the manual when it doesn't work Smiley Happy


The secret is to find what subject will either benefit you, in the longer term, or what you have an interest in and then pick the learning medium which will allow you to gain the most from the subject.


I'm currently learning Linux, as you know, but I am trying to get to know how it all works by reading how to's and then trying it practically as I'm very hands on.

Lovely read... Nice to associate your name with a bit about yourself. Played with Linux few years ago on my dell inspiron laptop My next phone might be a fully rooted phone so I can play about safely using whatever Os comes easy ( saygus v2 phone, Cyanogen or Linux for OS)
Hello @jeff_elephant Linux seems to be getting more popular as more companys use it and thus people just it more

@chef_ronin Cyanogen is a popular Android ROM. Give it a go!


@bullphit The Chinese government is going to stop using Windows. My understanding is that they are moving to Linux instead (but I'm not sure which Linux Distro they will use)