Saturday, September 29, 2007

five from ian

Thanks to the very wise, talented, and funny Ian Lidster of Or So I Thought, for initiating this week’s post. I don’t usually indulge in Q & As, but since Ian’s a great journalist, I knew he'd pose five good questions and be kind!

1. Your provenance is the UK, and now you live and work in the US, what motivated you to make the shift across the Atlantic?

I’ve known since I was nine-years-old that I would live overseas … just one of those knowing things. I’m glad I was raised and grounded in the UK and that my family base is still there, but I always wanted to travel and experience different cultures.

When I started looking around at 16, I thought it would be Australia; New Zealand; and then, following a topless (and sometimes bottomless) summer in the South of France with my sister, where we dined on local wines, cheeses, and handpicked cherries every day, I thought I’d move to France. But shortly after returning to England, she and I both fell madly in love with Capricorn boys and that put paid to dunking croissants and baring all in St. Tropez!

A couple of years later, Mr. Capricorn and I filed emigration papers to South Africa. And then I went on vacation to California. Big deal, nothing special … they all lived in ‘wooden’ houses! But when I arrived home to brick-built London, in two feet of snow, San Diego started looking pretty darn good, wooden houses and all … says she 22 years later.

2. What aspect of your work gives you the greatest satisfaction?

I know this sounds hokey and I don’t care, but I’ve always been a change-maker; always needed to learn and grow. Everyone wants to feel that what they do matters and what’s really important to me today, is making a difference. And having fun along the way. It doesn’t matter how small or seemingly insignificant the difference, if someone tells you that something you’ve done, broadcast, written, or shared has helped them in any way, it makes everything worthwhile.

I’m in a position where I now do work that really excites me. In fact, my work is not work, it’s my passion … if I won the Lotto tomorrow, I would still do it but on a bigger, grander, more global scale. I also love that, thanks to global technology, I’m not restricted to one location and can, and do, work from anywhere in the world.

3. You've traveled considerably in your life. Rather than ask you what place you like best, I'm going to ask what place gives you the greatest peace in your soul?

Oh … great question. I love being in nature … the wilder,
the better. But my number one soul-spot has to be the ocean. Whether I’m on it, in it, or by it.

I’ll take it under any conditions: wind and rain, fog, or sun and heat. Give me craggy headlands, crashing surf, huge rocks, golden sand that stretches unspoiled for several miles and I totally lose myself … or more accurately, find myself!

My absolute favorite ‘soul’ places are in Cornwall, the south-western peninsula of the UK—especially the beaches at Perranporth and Watergate Bay. (Shown here.)

A piece of my heart also remains in the Isles of Scilly, 30-miles off the coast of Cornwall. They fly food and newspapers in every other day, there are no cars (everyone uses golf carts), and it’s a little slice of unspoiled, sub-tropical heaven.

Outside of England, Oregon’s Ecola State Park, Cannon Beach, the Florence Dunes, and California’s Big Sur are amongst my favorites.

4. What is your idea of an absolutely perfect evening?

I could give you a glib ‘watching the sunset with Tom Selleck’ (which sounds pretty good to me). But if I’m honest this is a hard one!

Close friends say I’m a true renaissance woman, which caused me great insult at first because I thought it meant old-fashioned. But it apparently means someone who’s into many different things and has many different interests. And that’s true.

Some might say I seem conflicted because I enjoy seemingly opposite activities. I love the energy and facilities and haute couture of the leading big cities—yet love the solitude and isolation of virgin wilderness.

I love everything from dressing up for the opera, gourmet dining, fine art, and theatre; to sky-diving, off-roading, horseriding, and camping in the wilderness … and just hanging out with my family or friends.

So I guess the perfect evening boils down to who I’m with, rather than what we’re doing. And I’d like to be doing more of it!

5. If you could choose another era of history in which to live, when would it be and where would it be and what would your role be?

Well I know Marie Antoinette got a terrible rap, but when I was 11, I was lucky enough to stay in a French boarding school in the heart of Paris. And I instantly loved all-things French. Still do.

We traveled a lot and some of the history around Marie Antoinette’s time totally engrossed me. I saw her dresses and personal things, and thought she was so fine and glamorous, and had such a fun time that I was enthralled with her and wanted to be just like her. (Hey, I was 11 … I thought Isadora Duncan was a great role model too!)

Now of course, I know that no one wore deodorant, and that my big mouth would have seen me beheaded tout-de suite!

So if the opportunity of time-travel ever arises in my lifetime, I think I’ll go back just a little, and visit Old Hollywood, when big screen movies were just starting to be made … maybe I’d be Kate Hepburn for a day and raise holy hell.

Okay, enough I’s and me’s … thank you Ian, I did enjoy your questions! If you would like to play and have your own 5 questions, let me know and I'll send them on.


kj said...

what a super fantastic way to learn more about you!! i enjoyed every tidbit.

and five questions from you? who could resist? i'm game if you are.


andrea said...

This was totally engrossing. Previously your blog has led me to believe you were almost perfect, but now I know I was wrong. You ARE perfect!! Have you bottled it? But even more salient: can I afford it? :) Seriously, though, I can definitely see your romance with change in the way you write. Nothing disappoints me more than those who fear/resist change. Keep on taking risks so I can keep on living vicariously through you.

Ian Lidster said...

Vicki: Such wonderful responses. I'm not surprised, but still delighted and intrigued by virtually every word you wrote. I would love to sit down and talk with you for hours and hours since we have a host of things in common, including our love of the southwest beaches of England, the Oregon Coast (and you are so close), San Diego, and many other things.
As you so charmingly conveyed the dearth of sartorial accoutrements in the South of France, I only regret time precluded me making it to the beach there when we were in Grenoble last autumn. Drat.
Your love of what you do inspires me, and I so much love what I do in similar vein. At some point I'd like to introduce you to (via email), with your permission, my film producer friend (with whom I sporadically work) because I think you both might be interested in being in touch. Since she is in Victoria, it's not so very far from where you are.
OK, I could ramble on here, but shall refrain. I'll just close by thanking you so much for your kind words at the beginning of this, and try to picture you in a powdered wig. I think it would work splendidly

peteknowles said...

Bibi, I miss the English beaches too as one of my favorite spots. I loved learning more about you and wish you more adventures along the way. I'm sure you're never stagnant for long. Very inspirational to someone lke me who wished he had more of a free spirit. But I'm afraid my personality likes the same routines-or have I just been telling myself that all these many years to allay my fears? Anyway, au revoir for now!

Pamela said...

hepburn would be a great choice

benjibopper said...

cool, it's good to learn more about the bibi behind the bibi.

bibi said...

kj, Will send your q's later this week. :-)

andrea, ha ha ... I'm so far from perfect that it and I don't live on the same continent!

ian, maybe you'll get to see the sartorial accoutrements in the S. France soon. The men and women are all so beautiful. And yes, please, intro away!

bibi said...

pete, different strokes for different folks my friend. Would be a boring world if we were all the same!

pamela, yes ... I want more of her spunk. ;-)

benjihopper, it's a strange experience to to be interviewed when I'm used to interviewing others.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

I feel strangelly proud that I have (approximately) surfed those 2 beaches in Cornwall.

In the height of summer on a bright sunny day, I would be hard pushed to disagree with your choice. Only Wineglass Bay in Tasmania might sway me.

Maybe when I get to Big Sur, I'll change my mind.

Keshi said...

**, if someone tells you that something you’ve done, broadcast, written, or shared has helped them in any way, it makes everything worthwhile.

thats so well-said!


Bibi said...

ultra toast ... I haven't been to Wineglass Bay, but will make a note! Ps. was that you surfing in the hot pink thong and orange goggles? LOL.

keshi ... thank you ... it's also very genuine. ;-)

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...



My taste isn't that 'refined'.

Michelle O'Neil said...

I didn't know you were from the UK? Now I'm dying to hear you speak.

Great answers to some great questions!

Bibi said...

ultra toast ;-D

michelle ... I speak weird lol. Americans think I'm English or Australian, and my fellow Englishmen think I'm American... I live in no-man's land.

Ces said...

I loved reading every word. What a fascinating life.

laughingwolf said...

amazing insights into an amazing woman... and yeah, kate rocks! ;) lol

Bibi said...

Ces, always sounds more fascinating on paper ... wonder why that is? lol.

Laughingwolf, thank you ... and yes, didn't she rock!!