The Hazlitt Offensive: Paula Daly

By Hazlitt

Our new, trademark pending, Hazlitt questionnaire.

Paula Daly is an author (and freelance physiotherapist) living in Cumbria, England. She is the author of Just What Kind of Mother Are You? and Keep Your Friends Close, about a happy marriage that is threatened by a suspicious outsider.

1. What are three words you associate with your first relationship?
Safe. Sexy. Seventeen.

2. What’s the worst thing you ever did for money?
My parents had a contract cleaning business so I have cleaned some really disgusting premises. One place, a mill which ran on a 24-hour shift, sticks in my mind because if the toilets were out of order the employees would use a bucket. That said, the worst thing I’ve ever done for money was to work in a clothes shop. I lasted one day. I have never known boredom like it in my life.

3. What is your least favourite song?
“You Make Me Feel Brand New” by The Stylistics.

4. What is your favourite song?
“Catch the Wind” by Donovan.

5. What’d you have for breakfast this morning?
Two espressos. When I got the book deal I treated myself to a sleek, white espresso maker for next to the bed. By the time I stumble out the bathroom the coffee is ready. Then I’m prepared to face the craziness of getting three kids out the house on time.

6. How do you feel about Joni Mitchell?
I’m fond of her. But I pretend to like her music more than I actually do.

7. How did you learn what sex was?
At the age of 8 I was told the mechanics by a girl who had a particularly open and direct mother. I was totally horrified and cast it straight from my mind.

8. Where do you imagine all our lost T-shirts go?
In our house they are cut up into dishcloths.

9. Who do you consider the funniest person in the world—that we would know?
This is tricky. I adore Richard Curtis’s work as well as Rowan Atkinson’s and Michael Palin’s. But the person who I find downright funny is the comedian Peter Kay. Not sure that he’s known in Canada—though he is big pals with Michael Bublé.

10.What’s the worst insult you’ve ever said?
I’m surprised how often I call someone a fucking wanker when driving. It slips out so easily I’m not even aware I’ve said it unless there’s a small child inside the car.

11.What’s the worst thing you’ve ever been called?
I have been called bossy, nasty, ugly. A witch. The usual stuff.

12.What’s a deal breaker for someone you’re in a relationship or in love with?
I have been married for 17 years. If my husband slept with someone else I’d probably shoot him.

13.What’s something you do every night before bed?
I arrange my pyjamas and dressing gown on the radiator so they’re nice and toasty for when I wake up. Just before I go to sleep I tell my husband to turn the brightness down on his laptop and wait for him to sigh in annoyance.