Questions and Annas iv

So here is a thing Ive done before, as have many of my personal blog peers – when I had loads and loads more readers, admittedly – but today, because I havent got much work I cant do over the weekend instead (having no beloved, and thus nothing to do) I would very much therefore like to answer any questions you might have. If I can.

One question per person, although since I think I have about 31 readers now, you can probly ask one each iffoo like.

Ask me a question. I will answer. The project demands it, in fact:
[But not any more because I have enough, thanks]

I will keep a running total here:
I have currently answered ALL THE QUESTIONS!!! which, as it turns out, was 57 questions!

Phew. done. Thank you, all.

Hennie asks: Clinton or Obama?

I dont think I get to vote, do I? In the US elections? I mean, that would be cool, but I certainly havent filled in any electorate forms, of late. Well, just in case I do, the direction of a persons vote is a private thing, and I dont think that

Oh alright, I dont know.

I have always liked Hillary, I cannot deny it. I have always thought that she was frightfully intelligent, ballsy and more than capable of running a country.

But the other day I heard that Barrack Obama was a big fan of both The Wire and Spongebob Squarepants, so now I like him more. Im easily swayed.

Not that it really matters. I cant vote for either. I dont think.

Hg asks: What music have you been listening to recently?

Hm. Since I mainly listen to my ipod on shuffle, whether on the move or on its little stereo thing, the general answer to this is everything, really. But *Actually* I have been having a personal resurgence of the big beat movement. Well not really. But I have been listening to the Chemical Brothers new stuff. And some of their old stuff. Also a nice person gave me Orbitals brown album, which Ive been missing for AGES, and Dizzee Rascal, and Feist. And I cant think of anything else.

Mainly everything, really. And Nick Drake. As ever.

Sasa asked: What’s the moment of your life that will stay with you forever?

Christ, with my swiss-cheese memory bucket? Im not sure we should rely on ANYTHING staying in there forever.
I dont know. I want to say something really romantic. But cant think of anything. I will have to think. But there are lots of beautiful moments that suddenly wash over me.

Waking up in a four poster bed outside on the balcony of a treehouse on a hillside in Kenya in the middle of the night. The moon, which had been dulling the stars, had finally set, and through the mosquito net that covered the whole bed, I could see a billion stars, so I woke My Beloved up to see. and then just lay there and drank them in. That was pretty good.

Or, when I was 18 and went to see my sister in Seville. The first night I was there she took me to a party that her dance class was holding, and I couldnt dance, and I couldnt speak Spanish, and I couldnt join in in any way, and felt under no pressure to try – so I just sat by the open window listening to the music and the babble of voices, and watching the river and not having to speak to anyone, drinking red wine and the city smelled of oranges. I dont remember it all exactly – I couldnt recognise the place or take you back there – but the feeling has stayed with me, is that the same?

My dads face at my grandmothers funeral. The moment I finally saw My Beloved walking up the street toward me after months of emails and telephone conversations. The time I dislocated my shoulder for the first time.

I cant think of anything else. Ive never really had big things happen to me. I shouldnt have to get married or spawn just so I can think of an answer to this question, but I think I may have to.

Petey asks: Do you like the rain?

Yes, I do. I prefer the sun, by about 900 million miles, and I dont like how dark it makes my world, but rain also makes me happy, for several reasons.
a) I am very homebodyish, and if its raining I dont feel like Im under pressure to go out and do proper or worthy or useful things, I can just curl up in my house and be homebodyish. Rain gives me licence to slob, basically.
b) The fact that everything goes a really vivid colour just before and after a thunderstorm amazes me. I like being awed, and the fact that everything changes colour – almost seems to glow, especially green things – awes me.
c) Rain helps me sleep. This dates back to when I was about 17 and being a bit stalked by a horrid little man who used to come to my house in the middle of the night and try and get in, or just creep into the garden and hide, watching my window. Have I mentioned that before? Well anyway. He never came round when it was raining, so the rain gained this kind of intense safe feeling. And even now if its raining outside – the harder the better – I can go to sleep easier than any other time (its usually something I have difficulty with). Because nothing bad happens in the rain. Murderers, Burglars and weird people dont bother to go out in the rain. And anyone who tells me any different is in trouble.

ciara asked: Whats your best soup?

Hm. I think the favourite one I have made in the last few months was this courgette and coriander recipe from a work blog.

My favourite soup generally is either a very thin chicken noodle soup or tomato soup. Not cream of tomato. Just tomato-tomato. Sainsburys used to sell their own-brand tomato soup that was just tomatoey, and chunky, and I would happily go weeks just eating that. But now theyve stopped selling it, because theyre cocks, and only sell icky cream of tomato or other pureed nonsense. I was very pissed off about that. Until I decided that with some tomatoes, some cans of chopped ones, some passata, an onion, some celery, garlic, basic and some stock, I could just make some. So I did.

Wow, who knew I could talk about soup for so long?
Well, I did. I could talk about soup all day, in fact.

My lip is bleeding. why is my lip bleeding? Booooo. Stupid lip.

Birchsprite asked Will you ever write a Little Red Boat book? It seems to be the thing to do these days!

But I have written a Little Red Boat book! Theres just only two copies of it in the world, and thats the way its staying.

I mean, I didnt write it specially. I wrote lots of posts, and last year, for my 30th, my Beloved, with help from my sister and others, picked out some of the best posts, and he spent a long time editing it (because as bad as my spelling and typing is now, its been worse in the past, especially when I usually only had time for blogging late at night, while drunk), and published through one of these self-publishing places a beautiful paperback with lots of Little Red Boat posts in.
And no one is allowed to have one but me, no.

I dont think I will be publishing a book. Or a blook. Not now. And not a blook ever, most probably. There isnt any call for it, I shouldnt think. I had some conversations about books last year – but in the end put the idea on ice for the time being. To be honest, I havent time, I dont need to put myself under that kind of pressure right now, and I would rather concentrate on building up a healthy writing career. I understand why people focus on books as a good and concrete example of an end product, what one can make of oneself through blogging – but to be honest, every part of my career right now is attributable in some way to my blog, and I think Im as happy about, grateful for and proud of that as I would be of any kind of book.

Hopefully there will be books at some point. But not straightforward blog-to-book books. Theres absolutely nothing wrong with that, and Im extremely proud – proud to the point of popping, almost – of my friends who have done or are doing that: its just not what I want to do. I will do something else.
I have ideas.
They are brewing, but not boiling, yet.

Anyway, you get it all for free already – its all archived! And free! Stop yer mitherin.

JonnyB asked: What is the most intrinsically funny object, product or thing in Britain today?

Its the meerkats. Obviously.

For some reason cheese graters are also funny. But only the box kind.

Fi asked: What was your favourite book of 2007?

Crumbs, Ive no idea. I cant, now I think of it, even remember reading any books in 2007, which is stupid, because I know I did.

Hm. Im sorry, Im going to have to come back to this when I remember having read something. I remember reading lots of Collected articles, reviews and essays and a couple of very boring non-fiction books, but thats probably not what you meant.

Um. All those blooks. They were the best books of 2007, obv. Especially those by people I know. They were all brilliant.

Then Fi asked: Apart from blog books. I should be more specific, I suppose. What was your favourite work of fiction of novel length, that you read in 2007?

Oh, bollocks.

I will come back to this. I may have to go and read something first.

Gen asked: (Even though I am not a Londoner anymore) Ken or Boris:

Every time. I know tories and drivers dont like him much, but I am neither, and do.
And Ken may be a commie, but Boris is a tit.

However, Ive not read either of their election material, so cant really say.
No, thats bollocks. I can.

Chris asks: What time is it?

Ah! Brilliant! It just so happens to be the dentists favourite time. Tooth hurty. Well Tooth Twenty Six, to be honest, but you get what I mean.

Of course, it probably isnt, by the time you read this.

It is time you got yourself a new watch.
Boom boom.

Lisa asked: If you could ask anyone in the world any question at all, who and what would it be?

That is HARD, Lisa. Well done.

There are serious answers, involving various world leaders and murderers and questions of moral and ethical responsibility. But I will not trouble you with those, in case they are dull. Then there are sily bitter personal ones, like wanting to ask bullies why they bullied me or boys why they didnt reciprocate my silly teenage fancies, or dismissive teachers whether theyve been keeping up with my career of late, but I wont say those, because they are pathetic, and a waste of a good question.

So instead? I dont know. I would like to meet a writer who is very funny, and whom I enjoy very consistently, and ask them if I could borrow their magic talent hat for a minute, and then while they werent looking for a second I would stab them and bury them in an unmarked grave in the woods.

I cannot tell you the name of this person, because then they might be expecting me, which Im afraid might rather ruin my plan, sorry.

Steve asks: Any recommendations for what to do on a wet sunday in Brighton?

Yes, hang out at home and watch an entire season of The West Wing. Oh, is that just me? Ok. Um. Apparently theres a museum with lots of stuffed squirrels posed in interesting scenes somewhere.

I think that must be indoors. Otherwise the stuffed squirrels would get all waterlogged, which is probably bad for them.

Do that.

Pickle asks: This working from home malarky, how do you manage it?

Various ways, really.
I enjoy what I do, which helps. I have a little office in the spare room with no distractions, and I just shut myself in there if Im ever feeling easily distracted, which, if Im honest, I usually am. Im very easily distracted. Take this answer for example. I started writing it half an hour ago, then had some lunch, let the plumber in, chatted to my sister online and played with a cat. Completely forgot about it.

I miss people sometimes. But without the constant barrage of phone calls, emails and people coming over to ask for help that made up my last job, I get a fuck sight more done, frankly.

KT asks: When was the last time you had to cover your eyes when watching TV (from embarrassment or scariness)?

Easy: Launch night of Big Brother Celebrity Hijack.
I was cringing. I cant stand humiliation as entertainment. Its one of my least favourite things.
I had to turn the sound off and cover my eyes from the painfulness of it.
Which was quite inconvenient as I was liveblogging it at the time.

Le Meg asked: If Tom Hanks and Ben Affleck were to head butt, what would happen?

Well, cheering, obv. But other than that, it depends. It they were to bump heads REALLY HARD, it would be like that bit in Bill Teds Bogus Journey with the aliens. There would be some kind of enormous explosion, and when the smoke cleared, all you would be would be one huge composite movie star who could act and wasnt extremely annoying. Because of that old 2 negatives/positive rule.)

In fact, almost all situations in which I am required to be sensible or serious will inevitably lead to me being the exact opposite.

I once had the most appalling fit of giggles during a classical music concert at the Barbican, all because one of the people playing the trumpet had a really REALLY big beard. I have no idea why that was funny, although it did make me laugh just mentioning it then as well, so there must be something about really really really big beards that is intrinsically funny.
Huge beard though, it really was.

Brennig asks: What’s your favourite pencil?

At first I got confused and thought it was Which is your favourite pencil? to which the answer would have been: I no longer have a clear favourite, although my historical favourite was a giant pencil with images of Isle of Wight tourist attractions and a red tassel on the end that I think I might have received for getting 10 excellent stickers from my piano teacher. You got a present for every ten stickers, and a sticker every time you did something well. Which, in my case, was generally bother to do any practice at all.

But I dont think thats what you were asking.

So 2B, then.

Cliff asks: Have you ever considered giving up this blog?

Oh yes, of course. It would be crazy not tove, I think.
If I am tired, or particularly sad sometimes I wonder what the point is. If I have written something and people dont seem to get it, and I get all cross and wonder why I bother – and then I realise I have probably written it in a way that is not very easy to get, so its no ones fault but my own, really. Or when Im completely uninspired, and feel like Ive told yall everything I could possibly have to tell you, which is more and more often. Or sometimes – and this is the more frequent one – when someone jut turns up in the comments and says something pointlessly mean, when all youve ever done is put yourself out there, and somehow that angers them enough to want to abuse you. That kind of thing makes me want to just press a delete this blog button, and have done.

But at the end of the day, I only have to update it when I can, and when I want to, and if thats not every day – which it certainly hasnt been for years, people are quite nice about that not being the end of the world.
And I cant really imagine not being a blogger, and not having this blog, really. Itll be seven years this July, ffs. Its just too much part of my identity to suddenly stop, probably. So of course I *think* about it. But I cant see that I would give it up. I cant see why I would.

Miss Nomer asked if I had read a certain self-published book by a man named Sean.

No. I have not read any books by anyone called Sean, I dont think. Not recently.

She also asked What do you think of this self publishing on sites like Lulu malarkey? Would you/do you give new authors a chance or do you stick to the tried and tested?

I think self-publishing is very nice if you have an incredibly strong itch to see your words in bound print that cannot be scratched any other way. Its also nice for birthday presents as mentioned above.

That second half is interesting – Do I give new authors a chance, or stick to the tried and tested? Well, I DO give new authors a chance – I read a lot of books by people I havent read books by before – but if you mean would I deliberately seek out and buy a self-published book? then no, I havent in the past, and to be honest Im not sure if its something I would do. Although I know that there are undoubtedly many many books out there that are absolutely fantastic but just havent been picked up by a publisher for whatever reason, but but I do have a pretty traditional view of you know, the editing and proofreading process being a good one, for both the book and the author – if I want to read things direct from the fingers of the writer straight to my ears, Ill read a blog. So yes and no to all those questions, over all. Mainly no.

two left feet asked: What is love?

OOOOH! I know this one! Its Never having to say youre sorry, isnt it?!
Which, lets face it, couldnt be more bollocks if it tried.

Mike asked: What magazines do you read?

Hm. Well, between us, we have subscriptions to the Radio Times, The New Yorker, Esquire, Wired, and some other ones I never look at so cant remember because theyre boring. Sciencey things, basically. I also pick up a couple of celebrity rags each week, generally – for work, honest – and because once I discovered that as a self-employed person I dont pay tax or VAT on them or something as they are a business expense. OR something. I deeply love Entertainment Weekly and wish that you could get it in this country or get a subscription, but you cant, it seems. Bobbie will be bringing back three issues from the US next week.

On Saturdays I read the free magazine that comes with the Guardian. Tomorrow I request that you all might want to do the same. Please.

William T asked:Favourite lighthouse?

It is the lighthouse you can see from the ferry between Oban and Craignure, because it means I am on my way to see my mother on Mull, or going to Iona. I love that ferry. Its this one here.

I also like that one in that photo. I realise thats a bit vague. You know, the one with the wave and the man and the lighthouse? Well, I mean, I like the picture more than the lighthouse, I suppose, but you know what I mean. No, actually, most people probably dont. Hang on, I find picture.

This one.

nuttycow asked: Which person, dead or alive, would you most like to have supper with?

Dorothy Parker would most probably turn out to be dour and charmless companion, so I shant pick her, or Shakespeare, who would probably have terrible terrible table manners. Ive always thought Jim Henson would be funny. And there are various 18th Century French playwrights who led wild and exciting lives that might be fun if I could speak better French.

But overwhelmingly, probably my Nana, my mothers mother. I would like to have supper with her and tell her all the things she has missed. She would also like my cats.

neutrino asked: Are you Mastermind, and Egghead or a Weakest link?

Whichever means I am the thickest, probably. The Egg one. I am Very Not Mastermindy. Im really quite thick. Especially in terms of numbers. Im observant, and quite quick, so not the Weakest Link, I shoudnt think. And I have an unbelievable memory for useless trivia, so Im a good person to have on a pub quiz team. But as intelligent as a doorknob in many other ways. Thick thick thick.

Im fine with it, dont get me wrong. Its just me: Im not that clever. I do alright, though, so it is ok.

Gert asked: If you don’t have to get up, do you do so immediately or do you try and forget that you’re awake?

Honey, I dont just TRY and forget Im awake. I succeed!
Oh yes, I love me my sleeps. And Im good at forgetting things, so that makes it quite easy.
I am a dreadful one for hitting the snooze button, particularly in winter. I can snooze for an hour and a half, in six minute segments. Thats my record, I think.

Right, Im popping out to the supermarket, and thats that.

Well, until I come back, at which point Ill continue, and it wont be that anymore.

rachel asks: What’s the appropriate point in January for people to stop saying ‘Happy New Year’?

Im not sure, but Im pretty clear that By now, thanks is correct. I caught myself saying it to someone the other day, and felt like an idiot. I mean, yes, I hadnt seen them since the date changed from 2007 to 2008, but if we use that as a rule, we could all be still saying it in November.

I say we should have a rule of only saying it in the week of the actual event. So if its on a Tuesday, which I hear it sometimes is, youre allowed to say it until the Sunday. And Then You Must Stop.

Katy Newton asked: If you had to choose between eating biscuits and eating cake for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?

Biscuits. What do you mean why? Its obvious. Or will become obvious, in a couple of answers time.

See, also, cake is all well and good, but, you know, its just Big and theres Lots of it, so youre really aware that youre eating lots of a big thing thats not really that good for you, and is headed straight for your thighs. Biscuits, well, theyre just smaller, and cuter, and theres an infinite variety of them AND you can well, well come to that.

Also, biscuit is intrinsically a funnier word than cake.

Nicki asked: if you had to choose one food out of all the foods there are in the whole world to live on for the rest of your life what would you choose?

If it didnt mean I would be the size of a house, then
Thin crust pepperoni pizza with jalepeno peppers and a sour cream dip.
And I would Never Ever get bored. Never. Never Ever.
Can I have a side salad with that?

enidd asked: To dunk, or not to dunk?

Dunk. Every time. Dunk dunk dunk.

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is why I say biscuits over cake every single time and THAT is why biscuits rule the world. Irestmycase.

Andrea asks: When are you coming to Canada? You seem to go everywhere else… sniff…

Hm. I dont know? I would like very much to come to Canada – and if someone suddenly offers to send me there for a work trip, I will be on the plane faster than you can say Anna, the planes not leaving for three weeks. Im going to Chicago in a few months. Thats almost in Canada, isnt it? Only a few hundred miles off

John asks: Do you play a musical instrument? (And if not, which do you think you would most like to learn?)

As mentioned earlier, I learnt to play the piano. I also had lessons in the flute, and the cello and the recorder. This, however, does not mean I can play any of them. I cant. I can read music, I can sing, I can just about pick out a tune on the piano. But play? I cant play.

I always thought if I was going to be able to play anything, Id want to be able to play the cello, but I dont, not really – I just like listening to it. Id quite like to be able to play the guitar, I suppose, so I could perhaps dress up in a nuns uniform and go into childrens wards and sing them happy songs to make them feel better. But sadly I never will play the guitar. Because of my unfortunate gammy finger disability.

xl asks: Let’s suppose that you suddenly become very wealthy and money is not a problem. Where in the world would you choose to reside?

Six months in Britain, six months somewhere where the sun shines all day and it rains almost every night. I really dont care where. Or, if I had no ties to Britain, possibly Italy. Umbria, near Lake Trasimeno.

mjb asks: What is your earliest memory?

You know how bad my memory is, right? So its not going to surprise anyone if I say going to Sainsburys last Wednesday. But Im not going to say that. Because my actual earliest memory is, I think, my third birthday party. I remember the flowery teacloth, and we were having a picnic, and my nana suddenly turned up as a surprise (we shared a birthday).

After that, I dont remember anything until I went to Sainsburys last Wednesday.

Only kidding.

I think it might have been Tuesday.

Stephanie asks: Rock, Paper or Scissors?

GOOD LORD I have a nosebleed!

Right, sorry. Rock. No, paper. No, scissors. No. Paper. Rock! ARG! Decisions! Cant do it!
Im like this when I actually play as well. Drives people nuts.

Becky asks: Why do you think your personal blog is successful?
And Im going to stick this together with a later question, where Rebecca asked: Why did you start and how did you grow your readership?, because otherwise Im going to end up repeating myself.

I dont know why its successful. Maybe people like the style of my writing, maybe people like the pretty little boat, I do not know. Mainly I think the question of why it might be seen as successful can be answered with the same answer as how did you build your readership? And that answer is:
Ive been doing it consistently for a bloody long time.

Thats it. I know its dull, but its true. Do anything long enough and youre going to gradually build a readership of people who hang out, each for their own individual reason. Some people think that youre like them, some people think that youre funny, some people think that youre an idiot and come back every day to make themselves feel better because theyre still superior to you. People have their own reasons for reading – but the longer you do it, the more theyre going to build up. If you post fairly regularly and dont call everyone whos bothered to visit your site a shower of cunts too often, or at all, then inevitably youre going to have a certain number of people reading. Thus: success.

The other reason it might be considered successful would be connected to the why did you start it? question. Because I love to write, I was doing a job in which I never got to write and seeeeester had a very good and popular blog, and set me up with mine. I didnt really know what blogging was, but it satisfied my need to write, so I did it. And thats it really. Writing is one of the only things Im really good at. Thats why I do it for a living now. And I still love it. Im very lucky.

So its luck and diligence and consistency and doing it for a bloody long time, basically.

driedfrog asks: What’s your favourite section in the supermarket and why?

The exit? I sodding hate shopping. I mean, I love food, but I hate making decisions, and I hate slow people trying to make decisions with trolleys parked straight across the whole aisle. With a screaming child in it.

Seriously, though? Probably the pickles aisle. Pickles, sauces, condiments, salad dressings and spicy sauce.

Im drooling at the thought.

NRG asked: If you did happen to be the owner of a set of hideous plastic meerkats on springs, what would you do with them?

Why, I would buy 9 MORE sets and create a herd. How cool would THAT be?

OR, I would spend a lot of time and money giving them light-up-in-the-dark eyes and motion sensors and then make it so they could tell if someone was entering the garden, and then make it so they would all turn at once, suddenly all their eyes would light up and they would turn, en masse, and follow whoever it was as they walked down the path. It would freak people out and be cool.

End of.

Katrina asked: Where was it you visited in your “hello y’all” post? Being from the south, I was just curious

I was visiting Lower Alabama as part of the US Department of Commerce push to get tourism back to the Gulf Coast region after, coincidentally, Katrina. I was staying in Mobile, Gulf Shores, and being shown around the Bon Secour Bay area. And I really liked it, a lot. An incredibly friendly and beautiful area. I was meant to be on a wildlife tour, and would have been too if the 9 inches of rain in the first 48 hours we were there hadnt sent all the beasties and birdies hiding. I would love to go back. I probably wouldnt visit so many military museums if I was choosing my own itinerary, but, you know, when someone else decides what youre doign, that is just what you do.

You can find an article about the trip here, and all my pictures here. Why, K, where you from?

Genevieve asked: What is the point of wearing matching socks?

There is no point. No one cares. Only an idiot would attempt it.
The socks are against us, the washing machine is on the side of the socks, and most importantly, no one cares.

Right – I am going to have to finish this in the morning because I am falling asleep. Hurrah. In morning. Hurrah.


Alright, so when I said morning, I clearly meant evening. I will finish it this evening. Busy day.

LATER STILL: Miss T asked if Id like to come round for tea?

Now obviously I have already answered this in some way, as it was a question asked more than 29 hours ago and it would be far far FAR too late if I only just got round to answering it now, not to mention rude.

So, in the interests of full public disclosure, my answer was Oooh, that sounds lovely, I would very much like to but my landlord is coming round to take the toilet away. Another time?

Right. Next?

Jo asks: If you don’t like T***** K******, what artists do you like?

Oh, gosh, difficult. Because Im good at saying I like that! but not good at remembering names. More modern stuff, although mostly 1930s-1960s overwhelmingly, no idea why and Im afraid Im a bit of a sucker for the wankier end of the concept market, and performance art and things.

In terms of broad genres, I like Pop art, I like Abstract Expressionist painters, and Ive had a fascination for a really long time with the Fluxus movement. I do love Van Goghs mad paintings, but mostly the really seriously about-to-die mad ones, with all the swirls. I like Matisse. And David Shrigley. Im also very keen on photography, particularly modern really hyper-real colour stuff, and Martin Parr and Andreas Gursky and things.

I really like the art of portraiture, and spent many many happy afternoons as a kid wandering around the National Portrait Gallery on my own. Yes, its so alarming that I grew up a little odd and bullied, int it? I just like going to art galleries. And I like buying postcards in the shop afterwards. Sculptures possibly the thing that moves me least.

I do like art, honestly. And I do know that TK has many fans and that cant be discounted because everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just cant stand the self-righteous bastard. Or, now I have more experience of them, his fans, either.

Miss Nomer, being very naughty, asked another question. She asked: You know that post that you shared post of the year with; what did you think of it?

I thought it was very good. I thought it was very powerful and moving and very indicative of the kind of powerful, serious, emotional writing that Post Of The Week is great at flagging up. It brought a blog I hadnt been previously aware of to my attention, and I was really glad it did. I felt honoured to be jointly awarded with it.

Now dont be naughty. One question means one question. Tut.

tikki asked: which is your favourite of the two kittehs?

Nooooooo! You cant make me choose! Thats wrong!

I love widget because she, answers to her name everytime, wakes up and immediately seeks me out for nose nuzzling, purrs like a crazy thing and has a tiny tiny hitler moustache. I love Squirrel because she is harder to please, and does not love quite so unconditionally, and I always find that lovable.

Both of them. I love both of them. Honestly, I dont have a favourite. Or rather, I do, but it changes every two minutes. ONe day one of them will shit on my head as I sleep and the matter will be decided. But it isnt quite yet.

Cleoasked: Jam or pickle?

Pickle. Always savoury over sweet. So pickle, then. Always pickle.
Unless it is to go with cheese, in which case jam.

Rachel asked: have you actually got a little red boat??????

Woah there on the question marks, lady! Woah there, pickle! Its only one question.

Yes, I do, well, I sort of do. Unsurprisingly, I sort of collect them – I have about a dozen little red boat ornaments of various sizes and shapes scattered around the house. But I dont have the one the blog was named after (Story here) anymore, sadly. That was probably thrown away years and years and years ago.

Andra, having found the blog through a feature about me and Bobbie, asked If Im still with Bobbie?

Yes, very much so, apart from him being away on business at the moment. So not logisitically, geographically, not *right* now – but generally, for the last five years, and, as far as Im concerned, for the rest of my life, yes. And hello, and welcome.

Dana asked: Why are there so little pictures of yourself on Flickr or anywhere else? Are you not content with your looks?

Which is an interesting question. Well, Dana, there are pictures out there, there are pictures on my About Me page. There arent many pictures of me on *my* flickr stream, because Im the one taking the pictures. There are pictures of me on other peoples photo streams, though, and in lots of other places.

Having said that, no, Im not happy with my looks. My nose is enormous, my forehead too large, Im obese, have hair that will not do what its told, am weirdly proportioned and deeply, DEEPLY unphotogenic. So you are wrong and right in equal measure. There ARE photos of me out there, in spades – apart from for a while where, before I lost the however much weight or whatever Ive currently lost, I refused to have my picture taken at all.

So there are pictures out there, but Im absolutely not content with my looks, of course not: Im extremely unattractive. One might say, also, I may have body issues.

Its Just Me asked: My mate always says there are two ways you know great friends: 1. You know you can ring them at 4am when it’s all gone wrong. 2. You know they would ring you in the same situation. So, question, even though I’m too late: Of those friends – what proportion do you know through blogs?

About 75%, I would say.

Im very lucky. Blogging has brought me many things and taken me a long and weird way, but one of the best things that has happened through blogging are the people Ive met and the friends Ive made.

I dont know whether its because shy people can get to know other people personality first without having to do all the horrible difficult smalltalk thing, or whether people who would naturally get on anyway gravitate toward each other or what, but the beautiful thing is that now many of the people I would count as my very best friends are people I initially met through blogging. Its lovely.

Charles asked: Who is the consistently funny writer you would like to meet? Oh and as a little extra related one – do you get star struck?

Charles Ive already said Im not saying. Think of a writer you think of as consistently funny, and insert that name into the sentence.

I get starstruck, yes, a little. But not around celebrities, or television personalities or such. Just around people I respect and and am a bit in awe of. Writers, mainly, but mostly creative people who have a talent for doing something I wish I could do. My Beloved is, for example, interviewing a Vodcast star in a couple of days, and I am *totally* starstruck by that particular person. He said hed ask for an autograph for me, but I dont want an autograph, I just want him to be my friend.
And no, Im not saying who that is either.

Brian asked: If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

Flying. I would fly, and then I could find sun whenever I needed it. Even by heading straight up through the clouds. I would do that.

Ricardipus asked: If you could be any arthropod for a day, what would it be and why? I asked Zoe and Quarsan over at My Boyfriend is a Twat this question once, and Q’s response was “a meerkat”, which I thought was rather creative, meerkats being mammals and not arthropods and all. So I’d be very interested in your answer.

Well, I have just had to look up what an arthropod is as well. And I have discovered them to be a strain of critter quite, quite vile, and I wouldnt be one if you paid me. So I would have to agree with the modus operandi of Q, and say that if I had to be a arthropod for a day, I would probably be a polar bear. Or a meerkat. Being a meerkat would also be fine.

OH MY GOD IVE FINISHED! I ran out of questions!


Thank you all, and goodnight.