Reading is like breathing to me. Growing up, my favourite book was Little Women and I yearned to be Josephine March, sitting in the garret, reading books and eating apples. The one time I did not have a book in my hand was at the dinner table and, allegedly, I would read the labels on the condiments instead.
I love being an English Teacher. Teenagers look at the world in a completely different way. We can study a poem that I’ve taught twenty times and one of them comes up with something I’ve never thought about before. If someone could just invent a marking robot, it would be the best job in the world.
I detest the school run with a passion. Because my husband and I both work part-time and share the childcare, I only have to do it twice a week. But I still hate it. The hurry, the chaos, the rain that always appears at 8.30am and 3.00pm. I. Hate. It.
At 29, I spent three months in Paris living on my own. I was in a job I no longer enjoyed and a long-term relationship that wasn’t going anywhere. I’d always wanted to learn French, so I found a language school and a teeny tiny apartment in Paris. It was probably one of the scariest and most fantastic things I’ve ever done.
I once went on a second date with a guy I didn’t fancy because I was impressed that he used a semi-colon in his text message. Don’t judge me.
Getting a book published has been a lifelong dream. My first novel about the poignant relationship between a girl and her dog (full colour illustrations by yours truly) was launched to rave reviews by my mum, dad and baby sister. I’m hoping for a slightly wider readership this time.
I had a tough birth experience with my first child and I was pretty angry about it for a long time because I couldn’t understand why no one had told me the truth. I have been known to rant about the ‘conspiracy of silence’ surrounding birth. I’m obviously really pleased for those people who have a great experience. I really am. No, honestly, I am.
Humour is my therapy. I love to laugh and I love people who make me laugh. For me, there is nothing better in life than an out-of-control, tears-down-the cheeks, might-pee-my-pants guffaw.
My husband and I were at school together but didn’t meet again until we were 33. We bumped into each other in a local pub, he came back to my flat for a coffee and I had to run ahead to scoop my knickers off the radiators. Reader, he married me.
My girlfriends are very important to me. I have been extremely fortunate to meet – and keep – a lot of great women in my life. Some of my friends are from school, my twenties, my thirties and some I have met since I turned forty. Can’t shake any of them off…