If you can’t have a good old chin way about the British weather then you need to climb out of your arse!
Nicola 48, lives in London with her husband and daughter and is never far from a good book or two.
How are you?
If I don’t dwell on stuff too much then things are fine. I get busy if things aren't fine.
How do you feel about the weather?
Where would we be without the weather? I love going into weather conversations. I love watching their reaction. “Oh bloody hell, is that all she can talk about?” I’m slightly provocative. If you can’t have a good old chin wag about the British weather then you need to climb out of your arse!
What do you think about marriage?
Do not enter into it lightly! I don’t regret it. It’s a fantastic institution. It’s the building block of society. I think it’s best for the children to stay together. If there was an easier option I would have taken it by now. It’s hard to extricate yourself once you’ve been with someone for a long time. I didn't want to get married but it seemed to make sense. In general, I’m all for it.
What’s your most memorable experience?
Having my daughter. I was two weeks late and had to be induced. I was knackered before we’d even started. I was obsessed with trying not to shit myself during the labour. In the end, I had to have an emergency cesarian. Afterwards I lay in the corridor on a gurney. My baby under my arm, thinking I should have been more bullish - it was a real shock to the system. Even years later when I got run over and ended up spending months in a wheelchair, wasn't as shocking as childbirth.
How do you think other people see you?
Probably more closed than I used to be. I don’t have half as many friends as I used to. I’m forty- eight. I don’t want to do what I did twenty years ago.
I was the youngest of four. I grew up wanting to be a people pleaser. You can’t be all things to all people. I bet they think 'she could do with losing some weight and she really should stop smoking'.
What brings you down?
Too much negativity. If you're in a slump daytime TV isn't going to make you feel any better. I feel so much better if I achieve something in a day. If I have a good book, nothing can tear me away.
What are you're dreams and desires?
I don’t have any dreams but I love history and I love reading. I love that I can read a book and fall in love with the main character. Reading is much about enjoyment as it is education. There’s nothing wrong with a good “bad” book.
Where does all your energy go?
Dealing with my husband - we’ve both lost our get up and go.
How do you see yourself?
Thankfully I don’t see myself very often - I don’t have a full-length mirror!
I’m learning how to grow older. I’m trying to deal with big changes, life changing things - moving up the chain. My dad’s not going to last forever. I had the most wonderful childhood. I got on well with my parents and loved their company. They were such good fun, we’d argue and laugh, but all that’s gone now, it’s hideous.
How do you best express yourself?
By writing. I write a lot of letters. You can express exactly what you want to say. It’s useful to get information across.
Who or what inspires you?
My parents and my family. By trying to do the right thing. Trying to be a decent human being inspires me. Trying not to give into the nasties. Nature, beauty and music inspires me. Music can take you to a certain place.
What do you think about life?
What’s the point in life if you don’t take the pleasure in the lovely things? Keep reminding yourself that life is to be lived. It's not all about going out and being the best in your field. You don’t have to surpass the rest of humanity to have a worthwhile life. Make sure you enjoy and appreciate ‘The Today’ and have fun doing it. There is a glorious feeling getting your supplies in and piling your fridge high. Life is a state of mind. Appreciate what you're doing and what you've got. That’s not to say I don’t have massive moments of introspection. You know yourself all your life. You have inner chats with yourself. How can life be lonely? Most people when given a crisis or drama rises to the occasion, it's the daily grind that's hard work.
Are you free?
I don’t think anyone is free? Freedom doesn't exist. It's a relative term. Everyone is caught up in survival. There’s never freedom from the cares of the world. If you were extremely wealthy you’d have a certain amount of freedom but it would impose other responsibilities. I don’t think there's such a thing as freedom.
What have you taken from today?
How very easy it is to talk to you (thank you). It’s been thought provoking. I did get very upset when I said I haven't got any dreams. I don’t want to end up closed off. I need to be careful that I don’t end up with no enthusiasm or involvement in the world. I want to have an opinion and stay involved otherwise I will become a saddo with nothing to say for myself. Today has made me think about things. You can't live your life with your head in the sand - that equals fear, fear of doing something, fear of change. Those are the things you regret on your death bed.