My Secret Life: Lynne Truss, writer, 55


The house I grew up in ... was a council house near Richmond in Surrey, on an estate built in the early 1950s. I shared a bedroom with my older sister. For some reason I used to think it was a good idea to pile books at the bottom of my bed, and they would fall on the floor in the night, which annoyed everyone.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... invisible. I tried to keep out of family rows. I still can't bear to see people fall out with each other.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd be tidier. There's a book leaning against the wall in the corner of my living room which I know has been there since Christmas two years ago.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... sleeping. I think it's my main talent.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... typing. I did learn touch-typing when I was about 18, but it was in the days of old-fashioned manual typewriters, and I never had the strength in my little fingers to do the cap-shift keys. Now I type very quickly with two fingers, and have to go back and correct every other word.

At night I dream of ... houses, sometimes. I have a classic dream quite often of suddenly remembering there's an extra dimension to my own house – a deserted west wing, if you like. I go in and it's all familiar and lovely.

I wish I'd never worn ... my hair in a bob. I hate all the pictures.

My favourite item of clothing ... was a simple dark-green linen waistcoat from Nicole Farhi, which went with a beautiful matching linen skirt. It had buttons that were discreet sea-horses and shells. I had it when I was thin and flat-chested in my thirties and it really suited me.

I drive ... a Volkswagen Beetle, with a special car-seat for the dog, so that he can see out.

My house is ... a bit untidy.

My favourite work of art ... is a watercolour by Quentin Blake I bought in a mad moment. It shows a large woman in a floppy hat taking a duck for a walk on a beach. I don't know the back story (why a duck?), but it's a picture of pure timeless happiness.

My favourite building ... is Senate House in Bloomsbury. I worked in the library there before I went to university, and at the time I had no idea how odd and alienating it was architecturally. Now I am forever recognising it on telly and in films.

A book that changed me ... was Alain Fournier's 'The Lost Domain', which I read when I was 18 years old. I was very serious in those days.

Movie heaven ... is either 'Master and Commander', 'Batman Begins', or 'Julie and Julia'. One man has to choose the lesser of two evils; one man combats fear with fear; and two women make mouth-watering boeuf bourguignon.

The last album I bought ... was a talking book of Ford Madox Ford's 'The Good Soldier'.

My greatest regret ... is that I'm always conscious of class, which makes me an awkward customer socially. I'm really envious of people who don't think it's an issue – or who have so much personal confidence that the issue disappears.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is Paul Merton.

The last time I cried ... was watching a BBC4 documentary about the loving nature of working-class fathers in the 20th century. I was so upset I had to switch it off.

My life in six words ... I worry about things too much.

A life in brief

The writer and broadcaster Lynne Truss was born in Kingston, Surrey, in May 1955. After working in journalism, she published the international bestseller Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation in 2003. Truss is also a writer on football, and her most recent book, Get Her Off the Pitch!, is published by 4th Estate, £12.99. She lives in Brighton and London with her dog, Hoagy.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific