Now I knew, and secretly hoped, that if I asked you guys to ask me anything that not only would you come up with some lovely bookish questions, you would hopefully come up with some bonkers ones too. After the bookfest of questions that Magdalena asked it was my friend and cohost Thomas who came up with some of the more, erm, unusual ones and like Magdalena he had quite a lot of them so I thought I would go through those today. Interestingly he didn’t ask me any quite so bonkers questions when I went to stay with him a few weeks ago in Washington DC, more on which soon. So here we go…
I have a real desire to go to India or China. Two completely different countries but two which are jointly top of my list. I think both would be fascinating, provide a culture shock and change me in some way. I have no plans, or indeed budget, to go at present though so instead I will have to read more fiction set in them, as that is the cheapest way to experience the world – through a book, sorry I couldn’t help it.
Where have you travelled that you liked the least?
What an odd question, I would have thought you would have said the most. Negative Nelly. If it was most I would say Tel Aviv or Kenya. See I can’t choose one thing ever. Where have I liked least…I had a pretty shit holiday on the Isle of Wight? The best thing about it was the rock factory. Note it was a school trip and back in about 1994. I haven’t been back though.
How many countries have you been to?
18. It took me a while to count. 20 if you separate Scotland and Wales. Topical!
Would you prefer an evening at the opera or an evening at the ballet?
Ooh, depends on what you are seeing. I would like to see more opera as I have only been two or three times. However if it was anything by Matthew Bourne then that would beat opera hands down, I think that man is a genius.
What would be your request for your last meal?
Prawn cocktail to start, no thought needed there; it is my favourite even if so passé. Then a huge selection of my favourite dim sum and sushi, followed by The Beard’s (well he is a trained chef) amazing Lemon Meringue Cheesecake which he made as it combines cheesecake, meringue and lemon curd which are three of my favourite things. All washed down with a Snowy’s Snowball which is a pineapple, lemonade and grenadine alcohol free cocktail that I always used to get when on holidays staying in Trust House Forte hotels with Gran and Bong as a kid. Do I get a cheeseboard and coffee after?
If you could (had to) have dinner with one Spice Girl, who would you choose?
I am quite upset that I can only choose one because I was the biggest Spice Girl fan. I am a big fan of pop music anyway, as it just makes you happy all over, yet I was doing my GCSE’s when Wannabe came out and everyone loved them. I had pencil cases, the crisp packets and in fact still have the Chupa Chup tin with them all on which The Beard once dared to put in the recycling bin. It was nearly all over when that happened. But only one… I would have to say Victoria Beckham. Partly because I think we have a very similar dry sense of humour and also because she is the one Spice Girl I didn’t get to interview when I was a showbiz reporter, I have interviewed Melanie C two or three times, she is lovely. Please see below, I am feeling very smug at the time.
Do you prefer chocolate- or fruit-based desserts?
If we are talking cakes and pastries fruit easily. No one believes me but I actually HATE chocolate cake, ugh! Otherwise its chocolate goodness all the way, just don’t bake it. I have recently discovered Chocolate and Peanut Butter gelato which is the best thing ever.
Which (dead) figure from history would you most like to meet?
You all think I am going to say Daphne Du Maurier don’t you, but no! It would be Bess of Hardwick a woman who fascinates me.
If you had to choose, with which member of the Royal family would you want to chat?
Do I have to choose one at all? Can I choose a corgi? If pushed, because while I don’t mind the monarchy and all they do tourism wise for our country I am not a huge fan, then I would say good old Camilla. She’s been on The Archers so we could talk about that and I hear she loves a good book.
What is one thing you are embarrassed to admit you like?
I don’t think there is anything I am embarrassed to admit I like. The Beard would say I should be embarrassed to admit I like sweets, clothes and music for nine year olds but I just think that makes me fun.
Where do you want to live when you retire?
Now I have thought about this quite a lot. I would really, really like to retire to some of the quieter parts of the Peak District on a farm. Not a working one, though I would have pet sheep and cows and pigs – no horses. I would just like a nice view over the valleys where I can sit and read the days away. I only have me in mind as The Beard is certain I will outlive him by a few decades, I am not sure if this is wishful thinking on his part. Basically I want what Gran had but with more animals and further away from other humans.
Provided you had a job, flat, significant other willing to move, etc., would you want to live in London?
Been there done that. No. I love going back to London now, I didn’t for a while, and am indeed off their tomorrow but have no desire at all to live there again. I was there twelve years and I think that was enough. Now somewhere like New York… I might reconsider.
So there we have my penultimate answers. Hope you enjoyed them? I am sorry I didn’t have more embarrassing things to add, I think Thomas was hoping to catch me out. If you have any questions you would like to ask now is your last chance, you have until midnight as I am off away tomorrow so scheduling posts but can sneak a few more in!