*My three children - even when they're being really silly. Perhaps especially when they're being silly.
*My husband, who I met when I was 18 in a really dire club on Christmas Eve. It wasn't very romantic. But he had very nice hair.
*Cats. I currently have three brothers all in varying shades of monochrome: Jeremy, Marshmallow and Smokey, as well as a gorgeous tabby cat called Barry and my daughter's Oriental Siamese, Derek.
*Buffy the Vampire Slayer (in comic book form and TV show). I. LOVE. IT.
*Wuthering Heights. I was Emily Bronte in a previous life.
*Any historical TV drama! From BBC's Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, North and South, to Korean drama Chuno, to Chinese dramas The Rise of Phoenixes and Ten Miles of Peach Blossom, to Russian The Road to Calvary. I am pretty global in what I love!
*The Musee D-Orsay in Paris has the most amazing paintings by the most amazing artists in the world. I wish I could live there.
*Bath, England. I love the city.
*My family. Obviously. They're really supportive and I'm incredibly dependent on them all, especially my mum who, incidentally, is the reason I write.
*Dance. Watching it, as I can't dance for toffee. I dance like I am toffee. Even when my daughter patiently tries teaching me ballroom dancing (which she is amazing at). I really love ballet and the tango but really all kinds of dance sparks at my imagination.
*Last favourite thing is a cup of tea in the morning. Half a sugar, if you're asking. Thanks.
I have a really broad taste in music but the following are tunes that make me stop what I'm doing to listen. They physically hurt they're so brilliant.
Gnossienne by Erik Satie
Hurt by Johnny Cash
Fall at your Feet by Crowded House
Song to the Moon (Rusalka) by Dvorak
Theme from Schindler's List by John Williams
Anything and everything by Amy Winehouse
Running up that Hill by Kate Bush
Stand and Deliver by Adam Ant
Cello suites by Bach
Heroines and Heroes
My ultimate hero has to be William Wilburforce. If you've never heard of him, check out the film Amazing Grace with the excellent Ioan Gruffold. Wilburforce not only battled to abolish slavery (impressive when it was so acceptable in his day) but he also set up what would become the RSPCA. Yes, he loved animals too. What a man.
Sylvia Plath. She wrote some of the most beautiful lines in the history of ever.
The Perfect Day
My favourite day would start with a cup of tea. I like to get up early, often 5am, and then I'd write until someone else wakes up. My favourite time of year is autumn (I love the days drawing in and all the leaves turning amber) so a walk kicking up the fallen leaves would be nice. Maybe lunch out at a pub. A trip to a matinee performance at the theatre would be great - ballet, play, I don't mind. Then come back, close the curtains and snuggle up to watch a great TV drama (often kdrama and often starring Jang Hyuk!), with Smokey on my lap. Some chocolate biscuits at this point would finish things off perfectly.
FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
Pictures I painted of my cat, George, when I was eleven to fifteen, He was a great model! If you look carefully, I used to sign my name in the shape of a cat...
If I could be any artist, I'd be Vincent Van Gogh. I like his paintings a lot. I also love Degas' ballerinas, especially the way he positions them on the paper. And Kandinsky's abstract expressionist paintings are always a joy. Like him, I'm endlessly fascinated by synaesthesia (a mixing of the senses).
When I was 15, I also won a competition by the RSPCA to design a T-shirt! It was very surprising to win (apparently, they had 17,000 entries!) and was very surprising to my parents because they didn't know I'd even entered.
I have an appalling memory so I tend to obsessively yet haphazardly keep things and photos in case I forget I even did them. Here's a random selection,,,