Tell us about your part of the world, Jane. Is your area of England worth a visit and why?
Well, I live in the North West of England. My home town doesn’t have all that much of interest, although it used to have quite a decent rugby league team (they still have the rugby league team, they’re just not decent any more!
) and it is connected with the chemical industry. It also used to have a big crisp factory that produced Golden Wonder crisps. But not all that far from my home is the city of Liverpool, which is much more interesting!Copago
There's so much happening in England this summer with the Jubilee and the Olympics. How proud are you to be English?
Extremely proud to be English. Me and Mum were very disappointed that we missed the chance of seeing the Olympic torch going through our home town due to heavy rain. But the coverage of the Jubilee and the Olympics – especially the opening ceremony - was thoroughly enjoyable.SilverMoonsong
I've seen a few of your pictures on Facebook from your holiday in Northumberland. Have you been to any other interesting places on vacation?
Me and Mum aren’t travellers, though we’ve had wonderful holidays in England, Wales and Scotland. We usually take coach trips these days which saves Mum driving, and it’s a very relaxing way to travel. I think the most interesting place I have visited – apart from Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, where they filmed some of the "Harry Potter" films – is the Leavesden Studios tour, where they filmed (you’ve guessed it!
) all the "Harry Potter" films, and being able to see some of the costumes and buildings they used. It was a really wonderful experience. Although Mum has no interest in "Harry Potter" – she hasn’t read the books or the movies – she loved it too. I can’t leave this question without mentioning my first trip “abroad” two years ago. My sister and her husband have often holidayed in Jersey, the Channel Islands, with my nieces, when they were younger, and always said how beautiful it was. Mum and me decided to go with them, two years ago – I even had to apply for my first passport. One reason I was eager to visit Jersey was to meet Sue943, who has become a wonderful friend through the forums – the first friend through the Internet I’ve actually met! It was a wonderful holiday – the holiday was added by the surprise arrivals of my two nieces and my wonderful great-nephews! – and it was a delight to actually put a face to the name!sue943
If the holiday fairy wanted to whisk you and your loved ones on a holiday of a lifetime where would you choose to go and why?
As above, me and Mum don’t often holiday outside the UK. There are so many wonderful places in the UK. I would like to try a cruise one day – not bothered where really! But I’ve made some wonderful friends through the Internet, and one in particular I email regularly. She and her family live in Northampton, England, and somehow or other, we’ve never met in real life yet. So I would love a quick holiday, being able to meet my virtual friends around the world!sue943
You have been a member of FunTrivia since 2003; how did you discover the site?
I’m not entirely sure how I found it! I know I joined the quiz part of Fun Trivia before the Forums. The Internet has been a great help for me. In the beginning, we did not have internet at home, so I used the local library’s computers. I think what first interested me about Funtrivia is that I love learning and also doing quizzes – as well as all the quiz editors being so helpful! I remember browsing the forums itself before joining it, and reading about how a loyal member – Gunslinger – had died. I was impressed how all the members seemed to have had good memories of him. When we finally got Internet at home, the Forums was the first place that I signed up for!Copago
You've made online friends all over the world - do you value them as much as "real life" friends?
Absolutely! My online friends are a wonderful group of people – I may not meet all of them, but they mean an awful lot to me! I don’t have many “real-life” friends – excepting Aunts, Uncles and numerous cousins! – in my area, though occasionally I might meet some who I went through school with. But I would say my “virtual friends” mean more to me than my “real-life” ones. My “virtual friends” have been here for me through extremely dark times of my life – Funtrivia members really, really helped me through the sudden death of Dad six years ago. Their friendship means an awful lot to me. I am most excited because hopefully, in October, I will be meeting two virtual friends from America. I met them through a Harry Potter website, and me and Mum can’t wait to meet them!ren33
We know from your choice of username in FT that you are an Agatha Christie fan. Which is your favourite of her books? Why?
I’ve been a big fan of Agatha Christie ever since I was a teenager. They may be full of murders, but, to me, they’re very “gentle” ones, which never give to much information to make you repulsed … if you can call murders gentle! I have lots of favourites, even though I’ve read and listened to the books more times than I can remember, two stick out as my favourites. The first is 4.50 from Paddington (also known as “What Mrs McGillycuddy saw”) where an old woman witnesses a murder from a passing train. This original way of doing a murder has always appealed to me, and travelling by train has never been the same since! The other is the famous “And Then There was None” (also known as other, much more un-pc titles) where ten strangers are taken to an island, and, one by one, they are murderer. One of the ten people must be the murderer … but which one? No matter how many times I read this book, I get a sense of enjoyment/fear through it! Absolutely brilliant book. JaneMarple (sometimes with a number after it) was the perfect non-de-plum for me when I joined the Internet.sue943
I understand that you are not only an Agatha Christie fan but also a fan of J K Rowling. Which of the characters in the Harry Potter books is your favourite and why?
I don’t think a series of books have made such an impact on me as the Harry Potter series. For starters, it has introduced me to dozens of new “on-line” friends, who’d I probably never met if we hadn’t shared the same interests. Secondly, the Harry Potter books help me escape from real life. When Dad was so ill, I was able to “escape” and read the books, and also discuss them on other forums. For me, it is a very satisfactory series, with good finally defeating evil. My favourite character has been Neville Longbottom from the very first book. Although the “main trio” are wonderful, I saw a lot of myself in Neville, the way he wasn’t so good at lessons, and didn’t have all that many friends. He was the other option of “The Boy Who Lived”, and I was absolutely delighted the way he survived the whole series. The films are very good indeed, but I’ll always prefer the books over the films!SilverMoonsong
Adding on to Sue's question about Harry Potter; if you were sorted into one of the Houses, which would it be? Who do you think you'd be friends with? What would be your favorite class?
I consider myself a mixture of Hufflepuff and Gryffindor personally. I am always loyal to my friends (real and virtual!) and if I really have to be brave, I think I meet the challenge!
I don’t think my brain is bright enough for Ravenclaw, and hopefully I don’t have any Slytherin tendencies … I don’t think I have anyway,
I am hoping I would be friends with the main trio and also Neville, my “hero”. Their friendship appeals to me more than anything else. My favourite lesson would more than probably be Charms.ren33
You are so very interested in and talented in crafts, such as bead pictures and greeting cards and other lovely things of beauty. What started this interest off?
Mainly my Mum. I did my best at school but I didn’t enjoy some of it. Mum tried to teach me how to knit and crochet, to try and find me a hobby. However, I found knitting and crocheting too fiddly for my fumbly fingers. However, I took to embroidery like a duck to water. I enjoy doing big and small projects; however I wouldn’t dream of selling my “artwork”. I prefer making gifts for friends. Me and Mum do a lot of greeting cards together. I have difficulty with some aspects of cutting out, and other fiddly things, so Mum is the main “maker”, while I am the assistant. It is a fabulous way of working together.ren33
It seems that the concept of a close family life is dying out in many places in the world. It seems that you value your family very highly. Can you comment?
My parents have always meant the world to me. I consider myself very lucky to have such wonderful role-models. Both mum and dad were from large families (Mum is one of 13, 7 are still alive, while Dad was one of 13. All his brothers are sisters are alive, scattered around the world!) and I enjoy having so many relations. However, Mum is my best friend, as we do everything together. We craft together, and she takes me wherever I want to go – within reason!sue943
If you could meet any living person in the world who would it be and what is the most important question you would like to ask them?
I’m not very “celebrity” orientated, but I would really love to meet J. K. Rowling and find out how she came up with all the wonderful ideas for the series.Copago
You've have great success in being healthy and it was inspirational to me to read your posts. What are your top tips for a healthy lifestyle?
My top tip can be summed up in three words – never give up!
A lot of determination can be useful as well as a support network. Another useful tip is to keep all the “goodies” outside the house. We keep them in the shed/outhouse where you really have to go and get them, rather than having them convenient! I’ve put on about a stone over the last two years or so, which is a little frustrating. But 9 years ago, I was nearly 4 stone heavier and my life was much less fun than it is now. I’m just keeping plodding on, with the help of Mum and my “support team” on Funtrivia!SilverMoonsong
Bradley Wiggins is the first Brit to win the Tour de France. Did you watch any of it? If so, do you have any favorite riders (other than Wiggo!)? If you didn't, why not?
I am not very sporty, and I didn’t see any of the Tour de France. However, me and Mum thoroughly enjoyed the coverage of the Olympic games. Not ashamed to say that we were both screaming and shouting at the television, willing our athletes home! The athletes who have taken part in the Olympics are the true heroes, as well as all the helpers and assistants!SilverMoonsong
You know so much about Broadway musicals; do you have a favorite? Who are your favorite stage performers? What shows have you seen?
I have various favourites, but two are my particular “top ones”. I’ve been a fan of “Oliver!” the 1966 musical film of Oliver Twist (with Mark Lester and many others). It’s been my favourite for many years, and although I’ve never done any acting on stage, it is wonderful to go to a theatre, and “lose yourself” in a drama for a few hours.
My other “top one” is Les Miserables. I’ve got the DVD of it, and various CDs of it too. It is just such a wonderful musical, with exceptional songs. One of my ambitions is to see it performed on stage. I went to see an amateur production of it, a few years ago, which was absolutely wonderful, but I would love to see it in London. Unfortunately, we don’t often get to London, but one day I am determined to see it! My favourite stage performer, not surprisingly, is Alfie Boe, who performed as Jean Van Jean a few years ago. He has a magnificent voice. Me and Mum have been to lots of theatre productions in Liverpool and two in London. We’ve seen “Joseph” about ten times now, but every time, it is truly uplifting. We were also lucky enough to go and see “The Sound of Music” in London a few years ago, with the original “Maria” – Connie Fisher, who won the reality show “How do you solve a problem like Maria?”. Another wonderful experience!Pagiedamon
What would surprise your FunTrivia friends about the "real life" JaneMarple
Maybe that I am not as bubbly as I appear on the Internet?
The only thing I can think of is that I have had various operations on my palate, which never worked, and has left me with a very slight speech problem. But that didn’t stop me getting through mainstream school and achieving reasonable marks