Kim Forrester (aka kimbofo) was born in Melbourne, Australia, and has dual nationality with the UK, courtesy of an English-born father. She has an honours degree in planning and design from the University of Melbourne (majoring in environmental planning) and a Master of Journalism from the University of Queensland. Kim came to the UK in 1998 as a 29-year-old backpacker hoping to get a bit of media experience under her belt. But then she found a great job as senior reporter on a trade magazine and fell in love with an Irishman, so never used the return portion of her air ticket. She currently lives in West London and blogs at Reading Matters, London Cycling Diary and kimbofo.
Why do you blog? > It's a much-needed creative outlet, a place to document my experiences and an opportunity to connect with a wider audience.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Being invited on a press trip to Ireland earlier this year for the St Patrick's Festival, specifically to cover Dublin Swell (a literary event which featured an impressive line-up of Irish writers, singers and poets) for my book blog.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Writing a post in November 2006 suggesting that book bloggers needed some transparency in the way in which they reviewed books online. While I was pleased it generated a much-needed debate at the time, I was less impressed by the number of personal attacks that I received, both on my own blog and elsewhere.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Just enjoy it and don't let it become a chore.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > George Orwell, Noam Chomsky, Germaine Greer and Naomi Klein.
What are you reading at the moment? > Ulysses by James Joyce (yes, really), Mother's Milk by Edward St Aubyn (in preparation for his new novel) and The Oh My God Delusion by Paul Howard aka Ross O'Carroll-Kelly (for some light relief).
What is the best novel you've ever read? > My Brother Jack by George Johnston. It's an Australian classic, about a war reporter who idolizes his more confident older brother. I've read it four times and each time come away from it having learnt something new.
What is your favourite poem? > 'My Country' by Dorothea Mackellar.
What is your favourite movie? > A toss up between Ordinary People (1980) and In the Name of the Father (1993), both of which are 'weepies'.
What is your favourite song? > Hard to narrow it down to one, but I would never get sick of U2's 'New Year's Day'.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Cries Unheard: The Story of Mary Bell by Gitta Sereny; it totally altered my perspective on the ways in which we, as a society, treat child criminals. (As an aside, anything by Gitta Sereny is worth reading – she has made a career out of exploring moral culpability.)
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > I'd put cycling at the heart of transport and planning policy, to ensure better integration with public transport, more facilities for cycle parking and the implementation of dedicated Copenhagen-style cycle lanes across the city and elsewhere.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > Shami Chakrabarti.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Poverty.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Don't wait for things to happen to you, make things happen for yourself.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Kindness, closely followed by integrity.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Insincerity.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I don't think very highly of people who use fake orange tan.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'A cat may look at a king.'
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Watching football - I don't understand the fuss of seeing a bunch of over-paid men chasing a ball on a patch of grass.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > My Other Half being killed on his motorbike. I've seriously got to stop watching those reality programs set in A & E departments!
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Somewhere by the coast so that I could get up every morning and walk along the beach.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Is it too obvious to say reading? Oh, and cycling?
What is your most treasured possession? > My MacBook - I use it every single day, to communicate with family and friends, to keep up with world events, to find out 'stuff' that previously I'd need to look up in an encyclopaedia, to store all my digital photographs, to blog.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be able to play the violin.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > A full-time blogger who got paid for reading and reviewing books.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > New Zealand-born satirist John Clarke.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > That I never had to worry about having enough money to live on.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > Buy a handful of properties around the world and spend my days flitting between them as and when the fancy took me.
[A list of all the normblog profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]