In My Own Time
I was drawn to music at Middlesbrough Grammar School, singing in The Messiah and dressing as a gentleman of Japan in The Mikado. Now my tastes are usually baroque, especially Telemann and Handel. One of my great loves is going to opera, where I am a Wagner fan. Clearly, I have Brunnhilde in my mind as a role model: I would love to lead the Ride of the Valkyries.
l Roger (my husband) and I are surrounded by about 8,000 books and I am particularly drawn to sources for the early Middle Ages. Don't get me talking about The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by the Venerable Bede, as you would quickly regret it. Since my serious school days, I have regarded novels as for play time. I have to say, though, that when I do play, I love Stieg Larsson. But I am more at home with Chiang Yee, the incomparable Silent Traveller, whether he is in Edinburgh, London or the Lake District.
l Our secret delight is an hour with a DVD television series, late in the evening. I will have been writing all day, so we focus with relish on incredibly violent series like The Spiral, The Wire, Wallander and The Killing. My father was a police officer but his experiences seemed rather different. Roger has recorded Doctor Who from the earliest regenerations. We always watch News at Ten on BBC, but I follow news online throughout the day and often at night. In fact, my really serious addiction, 247 and 365 days a year, is to my beloved MacBook Pro.
I am not really a cinema person, though I have enjoyed Gandhi, Master and Commander and The King's Speech.