Lady M was born in Glasgow to Mancunian and Middle Eastern parents and raised in Montreal. She now lives in London, making her permanently unsure who to cheer for at sporting events. A journalist by training, she currently spends her days pretending to be an expert on European healthcare systems, while writing the odd freelance piece on the side. Lady M blogs at EC1 Cruise Control.
Why do you blog? > Mainly because I'm the type who clams up in a pub debate, and then thrashes around at 3 a.m. with the perfect retort rattling around in my head. I wanted a space of my own to make sense of the events I saw unfolding around me. And since I'd recently moved to London, and was finding out what it meant to be a journalist here (especially as a woman), that's what I initially decided to blog about. It's become less navel-gazing since then, though.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Being the subject of a normblog profile, natch.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Nothing too horrible, really. Although ending a long, ranty piece with the word 'Discuss', only to be greeted by a stony silence in the comments box, can be pretty disheartening.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Don't feel as if you have to write about all the same things as other bloggers you read. Find your own niche and make sure the bulk of your entries relate to it, otherwise what's the point?
What are you reading at the moment? > Daughter of the Desert: The Remarkable Life of Gertrude Bell, by Georgina Howell.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Emily Brontë, Martin Luther King and, er... Frankie Howerd. My first taste of English humour before moving here.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Wuthering Heights haunted me for months after I first read it at the age of 15.
What is your favourite song? > 'Just Like Heaven' by The Cure. A gorgeous song.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > The ethics of animal testing for pharmaceuticals. I used to be dead set against, now I'm much more open to it.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Fascism is the obvious one, but it comes in so many guises these days that we should never underestimate its hold.
Who are your political heroes? > Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Morgan Tsvangirai, Eleanor Roosevelt.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > I would stop the privatization of essential public services into the hands of unscrupulous minimum-wage slave-drivers.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Wars over water and oil once their shortage starts to be felt in richer countries.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I'm broadly optimistic; I think we're capable of much more than this – the question is whether humanity can be bothered to make the effort.
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? > In a word, no.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Empathy.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Cliqueyness. I suppose that's more of a group phenomenon than a personal fault, but I dislike it intensely nonetheless.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I've always been highly suspicious of the Swiss.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Doubt is the key to knowledge.'
What, if anything, do you worry about? > The rat that lives under my front doorstep, the health of various family members, the state of the world.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > I would go to more high-school parties and generally be less anti-social during my youth.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > On the Irish coast. Actually I'm just saying that to please my other half. Tahiti is really where it's at for me.
What would your ideal holiday be? > See above.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Bill Hicks. Though Silvio Berlusconi is also good for a laugh.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd move to a place where I didn't have to pay for my heating with a bloody top-up card, for a start. Apart from that, I'd help out family and friends, donate a large part of it to a charitable cause, the usual thing.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Pierre Trudeau, Oscar Wilde and Bob Marley.
What animal would you most like to be? > A penguin, obviously.
[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.]