Pashmina (not her real name) was born in the early 1970s in the home counties, a geographical error on which she does not like to dwell. After schooling within the M25 and three years in Oxford, she ran back to London and does not intend to leave. When not blogging at Grammar Puss, she is paid to go through the motions at a large media company, and lives in West Hampstead with her husband and handbag collection.
Why do you blog? > As my mother always said, 'You have far too much to say for yourself, young lady.'
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Write little and often. And take a long, hard look at your punctuation.
What are your favourite blogs? > I get frustrated at not having time to look at everything on my blogroll, but always make sure to read: James and the Blue Cat, because it's unfailingly well-written, funny and inventive; PooterGeek, who hits the nail on the head time after time; and the stalwart Going Underground, which may have been the first blog I ever read with any regularity.
What are you reading at the moment? > The Closed Circle by Jonathan Coe. And I'm going to Sri Lanka in the autumn so am determined to finish A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth whilst I'm there.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Lucienne and Robin Day, Christian Dior, Elizabeth Gaskell, Katherine Hepburn, Cole Porter, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and Virginia Woolf. This is by no means a definitive list.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > That's a near-impossible question to answer, but Catch 22 made a huge impression on me when I first read it, so I'll go with that.
What is your favourite poem? > 'A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning' by John Donne.
What is your favourite movie? > A close call, but on balance it's probably still A Matter of Life and Death.
What is your favourite song? > I've tried and failed to choose a single all-time favourite, but at the moment I'm enjoying comparing Leonard Cohen's original version with Madeleine Peyroux's cover of 'Dance Me To The End Of Love'.
Who is your favourite composer? > Henry Purcell.
Who are your political heroes? > The Suffragettes, without whom none of this would have been possible.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > Enoch Powell's maxim that 'All political careers end in failure'. It can be a great comfort.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > To increase maternity (and paternity) benefits, both in terms of time and money, and to provide safe, affordable universal childcare the highest possible standard. It's the only way to keep skilled, trained women (because in practice it is usually women) in the workplace long term.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Fanaticism in the name of religion.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > God no. It's bad enough being related to numerous Tories without being married to one as well.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Generosity – in all senses.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Flippantly: boorishness. Less flippantly: bigotry.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Smoking, golf, and Formula One.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > The State of the World, and money. Not necessarily in that order.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Well for a start, I wouldn't have got on to the horse that broke my elbow, or the bike that broke my knee (actually strictly speaking it was falling off, rather than being on, both of these that caused the breakages). Aside from those, plenty - when you make a mistake you might as well learn from it.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > I'd like to think it would be Cate Blanchett, but then I would have to be the casting director.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > It's a toss-up between an apartment in New York, a house in San Francisco and a rambling villa in Southern Italy. Failing all that: in the next road to mine, the one with all the really big houses on it.
What would your ideal holiday be? > A very large, very beautiful country house, preferably by the sea, definitely in the sun, accompanied by lots of friends, someone to look after their children, good food, wine and a tall stack of unread books. For at least a month.
What is your most treasured possession? > Aside from the obvious wedding ring/photograph albums, it would be half a dozen sketches drawn by my dad on successive Greek holidays in the late 70s. My mother gave them to me after he died, and I was surprised by how good they were; in fact, it was only then that I remembered he'd done them at all. When I took them to be framed and briefly thought I'd lost them I was beside myself.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > I'm not crazy about my first name, but wouldn't change it now. On the other hand, I did have to choose a Hebrew name for myself a couple of years ago and went for Zehavah (which means 'golden', but don't attach any significance to that). I still really like it, but in the end it was a slightly random choice born out of a looming deadline and having reached the end of the name dictionary.
What talent would you most like to have? > A singing voice to rival Ella Fitzgerald's, and perfect pitch to go with it.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Danny Blanchflower, Gary Mabbutt, Dennis Compton (who, I'm known to boast, was a distant relative) and Billie Jean King.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > I'm proud to be the fourth generation of my family to be made to suffer by Tottenham Hotspur FC.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > Winning the lottery would be handy.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > In many ways, starting with my employment and housing situations.