Pleased to meet you, hope you catch my name

I’m fed up. I have the world’s worst cold (I have never known one as painful on the sinuses and ears as this one) and I want some entertaining. So here’s the drill. Each week The Guardian Weekend magazine does a Q and A thing. Below are the questions and my answers.

Now it’s your turn.

When were you happiest?
Whenever there’s good music, good food, or exciting new experiences. Last time I was really happy was in May when it was sunny: sitting out in a beer garden with a cold drink and a book. Bliss.

What is your greatest fear?
Everything being destroyed by fire, I think. I’m don’t want to lose people I love, either, but that’s almost certainly going to happen unless I’m lucky enough to go first, so it’s something I don’t want rather than a fear.

What is your earliest memory?
Sheep baaing in Wales on holiday, 1981.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Anyone who makes the most out of enjoying their own life and also does what they can for others (as opposed to people who just do one or the other), but can’t think of anyone specific right now.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
I embarrass myself so many times in an average week that I don’t really have one. Maybe the time I wasplaying Becky’s character in Cthulhu and pretty much told the bad guys who we were.

Aside from a property or car, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
A property?! I wish. It was probably last year’s PhD tuition fees.

What is your most treasured possession?
A collection of badges from all sorts of times throughout my life. Not worth anything money wise but a nice set of momentoes.

What is your favourite smell?
Fresh breakfast: croissants, coffee, bread, bacon (despite not eating bacon)

What is your favourite word?
I like the sound of the word packaging.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My weight and my nose. I’m trying unsuccessfully to deal with the former, and if I was rich and wasn’t scared of the op going wrong, I’d probably do something about the latter, too.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Being grumpy and snappish.

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
I hate fancy dress, but maybe Boy Georgie circa 1983 would be fun.

What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
Any promises that they then go on to break.

What is the worst job you’ve done?
Toss-up between facing up the shelves at Presto to the brain-numbing sounds of soft sax, or cold-calling for Coldseal.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Too many things to count, but probably the main thing is that I wish I had gone off the rails a bit when I was 18 instead of joining St Thomas’. Choosing the former may not have been any better for me, but it couldn’t have been any worse.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
The LC chatroom, point and click games.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Music and telly. And books.

What was the best kiss of your life?
Any kisses on the cheek or head from friends’ children are always welcome.

Which living person do you most despise, and why?
Despise might be a strong word, but I don’t have a lot of time for Richard Dawkins, Kerry Katona, Robert Mugabe or Fearne Cotton.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Jesus, Doctor Who, Kylie Minogue, The Queen, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Dave Gorman.

What has been your biggest disappointment?

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Well, other than to my youth to shake myself about a bit, maybe the 60s or 70s to experience music then and see if it really was better than the 80s and 90s.

When did you last cry, and why?
Whenever I last had my period, because of the hormones.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Probably passing my driving test at long last.

Tell us a joke.
The only joke I ever remember is Ginny’s terrible ‘What’s the most common form of owl? A teat.’ She used to pee herself laughing and it simply wasn’t funny. But it’s stuck with me for 12 years.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Being judgemental and overly anxious.

Where would you like to live?

In a nice, new build, large house with a nice garden that I didn’t have to maintain myself.

What makes you depressed?

Pretty much anything. I’m far too emotional.

What do you owe your parents?

Being able to look after myself, an appreciation for enjoying different experiences.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

All the people I thought could give me advice for the pure reason that they were older – especially some of my school teachers, who were younger then than I am now. The older you get, the more you realise you know nothing!

Cat or dog?


Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it?

Not to a person, but possibly to God.

How do you relax?

Glass of wine, television, newspaper.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

More energy.

What keeps you awake at night?

Havign a cold.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

I am The Mob by Catatonia going in, Listen to Your Heart by Roxette going out.

How would you like to be remembered?

As trying my best.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Live each day as it comes, enjoy the small things, don’t expect too much (either good or bad) from life, yourself or other people.

Where would you most like to be right now?

Feeling well, sipping cocktails and reading a book somewhere sunny.


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