The Proust Questionnaire.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

An inner strength I can draw on at any moment. A spotless kitchen. Gorgeous sleep.

2. What is your greatest fear?

Thinking myself into misery. Not loving well.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I'm thought-heavy. Occasionally judgemental.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Egotism, self-centredness.

5. Which living person do you most admire?

Right now, Molly Young or Jia Tolentino. They work hard and write great pieces.

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

A $10 Bowan Island apple pie.

7. What is your current state of mind?

Ready, open, rambunctious. 

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


9. On what occasion do you lie?

When the truth discomforts me.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Probably my bowed legs.

11. Which living person do you most despise?


12. What is the quality you most like in a man?

Patience, softness, action.

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?


14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Jump in a lake” and “No negative self-talk, please”

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My dad.

16. When and where were you happiest?

Kingaroy, riding up and down the driveway on a second-hand bike.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?

More confidence to put my many talents to good use.

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

I’d be more spontaneous and less in my head.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My relationship with myself. Being a loving daughter.

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

A lizard lounging in the sun. A crab on slick sea rocks.

21. Where would you most like to live?

Japan. Or Tasmania.

22. What is your most treasured possession?

A gold ring passed down from my great grandfather.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

The inability to sit quietly in a room with one’s thoughts.

24. What is your favourite occupation?

Singer. Egyptologist. Someone who studies whales.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?

Warmth. My observational nature. Big laugh.

26. What do you most value in your friends?

Their interest in me and willingness to share themselves.

27. Who are your favourite writers?

Isabel Allende, Alain de Botton, Anaïs Nin.

28. Who is your hero of fiction?

It was Atticus Finch for the longest time. Now, I’m not sure. Probably Scout.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Teddy Roosevelt. The guy just wanted to hang in National Parks all by himself.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?

Lianne La Havas, my mama, Drew.

31. What are your favourite names?

Noah, Willa, Luca.

32. What is it that you most dislike?

Expensive bad food.

33. What is your greatest regret?

Not fighting for what I want.

34. How would you like to die?

Old with mental faculties.

35. What is your motto?

Allow me to steal Billy Joel’s: “Goodnight. And don’t take any shit from anybody.”

For those interested, here's David Bowie's Proust Questionnaire.