When I was tagged on Facebook (by my best friend for god's sake, who probably could guess all my answers anyway), I spent so much time thinking about it and debating my answers that the moment passed and revealed that no one was very interested anyway, so this time I'm going to grasp my opportunity.
What experience has most shaped you and why?
Growing up in a bourgeois suburb just outside New York. It formed my image of myself as an outsider; I enjoyed both environments but felt I belonged to neither. This dynamic also helped me move to London for lots of reasons too wordy and boring to go into here.
If you had a whole day with no commitments what would you do?
Cultivate my neurosis. Same old same old.
What food or drink could you never give up?
I don't like very sugary stuff, but there is crucial comfort value in a homemade cake or biscuit. And I don't think I could survive a winter without quality baked goods. Any kind of homemade/well-made stodge really.
If you could travel anywhere, where would that be and why?
I have a fantasy about travelling back in time to live an unremarkable day in my past like Emily in Our Town. I don't know why; it works out very badly in the play. Barring that, I'd go to Japan, maybe to the hot springs in the mountains where you can bathe with monkeys. Japan feels like the moon to me, so brand new and unsettling but full of unexpected pleasures and great beauty.
Who do you have a crush on?
David Dimbleby. In real life (without his reading glasses on) he is unexpectedly tall, commanding and Newman-blue-eyed. Also my lovely man, who is an exciting chap in his own right and wears the hell out of a good suit.
If you were the leader of your country, what would you do?
I would put half the community support officers on dogshit duty, handing out bags and warnings and arresting persistent offenders. I would bring back the stocks for queue-cutting, being obnoxious, setting off fireworks in the middle of the night and whoever it is who schedules planes to fly over my house at 4:30 am. Also, keep your chicken bones/crisps packet/cellophane from B&H on your person and dispose of them responsibly or face a public egging.
Licensing laws to be enforced to reduce drunken unpleasantness in the streets. Serve people who are underage and/or intoxicated and lose your license. I genuinely feel quite strongly about this, and resent all the moaning and hand-wringing about supermarkets and the strain on the NHS and emergency services. (I appreciate that this is not really in the spirit of the exercise, but I am enjoying my totalitarian soapbox.)
Give me one easy savoury recipe that does not include cheese.
Take a couple of bulbs of fresh fennel, wash and slice as thinly as possible (food processor is good for this). Add oranges (minus peel and seeds). If you're feeling fancy, you can cut them in half and remove the flesh from the membranes like you would a grapefruit, but lazy chopping works too. Use about two oranges per fennel bulb. Add a glug of olive oil and the juice of one or two lemons, salt, pepper, sliced basil and/or mint. Eat chilled or at room temp, at any time of day, with anything or on its own. Can be combined with cooked quinoa or rice to make it more substantial. Particularly nice with roast chicken or fish (that is, if you don't hate fennel).
And my question:
In an ideal world, if you could have particular services/staff at your beck and call (eg butcher, baker, candlestick maker, prostitute, someone to dispose of the bodies), what would make the biggest improvement to your quality of life?
I think I will pass this on to the following thoughtful and clever folk (with apologies and free of obligation if you are not down with the meme thing):
The Great Within
post apocalyptic bohemian
Bite the Bedbugs
That's Not My Age
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to answer and add a question of your own before sending it on. ("Tagging." That's what the kids call it.)