Me! Me!

What, you mean that’s not how you say ‘meme’?

1. Do you like having your picture taken?
Really not. I don’t love how I look in photos, but mostly I just find photo-taking intrusive. I genuinely don’t understand the compulsion to document every event with photos. I have very few photos on display (just a few baby photos that friends have sent recently), because I already know what my friends and family look like.

2. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I would go to the East Coast of the US, see all my friends in Glenside and visit Cresheim Valley Church, visit my favourite shops in New York and then get the Queen Mary back from New York to Southampton. It would be the best holiday ever in the history of holidays.

Oh, no, wait.

3. Have you ever done crossword puzzles?
I learned to do cryptic crosswords by watching my father. I don’t buy papers any more, but whenever I have one around, I’ll usually have a go at the crosswords. I’m bad at finishing them. Usually I’ll have one or two clues that I can’t get.

One of my proudest achievements was winning the Spectator Christmas Crossword Competition one year. £50 and a bottle of port.

4. Pick up the closest book and write a sentence at random from it.
Bishop Porphyrius had this mosaic floor laid. (There is a picture of the floor. Very pretty.)

5. Do the same with a lyric from either a cd or the radio.
“For fewer options, press five.”

I don’t really listen to CDs or music radio. The TV is on and I wrote down the line they were saying at the time.

6. Have you ever tried to analyse your own dreams?
Not really. I don’t often remember them.

7. Can you sing?
Loudly, but not reliably in tune.

8. Do you ever sing to yourself while doing everyday tasks?
Sometimes. I’ll often sing while I’m driving.

9. What’s your favourite colour of post-it note?
I don’t think I have one. But at the moment I have a pad of post-its from Liberty with a pattern on. They are lovely.

10. Have you ever lied to get off the phone or out of talking to someone on line?
I don’t know. I try not to lie ever, but I probably have.

11. What does your bedroom look like?
Small but perfect. I think there are pictures somewhere. Here:


I am most proud of the wallpaper border I put around the edge of the ceiling. It has not fallen off at all.

12. Do you read your horoscope?

13. Would you rather chew gum or use mouthwash?
I loathe chewing gum and would ban it if I were Queen. I don’t regularly use mouthwash, though I probably should.

14. How many times a year about are you ill?
No idea. Once or twice, maybe? Depends what counts as being ill.

15. Ever been in an aeroplane?
Yes. First time in 2006, for a day trip to Ireland, in preparation to move to America.

16. What colour are your eyes?

17. Have you ever been arrested?
Certainly not.

18. What is your favourite t-shirt?
My t-shirts are mostly boring and functional.

19. What food disgusts you the most?
Liver. Or tripe. Something like that.

20. What is your favourite soda?
Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade. It is ridiculously expensive but I do love it.

21. Name one person your life is made better by.
It feels very odd to pick one, when there are so many. I just wrote the acknowledgements for my thesis and struggled to get it onto one page.

22. Can you do maths with ease?
Yes. I always could.

23. Are you a vegetarian?
No, and I have no intention of ever becoming one.

24. Name one of your passions in life.

25. What’s your least favourite time of day?
Morning. The earlier, the worse.

26. What colour is the inside of your head when you close your eyes?
Black, mostly.

27. Ever listen to classical music?
Not often. See above, re. not listening to music.

28. Do you work? What is your job?
I do some work for my church. And I write books. And I am just finishing my PhD. I think that’s enough for now.

29. What is the best present you’ve ever given someone else?
I gave my parents tickets to the Royal Opera House. I think my mother really liked that.

30. What is the best present someone else has ever given to you?
The actual Old Shed.

31. Do you wear a watch?

32. What’s on your computer desk?
A few books and a small pile of paper. It’s a big desk and I try hard to keep it clear.

33. Do you think you’re pretty / goodlooking?
Pretty, maybe. I like my face.

34. How many people do you live with?
Just me.

35. What do you collect?
I am trying not to collect anything at the moment because my house is too full already. It has quite a lot of yarn and books in it.

36. Have you ever bought anything just because it was a fad?
I don’t think so.

37. What do you think about when you first wake up in the morning?
Can I go back to sleep for a bit?

38. Do you bite your nails?
Occasionally but mostly only when one gets broken and I haven’t got any scissors/file handy.

39. What colour are most of your clothes?
Pink and blue. But lots of other colours too.

40. What’s your favourite cereal?

41. Do you like to look people in the eye?
Yes. I really hate having phone conversations because I can’t see the other person.

So there you go. More about me than you ever wanted to know.


  • RE #2: I would add spending time with friends in the UK after Queen Mary cruise from NY to Southampton, and then flying to Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands to meet other friends before returning to North Carolina.

    RE #18 Will fix this

    RE #25 So relieved

  • What’s the best present you’ve ever given anyone?


    • He was a good present. It’s quite hard to judge how good a present is. It depends on being able to tell how honest the recipient’s responses were and how they developed over time. When I gave my dad a pair of socks he was not all that excited. But two years on, he’s still regularly wearing them and he really likes them. I think they are the best present I’ve ever given him.