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Sara Cox talks ouija boards, tortoises and OPKs (Other People’s Kids)

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Colin Crummy
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Five Minute Philosopher is a weekly series in which Stylist gets profound with people we love. What will the radio DJ make of our existential questions?

What is the meaning of life? 

To boil the perfect egg; not too runny and not too wibbly, just perfect for dunking your soldiers in.

What is the difference between right and wrong? 

That sickie feeling in your belly when you know that you’re wrong.

Where is your happy place? 

When I wake up in bed and it feels like some sort of magical silkworm has spun the most delightful cocoon around me. The softest, cosiest, womb-like – but not as soggy – nest.

Nature or nurture? 

Nature and then you try not to do too much harm with your nurturing.

Is it more important to be liked or respected?

If people like you then that means you’ve treated them well, so liked.

If you could be remembered for one thing what would it be? 

For making people laugh while stuck in traffic on the A6 in a light drizzle, when they need a wee. Hopefully I took their mind off their bladder.

Who or what is your greatest love?

My husband. If we get into bed and I realise my iPad is downstairs he’ll go and get it for me. There’s a lovely Yiddish word, mensch, which means just a good guy, that’s what he is.

When did you last lie?

I’m not one for fibbing really. I’d fib at the kids when they were little, places are closed or whatever, because I didn’t want to take them swimming.

Does the supernatural exist? 

It’d be kind of fun if it did. But I’m not into the Victorian ghost stood at the end of your bed kind of thing. And I used to do a ouija board in my friend’s mum’s caravan and that freaked me right out, so let’s say no.

Are you fatalistic? 

I’m a big believer in karma more than anything. If you’re a bit of a cow then you will lose your car keys a few days later.

What is your greatest fear? 

Aside from any harm coming to people that I love, it’d have to be dill, the herb. It’s just the devil’s work.

Animals or babies? 

Animals, definitely. OPKs – Other People’s Kids – I’m not really interested. I like my own.

What talent do you yearn for? 

I would love to be able to hold a tune, but the song in my head is vastly different to the song that comes out when I attempt to yodel a ditty. If I could, Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better.

Do you like to be complimented? 

Of course, everybody loves a fuss. When people apologise for coming up to me in the street and telling me I’m fabulous I’m like, “Look babe don’t apologise, do it more!” They never do.

Do you have a high pain threshold? 

I was all right at childbirth but I can’t really take credit for that, it’s mainly your cervix that does all the hard work.

Sara is a big fan of David Nicholls and recommends One Day while waiting for his next novel 

What book do you recommend most to others? 

David Nicholls has got a new one coming out called Sweet Sorrow which I’m really excited about. He wrote One Day and it made me cry. Rumour has it that the new one’s even better so I recommend reading both.

Which lesson has been the hardest to learn? 

Not everybody can like you. It’s advice that Sir Terry Wogan passed on to Chris Evans. You’re fighting a losing battle if you want everyone to love you.

What food sums up happiness? 

Chips with gravy and lots of salt and vinegar from the Village Chippy in Little Lever, Bolton.

What have you never understood? 

Physics, I just can’t get my little tiny brain around it.

What is the one thing you want to know before you die? 

When’s the right time to wake your tortoises up after hibernation? I’m a driver for these tea parties organised by charity Contact The Elderly and I got the tortoises from a friend there named Frieda, who isn’t mobile enough to handle them. I hope I learn how to get it right because I keep peeping.

Are you scared of dying or what happens when you die?

I’m hoping that by the time I’m 102 I’ll be quite relaxed about it, that’s how I see it.

Quinoa or Quavers?

Quavers, definitely. Can I dip a Quaver in some quinoa so that I don’t feel as guilty?

Till The Cows Come Home by Sara Cox (£18.99, Coronet) is out now

Image: Leigh Kelly

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