The chief executive of Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association was tempted by New Order in the 1980s and now counts X-Factor and Strictly as guilty pleasures on Saturday nights. But what else makes her tick?
My first 12-inch record was Temptation by New Order - superb. It was amazing to hear them perform it again this year. The 1980s was a great musical era.
The book you’ve always wanted to read?
I feel I should read Ulysses which is apparently an “ultimate accessory of the wannabe intellectual” that leaves you feeling like you’ve run the London Marathon [which is on my to-do list] when you’ve read it! Perhaps I need to read Ulysses and give up on the marathon?
Favourite TV show?
Culture vulture [not] but X Factor and Strictly are Saturday night chill out viewing.
Favourite item of clothing?
Difficult one – I love clothes [and shoes!] I think I would probably say my sparkly silky scarf. I was speaking at a huge conference a few years ago and my grandma died that morning; I dashed into a shop and bought the most sparkly scarf I could find to help me sparkle and I did. My grandma would have been proud. Scarfs are so versatile - a great accessory.
Recommend a current book/record
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson is a favourite and very inspirational. The tragic death this year of our friend John Taylor on Mount Blanc has made it more poignant; like Mortenson, I want to do something in John’s memory. Dave [my husband] is climbing Kilimanjaro next year. However, I am well known for being accident prone, so I need to think this through. The best “worky” type book i’ve read recently is Smart Customers: Stupid Companies by Michael Kinshaw and Bruce Kasanoff. If you’re passionate about customer service, then it’s a brilliant read!
What is your most treasured possession (object)?
Anything Annie, my daughter, makes for me. I’d also be lost without my iPad and iPhone. I have an elastic band ball from when I worked in Bristol and it reminds me of a great experience and a success story. I ping it when I need to remind myself that I can and do make a difference.
Who was your teenage hero/idol?
Gary Lineker – I had his picture inside my locker. Now I watch Match of the Day!
What do you listen to on the way to work?
Radio 5 Live until it gets repetitive! Worryingly, I got all the way to Leeds the other day and realised I had listened to the entire One Direction album [and sang along]. My daughter had left it in – honest.
What car do you drive?
I get some stick for this but I drive a Volvo and I’m excited to be getting their new stylish V40 in a few weeks.
What sports team do you support?
I love sport. I’m a huge Newcastle United fan and go to the games as much as I can. I probably should have said my favourite item of clothing is anything black and white. I am a big Rugby Union girl but these days apart from the odd trip to Twickenham, I don’t go as much. I’m thrilled that I got tickets for the 2013 Ashes series! Watching Murray win his Olympic Gold with my family and 75,000 people in Hyde Park, was also very special.
Last trip to the cinema/theatre?
I went to see Oliver the Musical a few weeks ago – it was my daughter Annie’s 10th birthday. It was absolutely fantastic, highly recommend it. With a 10-year- old, my trips to the cinema now consist of romcoms or chick flicks – great escapism!