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28 October 2014
The Smoking Room

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The Smoking Room
Character Guide:

Character Profile: Heidi

Age: I'm actually 35. But Keith likes me to say I'm younger, because his first wife is very insecure about her age - she's 57 - and the younger I claim to be, the more upset she is. And she did treat him very badly. In the bedroom. Not in a rude way, but she was emotionally very cruel. About his underpants and things. So I'd better say I'm 17. Or, if that's stretching it too far, 25.

Marital Status: I've got a lovely husband, Keith. He has a very magnetic personality. And so do I. So those two magnets have been drawn together. Bang! I just hope no one comes and pulls Keith off. Off me, that is. Imagining us as two magnets. I don't mean as in hand relief.

Hobbies: I don't need a hobby. Keith says I'm the luckiest woman alive because I'm just too busy, looking after him and our little baby, Dane, to get bored. Keith says boredom is a terrible thing. He also says he should know.

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Favourite Book
I never sit down and read because I feel too guilty if I'm not looking after Keith and little Dane. But what I will do - when I'm ironing Keith's socks, say - is listen to a talking book. From the library. I know they're meant to be for the blind - but they can feel all those bumpy books and I don't have that option. The best talking book I heard lately was The Woman Who Walked Into Doors. It was very, very depressing - and the language was quite strong - but I think the woman who talked it was in Ballykissangel. It was like having a real celebrity read me a story. And that's a nice feeling when you're ironing.

Favourite Colour: I really like that deep pinky colour - but Keith would never let me wear anything in that deep pinky colour. He says it would make me look like a whore. I don't know why whores like that deep pinky colour. I suppose it cheers them up, after a hard night's whoring.

Ideal Holiday Destination: England.

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Person You Most Admire: Keith.

Earliest Memory: 16 April 1971. I was at my auntie's house and she had a calendar on the kitchen wall. I remember asking her, "What are all those numbers in squares on the wall?" and she explained how dates and things work, and I said, "Oh." She said calendars are a waste of time because every day is pretty much like another. Same boring rubbish, day after day. She eventually took her own life, that auntie. On 25 February 1984. That proved her wrong. It was a very different type of day for her - 25 February 1984. After all, she'd never jumped off a multi storey car park before. Of course, I might remember a day earlier than 16 April 1971 but since I wasn't staring at a calendar at the time I just can't be sure.

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Favourite Film
Who Will Look After My Children? It's a very sad film about a woman who's got cancer and children. And she can't help asking herself, "Who will look after my children?" Meaning, when she's dead. It's all about that. Although I also love Not Without My Children. That's about a woman, again with children, who has to go somewhere. I think it might be to prison. Or Nicuaguara. I was crying too much to follow the plot. But she won't go. Not without her children. So it's a toss-up between Who Will Look After My Children? and Not Without My Children. Whichever moves me most as a mother. Of a child.

Greatest Achievement: Marrying Keith and becoming a Mum.

Favourite Song: It used to be Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town, but then Keith explained what it's about. Quite a loose-living woman, whose husband's in a wheelchair. And I don't think that's a very nice story for a song. I mean, it's not very romantic - abandoning the handicapped to sleep with total strangers. I liked the work of Dido for a while, but after a few listens it can get quite boring. So now it's probably Two Little Boys, by Rolf Harris. It reminds me of Keith and our little baby, Dane. Aw. Although Keith isn't a boy. He's 58.



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