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Sunday, 5 June 2011

Character profiles: Molly Kingston, Dot Anderson, Tom Croft and Jennifer Croft



MOLLY KINGSTON
How would you describe yourself in five words?
I am an old hoofer.
What is your star sign? (Please refer to the characteristics list provided.)
Virgo, now that’s a laugh in itself. There was a time when my bedroom was like Piccadilly Circus.  All of us showgirls like a bit of slap and tickle, and the boys needed no encouragement.  Anyway, here I am, modest, shy, meticulous, reliable, practical, diligent, intelligent and analytical.  What a load of words for a little old lady.  Now, I’m also supposed to be fussy, a worrier, overcritical, harsh, perfectionist and conservative.  Hmmm, I think I’ve been most of those things in my life.
What is your favourite colour?
I never had a favourite colour.  I could wear anything but I’ve always had an affection for sparkling things like sequins and diamonds.  On stage, in the old days, when the spotlight shone on a sequined outfit, it was just dazzling and wonderful and exciting.  I know it sounds obvious but it was just wonderful.
What is your favourite food?
We used to eat terrible stews and stuff in digs but now I just like plain cooking, nothing out of tins or packets, just meat or fish and vegetables, easy to cook, easy to eat.  I’m also partial to a Bakewell tart and custard.
What is your favourite drink?
I like tea, gin, wine and sherry, but not all in the same glass.
What is your earliest memory?
Oh, I go back a long way.  Let me see.  I loved the shows and all that.  But I think my most treasured memory was shaking hands with Charlie Chaplin.  He was in his heyday and he came backstage after a show we did in London.  He was lovely, a little bit shy but we all knew we were in the presence of a genius.  He was quite serious in real life.
What is your happiest memory?
My happiest memories are the times we had standing ovations in theatres all around the country.  The sound of that applause and the sheer enjoyment on peoples’ faces was intoxicating.
What is your biggest worry?
I think I’m past worrying too much about anything.  When my time comes, I want it to be quick and painless.  I’ve had a good life, all in all.  There is one or two secrets I will take to my grave, but I don’t think I’m too different to most people in that respect.
What is your greatest strength?
Now that I’m older, my greatest strength is my experience and how I apply it.
What is your biggest weakness?
I’m too nostalgic for my own good sometimes.  I seem to live a lot of my thoughts in black and white, like old movies.  I have to watch myself and try not to weep too much at some of the long lost friends I think about.  I have too much time to think and not enough time to reinvent myself.
Who or what do you love the most?
I love my best memories.
Who or what do you deplore the most?
I deplore one thing in my life but I will never talk about it to anyone.
What is your most treasured possession?
My memory.
What would be your ideal job?
Oh, I’m retired, thank goodness.  I am so glad I don’t have to worry about jobs and working.  What the youngsters of today have to contend with nowadays is beyond me.
Where would you most like to live?
Never mind where I’d most like to live.  I’m just glad to be alive.  Maple Court suits me just fine.
Do you owe your parents anything and if yes, what?
Bless my Mum and Dad.  They were the best, hard-working people with high morals and hearts of gold.  I adored them and, even after all these years, I still miss them.
Which famous person do you admire and why?
Fame never really impressed me.  I mean I liked meeting famous people but I never had any real ambitions to be famous myself.  Perhaps if I had wanted it more I could have had it.  I know I had the looks and the talent.  But I didn’t like the dog eat dog thing.  I just loved the work and the applause.
On balance has your life been more satisfying or disappointing?
I couldn’t have asked for a better life.  It was almost perfect.
What is your greatest achievement, so far?
I’m still here!
What is the most important lesson you have learned from life?
Life deals you some cards and you have to learn how to gamble, to lose with grace and put it down to experience and then learn to win, again with grace, and celebrate, celebrate, celebrate.  If you can’t enjoy your achievements, what’s the point of trying?
Describe Maple Court in five words
Final home, good place, contentment. 
DOT ANDERSON
How would you describe yourself in five words?
I’m an irritable, scatty old bag on bad days and a tender, loving, good woman on good days.  There’s at least five in there somewhere.
What is your star sign? (Please refer to the characteristics list provided.)
Sagittarius and that means I’m optimistic and freedom loving, jovial, good-humoured, honest, straightforward, intellectual, philosophical, blindly optimistic, careless, irresponsible, superficial, tactless and restless. What a load of old rubbish.
What is your favourite colour?
Grey.  No, I’m joking.  I like pinks and yellows.
What is your favourite food?
I would die if I couldn’t have salami and crusty bread.
What is your favourite drink?
I adore chilled white wine, with the salami and crusty bread.
What is your earliest memory?
I loved to watch my Mum knitting.  I liked the clickety-click of the needles.
What is your happiest memory?
The day I made my first Holy Communion, I wore the most beautiful dress.  I have looked more gorgeous.  It’s funny how a happy memory can sound so sad later in life.
What is your biggest worry?
I worry that I will live alone for the rest of my life.  It could happen.
What is your greatest strength?
I kid myself that I’m bolshie enough to withstand anything.
What is your biggest weakness?
It’s probably the same as my so-called strength.
Who or what do you love the most?
I would rather not say.
Who or what do you deplore the most?
I can’t stand rudeness.  In my deli, if anyone is rude, I ask them to calm down or leave.  I’d rather not take their money and be shot of them.
What is your most treasured possession?
I have a locket that once belonged to my great grandmother.  Inside, there is a picture of her in her Sunday best.  She was a very striking, lovely woman.
What would be your ideal job?
I used to want to be a nun, living a peaceful life but those ambitions died away when I fell in love.  Now, I’m resigned to make the deli work as best I can.  I’m good at it, so why change it.
Where would you most like to live?
I would love to live in Tuscany in a house on a hill overlooking one of the beautiful valleys.
Do you owe your parents anything and if yes, what?
I owe them the business.  They left it to me in their wills.  It has been a lifesaver.
Which famous person do you admire and why?
Sophia Loren is a very graceful, elegant lady of the old school.  She’s the best role model I can think of.
On balance has your life been more satisfying or disappointing?
Up to my marriage, I could not have asked for anything more from life.  After my marriage collapsed, I wake up every day with a feeling of emptiness.
What is your greatest achievement, so far?
The success of the business is probably the best thing.  At first, I wasn’t sure if I could continue it on to the same high standard.  But I have and I feel satisfied about that.
What is the most important lesson you have learned from life?
Just when you think it is perfect, someone or something kicks away the security.
Describe Maple Court in five words
The best and worst of me.  I know that’s six but that’s the way I am. 
TOM CROFT
How would you describe yourself in five words?
I’m an ordinary working class lad.
What is your star sign? (Please refer to the characteristics list provided.)
I’m never comfortable with stuff like this. I’m Pisces. Let’s see, that means I am imaginative, sensitive, compassionate, kind, selfless, unworldly, intuitive, sympathetic, escapist, idealistic, secretive, vague, weak-willed and easily led – all the things a supermarket manager has to be, I suppose.
What is your favourite colour?
Black.  I’m a Johnny Cash fan.
What is your favourite food?
I’ll eat anything when I’m hungry.
What is your favourite drink?
Good old British bitter.
What is your earliest memory?
I cried on my first day at school but I didn’t feel so bad about that because there were a dozen kids blubbing away next to me.
What is your happiest memory?
The day I got married.
What is your biggest worry?
I worry that I will never be a good enough husband.
What is your greatest strength?
I’m thoughtful and polite.  A weak answer, perhaps to some, but I see those things as big strengths.
What is your biggest weakness?
I can be a bit of a softie, especially at work when I have to discipline someone or sack a person.
Who or what do you love the most?
I love my wife.
Who or what do you deplore the most?
I hate litter and dogs.
What is your most treasured possession?
I’m grateful for my sanity, especially in the wild and wacky world of retailing.
What would be your ideal job?
I would love to be my own boss but I’m not sure what my business would be.
Where would you most like to live?
San Francisco.  It looks fabulous.
Do you owe your parents anything and if yes, what?
They made me what I am, calm, sensitive and loyal.
Which famous person do you admire and why?
Johnny Cash for all his troubles and how he used his talent to get over them and through life.  He was a wild man with a big heart.
On balance has your life been more satisfying or disappointing?
I am very satisfied at the moment.
What is your greatest achievement, so far?
Getting married to the girl I adore is pretty hard to beat.
What is the most important lesson you have learned from life?
It sounds a bit weak again but I think to be a good citizen is important.
Describe Maple Court in five words
Our married life starts here. 
JENNIFER CROFT
How would you describe yourself in five words?
I guess I’m hopeful, vulnerable, hurtful, impatient, sexy.
What is your star sign? (Please refer to the characteristics list provided.)
Aries.  So that’s supposed to make me adventurous, energetic, pioneering, courageous, enthusiastic, confident, dynamic and quick-witted.  Hmmm.  Then again, Aries has a dark side of selfishness, temperamental, impatience and foolhardiness, quite a lot to choose from.  Maybe I am just one big casserole of emotions.
What is your favourite colour?
How about red, amber and green?  I have always loved traffic lights.  As a kid, I would try to guess the exact second when the lights would change.  I was pretty good at it.
What is your favourite food?
It has to be corned beef, mash and baked beans. It’s my ultimate comfort food.  I ate a lot of it when I was younger.  I should be sick of it by now.
What is your favourite drink?
Tea.
What is your earliest memory?
I remember running along a path somewhere and tumbling over.  I needed three stitches. I must have been three or four.
What is your happiest memory?
The day we got a hamster.
What is your biggest worry?
I am frightened of losing the ones I love, either through natural causes, an accident, a crime or, worse, because of something selfish or crass that I do to them.
What is your greatest strength?
I’m tougher than I look, as a few who have crossed me found out to their cost.
What is your biggest weakness?
I’m selfish but I only realize it after I’ve said or done something bad.
Who or what do you love the most?
I love my husband and my Mum and Dad.
Who or what do you deplore the most?
I hate cabbage and beetroot, and war, poverty and starvation after that.  I’m kidding about the order.
What is your most treasured possession?
I have a picture of my Mum and Dad on their wedding day.  They looked perfect and blissfully happy, a tough act to follow.
What would be your ideal job?
I’d like to go to a desert island and do nothing.
Where would you most like to live?
A desert island, of course..
Do you owe your parents anything and if yes, what?
I owe them all my love.
Which famous person do you admire and why?
I try not to judge myself against celebrity and fame.  It’s such a false measurement.
On balance has your life been more satisfying or disappointing?
Disappointing, but I can’t really explain why.  I just feel so restless all the time.
What is your greatest achievement, so far?
Oh, I don’t know.  Maybe learning how to ride a bike was some kind of achievement.
What is the most important lesson you have learned from life?
It is better to keep your mouth shut than to hurt the ones you love.
Describe Maple Court in five words
One stop on life’s road.

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