Rosie Bell was born in New Zealand and after doing her degree moved to Edinburgh where she has drifted vaguely about ever since, doing odd jobs. She writes songs, performs them, and when she can cajole musicians, records them. Rosie blogs at Rosie Bell.
Why do you blog? > I'm a frustrated writer.
What has been your best blogging experience? > I'm a novice - I've only been online for two months. So getting noticed enough to answer this questionnaire has been the best so far.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Finding a gross grammatical error in my self-description at the top of my blog that had been there for nearly two months.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > I'm a novice blogger myself, but it would be the same advice as to any writer: proof read, or if you can, get someone else to proof read. Read what you have written out loud. Don't show yourself up with gross grammatical errors.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > George Orwell, E.P. Thompson, Christopher Hitchens, Clive James, Karl Popper, C.S. Lewis.
What are you reading at the moment? > Blogs. Slowly making my way through The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Richard Thomson, George Eliot, Jane Austen, Phillip Larkin, Ray Davies, Victoria Wood, Victor Klemperer, David Attenborough.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Middlemarch.
What is your favourite poem? > 'Lapis Lazuli' by W.B. Yeats.
What is your favourite movie? > This Is Spinal Tap.
What is your favourite song? > 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' by Pink Floyd.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > That there are incompatible goods - liberty and equality for instance.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch and Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own - for obvious feminist reasons.
Who are your political heroes? > Kemal Ataturk, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great. They could see and enact the possible. (Yes, they all have blots in their careers as well.) Fadela Amara of 'Ni Putains, Ni Soumises' sounds pretty admirable as well.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > That politics is the art of the possible.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Turn back this tide of creeping authoritarianism. If you are going to bang on about British values, hang on to some old ones like habeas corpus, your home is your castle, mind your own business, nosey parker, it's a free country, sticks and stones may break my bones, it was only a joke, don't get your knickers in a twist.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > It's like the defence of Singapore. All your guns are pointing the wrong way and the stealthy attack comes from an unexpected quarter. Don't be prepared, as you will be prepared for the wrong thing.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Courage.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Cruelty.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'It takes all sorts to make a world.' (It's one of those truisms that experience tells you how true it is.)
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Watching, though not playing, sport.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Most things. But chiefly I would have started writing songs at 18 instead of at 38.
What would you call your autobiography? > Bad Timing.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Cycling in English rolling countryside with New Zealand beaches and panoramic scenery, French food, English beer and Turkish accommodation and people, and an attractive male companion. However, I'd settle for cycling in English rolling countryside with anyone agreeable who can fix a bicycle.
What is your most treasured possession? > My flat, my garden and the door that connects the two.
What talent would you most like to have? > A good, or any, sense of rhythm.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Songwriter/lyricist/tunesmith for musicals.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Bill Bailey.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I would give up the day job and stay home and write and read. I would get a larger garden that faced south west instead of north west.
What animal would you most like to be? > A lion. Not the lioness who does all the graft, but the lion who lounges about on a rock looking cool, and occasionally roars and shakes his mane until he swaggers over to eat the prey that the lioness has caught for him. And as a lion I would get to meet David Attenborough.
[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.]