#10ThingsYouDidntKnowAbout Virginia Heath

PHS columnist, Virginia Heath, reveals ten unique things you almost definitely, quite possibly, maybe forgot and/or didn't know about her!

1. I’m in love with Flynn Rider from the film Tangled. Yes- I do know he’s a cartoon and that being in love with something drawn with a pencil and then coloured in is weird, but in my head Flynn is a completely gorgeous hero. Cheeky, dashing, just a teensy bit tortured, devilishly handsome and spouts witty one-liners even when they in inappropriate. I also love his voice, especially when he sings, it makes me melt.

2. I’m a complete tourist. I adore travelling to far-flung places and soaking up the culture. I could have bought a significantly bigger house with all the money I’ve spent exploring the world yet if I could have my time again I wouldn’t do it differently. I mean, riding through the jungle in Thailand on the back of an elephant tops another spare room which would only get used once in a blue moon anyway. Who needs another bathroom when they can snorkel between the Pitons in St Lucia and feed bananas to the Sergeant Major fish? And why would I want all that extra housework when I could get in a car and just drive through Death Valley?

3. This is linked to number two, but who cares. I’m a Disney nut. I’ve been to Disneyland in California twice, Disneyworld in Florida twice and the Paris version more times than I care to count. There’s something magical about the place, from the first moment you step inside those gates, which just makes me smile. My favourite ride is the Haunted Mansion and each time I visit a park I have to start and end my trip with a ride of that ghoulish ghost train. I love watching the translucent ballroom dancers waltzing. It comes a close second to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

4. And on the subject of Pirates of the Caribbean, when I was a secondary school teacher (that’s 11-16 year olds for all non-Brits reading this) I used to have a life-size cut-out of Captain Jack Sparrow stood next to my desk. I told my students that me and the Captain were in love and that he lived in my stationary cupboard. Because the kids thought I was crazy and my eccentricities amused them, I used to get showered in Captain Jack Sparrow gifts each year when a cohort eventually left the school. I still have it all now up in my attic- including the life-size cut-out!

5. I’m a spice fiend. My favourite food is curry- and not those tame sorts of curries wusses eat. Proper hot curries from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Thai food is another favourite, along with Japanese and Mexican. In fact, if I was ever marooned on a desert island, so long as chillies grew there I’d be happy.

6. I loathe the taste of Brussel sprouts. I remember reading somewhere that there is a chemical in sprouts which either tastes delicious or totally hideous, depending on the person. There’s apparently no grey area with sprouts.

7. I like spiders. I wouldn’t want to pick out curtains with them or keep them as pets, but picking one up doesn’t bother me. When other people are cringing, and screaming, I’m the brave saviour who marches in and puts the wriggly, hairy little arachnid outside. I don’t even need a glass to carry them in.

8. If I’m nervous or worried about something, I cross my fingers for luck. I’m not superstitious about anything else, but when those nerves kick in, I cross my fingers and hide them in a pocket or under a cushion.

9. I usually get all my story ideas in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping by my brain won’t let me. It’s been the same since I was a little kid. When I couldn’t sleep, I let my imagination wander and often used to enjoy going to bed early so that I could revisit the wonderful worlds I created sooner. A lifetime of casual insomnia has turned me into a storyteller. So every cloud…

10. Finally, once a year I treat myself to Pride and Prejudice Day. A whole day where I watch the entire six hours of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy back-to-back. Pride and Prejudice Day always occurs when I have the house completely to myself. I have to have cake and plenty of tea to sustain me for the marathon. Usually, I prefer to hold in during the winter months, because you cannot fully appreciate the wonder of Jane Austen’s masterpiece unless you are wrapped in a slanket. For those untutored in the world of slankets- it’s a fuzzy blanket with sleeves, a foot pocket and a place to store your remote controls. In other words, Heaven.

Join Virginia in talking about her unique secrets on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Virginia's latest release, A Warriner to Protect Her, is out now. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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