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What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I can’t decide between these three: sitting by a stream in a forest; having dinner and playing games with old friends; or eating an amazing loaf of bread.

What is your greatest fear?

I’ve had a recurring nightmare of turning up to play a concerto on violin – I’ve never played a note on a violin.

Which living person do you most admire?

My partner Anna.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Coffee. I think if you checked my veins they would mostly be caffeine.

What is your current state of mind?

Tired but happy (we have a 10-month-old).

On what occasion do you lie?

When I mentally tally up how much chocolate I’ve eaten.

What is the quality you most like in a person?

An easy generosity.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“It is what it is.” That’s had a good work-out over the past two years.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?

My partner, but she might contest that and say it’s the bassoon.

When and where were you happiest?

On a holiday in Spain.

Which talent would you most like to have?

A good singing voice.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d like to be more patient.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?

Definitely a border collie.

Where would you most like to live?

In a decked-out cabin in a forest somewhere.

What is your most treasured possession?

My instrument.

Dogs or cats?

Definitely dogs but we have a beautiful cat called Pepper.

What do you regard as the depths of misery?

Musically, performing on a sub-par reed.

What do you most value in your friends?

Thoughtfulness and being easy-going.

What is your favourite piece of music?

There are a lot, but the slow movement from Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G is right up there.

What other instrument do you wish you could play?

The piano.

What is it that you most dislike?


What is your motto?

“Worrying means you suffer twice.”

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