Catherine Sanderson is a 34-year-old Brit who has been living in Paris for eleven years. A modern languages graduate, her only ambition was to live in France and speak French like a native. For pragmatic reasons she worked for many years as a bilingual PA, living with her French (now ex-)partner. When her two-year-old blog, petite anglaise, was discovered by her employers in April 2006, Catherine was unceremoniously sacked and the resulting press interest attracted the attention of publishers. Catherine lives alone with her young daughter and is working on a memoir, to be published by Penguin in spring 2008.
Why do you blog? > I enjoy writing, and find it therapeutic. I'm probably also too self-obsessed for my own good.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Being courted by publishers who were so excited about the blog that they combed it to find out how best to seduce me, and wound up offering me fish and chips at an 11 o'clock meeting.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Being fired for the handful of pretty tame work anecdotes I included in my blog.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Never write anything that you wouldn't feel comfortable saying to someone's face, and develop a very thick skin to cope with negative comments.
What are you reading at the moment? > Dirt Music by Tim Winton, and Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss (again)
What is the best novel you've ever read? > I'm having trouble deciding between The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and several novels by Angela Carter.
What is your favourite movie? > Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders, for its haunting atmosphere. I love the scene with the mirror/window and I always cry at the end.
What is your favourite song? > 'Dress' by P J Harvey - it reminds me of dancing in my blue Doc Martens (RIP).
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Climate change.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I’m afraid it's all downhill from here.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Never regret anything.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Empathy.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Arrogance.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > When telling the truth would ease my conscience but hurt someone. 'Toute vérité n'est pas bonne à dire.'
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Mieux vaut plier que rompre.' (Literally: Better bend than break, i.e. adapt and survive.)
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Watching sport on TV.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Whether or not I'm a good parent. Whether my book will be any good. What to write on my blog. Whether prospective partners will be put off by my having a blog. In short, everything.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Surprisingly, no. All the bad things had a silver lining.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Kate Winslet.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Rome, if I could speak Italian.
What would your ideal holiday be? > A beach cabin in the Seychelles, snorkelling gear and a huge pile of books.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Procrastinating.
What is your most treasured possession? > My new black MacBook. Geeky, but true.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be able to dance well.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Web design or to run an English bookshop/tearoom in Paris.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Chris Morris.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > Trade my poky flat for a bigger place with a garden, send my daughter to a decent bilingual school, travel.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > My daughter, her father and my grandad Albert (deceased). I'd have loved them to meet.
What animal would you most like to be? > A cat, with nothing better to do than lie in the sun all day.
[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.]