Coronation year baby Lynne Hatwell is a Gt Ormond St/London Hospital trained nurse who fled the hospital hierarchy in the 1970s to spend her working life as a health visitor down in the West Country. She has been married to the patient from Bed No. 4 (Royal Ward, January 1975) for 30 years and has three children now in their early 20s. That took care of the 1970s and 1980s. Fearing diminishing grey matter in her 40s, Lynne then spent six years sitting up until 3 am doing an English Literature degree with the Open University, thereby passing up on the 1990s. She has emerged blinking into the new dawn of grown-up children and it's already 2006. Where did that life go? Lynne blogs at dovegreyreader scribbles.
Why do you blog? > It suddenly occurred to me that I had a little voice and unless I used it how would anyone know I was here? It's a luxury to write creatively every day, share my world and some good reads and think that people are interested enough to read it.
What has been your best blogging experience? > 80 visitors in one day!
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Plenty of people view it as the lowest form of self-aggrandizement and publicity-seeking twaddle and they don't hesitate to tell you so.
What are your favourite blogs? > All ordinary but prolific readers who have dipped a toe in this shark-infested sea along with me and are loving it: The Bluestalking Reader in Chicago, Ex Libris in Ohio, and Random Jottings of an Opera and Book Lover in Essex. We have been sharing good reads online for years and decided it was time to go public.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Raymond Williams and Elaine Showalter, accessible literary critics who both got me out of so many tight corners when I was doing my OU degree. Many's the time 'Showalter argues that...' or 'Williams suggests that...' saved the day when my thinking was getting flabby.
What are you reading at the moment? > Deerbrook by Harriet Martineau, Bad Faith by Carmen Callil, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, The Pendragon Legend by Antal Szerb and The Barracks by John McGahern. It's usually six books at any one time, currently only five.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Middlemarch by George Eliot.
What is your favourite poem? > 'Morning Song' by Sylvia Plath.
What is your favourite movie? > Hmm, close call and apologies, but The Sound of Music or The Glenn Miller Story.
What is your favourite song? > 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' by Simon and Garfunkel.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. In a brilliantly enlightening moment I felt I suddenly understood the sacrifices made and the lasting impact of World War I.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Does sorting out the NHS count? It's like a neglected child who fails to gain weight; you can stuff it full of food but if it's not happy and secure it just won't thrive.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > Terry Wogan.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Be true to yourself, go for it and take some risks - because, trust me, after 30 years spent working in doctors' surgeries I can confirm that you never know what is around the corner and a lot of it is very nasty.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Generosity of spirit.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Envy.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > When my only brother was dying from leukaemia back in 1975, he was 24 and very newly married, and we were advised by his medical team to avoid discussions about the prognosis and never to tell him he was dying. This involved a great deal of what was effectively therapeutic lying. I was 21 and it has truly haunted me ever since. I've tried to use that whole experience to the good in my life, but now tend to be hopelessly up front and honest as a result.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Women of my age running marathons. They should stop making the rest of us feel guilty/lazy/plump/unfit and be curled up in an armchair with a good book.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Sons who kayak the Zambezi because it's there, and then show you the video of their bunjee jump over the Victoria Falls thinking you'll enjoy watching it.
What would you call your autobiography? > Don't Worry You'll Be Buying Them an Alarm Clock One Day (based on a lifetime spent trying to persuade babies to go to sleep, mine and everyone else's).
What would your ideal holiday be? > Staying at the Hotel Bellevue des Alpes at Kleine Scheidegg at the foot of the North Wall of the Eiger in Switzerland, and walking through the Bernese Oberland.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Sitting and staring at the view from our house across the Tamar Valley to Cornwall.
What is your most treasured possession? > The view from our house.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > My dad will read this so I'll say I love being called Lynne, but Charlotte would have been nice too.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be able to do a complete tumbling routine, triple somersaults, back flips, the lot.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Being paid to read.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Victoria Wood.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Call me fickle but it's whoever is top of their game at a given moment and therefore giving national pride a boost. I'll watch any sport, yes even golf, if there's a chance of national success.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > For various reasons I have to say Liverpool.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > My life with the NHS would come to an end. It's never a dull job because people's lives are fascinating and I love day-to-day caseload work, but I will never miss the responsibility of child protection. Despite excellent clinical supervision, all health visitors live with this every day of their working lives. Rock and a hard place - getting it right is bad enough, miss it or get it wrong and it's a whole lot worse.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > George Eliot, Penelope Fitzgerald and Ted Hughes.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]