Cambridge News asked 20 questions
A project of mine was given a three page spread in a Cambridge Magazine and not long after I was asked if I’d participate in the associated newspaper’s 20 questions series. It was fun reading through some of the previous candidates’ answers so I was keen to give it a shot. Actually, it wasn’t as easy as it sounds because you don’t want to appear nonchalant or trite. I spent some time thinking and it brought back a few memories…
- If I wasn’t doing this (i.e. interior design), I would have been…pottering about in a large garden growing vegetables and living off the land, probably in Spain. And yes, it sounds idyllic, but I am very happy working as an interior designer! I get such a kick out of helping people live a more beautiful life.
- My perfect weekend consists of…sampling someone else’s cooking, enjoying a good film and getting out in the fresh air. In fact I could plan it now! A takeaway from The Darjeeling in Huntingdon enjoyed while watching the TV and the next day, a walk around the shores of Grafham Water. I’m easy to please!
- I would be starstruck if I met…the Queen. I am very proud of being British and think we sometimes take it for granted that we have a reigning monarch who serves with such professionalism and grace. I would love to meet her for a chat over a cup of tea.
- My celebrity best friend would be…Kevin McCloud; he is easily the best Starchitect on TV and we have a common interest. We studied the same subject at university (Art History); he at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and I at home with the Open University.
- The best age to be is…35 without a doubt. If you have looked after yourself your mind and body will be at a stage when anything and everything is still possible. My son and daughter are just about hitting that age now and I have told them it’s a downhill slide from now on… they love me really.
- If I could solve just one of the world’s problems it would be…to find loving parents for every child wherever they are. It makes me cry to see little ones who have lost everything and everybody – they may never experience the love and security of a family environment.
- Something I find attractive in people is…their ‘get up and go’. Not everyone has it in them but those that do stand out in a crowd. They are fascinating to speak to, interesting to learn from and good fun to be with.
- Something I loathe in people is…insincerity. I don’t think it’s worth spending one minute longer with someone who cannot be trusted with their words or actions. I’ve walked away many times in my private life and in my business life from situations like this and never regretted it.
- The best thing about my job is…the freedom I have to make the day what I want it to be. I work hard and for long hours but at least I am at home where I can enjoy being creative in comfort and peace.
- I always cry when I watch…the News, it’s too upsetting to see how people treat each other and I feel it’s a constant source of sadness which is very invasive so I don’t watch it any more. When it suits me I learn about current affairs from the internet, the occasional newspaper and Radio 4.
- My earliest memory is…playing in the garden when I was no more than two years old. I would jump from a sawn off tree stump, which couldn’t have been more than a foot off the ground, and try to fly. I really believed that if I jumped high enough I would take off. I’m sure a psychologist could make something of that!
- I think cosmetic surgery is…an interesting way of transforming the body. Like most things it has its good sides and its bad. When I was young I always imagined I would need to have something ‘done’ and only half jokingly said I was saving up for when I was 40. Well the savings have been spent on other things and I’m well past it, but I’m very glad to have had laser treatment for my eyes; at least I can see the wrinkles clearly.
- I think football is…the most boring, the most ridiculous and the most offensive sport on earth. Change the way its financed and I might change my mind.
- The hardest challenge for young people today is…understanding the value of money. I think every young person, from the age of 14, should have the chance to earn a wage on a Saturday and it would help them develop a work ethic.
- The most important thing to teach a child is…to have confidence in their own ability.
- A person who changed my life is…a boss I had when I was 17. He said, “live every day as if it were your last but plan to live for ever.” I was so impressed by this I thought about it a lot. It has stayed with me and every decision I have ever made has been influenced by it.
- The thing I’m most proud of is…my two lovely children. Not every mum can say it and it isn’t always something you’ve done, or not done, that makes life so. I’m just very grateful for the happiness they give me.
- My favourite toy as a child was…a large doll, the size of a new born baby. It was made from a type of rubbery plastic that had a certain smell. The doll didn’t have hair but I loved it. I called her Jane; her big blue eyes had eyelids that closed when you moved her in a particular way. My brother, four years younger than me, decided to one day draw on the face with a biro. Yes, I have forgiven, but obviously not forgotten.
- The best thing I ever ate was…pancakes made with black pepper and covered in strawberries. It was brunch at the Cafe Royale and I was there on business in my early 20s. It was memorable for the unusual mix of ingredients and since then I’ve gone on to sample some very fine food indeed.
- I hereby vow that I will never, ever…dye my hair again.
Hah, that was fun. I hope you enjoyed reading my responses to the questions.