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Life Choices Lynda La Plante

Friday, August 29, 2008
Category: Daily Express
My son changed the world for me Lynda La Plante
The writer and producer, Lynda La Plante, 62,  lives between South London and The Hamptons in America. She has one son Lorcan, 5.
Food : Always the same or always game
I’m not really very adventurous - when you get to my age you just eat what you like and I prefer simple food. I live in The Hamptons in the US for six months a year and the fish is so fresh there that I often eat that or char grilled chicken with a salad. I’m allergic to red and green peepers so I need to avoid dishes with those.
Cooking:  Experimental or tried & tested
I’m experimental but only because I’ve forgotten how to make a dish and just throw in anything. I fail miserably at anything exotic that requires masses of ingredients Having a five year old, I refuse point blank to cook a separate meal for him so at five years old he’s more experimental than I’ve ever been: in restaurants he orders mussels and sushi. I’m really good at stew and chicken soup and I come from Liverpool and so I make a great scouse stew.
Clothes:  M&S or D&G
I’m loathe to spend a lot of money on clothes; no matter how lovely an outfit may be, I could never justify spending thousands of pounds on clothes. I read about women who spend thousands of pounds on a handbag- that’s madness. I do buy second hand designer clothes and try to alter them a bit. I often buy a coat, strip out the lining and change it and it looks so much better.
Fashion: victim or setter
I’m neither- I’m very aware of my body shape which means you can’t really be a setter. I’m wearing lots of flowing garments at the moment which suit me and are fairly trendy.
Shopping:  ‘til you drop or avoid at all costs
I’m inclined to do marathon shops and out here in the US- when I go, I go! I’m very good at shopping for things like Christmas well in advance and have a Christmas cupboard which is well stocked all year round so that I avoid the horrible Christmas rush.
The pound is so strong against the dollar at the moment that my son is dressed like a Prince these days. 
Holidays: Beach or piste
I live in the Hamptons all summer and come out for Christmas so I’m surrounded by beautiful beaches most of the time.  I love sailing and water skiing and have arranged to sail round Turkey soon in a beautiful creaking old sailing boat with a chef and staff – that’s my idea of a great holiday.
Approach to Life: Manana or right now
I can be both, it depends what’s involved. Being a producer and writer and having deadlines that have to be met, I’m highly organized-often people say to me, ‘Gosh, you get back to me so fast and are so organized.’ Little do they know the chaos I leave in my wake in other areas of my life.
Friends: quantity or quality  
Again what I love about coming out to the Hamptons is that I have lotsof friends here that I pick up with when and I have lots of friends from my RADA days but I don’t feel the need to have people around me . I love dinner parties and catching up with people but I’m not someone who sits on the phone for hours to my friends. When I meet people I have a rapport with then I strike up a friendship with them.
Entertainment :Intimate Dinner or Big Bash
I like both- when I organize a dinner party it seems to begin with just six people then before I know it I’ve invited twelve. I like giving big parties too.
Drink:  Beer or Bolli
I’m wine rather than these – in the summer I enjoy Chardonnay and then I in the winter I enjoy red wine-I have a glass of wine every day.
Housekeeping:  Aggie & Kim or Wayne & Waynetta
I’m untidy but obsessively clean if that makes sense. I have help but I have been known to roll my sleeves up, I always feel good when I’ve cleaned and polished.
Cars: Boy racer or Sunday Driver
Cars are my passion: I’ve always loved them.  I drive a good steady Lexus for shopping and running around; I have an outrageous Bentley and an old Saab convertible, a Land Rover and a convertible Mercedes.  I take such good care of them, I polish them and clean them but I haven’t a clue what’s going on under the bonnet but they look immaculate.
Money: Rainy day or live for today
I’m a spender and always have been – some people would say it’s because I’m optimistic while others would say it’s stupidity, however you can’t take it with you is my philosophy towards money. I’m a high earner but I work hard and I don’t see the point of doing that if you then don’t enjoy spending it.
Property: Urban chic or rural retreat
I’m a little bit if both I live in Richmond near the park and so it feels like I’m in the country but not too far away from the city and in the Hamptons I’m out in the wilds and so I’ve got the best of both worlds.
Décor: minimal or cosy
The Minimal look is for single people who don’t like sitting down. I like a really cosy warm look with lots of art and colour around me.  
Children: Mary Poppins or Cruella deville
I love children and have a home where lots of children come and play, it’s constantly full of children.  Having Lorcan has changed my life beyond anything I could have imagined.
Health: alternative or aspirin
I try to be alternative where possible and protect myself from having to be either -I eat sensibly, take vitamins and exercise but when things go wrong it would be silly not to turn to the experts.
Rubbish: bin it or recycle it
I recycle a lot of things by giving them away to people – toys and clothes in particular and I try my best to recycle waste too.  
Fitness: Jane Fonda or Jim Royle
The gym used to be a huge part of my life -I went regularly and had a trainer but I’ve changed my approach and instead of going to the gym and getting on an exercise bike, I now just cycle outside and I swim a lot too. I’m very aware of exercise and how important it is.
Technology: gadget man or technophobe
I’m surrounded by technical experts and I try myself but I’m pretty hopeless -I can’t even remember my own mobile phone number. I have to use computers for work but I’m paranoid about the internet and suspicious of it – I get emails from people asking me if I would like to  be their friend- no I would not! Why anyone would want to make friends over the internet is beyond me.  
Deadly Intent by Lynda La Plante is available now in all good bookstores

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