Ask Me Another

Round two of our interviews. This time Lily is in the hot seat.

Regulars will remember that a couple of weeks ago we published Lily’s interview of Emma and promised that we’d turn the tables in a future post. That day has arrived, and in what follows you have Emma interviewing Lily, covering some of the same questions, but with a few new ones thrown in for variety. Having spent the best part of 30 years together, it shouldn’t surprise us that we have so much in common and share similar tastes in many areas; what’s most intriguing is where our preferences and opinion differ…

E: Your turn in the hot seat, Lily! What did you want to be growing up and why?

L: Originally, I wanted to be a dentist but only because I watched the film “Toothless”, starring Kirstie Alley, who [spoiler alert] plays a dentist who gets hit by a car, dies, goes to Limbo and has to earn her way into Heaven by becoming the tooth fairy. Next, I wanted to be an Egyptologist because I watched the film “The Mummy”, starring Rachel Weisz. I thought that being an archaeologist would involve riding through the desert on a camel with Brendan Fraser, wearing beautiful 1930s clothing, fighting mummies who’d come back from the dead. I think it was you, Mum, who explained to me what being an archaeologist actually involves. Then I thought that perhaps the running theme was that I like films, and I like pretending, so maybe I should just be an actress. That way I can be a dentist one week and an egyptologist the next.

E: Characterful female leads in both those films. And sorry for inadvertently crushing your archaeology dreams! List five things that make you happy and cause you to smile.

L: True crime trivia…

E: That can’t possibly make you smile! What sort of freakish person are you?

Tyler curled up on the grass.

L: Alright, things that make me smile… Cats: I love cats and have a magical familiar called Tyler. There are three cats who live on my road, and they jump through a hole in the fence to see me when I pass. I’ve named them all.

Music makes me happy and having grown up in a household where music was always playing, I enjoy all genres. My Dad is obsessed with music and has his own man-cave – though truly it’s more like a palace – dedicated to his vinyl, cassette and CD collections. Cooking also makes me smile. I learned from you that there are few things more relaxing than pottering around in the kitchen.

Being organised makes me happy: lists, getting all of my thoughts out on to paper and logged, being prepared for the day. And finally, travelling makes me happy. I like the preparation for travel, getting my passport and documents ready and deciding what I’m going to pack. My Nanny Val likes to do a “practice pack” and so do I. I get happiness from planning my outfits, making Pinterest boards of the sights I want to see, collages of photographs I’d like to capture when I get there. It’s all part of adventure. Anything can happen when you step outside your front door.

E: Given the choice, which time period – past, present or future – would you like to live in, and why?

L: I’m trying hard to be more present but, if I had a choice, I don’t think 2020 would be top of my list. I think the time period I’d most like to experience, because of the music I love to listen to and the excitement of being somewhere that felt like the centre of the universe, is London in the 1960s.

E: List three films that have had a profound impact on you and explain why.

L: I love horror films – they are a guilty pleasure, like junk food! I always know I’m going to be entertained and enjoy them. The best of these, for me, is “The Shining” because it is such an unnerving watch and I come back to it again and again. I have to select an animated film as that’s what led me into singing; I’d put one on and I’d sing along and learn all the words. My favourite was “Anastasia”. I recently re-watched “Fairytale”, about the case of the Cottingley Fairies, and was struck by how beautifully it is shot and how well it stood up to being watched as an adult. I first watched “Fairytale” shortly after we moved house from the outskirts of South East London to a village in the Surrey countryside. The film helped me settle into my new, rural lifestyle and showed me the magic of gardens and playing outside.

E: It is a wonderful film and a story that intrigues people all these years later. Next one? Where in the world do you long to travel, and why?

L: The answer to this one changes all the time. I have a list on my phone and I’m always updating it, swapping out places I have visited. India is a prime destination: I have never been and I’m desperate to go for the colours, the cuisine, the hustle and bustle, the downward-facing dogs, the spirituality, the heat. Closer to home, a visit to Berlin and a driving tour of Italy are high on my list. For 2020 though, it’ll be a week in Cornwall.

E: How about this one: assuming your life is a story and you are the author, what does your happy ending look like?

L: It would be the ending of the film “Titanic”: I’d be an old lady…

E: …on your own?

L: An old lady, with a big diamond necklace, who dies in her sleep! Like her, I would have lived a full life, having achieved everything I wanted to. And when she died her soul went back to the Titanic to be with Jack, her true love. That sounds like a good ending to me.

E: Well, when you put it like that, it does sound rather appealing. And it is also the perfect happy ending for this little interview. You’ve got me thinking about the Cottingley Fairies and I’m off to find the book about the two cousins; it’s on the bookshelves somewhere. You did so love the story about having fairies at the bottom of the garden when you were young. You’ve conjured up for me some delightful memories of little you – thank you. ~E.

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