17. Do you have an interest in films or video? I love films and movies. I must watch at least one film every day. That must sound a lot but I am often unable to sleep at night so I lie down here on my 'day-bed', probably sanding, filing, drawing or messing around on my laptop and watching whatever movie happens to be on. We have a really good film channel in the UK. It's called Film4 and it shows good movies - no dross!!! I like decent films - no chick flicks for me :-) I like British cinema, a more gritty type of film, films that haven't had millions and millions of pounds spent on them - by contemporary directors such as Mike Leigh, Danny Boyle, Shane Meadows and Ken Loach as well as the older British directors like Alfred Hitchcock and David Lean. I also like many American films - films by directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorcese and Quentin Tarentino. Some of my favourite movies off the top of my head are Trainspotting (Danny Boyle), Quadrophenia (Frank Roddam), This is England (Shane Meadows), Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarentino) and Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola) - lets put it this way - yes, I love movies!!! In fact, I'm watching 'The Shining' at the moment - scary!!! Jack Nicholson is super-deranged in this film - a brilliant actor. I only like to watch movies - I've never had the desire to make them or mess around with video either. And I will publicly declare without shame - I have never seen 'Dirty Dancing' and I am in no hurry to watch it either!!! 18. What kind of toys do you have? One of the many definitions of the word 'toy' is '...a thing for amusement...' so, bearing this in mind, I consider my laptop one of my toys. I use it to amuse and to entertain myself - social networking - keeping in touch with my friends and chatting on Facebook and The Mod Generation site; learning -researching, finding out information and facts and just generally using it to amuse myself. I consider my pencils, paints, paper and all my art-y stuff to be my toys - I could 'play' all day with those and be a very happy Helen. I also like children's toys - I am attracted by their bright colours and I especially like simple mechanical/kinetic toys - I'm alway thinking if I could use any of the ideas in my jewellery. I bought myself a bright, shiny 'windmill' last week just because I wanted it :-) When I get new tools - hammers especially, they are treated as my toys until their novelty wears off and another new 'toy' arrives in the post :-) 19. Do you have any habits you’d like to kick? I am the world's worst procrastinator - I'll do it tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow and the day after that :-) And I have another very bad habit that I really should kick and that's all I shall say about that one!!! I love chocolate too but I'm not quite sure that I'm ready to kick that habit yet as I'm just tucking into a bag of Cadbury's Dairy Milk Giant Buttons at this very moment - yummy!!! :-)
20. What do you do when you’re not working? I don't work in the conventional sense. I don't have a job that I have to work at every day. I used to be a Primary School teacher with a specialism in Early Years (hence my love of toys!) however I have retired early because of ill-health. I am a 'pensioner' at my age - how ridiculous is that? :-) At first, I hated not going out to work every day. It made me very sad. It has taken me two years to feel happy about not working in the usual way. My work is now my jewellery and I think about it ALL the time - ideas for jewellery, designs for jewellery, patterns for jewellery, textures for jewellery, the construction of jewellery, the fabrication of jewellery, photographs of jewellery and so on - it's never-ending!!! But I can do it pretty much in my own time, I am my own boss - I don't have dead-lines as such any longer. I am rid of planning, preparation and assessment, lesson observations and personal targets forever - yippee!!! 21. Do you play any games? I love playing 'Scrabble' - that's really the only game that I like to play - I am very competitive and I play to win!!! (but I never cheat!) 22. How old were you when you got your driver’s license and is there a story attached to it? I was quite old when I got my Driver's License. I lived in Manchester, a city in the North of England. Cities have buses, trams, trains, taxis - you don't have to drive. When my son was 5 years old, we moved back down to Cornwall. Cornwall is a very rural area and you really need a car to get yourself around. I had to rely on lifts everywhere and I hated it. So learning to drive became an absolute necessity so learn to drive was what I did. Let's put it this way, I wasn't a natural driver :-) Three driving instructors later and I was ready to take my test and I passed my test the very first time and I was extremely pleased with myself. Independence at last!!! :-) Oh by the way, I was 32 when I got my Driver's License.
23. What time do you go to bed and what time do you get up (most of the time.) This is a difficult question for me to answer. I don't often get to go to bed. I suffer from insomnia yet also chronic fatigue, all because I suffer from a condition called Fibromyalgia. I kind of pass out with tiredness rather than make a conscious decision to go to bed to sleep. When I have my awful bouts of chronic fatigue, I can sleep almost ALL day and through absolutely anything. Nothing can wake me up whatsoever. Gary knocked down the entire kitchen with a lump hammer and a big drill, ready to renovate the room and put our new kitchen in. I was asleep on the other side of the wall in this room. Gary absolutely couldn't believe that I had slept through it all!!! For example, this week I have slept through most of Monday and Wednesday. Yet often when I can't sleep, I can be awake all night. This is when I go into my workshop and get on with things whilst everybody else is asleep. I seem to get a lot done whilst everybody else is snoring away in their beds :-) As for getting up, I take a lot of medication so it can take me a while to 'come to', as it were. I am always up before midday. 24. How much time do you spend on the computer? I am frequently on my lap-top - on Facebook, on The Mod Generation site, checking my mail, loading photos onto TADA365 and RAW52. I'm on-and-off my lap-top all day really. I absolutely know that I would find it really difficult to be without my lap-top. 25. Do you watch TV, (if so, what are your favorites?) I enjoy watching TV - as I said earlier, I love watching films on TV. I'm trying to think what I actually like to watch on TV - comedy shows, both British and American, stand-up comedy, lots of documentaries on a whole range of topics, all the CSI programmes (they're so formulaic - you know what's going to happen but I still like watching them) and I love watching football (soccer to you!) I'm looking forward to watching the final of The Champion's League on Saturday - Barcelona v. Manchester United. I reckon it's going to be a tough game. My son Isana and I support Manchester United so I am hoping for a good game with the right result!!! 26. What do you eat? Again, this is another tough one for me to answer. I have no appetite whatsoever because of all the medication I have to take. If I didn't live with Chef Villa who cooks me delicious nutrional food which he places in front of me, I would live on breakfast cereal, yoghurt, fruit, cake and chocolate, hardly a balanced diet :-) Gary is an amazing cook - he can whip up a veritable feast out of seemingly nothing. I am a very lucky lady :-) 27. Do you believe in flying saucers? I have an open mind on that one - I have never seen a flying saucer but that is not to say that they don't exist. 28. Do you believe in magic? Of course I believe in magic - what a boring place the world would be without a little bit of magic everywhere ;-) 29. Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone? I don't think Lee Harvey Oswald was involved in anything at all. He was in the wrong place at the right time or the right place at the wrong time - whichever way you want to look at it. 30. Do you look in the mirror when you get up? Yes - I like to look after my skin - wash my face and moisturise, moisturise moisturise as my grandma told me and I will never leave the house without my make-up on either. 31. Do you think the world can be saved? I don't know - who can ever really be sure of anything? We do our bit but who knows if it will ever be enough? Perhaps we have already done too much damage already? 32. Do you think there should be censorship? It depends what form the censorship comes in and what is being censored. I want to know everything about everything to make informed choices. I would like to dedicate this interview to my fiancee Gary Villa. Without him, I would never have started making jewellery. He has encouraged me every step of the way. But most of all, I would like to thank Gary for the way he looks after me. He is thoughtful, kind and caring without ever making me feel that I am losing my independence. All my love, Helenxxx Helen's Flickr Page