What kind of career’s advice did you get as a young woman?
I don’t exactly remember but suspect that at school there was limited career advice as there was more focus on getting O / A lever results and going to university. My parents paid for an independent career advice session which determined I would be best suited as a) barrister, b) actor, c) journalist (I went for b)
What did you want to be when you left education?
Did your mother work?
Yes, my mother was a doctor
Love & Relationships:
Do you think getting married is important?
No, but I do value being in a loving, long-term, supportive relationship
What did you dream your future partner would be like when you were a little girl?
I remember dreaming of a future partner when I was young
Is your relationship with your partner the same as your parents’ relationship?
Perhaps it is scarily close in some respects! And yet very different in others – we are not married, don’t currently live together (been in relationship for two and a half years), don’t have children together
How like your mother are you?
I share a lot of her characteristics, often determined, professional, sometimes considered a little scary but also vulnerable
What are your hopes for any daughters or young women you know?
That they have the opportunity to be and do whatever they want and live in a world that is kinder than the one we now inhabit
Do you bring your son up the same way as your daughter? Do you think boys and girls should be brought up differently?
I don’t have any children but believe boys and girls should be brought up equal even if there are some biological differences once puberty sets in
If you don’t have children, what have you been able to do that having children would have prevented you doing? What has your focus been?
I have been able to be more independent, perhaps more selfish. I have been able to work wherever I want and not have to consider schooling. I have not had to care for anyone but myself except when my parents reached the end of their lives.
Expectations and Dreams:
Who are your heroines and why?
I don’t have heroines (or heroes) but I do love and admire my aunt (late mother’s sister) for her energy, humour and joyous nature (plus I bet she was a fabulous teacher).
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Others might say it was when I did an abseil, a tandem skydive, flew a glider and a microlight (all of which I have done) but I think it was spending about 8 hours a day every day for five weeks at her bedside when my mum was dying and then did the same with my dad
What drives you?
What are your values?
Honesty, kindness, friendship, loyalty
What is your biggest achievement?
Waking up every day and finding something to smile about
How old are you?
52 (nearly 53)
What has been your favourite age to be and why?
I don’t really do “favourites” – right here, right now is what matters but I had a particularly good year or two when I was in my early 40s
Do you think it’s better to be young now than when you were young? (Or better now than when your parents were young?)
I think there was more to be thankful for when I was young but better now than when my parents were young.
What are the pros and cons of being a woman?
Women create life and women are “allowed/expected to be” more in touch with their emotions than men. But there is still much sexism in the world with disparity in the treatment of women as compared to men
What have been the biggest challenges in your life?
My challenges have mostly been to do with my health not gender although I do think there are considerable inequalities in the representation of women in my field of work
Self-image – Body or Looks:
Why do you dress the way that you do?
I dress to be comfortable and feel attractive
What would be your musical soundtrack?
Blues, Motown, jazz
Do you have a life’s motto?
This is how it is