4 jobs I've had:
Translator/archivist in the Department of Neurophysiology at the Faculty of Science in Nice
My first real job, while I was still at college; I spent a wonderful two years there; I’m still friends with my bosses, 35 years later.
Technical Interpreter with the RSC and the National Theatre
On several tours to French-speaking countries. Lighting technicians are wonderful people – well, most of them.
Dispensary assistant at Penhaligon’s
Not as glamorous as you might think; in fact, not glamorous at all.
Production editor at Mills & Boon/Harlequin
Go on, laugh!
4 movies I'd watch over and over:
The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as performed by the inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the direction of the Marquis de Sade, or Marat/Sade
That film, directed by Peter Brook, changed the course of my life – literally. At the time of its release, people joked, ‘I haven’t seen the film, but I’ve read the title!’ LOL!
The Remains of the Day
The whole film is unbearably moving, but I love one scene more than any other: the one where Anthony Hopkins is reading a book, which he refuses to let Emma Thompson see, and she very slowly prises it out of his hands. Ah!
Because, again, it’s unbearably moving, and also life-affirming, and Liam Neeson is superb in it.
The Bridges of Madison County
I gather it’s a rotten book, but if you haven’t seen Meryl Streep in this you don’t know what really great acting is: her body language is incredible. And the end is unbearably moving (is it me or is this getting repetitive? LOL!)
Are you sure I can’t mention Pretty Woman or The Draughtsman’s Contract or The Rocky Horror Picture Show? What about Dolores Claiborne and Casque d’Or? No? Oh, all right, then.
4 places I've lived, apart from where I live now:
Notting Hill Gate
I know it’s in London, but I haven’t lived anywhere else.
4 TV shows I love:
Law and Order: Criminal Intent
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Law and Order, er, the ordinary one…
Oh, ok, start again:
Law and Order: Criminal Intent
Because I have a crush on Goren (we’re not intimate enough for me to call him Bobby. Bobby? He’s not a Bobby!) and I want to twist my body the way he does.
CSI: the real thing
Because I have a crush on Grissom. Being French, I can do his moue better than anyone else.
Because I have a crush on Horatio and I too want to talk to people while standing sideways.
CSI: New York
Because I have a crush on Stella’s hair. I’ve tried to have a crush on Mac but I can’t. Gary Sinise? No can do.
Oh, what about The West Wing, and Imagine and The South Bank Show (two wonderful arts programmes)? Sorry, can’t mention them.
4 places I've been on holiday:
Four and a half days
Three weeks (in two separate batches, as it were).
Probably three or four months – over a period of 15 years .
4 websites I visit daily:
Yahoo! France – Actualités
The only bit of French I get to read these days.
I meet my mates there for a chat.
My friends’ blogs
Lots of them. Bloglines periodically pops up and goes: 376 pages to read!
The Telegraph online
Stupid paper (blech!) but great fashion and beauty section.
4 favorite foods:
Preferably with hazelnut (I have a passion for gianduja).
Raw with a tiny drop of lemon juice (can’t have vinegar or shallots these days).
Self-explanatory: they are wonderful.
I haven’t had any for twelve years and will never again be able to eat it.
4 places I'd rather be right now:
4 books I enjoy re-reading:
The Conference of the Birds (The Story of Peter Brook in Africa) by John Heilpern
Peter Brook has had a huge influence on my life (see Marat/Sade) and this is such an inspiring book.
Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
It’s about loss and love and survival, and the writing is out of this world.
Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
It makes me scream with laughter. So true.
Howard’s End by E.M. Forster
My favourite of all his novels. So true too.
And then, of course, there’s French literature… Colette, Maupassant, Marguerite Yourcenar…
4 CDs that never leave my rotation:
Leonard Cohen (anything by)
Joan Baez (anything by)
Esther Ofarim (anything by)
I haven’t listened to any of the above for a while: must finish converting all my old LPs/cassettes to mp3 files – time-consuming is not the word.
It’s only taken me four hours to write this. Who has four hours to spare? Who shall I tag?
Oh, botheration: all the people I was thinking of have already been tagged by other people, so I’m afraid the whole thing stops here or, if you want to take part, please do. Let us know in the Comments and we'll all go and read what you wrote.
Addendum: Apparently, today, Monday 22 January is officially the most depressing day of the year. Sheila Hancock was asked on Front Row what she did to cheer herself up on a miserable Monday; she said she watched The Producers, and she mentioned the ‘blue blanket’ scene, in which Zero Mostel tries to prise Gene Wilder's security blanket out of his hands and the latter gets absolutely hysterical. It occurred to me that this was the comic equivalent of that scene in The Remains of the Day. It is also my favourite scene in The Producers. I must have a thing about people prising things out of other people's hands.