October is flying by! Thank you for joining me for What to Read Wednesday. Today I’d love it if you’d help me welcome author Jo Kessel. She’s sharing her TOP TEN about what people don’t know about her and then her latest release WEAK AT THE KNEES! Love the cover!!
Take it away Jo…
10 THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME.
- I have really curly hair, but I spend most of my life straightening it and when people I know well see me with my hair in its natural ringlet form, they think I’ve spent hours attacking my mane with a curling tong! I don’t know why I don’t like my hair natural – people say it suits me, but I guess I don’t think it does. Whenever I’m in a hot, humid climate I get what I call ‘Caribbean hair’ (do you remember the scene from Friends when Monica’s hair goes hilariously wild when they’re on the Caribbean?!) Well, no joke, that’s exactly how my hair reacts to humidity. And when that happens, I don’t even bother to straighten it. It’s not worth it, because all my hard effort is undone in a flash.
- I’m a yoga fanatic. Most people who know me know this, but what they don’t know is that I can do an excellent ‘head balance’. It’s the closest I get to looking like an acrobat from Cirque de Soleil. I get up into the position with control, keeping my legs straight, and once completely upside down I can split my legs, twist my torso and get into a whole load of weird looking positions. It’s my one and only party trick.
- I play the flute. It’s not the sort of instrument (like a guitar or piano) which you can easily play in public, by getting it out and strumming or tinkling away on the ivories, which is why not many people know I play it. But I used to actually be quite good at it, much better than I am now. I’ve got horribly rusty and my mouth starts to ache if I play it for any length of time because my muscles are out of practice.
- I went to Music College. While I was still at High School I won a place at one of London’s top music academies which ran Saturday school for young musicians. And that’s how I chose to spend my weekends – my girlfriends couldn’t believe it and they thought I should be going out with boys instead! I studied flute and piano. When I was 18 I had to make a choice between going to University and continuing at Music College to become a professional instead. But I just don’t think I was good enough to ever have really made it as a classical musician.
- I grind my teeth at night. I’ve never heard myself doing it and I keep telling my husband to record me. It’s apparently the most deafening, odd noise which is impossible to recreate awake. My sister (who’s a dentist) has heard me and thinks I must be ruining my teeth by the sounds of things. When I go away with the children and share a room with them, they hear me. They think the noise sounds like I’m scratching the sheets with my finger nails.
- I used to be a Gothic. You wouldn’t know it from the way I dress now, but when I was a student I used to dress in all these weird black clothes, wearing my hair incredibly long and backcombed and bright red lipstick.
- I’m very short. People don’t realise this because I usually wear high heels. Actually, they’re more like wedge heels, because regular high heels give me back ache.
- I’m a terrible cook. I’m that mother at school who, when there’s a cake sale on, buys ready baked cakes from the supermarket and dresses them up as her own. I usually buy chocolate fairy cakes with icing, melt a hole (using a teaspoon dipped in boiling water) in the middle and stick in a sweetie for decoration. They sell like hot cakes (excuse the pun!)
- I’ve got a shoe collection to rival Emelda Marcos. Well, ok, perhaps I don’t have that many, but I have a serious addiction. I acquire shoes which I sometimes don’t even ever wear because they’re too uncomfortable and yet I never give them away, because one day I might just wear them. Plus now my youngest daughter uses them as dressing up clothes. There are several high wedges which she has her eye on for when she grows up.
- I’m obsessed with hanging my washing out in the garden. This is a mixture of wanting to be environmentally friendly (i.e. not putting the drier on) and between loving the smell of clothes that have been dried outside. I always watch the TV weather forecast in the morning (you have to be careful putting washing out with the weather we have in London!) to see if it’s feasible.
“We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”
Jo Kessel is a journalist, working for the BBC and reporting and presenting for ITV on holiday, consumer and current affairs programs. She writes for several national newspapers in the UK including the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Express and was the anonymous author of the Independent’s hit column: Diary of a Primary School Mum.