Why hello there my lovely!
Thank you so much for dropping by – it really is such a pleasure to have you here, and I can’t say how sweet it is that you have taken an interest in knowing a little more about your (sometimes) humble author here at TheCuriousRaven.
Very kind of you to spend your time to do so, and I hope that you might know me a little better after having left here, and find out things you may not see elsewhere on the web.
I very much doubt many people will find their way deep in here to this little page of the blog compared to the other pages, so you and I can have a quiet special little tête-à-tête.
I’m sure you know all the basic public stuff from the blog and social media – my fashion industry background and work in commercial modelling, TV hosting and film; eurasian background (English-Polish + Chinese-Nepalese) and upbringing in Hong Kong, Canada (Vancouver & Toronto), Australia (Melbourne) and New Zealand (Auckland); love of corsets and corsetry; lovely Dearest Beloved being a darling and my chilled geeky life with Sociopath and Snob rescue rabbits, The Earl of Tillington (aka Egg) and Lord Pemberly III (aka Bun or Goaty McGoatface when he’s had a haircut). But you know all that so lets chat about the bits you might not know, shall we?
Lets start at the beginning. When there were dinosaurs. In my bathtub.
I was quite quite obsessed. I’m unsure if it was with dinosaurs or mythologies that my acquisitive geekness truly pirouetted gracefully out of control, but I do know that it all started with reading.
Books were the beginning of the end of my brains boredom.
In reading I found freedom. The first book to speak to me (not literally – I’m not that kind of eccentric) was one my dear father had to crawl under the dining room table to present me with – a book on cloud types. I promptly fell in love with cumulonimbus clouds and that was the beginning of my life as a rock star. Ok supernerd, whatever.
From then onwards I geeked through childhood having few friends, a lot of curiosity and a fierce intellectual acquisitiveness that grew ever harder to satiate. I devoured books by the box load, refused to see classmates or have friends visit (it interfered with my precious reading time and SERIOUSLY I’d just spent all day with these people??), tried to avoid my own birthday parties. You know, standard stuff.
At 8 years old I had a reading age of 13 and was the youngest in my class but in the top 1% of whatever international standardised tests they do. (I dont know who they are – the CIA? FBI? BBC?) But while it’s all good and well to have a nice brain, my social skills weren’t working as they ought to have been and in more recent years we have concluded there is a high chance I may have high functioning Aspergers syndrome.
Further exacerbating my super awkward un-socialness, at twelve I was moved up a grade in school and took classes with 15-18yr olds, becoming teachers aide marking English work and homework. This didn’t help my social awkwardness much but I did have truly genuine and warm hearted classmates and experiences there, and found a best friend who also loved reading.
Moving from that cosy school started my rebellious streak. By fourteen I was dating aspiring hackers (yes, some of the clique later went into cyber security) and online enough to be using Raven as my regular handle, and when I moved to Australia at 15 it stuck and has stayed ever since. The Curious Raven was born, and media Raven as we know her, I guess.
School wasn’t enough for my mind any more – it was too social and academically slow paced, so I dove into the world of work four days after my 18th birthday by moving to Hong Kong and walking off the plane into my modelling agency who promptly booked me two months of work. Quite unexpectedly I must say, since I had looked like Mowgli for most of my life… but it’s amazing what braces and a pair of tweezers will do for a girl. All I have to do now is remember to keep my moustache at bay.
From there I got a little lost I suppose – my extreme tendencies making me a workaholic with very dull but not terribly healthy habits. I don’t like alcohol or other stimulants, and am not just saying that to be even more dull – I truly am that immensely unexciting. If it doesn’t make me happy or stimulate my mind, I’m really not interested. And booze/ partying does neither. So I find myself alone at art galleries, reading, writing here on The Curious Raven, designing corsets and attending the opera.
For those years of early career success I must admit that I was quite lonely and didn’t have good food or exercise habits to keep me healthy and grounded. Despite the high visibility of my work and general success, I was dissatisfied and started to turn my eyes towards finding what I now call the lighthouses of the soul – those deeply personal truths that we can always use to find our way back to ourselves.
Many years later, after law studies, dipping my toe into real estate, living in other countries and forgiving myself my weaknesses while embracing my strengths, I’ve discovered what works for me and am happy.
It’s still an ongoing journey of course; I have to get my physical fitness up to warrior woman standards and work hard on nurturing and growing some of the lovely ideas I’ve planted, including my absolutely adored corsetry brand Pearls & Arsenic and book on Victorian Hong Kong, but life is an ebb and flow process for all of us and this is my little path so far.
I’d like to hope that somewhere, somehow through my struggles and striving I’ve learnt some things that might be of value to someone somewhere. It would be especially heartwarming to be if any women or young girls were ever to be encouraged or empowered by anything I write or do. I suppose this is part of the reason why I am so open and frank about many things – I don’t want to hide anything that could be useful to anyone else. I guess all I can do is leave breadcrumbs on my path and hope that they will at least feed and bring joy to some cute little animals if nothing else. Hopefully the etchings on this little blog will be more helpful to the humans.
Thanks again for popping by and visiting me here at The Curious Raven, which was born as RegencyGirl and then revamped in order to blend my historical passions with my reality – no small feat with one foot in the modern media industry and the other in the Victorian era… it’s been a truly fun journey and as a writer soul (whose soul must always, always write) I look forward to sharing many more adventures with you over the days, months and years ahead.
Again thanks for taking the time to find this little page and visit me here. I appreciate that of all the millions of things you could be doing online right now, you chose to do this. That’s really special to me, so thank you.
I’m sure you know the other bits but I’ll include my old bio from the original RegencyGirl blog just for nostalgias sake…
❤ ❤ ❤
I’m Raven Tao, your author here at The Curious Raven – a eurasian actress, TV host, curvaceous model and founder of Hong Kong’s first luxury corset brand, Pearls & Arsenic.
With a love of knowledge and an eye for beauty, I am inspired in the modern world by the erstwhile muse of the old world, responsible for the creation of such transcendent luxury and exquisite splendour in the eras that I love – from Georgian to Victorian and beyond.
I simply adore Victorian fashion and culture, love classic arts and literature, and swoon over historical architecture and interiors.
I live in Hong Kong with my Dearest Beloved and our dwarf angora rabbit, Lord Pemberly III, who is a ridiculous snob and his adopted brother The Earl of Tillington, who may be a sociopath.
(Here Mr. Snobby is being rather adorable, I must admit… )
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