101 Little-Known Facts…
What, that wasn’t enough? Well, here are a few random facts about me. Little-known, but all of them true.
1. I was born in a corner sweetshop, with no central heating and an outside loo.
2. I buy far too much perfume (Bois des Iles, L’Heure Bleue and Ô de Lancôme are among my favourites).
3. I suffer from SAD in winter.
4. I’m happiest when I’m by the sea.
5. My favourite colour is arterial red.
6. I used to teach French to grammar school boys.
7. I love spaghetti Westerns.
8. I first met my husband when I was 16, through graffiti on a school desk.
9. I’ve only ever passed one maths exam.
10. I really, really hate wasps.
11. I can’t dance (except to ceilidh music).
12. I’ve never met a chilli that was too hot for me, or a steak that was too rare.
13. I own every episode of BLAKE’S 7.
14. When I first met Ray Bradbury, I was so overwhelmed that I burst into tears…
15. I’m slightly obsessed with musical theatre.
16. I have a degree in German, but speak it very badly.
17. I’m a huge fan of Zombies, Run!
18. I once met Ewan McGregor at a party, thought he was an ex-pupil of mine and lectured him (at some length) about letting his French get out of practice…
19. I really hate parties.
20. I was once thrown out of the Egyptian Museum in Berlin because I wasn’t wearing shoes.
21. I don’t have any earlobes.
22. I’ve only ever read Agatha Christie in French.
23. I have a purple Music Man Stingray bass.
24. I rarely turn down a glass of good red.
25. I love mimosa flowers.
26. I’m always buying notebooks (but I rarely write in them).
27. I once co-wrote a novel-length fanfic based on the TV series, LOST.
28. Cats like me. Dogs, not so much.
29. Fuelled by margaritas, I do a mean Hazel o’Connor.
30. I can’t resist beautiful shoes, but I rarely wear anything but trainers.
31. I love Korean horror films.
32. I could never get tired of snorkelling.
33. I have a cast-iron stomach. Not even Africa has beaten it.
34. I get on unexpectedly well with bishops and archbishops.
35. Still waiting for my audience with the Pope, though.
36. I have dyscalculia, which means I can’t process numbers.
37. I used to be an accountant (see above). Go figure.
38. I have a green belt in ju-jitsu.
39. I respond well to sunlight and bright colours.
40. I drink far too much Diet Coke.
41. I think Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup is the cure for all known ills.
42. I’ve never watched BIG BROTHER. Or any other reality show.
43. But I am addicted to DEXTER, HOUSE, GAME OF THRONES and ENTOURAGE.
44. I’m incapable of hiding my feelings when I’m around someone I don’t like.
45. Favourite place in the world? Home.
46. Failing that, Hawaii’s Big Island.
47. I like to read Stephen King in the bath.
48. I’m probably the least regular member of the Waikiki Gun Club.
49. I grow my own fruit and vegetables. (At least, I try to.)
50. I’ve been trying to learn Old Icelandic for the past 5 years. I can now just about read Voluspa in the original now (as long as I use a dictionary).
51. I have a freakishly acute sense of smell.
52. I have a ginger plant called Ben, brought from Hawaii as a cutting.
53. My favourite piece of sculpture is the statue of Lucifer in Madrid’s central park.
54. My favourite musical is Sondheim’s SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE.
55. My favourite painting is Richard Dadd’s FAIRY FELLER’S MASTERSTROKE.
56. My favourite building is the Duomo in Milan.
57. I prefer wild flowers to bought ones.
58. Biting insects love me.
59. In another life, I would have been a photographer.
60. I collect knives and glass paperweights. I never intended to, but somehow it simply happened.
61. I’ve always wanted to go into space.
62. I’m addicted to anchovy toasts.
63. I don’t like coffee – but I love caffeine.
64. I never go anywhere without my iPod.
65. I can’t sleep without a blackout mask.
66. I like to pack for imaginary journeys.
67. I dream in colour, sound and scent.
68. I can’t tell my left from my right –
69. But my IQ tests as 158.
70. I was once a finalist in an international laser tag championship.
71. I wore glasses until 10 years ago, when I got my eyes lasered.
72. Since then, I have managed to collect a ridiculous number of pairs of sunglasses.
73. French was my first language.
74. My nickname at school was “The Frog.”
75. I own more red sweaters and black T-shirts than anyone else I know.
76. Oh yes, and red shoes.
77. I’m totally disorganized.
78. I have a form of synaesthesia, which means that I experience certain colours as scents.
79. I was once chased by an ostrich. Since then, I’ve never liked them…
80. I once jumped out of an aeroplane. Never again.
81. I’ve been up the Congo river in a hollowed-out canoe.
82. I’ve watched a solar eclipse from a ship off the coast of Alexandria.
83. I’ve swum with wild dolphins, sea lions and manta rays.
84. I can only write on my laptop…
85. Using the Aparajita font.
86. I have a doll, inspired by one of my RUNEMARKS characters, made for me by Wendy Froud (who created Yoda, among many other things).
87. On Saturday nights I still play in the band that I joined when I was just 16.
88. I once recorded the whole of the third HARRY POTTER novel onto audiotape as a Christmas present for my daughter. 21 hours’ hard labour, and totally worth it…
89. My desk is always perfectly clear, except for my laptop and a lucky stone, taken from a sandcastle I once built with my husband and daughter.
90. I lost my wedding ring over 20 years ago. My husband had his own melted down and had two new ones made.
91. I wasn’t allowed to read horror or sci-fi as a child…
92. Which might explain why my first novel was a vampire story.
93. I never cry at sad movies…
94. But the death of Javert in LES MISERABLES never fails to tear me up.
95. I saw my first stage play (a college production of Molière’s Tartufe) when I was 4. I heckled the villain (in French) throughout.
96. Favourite movies: BRAZIL: THE USUAL SUSPECTS: AMERICAN BEAUTY.
97. I don’t like chocolate ice cream or cakes (though I rarely turn down any other kind).
99. I’ve never eaten Yorkshire pudding.
100. As a child, I wrote fan letters to David Carradine, Lee Majors and Marine Boy. None of them ever wrote back…
101. I wake up at precisely 5.27 in the morning. I have absolutely no idea why.