Yes, Jemima Pett is interviewed on the blog today. There’ll be a wide range of topics, mainly because some things happening in the real world at present require comment. But I hope you enjoy it.
First question: why Jemima?
What? You want me to tell the truth? Well, I googled my real name, as suggested at the Writers & Artists seminar I went to on getting published. Up came a whole load of stuff about me, including papers I’d had published in my professional career, and results from sports events. So I decided I needed a pen-name, and Jemima fit my initials. It’s a name I feel comfortable with, that I happily answer to.
The fact that my brother laughs because it reminds him of Jemima Puddleduck every time he sees it is merely an inconvenience.
What are your views on the Monarchy?
A timely question. Yes, I decided to show my support for the Royal Family and mourn the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen’s Consort for 73 years. It felt right. It feels right. And when the Queen goes, I’ll mourn her too. I didn’t think she’d make it to the end of this year, in fact.
Rebecca Douglass made an interesting observation on Princelings Revolution. I might find it to quote, but she said it sounded like I thought democracy was not a good thing. It’s true that I am not a fan of democracy as it currently stands on both sides of the Atlantic. Too much power is wielded by those with money–and I mean serious wealth. At present they are squeezing the average person (not even ‘the poor’, since we have bank accounts, so by global terms we are not poor) to the extent we will be back in the Victorian times or even feudal times before we know it. And half the country are too misguided to recognise the lies fed to them by the (rich) media.
The system of royalty we have had since Cromwell (mid-1600s) is not perfect by any means. It needs a king or queen who is dedicated to the best interests of the country, and we have been lucky in the past century to have a royal family who work to make the lives of their subjects better than those of peasants. Our present Government does not. The richest people seem to get into power despite having little or no ability to govern–and neither training nor appropriate job experience.
There are republics that work well, but they are few and far between. And I realised when I was doing my Masters degree in the late 90s, that we would never tackle climate change without some benevolent dictatorship to force the rich to reverse the damage done by fossil fuels. And yes, the royal family is rich, but much of it is stuff they make available to us all to experience; land, art, pretty things, natural landscapes. They hold it on our behalf. The Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher had a field day selling off things that were, by right, owned by the people.
Maybe I should stop there! Read Princelings Revolution for some light relief 🙂
Rebecca Douglass asks her guests the spider question. I know you’re dying to answer it!
Yes: what do you do with a spider in your bath/room a) panic, b) have to drop everything until it is removed, or c) hope it’s planning to eat the more annoying bugs that get in?
If it’s somewhere I don’t want it, I’ll carefully pick it up by putting my hand over it and curling it into my fingers. That way it has a cosy hole to hide in while I transport it to a door or window. If it’s too big for my hand, I’ll find a jar or cup and slide it in with some paper or card, which I also do with wasps and moths (to save damaging their wings). I’m quite good at getting bees to exit by the window. People are amazed when I tell bees to go, and they do.
I hate killing things. Everything is part of the chain. What right have we to kill a harmless spider/wasp/… (maybe not mosquito)? We may be top predator, but things in the chain are developing to kill us off, if we don’t do it ourselves. I suspect the world would be better off without us, but I rather like it here, so I’d like to stay please.
What does your favourite meal look like?
Cheese. Chocolate. But not chocolate cheesecake.
I really like vegetables. I don’t eat meat or fish: I never liked fish and I wasn’t keen on meat, so it wasn’t difficult to give them up in the 1980s. The only reason I’m not vegan is because of cheese. Don’t laugh, but it wasn’t until the 2000s I discovered why cows produce milk all the year round. I think we should go back to seasonal eating, including availability of milk on its natural cycle.
So, a nice meal for a celebration would look something like:
- Beetroot and horseradish pate with rocket garnish
- Spring vegetable stew with couscous or rosti (or butternut squash and red pepper stew in winter)
- Summer pudding, preferably with berries from the garden
- then a cheese course, with things like Brinkburn, Northumbrian Smoked, Sage Derby, Ticklemore, and Wigmore
- and a white wine that would go with all of those, possible the Norfolk Winbirri Solaris (or Bacchus), which is delicious.
I’m thinking about starting a regular food post, once or twice a month. I’ve been taking photos of my dishes in case… and it’s all seasonal eating driven by what’s in my garden and what comes from Oddbox, who rescue surplus or ‘wrong-shape’ vegetables from being wasted.
Mmmm, Jemima’s food post every month. Sounds yummy. How are the guinea pigs?
The guinea pigs are currently fine. Roscoe (ginger and white) has got over his op to remove a lump on his back leg, which turned out to be a benign cancer. Neville (brown and white, hairy) is rolling along at peace with the world as always. Biggles (silver/grey) has recovered from his disagreements with Locksley (silver/grey, under the coloured arch in the background), which resulted in Locksley having to live on his own, because he can’t get on with Ludo (black and white, further back in picture) any more either. But they’re all looking forward to going out on the grass again–and I’m looking forward to them mowing it for me.
And they’re all in the Princelings Books?
Yes, even the last two, who seem to be living up to their characters’ personalities, which is a shame.
Well, to finish, then: how are you getting on with the third in the Viridian Series?
Badly, at the moment. Last week was very hard (as you can see in the progress bar below). I need to get some serious wordcounts in if I’m going to finish this by the end of April, and I need to get Greed & Retribution off to KDP and Smashwords by the end of the week. I have no idea what I’m writing for the WEP Flash Fiction prompt this month (my R post), and I still have audio files to proof.
You’d better get on with them, then. Thank you for the interview, Jemima!
You’re welcome, Jemima!