Author and journalist Kate Figes has written about everything from different aspects of bitching to the challenges of parenthood, but at the heart of her work is family life in all its many forms. Her latest book, Couples (Virago, £14.99stg), is an insightful and fascinating look at what makes long-term relationships work, whether gay or straight, married or cohabiting. You can find out more about her at her website, and of course, in this Questionnaire…
Have you ever had a nickname?
My younger brother called me Boss Cat as a child - because we loved the TV cartoon Top Cat. Whenever he teased me about being bossy (who me?) I would remind him that I was of course ’the indisputable leader of the gang….
What’s the first record you ever bought?
Can’t remember, but maybe that’s because my pocket money usually went on sweets and Penguin paperbacks
Who was your first kiss and where did it happen?
Danna Wolf in my bedroom. We were 10 playing at mummies and daddies. i think she was the daddy…
What’s your favourite smell?
My husband’s after shave, Chanel Pour Monsieur but only on him
What is your favourite room in your house?
My bedroom but only when I am in bed
Who was your first love?
What are your guilty pleasures?
Chocolate, the odd roll up, and disappearing down to our beach hut.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m an obsessive tennis player.
Who is you closest female friend?
Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
Where would you most like to live?
Closer to Hampstead Heath
What’s the most unusual question you’ve ever been asked?
‘What will you be using for contraception?’ by a gynaecologist, two days after a traumatic labour followed by an emergency cesarean. I couldn’t walk. I told him if he thought I would ever go near a penis again he needed his own head examined.
What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
My younger daughter filled her ipod shuffle with songs to amuse me on the tube. I am lost without it and it always reminds me of her.
What is your favourite word?
If you weren’t doing what you do, what might you have become?
I think I might have been a reasonably good psychotherapist……..but too late for that now, I couldnt go through all that therapy myself!
Is there a book you’ve bought several times as a gift for someone?
Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible
What happens when we die?
We’re dead, but I like to think our spirit lives on in the memory of others if we are lucky
What female historical figure do you admire most?
Caroline Norton. She is often left out of the top ten great women but she campaigned for fairer divorce and custody rights for women.
Sum yourself up in three words:
Diligent, argumentative, Jewish-mother