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This week's five minute philosopher Tanya Burr on coping with anxiety and her favourite apple pie


What is the meaning of life?
There isn’t one meaning. While we’re here we might as well enjoy life and create our own meaning.

What is the difference between right and wrong?
Right will make you feel good because it’s the honest and kind thing to do. Wrong will make you feel regret.

Where is your happy place?
Babington House in Somerset where I married my husband [vlogger Jim Chapman] last year. We always go there if we want to chill out. I’d also say Holkham beach on the north Norfolk coast. I have amazing memories of there from when I was a child.

Nature or nurture?
Some things are genetic but a lot is due to experiences, the way we’re brought up and the people we surround ourselves with.

Is it more important to be liked or respected?
Respected. In my line of work, I’ve had to realise not everyone is going to like you. It’s best not to focus on what other people think of you.

If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Being a good person to my friends, husband and family.

Who or what is your greatest love?
My husband. We met when I was 17 years old. Before, we were at the same school for a year and never even crossed paths.

When did you last lie?
I recently lied to my friend Emma on her birthday. I told her to meet me at my house but I was already waiting for her at The Berkeley hotel. When she got to our place, Jim was there in an Aston Martin, ready to bring her to the hotel for a spa day. It was amazing.

Does the supernatural exist?
I’m quite scientific so I’d be totally freaked out if it did.

Are you fatalistic?
Not everything is destined but some things do happen for a reason.

What is your greatest fear?
Being trapped in a lift or public toilet by myself. I’m really claustrophobic.

Animals or babies?
I can easily choose animals because I’m not interested in babies right now. Other people’s babies are fine – I’ll give them a cuddle but I get bored and want to give them back. 

What talent do you yearn for?
To play the piano really well. I used to play but stopped learning after Grade 6.

Do you like to be complimented?
It depends on who the compliment is from. Nowadays people compliment each other through habit.

Do you have a high pain threshold?
My masseuse thinks so. I have bad knots in my neck from stress so I’m dedicated to having sports massages. But I had a blood test the other day and was a real wimp. 

What book do you recommend most to others?
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It’s about a girl living under the Taliban. I read it on a flight back from New York and cried my eyes out.

Which lesson has been the hardest to learn?
It’s been hard learning to understand myself and the way my mind works. I’ve had therapy for years because of anxiety and something clicked about a year ago. I felt like I was really getting somewhere.

What food sums up happiness?
My nanny’s apple pie. We’ve always made it together and eaten it with the rest of my family. It’s a happy bake.

What have you never understood?
Why I dream so much more than anyone else I know. I often carry around the mood from my dream – if someone’s been horrible to me in one, I can’t look at them all morning.

What is the one thing you want to know before you die?
That I’ve done the best that I can on earth. 

Are you scared of dying or what happens when you die?
I don’t like to think about it. It really freaks me out.

Quinoa or Quavers?
I’m a quinoa girl. But Quavers are lovely dipped in Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup!



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