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Saturday, 4 June 2011

Character Q&A - Sophie Montague


TALES FROM MAPLE COURT by
JOE CUSHNAN 

PART ONE:
CHARACTERS FROM MAPLE COURT

PART TWO:
TALES FROM MAPLE COURT 
“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?”  Pride and Prejudice 

SOPHIE MONTAGUE
How would you describe yourself in five words?
Ambitious, unpredictable, impatient, practical, challenging, and if I can sneak in another one, a bit of a bitch sometimes when my hackles are prickling.
What is your star sign? (Please refer to the characteristics list provided.)
Taurus, the bull, ha ha.  My Dad would laugh at this list of traits.  Patient, reliable, warmhearted, loving, persistent, determined, placid and in need of secure environment.  But the flip side to my personality is a leaning towards jealousy, possessiveness, resentfulness, inflexibility, self-indulgence and greed.  Blimey, I’m a complicated girl, aren’t I?
What is your favourite colour?
Red – for danger!
What is your favourite food?
Oh almost anything, as long as someone else cooks it for me at home or in a restaurant.  I can’t be bothered with cooking and all those TV chefs touching up the food, piling it into some kind of artistic tower on the plate and chucking useless garnish all over it.  The only things I won’t eat are things like snails and winkles, ugh.  It’s like eating snot.
What is your favourite drink?
I love a mug of strong tea.  It has to be a mug.  I cannot stand dainty teacups with tiny handles.
What is your earliest memory?
I remember my father pushing me along in my buggy.  Mum never seemed to want to take me for walks.  I’ve always seemed like an irritation to her.  But I do remember Dad pushing me very fast, then stopping suddenly and me giggling for ages.  I supposed that’s pure happiness when a child is laughing out of sheer joy.  After a few minutes, I would shout “again, again” at Dad and off he would go and I would squeal “faster, faster”.  I loved those times. I love him so much but I know I can be a handful for him sometimes.  I don’t know what I’d do if he wasn’t there anymore.  I don’t want to go all Princess Diana, but he really is the stable rock in my life.
What is your happiest memory?
I suppose what I’ve just said, not one but lots of similar memories.  Christmases and birthdays were always very special, especially when I was younger and my friends would come round for those jelly and cake afternoon parties.  My Dad always threw his heart and soul into the games and the music.  My Mum used those occasions for hair appointments.
What is your biggest worry?
I would hate to lose my Dad.  My Mum has made her decision and good riddance to her.  But I need my Dad there for me, even when I’m being stroppy and arguing with him.  He’s so special.  One day, I’ll tell him, but I think he knows.
What is your greatest strength?
I can spot frauds a mile away.  I seem to have this instinct and I’ve managed to confront or avoid some horrible people and relationships.  I’m like a bull to a red rag sometimes but I have to get bad stuff out of my system and if a bloody good shouting match achieves that then I’m happy.  I don’t bottle things up.
What is your biggest weakness?
Milk chocolate is just yummy.  I hate all the so-called experts who witter on about dark chocolate and real chocolate.  They can go and take a running jump.  I just love sweet, sugary, milky chocolate.  It’s especially good with a mug of tea, me in my dressing gown and fluffy slippers watching “Sex and the City”.  Perfection.
Who or what do you love the most?
I love my Dad to bits and I love George Clooney for private, intimate, dreamy reasons.
Who or what do you deplore the most?
All politicians are selfish, boring and only interested in making as much money or fame out of their careers.  I am particularly disappointed with women in politics.  They let the side down so much with their attitudes and preaching.  Sometimes I wonder what the Suffragettes would think if they came back now to do an assessment of how all their campaigning work has worked out. 
What is your most treasured possession?
I love my iPod.  I think it should be voted the greatest invention of all-time.  I’m obsessed with it. The fact that I can carry eight thousand songs around in something as small as a fag packet astonishes me.  It’s my extra limb.
What would be your ideal job?
I’d like to be the Queen.  It seems such a cool job, occasional trips and hand-waving, ceremonial stuff which might be a bit boring but I could spice that up a bit and great houses to lounge around in, servants to wait on me hand and foot, and no real worries about money.  I would sort a few princes out with my fiery temper every now and then.
Where would you most like to live?
I’d like to live in Buckingham Palace and all those other royal residences.  Balmoral looks fabulous and I wouldn’t have to cook or lift a finger, of course.  I’d be a horrible boss to all the staff.
Do you owe your parents anything and if yes, what?
I owe my Mum my selfish and bolshie side, but nothing else.  She is as far away from a role model as it is possible to get.  I owe my Dad my practical and common sense approach to life.  I suppose they both made me and I am what I am because of them.  But, in an ideal world, I would have preferred to love them equally but my Dad gets the lion’s share of my affection and respect because he’s earned it.  My mother just frittered it away..
Which famous person do you admire and why?
I don’t know.  There are so many famous people I think I admire but almost always something nasty comes out about them and all my illusions are shattered.  I suppose the people I really admire are not famous.  They are more low-key, like the boys and girls who go off to war.
On balance has your life been more satisfying or disappointing?
I’m okay so far.  I’ve got a job and a reasonably settled home life, despite my mother.  My mother disappoints me.
What is your greatest achievement, so far?
I was chuffed to get my honours degree.  I’m not sure I deserved it because I didn’t work as hard as I could have but I did it, I got it and no one can take it away from me.  Whether I am doing enough with it to invest in a better job or a better life is another question.
What is the most important lesson you have learned from life?
I think I have learned that as soon as the innocence of childhood vanishes, life is exposed as mostly unpredictable, unfair and dangerous.  We are all dealt a hand and we have to get on with it.  It’s survival of the fittest, I suppose.
Describe Maple Court in five words
Base-camp, safe, old-fashioned, smelly, part-prison.  I stuck in hyphenated words to be rebellious.  Ha, ha.

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