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Weekly Round up: Handbag drama, Quiet week so 20 Questions With Anna Aden (answering questions from an old Marie Claire interview with Alicia Keys)

Normal life is pretty uneventful at times with small moments with family and friends, making a beautiful thing. So I'm just going to bang on about my handbag drama and then answer twenty questions below.

Handbag Repair Drama

I mentioned my bags need some repairing, so this is my Gucci canvas messenger bag, I'm not sure if it's worth repairing because I got it ten years ago in the sale for £150 - I queued up in the dedicated Gucci queue at Selfridges, and it would cost me the same to repair it - according to a quote from a designer handbag repair service. It's rather battered, and slight unsightly mainly because I tend to knock my bags around - it was an everyday use bag. I might have to go back to Gucci for a quote or just chuck it out.

This is my Hispanitas handbag, soft leather, but not as expensive as Gucci. This cost about £80 ten years ago, and I got it from a boutique in Parkway, Camden Town.  I'd really like to repair this but again the cost might be worth more than the cost price. Oh well. That is my bag drama.

What I'm doing now? Well, I'm not using a bag per se, though I have some others handy but they aren't everyday use, and I tend to bash my bags around. I'll do a show and tell next week with my bags. I don't have many though.

20 Questions With Anna Aden

With a somewhat quiet week - mostly work intensive, I've decided to answer questions from a Marie Claire magazine interview with Alicia Keys.  Check out the original interview here.

My answers

1. What should every woman try at least once in her life?

Oh, dear, speaking for all of womanhood can get a one into a lot of trouble. To be honest, I guess at some point everyone should have courage. It's hard to say and depends on their circumstances I try not to be prescriptive about what people should try and shouldn't try. Each woman for herself and God for us all.

2. What brings you the greatest joy?

Family, friends, good health and good fortune. Knowing to count my blessings.

3. What brings you the greatest satisfaction?

Completing a project or achieving a task. This may be mine or others.

4. What is the best advice you've been given?

An ex-boss told me to mind my own business, from then I learnt to be measured about what I said or got involved in.

5. Who do you follow on Twitter?

Mostly authors, some comedians, some editors and agents, and others. Not sure. It's a mixed bag.

6. What is on your bookshelf?

A lot of books, I have four bookcases. Mostly instructional writing books,  art books, cookbooks, and plenty of folders with my novels-in-progress. Then there is my fiction collection.

7. What charity do you support?

I support charities. Book Aid International - they send  books to developing countries and war torn areas. I also keep a connection with a couple of very small health charities, whose work I'm familiar with.

8. What is on your bucket list?

Not a bucket list person per se, though some of my characters are. It makes me sound boring so I'll add, I have been skydiving, horse-riding,  snorkelling, I've run a 10k run (marathons aren't my thing, well, the training), I've gone camping under the stars, backpacking etc.

9. What is on your perennial to-do list?

Perennial? That's an interesting word. That means stuff that never gets done. What's the point of a perennial to do list? Okay, I'll throw in clearing my desk which doesn't seem to happen much as it is extra storage space. Any surface in my home is storage space.

10. What are the last three items on your credit card statement?

Ah...boring, writerly things. I paid my last instalment to the Holly Lisle self-editing course,  upgraded to Scrivener 3 - apparently it's supposedly better - and London travel. You can tap in and out with your credit card and that was a bit naughty of me. I should just go and top-up my oyster card.

11. What item in your closet do you wear the most?

I don't have one particular item, I tend to wear a rotation of dresses to work.

12. Who are your heroes?

Family members.

13. Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party?

Dinner party? Rather posh, isn't it?  Not bothered since I'd be focusing on the food, but to answer the question my family and friends. Big Cousin recently took my sister and I out to Quaglino's a posh restaurant in St James London - Mayfair area.  Actually Big Cousin regularly takes us out to trendy and posh places. And then I go out with my friends so I already have my ideal guest list.

14. What is your greatest indulgence?

I indulged myself all of the time, I'm trying to stop. Mostly food which can be seen from my expanding waistline, nice shoes and hand bags. Which reminds me I need to fix two handbags, the stitching has come apart.

15. What is on your nightstand?

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth and The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

16. What quote do you live by?

I don't live by quotes. Yeah, it's just all rhetoric to me, well meaning and perhaps inspirational but still rhetoric, I'm not a quotes person.

17. What is the best gift you've ever received?

Kindness, generosity and understanding. Three right? Oh well.

18. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

The colleges I've attended and where I've worked. It's always 'Oh you went there? You worked there?' Yeah, I did. Not Oxbridge per se but top 50 in the world - I guess it could fall but it's brand.

19. What is your beauty secret?

Hahahaha... I wish I had a dancing banana for this.

20. What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

Taken more risks, being courageous and not cared what others thought about me. Then again, I guess I'm still me...

For the  original Marie Claire interview with Alicia Keys check out


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