Maeve Binchy Under the Microscope: I'm getting better, happier and nicer as I grow older
21:11 GMT, 16 April 2012
Novelist Maeve Binchy, 71, takes our health quiz…
Improving with age: Author Maeve Binchy
CAN YOU RUN UP THE STAIRS
No, of course not, but then I was never able to. Even walking upstairs would make me purple in the face.
HAD ANYTHING REMOVED
Yes, fair chunks in earlier times — my appendix, my gall bladder, and when I was 56 I had my left hip replaced because of arthritis.
It was a lengthy op done under a local anaesthetic and epidural — I was awake the whole time and apparently thought I was giving a cocktail party where noisy builders were interrupting the conversation. I didn’t pause in my monologue of apology to my guests. I had no idea what was being drilled was my own leg.
Mainly impatience — I am outraged that I don’t fully understand my computer and never mastered speaking Italian. After my hip operation I had to cut out butter, which I loved, and salt. I no longer eat desserts with lots of cream and I’ve cut right back on alcohol.
POP ANY PILLS
I have an irregular heartbeat so that means a fair amount of medication — and I have blood pressure pills, too, but no vitamins or supplements.
EVER GOOGLED AN ILLNESS
Never in my life. It’s quite enough coping with what I do have without investigating what I might have.
COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT
My dear kind husband, Gordon Snell, who is generous and entertaining and makes life very easy and happy.
EVER BEEN DEPRESSED
No, luckily not remotely so. It must be awful for people who do [suffer from depression].
Yes, I had to lose some weight before I could have my hip operation, but it’s not really something I took to. I didn’t get excited by weight loss, and since I was already happy being fat I couldn’t see the point of it all. I’m 6ft and weigh about 18st or 19st, but weighing myself is not something I do with much pleasure.
ANY FAMILY AILMENTS
There’s no inherited illnesses as such. My parents both died young from heart-related illnesses — they were a lot younger than I am now. I don’t think of this as a bad prognosis for my own health, it’s just very sad they died so soon and didn’t live to see their family all grow up happy.
Like a big happy log.
LIKE TO LIVE FOR EVER
Certainly I would. I’m getting better, happier and nicer as I grow older, so I would be terrific in a couple of hundred years time.
Maeve’s latest book, Minding Frankie, is now available from Orion.