1) Do you believe in ghosts? So many questions don’t have a straightforward answer. The word has connotations I don’t care for (spooks in sheets, being afraid of the dark, which I’m not, superstition, which doesn’t interest me). But I do know people who have an awareness of otherworldly things. I’m prosaic and have never felt such a thing, but I don’t discount the possibility, and I think that my father is still around here somewhere, though it may be just in me rather than as a spirit presence.
I do believe I have a guardian angel. He is a very good one and I don’t take him for granted.
2) Are you content with your life? Yes I am. I have much to be content with, but I’m an accepting type and would probably make the best of any situation. Having said that, there have been times when I’ve not been happy and have been unable to do anything about it and have had to stick it out.
3) Have you ever been at or close to point blank?* As in, breaking point – I think you mean, in the sense of losing control of my temper. This is extremely rare and brief at that. I remember once, in a row with my husband, feeling myself losing control and about to become hysterical – it was quite a tempting prospect at the time. This was about 30 years ago. I can’t see that happening ever again. I am rarely angry, though often indignant, but anger is most effective when you don’t lose your temper, in any case.
4) Is philosophy necessary? I once gave a job to an Argentinian guy who wanted to be a teaching assistant for the work experience, with the eventual intention of becoming a teacher. “I am a pheelossopherr” he said several times during his interview – and he was too, his degree was in philosophy. He was great.
Anyway. Yes, it is. But don’t look to me for it. I’m far too down-to-earth.
5) Do you live with books? I do, I always have and I’m not comfortable without books to hand. I used to read voraciously, but I’ve mysteriously stopped in the last couple of years and read about a tenth of the books I used to. However, books are more important to me than anything else for furnishing a home and I’m not happy unless I’ve got a couple of books on the go.
6) Have you ever been on stage? Only to give speeches. I last acted when I was 10, when I played the Walrus in the school production of Alice in Wonderland.
7) Do you regularly read a printed newspaper? I do, two every day except Sunday, when I read one – which usually takes the rest of the week to finish. I read The Times and the Eastern Daily Press.
8) Are you afraid of the future? No. But I used to be. It will be four years ago next month when I realised that I was no longer afraid to look ahead. For several years, I could only manage by living in the present and didn’t look back or forward. As this was behind me, I was then able to talk to my daughter about how I’d felt. Since I stopped being afraid of the future (specifically, my old age and losing my husband) I’ve been happy. Which is cause and which is effect — it was recovering, from a stressful time followed by bereavement, that made me lose my fear.
9) Do you know yourself? I think I do, I’ve given a lot of consideration to the subject. I do accept myself, even the parts I don’t care for – although I work on changing the bits that can be changed. But I’m very forgiving. I try not to make excuses for myself, all the same.
10) Will you play on? Possibly not. I don’t know about thinking up the questions, nor about whom to invite. Not everyone likes doing memes, though I do. But I’m diffident about passing them on.
Thanks, Mago. I’ve been very earnest!