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  1. have been a vegetarian since my twenties (and that's quite a long time now).

  2. once swam in the Amazon - actually, I was thrown in, but the less said about that the better.

  3. am a dog lover. My current charge is a lab/collie cross called Freddie who was in a rescue centre for five and a half years before he found his forever home.

  4. went to school with, but not in the same year as, Liz Hurley, when she attended Harriet Costello School in the town where I grew up, Basingstoke in Hampshire.

  5. obtained a Diploma in Foreign Languages for Business from Birmingham Polytechnic - which is now defunct (or should I say 'redefined' as the University of Central England).

  6. had a mini play performed at Junior School. It was about a train journey and might still be lurking in a box in the loft somewhere.

  7. saw the space shuttle Columbia take off in Florida on 22 October 1992. It was amazing - and so sad what happened to it and its crew members eleven years later.

  8. still have the teddy bear I had as a baby. It's a lot threadbare and one ear is hanging off, but it will always be my favourite.

  9. have climbed to the top of the highest pyramid in Mexico, the Sun Pyramid at Teotihuacan. I have also been to Chichen Itza and several other sites.

  10. occasionally dabble in pastel painting - and have even sold one or two.