Friday, February 20, 2009

Interview with Hannah

Hannah has interviewed me :-)

1. It's not secret that you love to read. If you had to recommend just FIVE must-read books, what would they be?

oooooo... well this one is really hard because there are so many books out there that are so good, plus my taste influences my choices.

The Narnia series by C. S. Lewis: classic "fantasy" that most children and adults enjoy. My Dad read these to us when I was about 7 and I re-read them many times over the years. The allegorical nature of the series appeals to me personally but they don't have to be read that way. I always want to eat Turkish delight after reading The lion,the witch and the wardrobe.

The omnivore's dilemma / Michael Pollan: I read this last year and it still is reverberating in my brain. The issues he covers concern me and I found the book to be eye opening.

A thousand splendid suns / Khaled Hosseini : Another book that stays with me that I read last year. It can be quite dark in places but overall I thought it was brilliant.

The Bible: I know some folks would disagree about this one! LOL! But in terms of Western culture and social context I think it is a formative piece of work. For many it is an inspiration and guide. It's not a book to be read from cover to cover though, and one shouldn't expect to understand everything in it.

Janet Frame's autobiographies To the is-land | An angel at my table | Envoy from mirror city: When I read these I find myself marveling at the tension between imagination, society' attitudes to people, and the role of family in nuturing individuality.

2. I am always impressed with your efforts to be "green". Have you always been concerned about the environment or was there a significant event/person/issue that inspired you in this area?

I can't recall any specific person or event that inspired or encouraged me. Although - the Wombles were my favourite things for a while. Until they stole my dummy. Well, that's what my mum told me. I was traumatised for life.

I think consciousness of the world around me and my effect on it started quite young though. I vividly remember my Dad taking on walks along the beach as children and teaching us to look but return rocks to where they came from, to leave things as they were. We were never allowed to leave rubbish around if we went on a picnic anywhere. I would often take a rubbish bag with me on beach walks to pick up stuff that irresponsible visitors had left. As a family we all tend to be quite observant of "nature"; we're plant and animal lovers and avid readers of literature pertaining to same. Gerald Durrell and other writers like him were my staple library books in my teen years and I think their message of conservation influenced me.

As a teenager one often finds "causes" to be passionate about and I think conservation and respect for the earth became mine. Biology and ecology were my favourite subjects (along with English) at school. This translated into me doing a BSc in biological sciences at Uni. I think if the trend at the time for cell and molecular biology hadn't been so prevalent I would have gone on to doing post-grad work in some area relating to plant conservation.

3. What is your favourite way to relax after a long day?

Probably in a hot bath with a book!

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

I've lived in England and Germany and visited a number of countries but I prefer to live in New Zealand. I'm a classic "home body" and while I like to visit other places, I never feel entirely settled until I'm on NZ soil. This is where my roots are, where my memories lie and where my culture is.

5. What is your proudest achievement so far?

There a number of things I'm proud to have achieved. The one that springs to mind right now is giving birth to DD with just gas and the TENs machine for pain relief. OK, so DH teases me about my moans and groans but I impressed myself that I did it. It dispelled a bunch of fears that DS's birth had created. Breastfeeding both my kids until 2 years old is also something I'm currently very pleased with.

I think my proudest achievement in ten years time might be different. What I thought 10 years earlier would have been quite different too.

Now, if you would like ME to interview YOU, here’s what to do:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will email you 5 questions.
3. You answer the questions on your blog.


  1. Anonymous4:13 pm

    Interesting answers there Penny!! Great to learn some things about you.

  2. Funny that we both mention yout TENS machine today in our blogs


    You may interview me and hopefully I'll make it interesting reading...

  3. :-) Yep, you have every reason to be proud of your answers to #5. I've just stopped feeding M ... need to go shopping now! lol
    You can interview me too if you want (be nice though! lol)

  4. Bwahahahahah! The WOMBLES stole your dummy?! I can't believe your mum told you that, what a terrible thing to do to a child! Which one pinched it? Was it Orinoco?

    (I loved the Wombles as a kid, I've got the first book of the series here somewhere.)

  5. It's been lovely getting to know you a bit better Penny. I think the Wombles stealing your dummy is a stroke of genius on your parents part lol.

    If you haven't got too many people to interview, I would like to ask for you to interview me. I'm kinda "stuck" with my blogging (that's why I don't blog very often :-( ) and I think it might help me move a bit lol.

  6. I really enjoyed reading your answers, Penny! Thanks for playing along :-)

  7. Love your answers, Penny - I'm with you on the book and bath!

    You may interview me,too, if you wish!Like Sandra I think it's a good way to help the writer's block!

  8. Are you still looking for willing volunteers to be interviewed? I am always looking for new blog posts and this would would be a welcome addition.