1. Up and at it - what is your morning routine?
I’m an early riser, but I need at least two coffees to kickstart me into action. I try to go for a walk first thing, otherwise I’ll put it off for the rest of the day.
2. What might you eat in a typical working day for...
Breakfast? I always have eggs for breakfast – boiled or scrambled with sourdough toast.
Lunch? Lunch could be a tuna salad or a sandwich.
Evening meal? Dinner is usually chicken or fish with mash and vegetables.
3. Is nutrition important to you – do you take health supplements?
I swear by magnesium glycinate for a good night’s sleep. I also take vitamin D and omega 3. I’ve recently discovered Lion’s Mane (mushoom) which is meant to be great for memory and focus. I’m not sure how effective it is, as some days my brain fog is so thick I can’t remember why I walked into a room...
4. Ever been on a diet – if so, how did it go?
What diet haven’t I tried? I’ve joined every weight loss group over the years and I have every low calorie and diet cook book gathering dust on my shelves. I can tell you everything there is to know about ‘macros’, ‘syns’ and calorie totals – my problem is I can’t apply it to my own daily life. This is what sparked me to write Absolutely FLABulous! as it tells the story of Bernie Jones (me) who has been on a life-long weight loss journey.
5. Weekend treat?
Friday night is usually takeaway night: Chinese, Thai or pizza. Calorie counting goes out the window.
6. How do you keep physically and mentally fit?
Walking is my main form of exercise. I live close to a forest and I love listening to podcasts or audiobooks. When the mood takes me, I dabble in some YouTube workouts – Grow With Jo and Mr London are my favourites.
7. Best tip for everyday fitness?
Having my workout clothes laid out for the next day helps to spur me out the door for my daily walk.
8. Were you a fan of schools sports/PE or do you have a memory from those days that you would rather forget?
I dreaded PE - we always played netball and being the smallest in my class never bode well for playing centre forward or wing attack. I usually ended up as goal keeper – jumping up and down like a headless jack-in-the-box.
Losing my dad created a massive change in my outlook towards life. Grief teaches you not to sweat the small things in life.— Rozlyn Sheridan
9. Teetotal or tipple?
I have joined the ‘Dry January’ tribe. Last year I started ‘Dry January’ and it lasted seven months; I was delighted with myself. I finally succumbed to cocktails on my summer holidays. I hope to do the same this year… we’ll see how it goes.
10. Stairs or lift?
I can’t lie, it would have to be the lift - the magical moving staircase that does all the work for you.
11. What book are you currently reading?
I’ve just started to read The Forfeit by amazing Northern Irish author, Florence Gillan. Her first book, Let Them Lie, was a gripping read with a sinister edge. I would highly recommend them both; Florence is a wonderful storyteller.
12. Best Netflix /streaming TV?
I love watching period-style dramas such as Bridgerton and its spin-off, Queen Charlotte. I binged-watched The Crown over Christmas and I never tire of watching episodes of Inside No. 9 – each story is so clever, with dark plot twists. It’s comedy gold.
13. Any new skills or hobbies?
I love upcycling furniture. I like to hunt in charity shops for something that I can paint or decoupage. I went through a phase of making my own jewellery - most of my friends have a pair of earrings which they received for a Christmas or birthday present.
14. How do you relax?
Writing is a great stress reliever for me. It calms the mind and you can escape the real world for a while.
15. What would you tell your younger self?
Stop worrying about what other people think. Nobody really cares.
16. What are your goals for 2024?
To keep writing and take more time for self-care. My daughter is now at university and ‘Mum’s taxi service’ is now redundant, so I have much more time for myself.
17. What time do you get to bed and do you think you get enough sleep?
I’m usually in bed for 10pm with a cup of tea. I teach four evenings every week at my stage school, so I’m normally zonked when I get home. I aim for eight hours’ sleep every night.
18. Biggest gripe or regret?
The ‘thumbs up’ emoji in a text drives me mad. It’s like telling the other person to bugger off while still hoping to seem polite.
19. Have your priorities in life or perspectives changed?
Losing my dad created a massive change in my outlook towards life. Grief teaches you not to sweat the small things in life.
20. Has coronavirus – or any health epiphany or life event - changed your attitude towards your own mortality?
Lockdown taught me that a work-life balance has never been so important. Time is the best gift that we can give our loved ones.