Friday, 5 January 2007

Q&A in Seven Magazine

I will be featured in the Bristol Evening Post's Seven Magazine, in the Q&A section. My answers to the questions they put are:

Tell us about your job.
I'm an Associate Lecturer in Environment with the Open University, as well
as the Coordinator of Bristol South Green Party.

How long have you been doing the job?
I've been with the Open University for nearly seven years. My involvement
in the Green Party goes back over twenty years, including being a
Parliamentary Candidate in Bristol South in 1987 and 2001.

Where do you live?
In Knowle. I was brought up, went to school and have
virtually always lived in Knowle.

What is your favourite food?
I love traditional food like fish, chips and mushy peas but have taken to
having haddock instead of cod because haddock are in plentiful supply in
the oceans, unlike cod. I'm also very keen on Sunday roasts, especially
lamb, though I dont eat a lot of meat. I like a lot of different foods
though and do a lot of cooking.

What is your favourite smell?
Baking bread is hard to beat. There is a certain smell of the English
seaside and woodland that's very pleasant and relaxing too.

What would your idea of perfect happiness be?
I've never been comfortable with the idea of perfection. I want my
partner and daughter to be happy, healthy and achieve their potential of
course. And there are so many wrongs in the world I'd like to see put
right. I'd be very happy to see the Green Party get the public support and
votes its ideas have long deserved. They really do merit recognition - and
of course they have not jumped on the green bandwagon like others because
they started it going!

What's the most valuable lesson life has taught you?
I've often felt that its not been enough to be rational and well reasoned
when trying to achieve change, something else is needed. I also like the
saying that: proper preparation prevents poor performance.

What is your favourite record/piece of music?
This is very hard because I like a lot of music of pretty varied types. I
do play certain songs a lot though, so on this basis While My Guitar
Gently Weeps by George Harrson/The Beatles of which there is a fantastic
version on the new Love CD.

What is your favourite book?
For fiction: The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one I've read many times.
Tolkien builds a whole world very completely, with the history and
languages of many peoples, as well as writing very movingly in places. For
non-fiction: Ray Mears books on bushcraft or Edward de Bono's books on
thinking skills are very good.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
I found it hard to come up with much here, though I did remember mixing up
the words Turks and Kurds (with the obvious embarassing result) when
having a serious discussion on the Iraq issue with my mum-in-law. I was
told I blushed heavily!

What was your childhood ambition.
At secondary school I was very good at sports, especially rugby, because I
had a very good turn of speed, so I remember thinking that I might well be
capable of playing for good club like Bristol. I also remember being very
keen on writing, something I've been able to follow up on through my work
in education - and regular letter writing to the paper!

What would you like to be doing in five years time?
Supporting my daughter with her A' levels or whatever she is doing and my
partner with her work. I'd like to be part of a strong, successful group
of elected Green Councillors influencing Bristol City Council
significantly. I'm keen to write, so would like to help the Open
University to write an environmental course or two, and maybe I'll even
get a few books published!

What do you think of the events planned as part of the city's Abolition
200 commemoration and the invitation to Nelson Mandela?
Its most important to commemorate in ways that maxmise opportunities to
fight the injustice and inequality of today, here and around the world. It
would be very hard to find a better role model for persistently fighting
for a just cause than Nelson Mandela, and so I hope he comes here.

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