Rear View ANSWER MACHINE
Being messy and lazy about the house is forgivable, but why should you never trust cat-hating mistress of chick lit JENNY COLGAN to look after your cheese?
Which time in history would you love to have Hved?
Now is probably best if you’re a girl. I‘d love to visit the past. though. Enlightenment Edinburgh or late 19th century New York.
What’s the longest time you’ve slept soundly in one go over the last five years?
When I was about four months pregnant I excused myself after dinner at someone's house and went to bed. When I went to put the light out before I fell asleep I checked my watch and was very embarrassed to note it was only 7.30pm.
What was the last thing you stole?
I ate my friend‘s Comte cheese he was storing in my fridge to take to London. And it was delish! Sorry Alex.
What’s the most rock’n’roll thing you’ve done today?
I made up a rap. UnfOrtunately it was for my baby and was about carrots and wee.
If you could wake up tomorrow and have obtained one ability, what would it be?
I would be supertidy, with the ability to clean a
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house in two seconds without it being annoying for an instant.
How many times a day do you look in the mirror?
Sometimes, embarrassingly, none, then I realise I'm covered in Tippex when it’s pointed out at dinner. Years of teenage subterfuge mean I can apply my make-up in pitch darkness. sneaking out of someone’s house en route to a nightclub.
Do you consider yourself organised? How often do you have to look for your keys? God no. Keys, bag, book, Filofax, I never know where anything is. It’s a harsh, expensive and lonely existence being a terribly careless person, I canteHyou.
Tell us the punchline to your favourite joke? ‘Would you mind closing the window? There's a terrible giraffe.’
What, if anything, is too serious to joke about?
Nothing: if it’s done right humour alleviates pain, horror and difference.
What’s your favourite biscuit?
Anything glutinous that sticks to the roof of your mouth for ages, like cheddars, or TUC.
What would be your ideal birthday present? A really big f"'-off diamond and emerald necklace. I don‘t know why, I never wear jewellery, would only lose it and politically don‘t really agree with diamonds and the way they’re procured. Yet I still want to open that amazing box, just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
What song would you hate to be played at your funeral?
It seems to me that people who have really sad and wasted lives through drugs or alcohol or general rotten luck always have ‘My Way’. 80. definitely not that.
How big do you tip in restaurants?
I overtip. I've done the job.
When did you last laugh out loud while reading a book?
In Stephen Smith's book Underground London when he gets totally overexcited when he finds out anyone can apply to be made a freeman of London and goes for it.
Have you ever exploited your position to get something?
Every time I go into my publishers or agents I kind of sidle up to their bookshelves and say: ‘Mmm, that’s a nice cover. What‘s it like?’ and of course. out of politeness they have to say. ‘Oh, you can take a copy.’
Who would you like to play you in the film of your life? Who do you actually think would play you?
Ha. World's first NHS administrator becomes someone who sits in front of a computer all day movie. It does sound amazing. Uh, how about they change gender and cast Owen Wilson or Hugh Jackman. and then he has to come and live with me for months to get down my nuances and then we fall in love — ooh, actually that sounds like a much better film. Who would actually play me? Oh, I don't know. some big nose.
When did you last dance?
In Senegal for a documentary where they made me join in with the village women dancing. It was as numb—bummingly embarrassing as you can possibly imagine.
Do gentlemen prefer blondes?
Never noticed either way.
Can you cook? What’s your signature dish? Basically yes, but I wouldn‘t say I have a signature dish as such. I make a tasty fish pie and an extremely good omelette Arnold Bennett.
When did you last cry?
Last week. when I found out I had a friend in the London bombing. She’s going to be OK though. What’s your lucky number?
That‘s all bollocks.
What’s your biggest regret?
I should have read history at university and bought a house earlier than I did. Which isn't too awful a tally for my age.
Are you a cat or dog person?
Oh. dogs. Cats are just hairy snakes with feet. Who is the best-dressed celebrity?
I would love to give a monkey's but I just can’t. OK, Jennifer Aniston, because she weighs about six stone which means that clothes hang beautifully on her, as she tearfully shields her starving eyes from the buffet table.
What’s your all-time favourite sitcom? Why? It’s a toss up between Friends, which I loved because it was such an idealised version of our lives in the 908. and The Simpsons, which is total genius. It comes down to Chandler saying ‘ten gaJlLLlON DOLLARS’ and Homer saying ‘Help me. Jeebusl’.
What do you like best about your life?
I feel free.
What do you like least about your life?
Oh, I‘m such a messy pup.
I Where Have All the Men gone? is out now, published by HarperCo/lins
It’s been a week of damage limitation. From spacecrafts to humiliated football teams, the antiseptic swabs and Band-Aids were out.
I Astronaut Steve Robinson ventured into the vastness of space on the end of a robotic arm. 224 miles above Earth to remove two pieces of protruding cloth from the shuttle's heat protection shield. ‘It looks like this big patient is cured.’ he said. Not even needing to resort to the tool of choice. a little hacksaw. Robinson plucked the material out with his own fair hands.
I Gordon Strachan. meanwhile, back on planet Earth. did not so much cure the big. ailing Celtic machine as recover its blushes. After losing 5—0 in Slovakia a couple of weeks ago to Artmedia Bratislava, their return leg was either going to be a miracle, a humiliation worse than last season's final game of the season, or a face- saving hollow victory. In the end they won 4—0 at Celtic Park. so it fell into the latter category.
I Finally, the damage to Sienna's pride and heart was repaired in the good-old fashioned tradition of getting her own back. Heat documented her progress in a four-point plan: 1) Snogging Orlando Bloom; 2) Flirting with other people too; 3) Not turning up for crisis talks; 4) Getting all their friends on her side. Good work. Sienna. The sweetness of the revenge was measwed by the ‘Revenge-O- Meter‘, and is the kind of stinging healing that comes in a tin called Germolene.