Something about me: I like lists.
I like making them, physically passing my best pen over any blank space I can find - best notebooks, flyers, backs of envelopes, receipts, anything - and I like ticking the items off as they're achieved. Some lists, like Life Goals, are important documents, some, like the weekly Shopping List, are random necessities for an easy life placed incongruously, deliciously, side by side.
Writing a list invariably brings me a sense of order imposed, of control regained; a sense, in other words, of myself as a woman who knows what she wants and how she wants it, even (and especially) when I'm living life in a state of unrestrained chaos.
So I thought today I'd write a list or two. You know, balance things out a little, calm a soul which has been too frazzled and distracted to write lately. And they're dedicated to queendebbee - as far as I know my one and only regular reader - who has made me keep the faith and keep writing:
THIS WRITER'S LIFE - 10 RANDOM THINGS:
1. My middle name is Rachel, after actress Rachel Roberts ( This Sporting Life,Yanks etc), because my mother went to drama school with her.
2. I met my husband at a bus stop.
3. In 1997 I went to the Academy Awards for a nominated friend of mine who couldn't attend... he asked me to take his aged mother, who didn't recognise Al Pacino but got very excited at Julie Andrews... It remains one of the favourite moments of my life.
4. I once met the Queen. Aged 10.
5. Shortly after I met the Bim I went to a psychic, who said she'd never seen a spread like mine, was shocked into chain-smoking cigarillos throughout our session and told me several things she never could have known. The oddest was identifying an enormous rift between my sister and me, which I strenuously denied because... it hadn't happened yet. A year later my sister and I fell out so badly she didn't speak to me for a year.
6. My father, my mother and myself have all worked at the National Theatre.
7. I love dancing. I once danced blind with Ned my Salsa teacher. There was no sex, but it was one of the sexiest moments... and I danced naked on a roof in Herne Hill with a dear friend, in the rain. I think dancing could change the world.
8. Anna-mouse was born between two blue moons. Just think. No wonder she's a wonder child.
9. When I was 18, and thinking I was very plain, after staring at me for some time a man in Central Park came up to me and said: "You have beautiful bone structure."
10. I am practising writing. I'm practising now. I'm practising allowing myself to write badly and still press the Publish Post button. I've read this is the only way for a perfectionist with gremlins on her shoulder trying to make her stop (like, er, me) to continue. So bear with me. Here goes...