This week's Wonderful Woman actually made an appearance here a few weeks ago when I featured her mother Anne. Having Deborah amongst this group of amazing ladies is an absolute treat as she really is an inspiration to everyone around her. She has known me since before I was born - apparently her and my older brother shared the same cot for nap times as babies when our parents were neighbours. The fact that we as families have remained in touch for all these years is a testament to how lovely they are!

Deborah is a really loving, warm, caring and generous person with a very strong character, who works well with people from all walks of life. Very early in her career she worked on a preserved railway for a few years cleaning the fire box out, coming home covered in grease and coal dust every day… Recently she’s been making waves as a project manager and has just finished working on commissioning healthcare in prisons in the UK. This was a huge achievement and will have a positive, beneficial effect on so many people. She’s very independent, outgoing, adventurous and loves to keep her brain and body active. She has just moved to Sweden to live with her soon-to-be husband and learning Swedish, whilst planning a wedding in less than three months, is definitely keeping her on her toes!

The actual times I’ve spent in her company over the years have been way too few and far between, but nevertheless always fun. Her positive, can-do, "nothing is impossible" attitude has been a consistent inspiration to me and I’m grateful for the distant role she has played in my life. Thank you dear Deborah for your wisdom and wonderful nature, I wish you nothing but Love Love, Lovely Love for this next stage of your life. x

Now over to you:

1. What does Lovelyness mean to you? 

Lovelyness can be found anywhere, the trick is to look for it.  To me lovelyness is being able to reach out and connect with the things that matter to me and allowing those things to reach into me to help me focus on lovely.

2. When are you happiest? What brings you joy?

I'm happiest when I'm connected with the people I love and who love me.  Now that I've moved countries from England to Sweden, I'm very happy to be living with my fiancé, but right now I am so looking forward to seeing family for a pre-Christmas celebration. 
There are many things that bring me joy, a job well done, clean bed sheets, my wonderful man unexpectely bringing me flowers, Skype with the friends and family that are no longer in the same country, being able to successfully get off the chair ski lift, a good glass of wine and an engaging book.

3. What are you most grateful for in your life?

Wonderful parents, who 'dragged me up proper'. I now have a great life because of their belief in me, the decisions they took and the ones they helped me make. 
My brilliant trolovade Herbert. Trolovade is swedish for betrothed, very formal and endearingly sweet.  I'm very grateful for the life we're creating together and very excited about the wedding in January. 
I think the things I'm most grateful for are clothes on my body, a roof over my head, clean drinking water on tap, food readily available as I'm aware so many people do not have these 'luxuries'.

4. What would you list as your top 3 priorities in life? 

  1. My family and friends, as they're the ones you create the memories with. 
  2. My health 'mens sana in corpore sano' - a healthy mind in a healthy body. 
  3. Learning new things and having fun, as no one died wishing they had done less of either. 

5. Who’s your current role model and why?

I don't have one role model, I have several as I believe everyone has at least one admirable quality that would benefit me if I was to emulate it.    

6. Who do you see as being lovely and why? (Famous or not)

I have a lovely friend who has had some adverse health circumstances and even in the midst of a waiting room, we had tears of laughter rolling down our faces from some silly joke.  There were tears of sadness, frustration and upset at other times.  But what I think is particularly lovely about her is being able to explore all that a friendship has to offer both the good, the ugly and the brutally honest. That is a priceless gift of loveliness that I treasure about her.

7. What's your favourite type of food? 

Honestly, anything that's not cooked by me.  Herbert makes a great beef bourguignon and I love my mum's cakes.  However I always think the special ingredient is love.  I love eating food that's been made with loving care and making food for someone else that I really care about.

8. What are your favourite pastimes?

Wow, that's changed. Once upon a time it was hanging out with my female friends and having a nice glass of wine...... Now, Herbert (the action man) has got me into riding the back of his motorbike, skiing and listening to / seeing opera - ballet is next.  The one past time we both share is tango dancing, and there is nothing like being swept up in my man's arms and being twirled around the dance floor.

9. Do you have a favourite quote?

I have two: 

"Does this honour me?" 

I used that as a mantra for EVERYTHING when life was not quite going as I wanted. If the answer was no, or I'm not sure, I either got it out of my life, did not do it or found another way around.  I applied it everywhere, from big things like relationships and my work  to the food I put in my body.  I continue to use it and it makes me healthier and wiser. 

I love this as it's simple and as the other saying goes if you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much room.  I always wonder what people are waiting for (besides the right time, money, circumstances) to make the life that they want to live. We're all going to be dust someday so what can I do now that makes a difference.

10. Where’s your favourite place?

Bed, I love a good bed. The difference it makes to the quality of sleep and my ability to function as a human being is immense.  I'd love to explore some beds in other lands and possibly my favourite is in Cumbria where I was raised as a child. It's a stunning place and I'm always blown away by its loveliness upon returning as an adult.

11. Which is your favourite season and why?

Hmm, I love all of them, namely for the changes between them but spring, when the chill mornings give way to that face warming sun is wonderful.  I'm especially looking forward to winter this year with proper snow. 

12. Do you have a signature style?

No, I don't think so.  I'm immensely practical so jeans, jumpers and boots right now.  But I love dressing up for parties / tango etc and love the surprise and delight when people see me without my glasses - I completely understand how superman pulled it off as I have people walk right past me.

13. Who was your biggest inspiration growing up and how have they shaped who you are today?

I lived in a big house with my family which my nana (grandmother) was a part of.  She was a fiercely bright and formidable woman.  She also gave great hugs.

14. Which qualities do you value most from those closest to you?

Integrity, honesty, and a sense of fun / humour.

15. What are your best attributes? What are your worst?

Best: That I believe everyone is doing the best they can with the knowledge / resources they have got. I therefore find it really easy to practice compassion.  

Worst: I can be stubborn and very right.  A friend tells a great story of when she was going abroad and we went suitcase shopping, she wanted neat black, came home with flowery turquoise.  She has some sight difficulties and I said it would be easiest to spot on the carousel and she of course, got the correct suitcase every time at the airports!

16. How would you most like your friends to describe you?

Loving, committed, generous and loyal.

17. If you could pick any place in the world to live, where would it be and why?

Hmmm, I don't know if I could.  I'd love to live in Buenos Aires for some time, to have my tango be beautiful, smooth and elegant. But then I'd have to come back to be nearer family.

18. What are your aspirations for the future?

To be a great wife, devoted daughter and great fun mother (fingers crossed).  And to excel in my chosen career.

19. Can you recommend: a lovely book, a lovely movie, a lovely song?

  • Book: A lovely book is anything by Roald Dahl.  I love the stories within the books and the tales that tell of being lovely or not lovely and the consequences. 
  • Movie: 'The Lake House', with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.  A story of time, love conquering all and a house that I would love to live in. 
  • Song: I don't listen to a lot of music but anything by Nina Ferro, a dear friend of mine and she has the most amazing singing voice which leaves me with goosebumps.

20. Any Lovely Last Words?

Thank you for asking me to be a part of this, it was very lovely of you. x