1) I've just this second sold a book to the blonde Aussie one from Sheila's Wheels. She was thoroughly charming and if I had a car I know where I'd be getting my insurance from.
2) I have only ever once made hollandaise sauce - it was perfect. I am now so worried that it'll never turn out that well again that I have never reattempted it.
3) I once shared a flat with an inordinately cool Zimbabwean guy called Dumiso; during the course of one rainy Sunday afternoon doing the ironing and watching Zulu we discovered that we were, respectively, descended from Gonville Bromhead and King Cetshwayo. We decided never to speak of it, although whistling "Men of Harlech" became shorthand for "I'm trying to annoy you".
4) I will eat anything except tripe (I hate the consistency), brains (not sure I like the idea of eating something that has ideas) and andouillette (made of bowel, smells of bowel). In my defence, I'm not particularly squeamish otherwise - I will happily eat kidneys, tongue, sweetbreads, black pudding, snails, etc, and in my time have eaten crocodile steak, water buffalo, snake, peacock, a scorpion, and a bee (on purpose, crystallised in honey).
5) I went on an anti-Vietnam War march in 1972 or -3; I was a small child at this point (!) and my deeply peacenik Canadian babysitter took me (I grew up in Montreal). At the age of 6 I knew who Nixon and Ho Chi Minh were, what "impeach" meant, and why there were so many American men suddenly living in Canada...
6) Further to the Canada thing, I was also living there when the October Crisis happened - so am the only one of my contemporaries who has, albeit briefly, lived under martial law.
7) I would sell my soul for the ability to drink a double espresso after midday without turning into a sleepless and jittery speedfreak. I love coffee, love it, love it, and it has ceased to love me since the day I turned 30, fickle swine that it is.
8) My family motto is Nil Desperandum. Which is a toughie to live up to on a drizzly day like today. Mostly I'm an optimist though.
9) I collect nice shiny facts like a magpie collects sparkly bits of tinfoil. In fact if I lived in Philip Pullman's world my daemon would undoubtedly be a member of the corvid family - maybe a rook, because they're sociable, highly acquisitive, and according to myth they like to tell stories.
10) My idea of perfect hell is massage. If there's one thing I hate more than being covered in oil, it's having to make polite conversation with a complete stranger while naked.I'm going to tag Naweed, because I know for a fact he's never done one of these. Go, dude, make me proud...