FirstWord Julia Donaldson

The author of The Gruffalo reminisces about a lost pet, a hairy young man and abusing the power of local radio

First record you ever bought ‘Girl Don’t Come’ by Sandie Shaw.

First film you saw that really moved you The Red Balloon about a little boy in Paris. I cried when the balloon burst. First movie you ever went on a date to Planet of the Apes (with a very hairy young man).

Last time you were star struck Watching Federer play tennis (sorry, Andy).

First thing you’d do if you ran the country Ban sodium lights (those unpleasant orange ones). Last meal on earth what would it be Roast pork with lots of crackling.

Last time you cried When my cat Gizmo died. First song you’ll sing at karaoke ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’ by Edith Piaf.

First thing you do when you’ve got time off work A cryptic crossword.

Last great meal you cooked Christmas dinner roast rib of beef for the carnivores and chestnut and mushroom wellington for the veggies (but the Christmas pudding boiled dry). Last extravagant purchase you made A greenhouse.

First crush Mick Jagger. Last book you read Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín.

First great piece of advice you were given Never go to sleep before making up after a quarrel.

This fortnight on

If you’ve room in your heart, and on your coffee table, for more magazines than The List then Glasgow mag shop GmbH have added some helpful suggestions to our website. Among the titles they’re raving about is the beautifully put together fashion magazine Lula, pictured above.

2 THE LIST 20 Jan–3 Feb 2011

Last time you exploited your position to get something When I worked at Radio Bristol I managed to get some free driving lessons by obliquely threatening to broadcast the fact that my original instructor hadn’t turned up because he’d run off with the driving school’s car and money. Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it In December I bought some glamorous-looking boots which turned out to be uncomfortable and non- waterproof, and I went and got talked into buying some shoe-protection spray with them when I already have about 20 unused canisters of the stuff sitting in a cupboard.

husband got asked by a passport official, ‘Are we talking Gruffalo Donaldson here?’

Last time someone criticised your work On Amazon someone said one of my books was going ‘straight to the charity shop’. First three words your friends would use to describe you Untidy, absent-minded, welcoming.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning My early morning cup of tea. I can’t think of anything else until I’ve had my first live-giving sip. Last thing you think of before you go to sleep I usually drop off to sleep in the middle of a page of a book, but if I can’t sleep I conjure up all my favourite people from my past and present one by one.

First time you realised you were famous Not so sure about me, but my First concert you ever attended Classical: The Messiah. Rock: The Rolling Stones.

Julia Donaldson appears in Zog and the Gruffalo, Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Sat 22 & Sun 23 Jan.

WeLike The things making our world just that little bit better

We like to be dazzled by winter sun. We like wearing irresponsibly flimsy footwear once more. We like the suddenly milder temperatures, but what we don’t like so much is discovering a seasonally confused wasp in our kitchen in January. (A full MONTH before the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh hosts its annual run of snowdrop-related events,

incidentally. See for info.) Besides the weather, we also like the

chance to catch up on our YouTube viewing (Christmas DVDs: all watched. Post-Oscars

cinema-binge: in the post). Amongst our favourites is the unofficial video for Sleigh Bells’ ‘Riot Rhythm’, involving a marmalade-haired boy and a gruelling training workout. We also like the multi- coloured, musical feast from Lego The Brick Thief(see for yourself on Legoclick’s channel). The short film sees a slightly bonkers-looking inventor looking on as the primary-coloured bricks build themselves into a keyboard, ghetto blaster, robot and even, ‘a monkey with a miniature cymbal’.