With thanks to Iota Manhattan, one of my favorite bloggers, for getting me started on this list:

  1. Name a guilty pleasure.
  2. If you could change one thing you’ve done in the last week, what would it be?
  3. What’s your middle name? (go on, we’re all grown-ups now, it’s not embarrassing any more)
  4. Can you, with Edith Piaf, say “Je ne regrette rien”?
  5. What fairy story character do you most identify with? (don’t over-think this one).
Chocolate truffles, yum!

Chocolate truffles, yum!

1.  Guilty pleasure:  dark chocolate truffles with chocolate mousse inside, dusted with cocoa powder.


2.  Change one thing I’ve done in the past week.

I wish I’d booked a flight EARLY EARLY EARLY when they were so much cheaper so that this week I’d be meeting up with my dear cousin Julie and any and all of my English and Canadian relatives someplace HOT (Portugal?  The Canaries?) and listening to my Uncle Frank do karaoke in the British bars

Even the Three Wise Men are snowed under!

Even the Three Wise Men are snowed under!

during this school vacation week instead of battling temperatures in the teens and cascades of snow here in New England!  This trip is a total pipe dream because we can’t afford to go on any major trips–saving our pennies for our summer trip back home to England–but I can dream, can’t I?

3.  Middle name:  Ann.  Nothing wrong with that, yeah?

4.  Can I say “Je regrette rien?”

Non, pas du tout, je regrette beaucoup!  There have been so many things in my life that turned on a hair and that sent me in a new and sometimes interesting and sometimes not-so-interesting direction that it’s so hard to choose. . . .

Take, for example, my applying to business school.  Going to business school was not something I had ever conceived of doing–I thought maybe I would get a Ph.D. in English or an M.F.A. in creative writing or maybe even be a farmer–but after graduating from college, going to business school was what you did if you were a relatively pulled-together young woman, and I was also getting a lot of pressure from my then-significant (insignificant) other to go to business school in order to provide a life of unending bon bons (see above, #1) and luxury at the expense of my own happiness, so to shut down this conversation FOREVER I said I would apply to ONE business school ONLY and then you have to SHUT THE BLEEP UP about my going to business school!

So I took the GMATS and thought I didn’t do well enough to get into the top business school which is the only school I applied to because I knew I wouldn’t get in and so this matter would be ended FOREVER, and then surprise surprise surprise I DID get in and I went because as everyone said you don’t say no to Harvard, and I had a miserable two years along with everyone else studying 15-16 hours a day and after graduation instead of working for McKinsey or going into investment banking (which would have been a total joke because I am an English-style socialist and I would have wanted to spread the wealth all around especially for the hard-working people at the bottom), I went right back into publishing, only this time it was New York book publishing, which was a real step up from before I went to business school when I worked as a lowly textbook sales representative in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and was sliding off icy roads most of the time so in some ways business school paid off big-time.

I got a really cool job as an acquiring editor for a top New York book publisher which I loved and several of my authors got on the New York Times bestseller list, but then five years after I started at this particular publisher I got a horrible, jealous, bigoted new boss who fired me when I was eight months pregnant, and then I had my first baby and also fell in love with  New York, and I thought that this is the best thing in the world, looking after my daughter, then my son, then my second daughter, and I realized that what I really wanted to do in life was to raise my kids and write about England and America and family and farming and parenting and also maybe write manuscripts for two thrillers and most likely more so that’s what I’m doing.

HBS and the Head of the Charles race.

Head of the Charles race and Harvard Business School.


5.  Fairy story character I most identify with.

Snow White, because without over-thinking anything I’d really love having seven brothers, uh, dwarves, to hang out with.

I always wanted to be in a family of 12 kids like my grandfather (he was second youngest), or have 12 kids myself, neither of which happened, so having these dwarf-brothers would be the next-best thing, that is, if I were Snow White!