1. Which living person do you admire the most, and why?
I have a huge respect for Catherine Hamlin. She's done so much to make better the lives of so many women. Incredible. Fred Hollows is up there too. His foundation gets money off me each month so people can have their eyesight back. I like people who make the world a better place.
2. When were you the happiest?
I think, at this stage of my life, I've been the happiest I've ever been. With friends, a good mind and a bit of security, I'm doing okay.
3. Besides property, automobile or furniture, what is the most expensive thing you have bought?
My Pandora bracelets are probably it. I don't wear them enough.
4. What is your most treasured possession?
My battered and signed copy of Captain Corelli's Mandolin - that and the small teddy my grandfather gave me when I was born.
5. Where would you like to live?
I still would love to have the ways and means of living well in London. To live in London you need to live well. But it is expensive.
6. Who would you get to play you in a film of your life?
I think Melissa McCarthy would do a great job of it.
7. What is your favorite book?
Just one? Louis de Bernieres' "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" and Richard Flanagan's "The Narrow Road to the Deep North" are equally stunning. Honorable Mentions to:
- "The Signature of All Things" by Elizabeth Gilbert
- "The Natural Way of Things" by Charlotte Wood
- "Burial Rites" by Hannah Kent
8. What is your most unappealing habit?
I still have a security blanket - though it's more a security ribbon. It hurts nobody so it stays.
9. Twitter or Facebook? (Or if both share the differences in your opinion.)
Facebook. I really don't get Twitter.
10. What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
Hack off a branch from a tree and go as Burnham Wood from Macbeth.
11. What is your earliest memory?
I have a flickering memory of being in a bassinette under a tree at a picnic ground listening to the broadcast of man landing on the moon. I also remember visiting my mum in hospital when my sister was born.
12. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Ice cream. It's the sixth food group.
13. What do you owe your parents?
Nothing except thanks for letting me having opportunities and giving me the knowledge of how to be resilient and cunning.
14. To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
Far too long and complex to write about here. So I'm not going to.
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Reading and writing. Quite simple really.
16. What does love feel like to you?
A cup of coffee and a cuddle first thing in the morning. Being completely comfortable in the presence of another. As an introvert this is a very rare feeling.
17. What was the best kiss of your life?
I had one of those wonderful kissing in the rain down a dingy London Street kisses many years ago. It was wonderful.
18. Which words or phrases do you overuse?
Actually... I put that in to sentences far too often, actually... And when I write, I have to go in and remove all of the "that"s. They aren't that needed.
19. What's the worst job you have done?
Putting on price tags at a Department Store when I was at university was dire to say the least.
20. If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I'd make sure that I got fitter far earlier than I did. Would have made life much easier.
21. What is the closest you have came to death?
I've been lucky. Nearly mowed down by a car a few months ago wasn't fun, but I've been healthy all my life. The nearest I've felt to death was when I had both ears infected and the drums were about to burst. Never felt pain like it - never want to feel that again.
22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Running five half marathons. With my fitness history, this is a miracle.
23. When did you cry last?
I went and saw "Lion" on Tuesday. Shed a few tears then.
24. How do you relax?
Read, write, see films and have the odd gin and tonic.
25. What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Losing 20 kilos. I'm working on it.
26. What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Never give up. Never, not ever. What you give you get back - maybe not in the way you expect, but it does come back.