Chocks Away with Sheryl Browne

I am horribly excited about today’s interview because I know it’s going to be extremely entertaining. It has to be, because it’s with the effervescent Sheryl Browne. Take a peak at the photograph. That gives you some idea of what this lady gets up to when she isn’t writing best-sellers.

Sheryl, I know you have never been one to shy away from anything life throws at you, so, have you ever written a bucket list?

I was about to say no, but now I come to think about it, I realise I’ve always had a ‘mental’ bucket list (does it count if I didn’t write it down?), challenges and fears I was determined to tackle before I curled up my toes.

So what have you crossed off so far? Tell us a little about the experiences.

To some people the first thing on my list might not compare to climbing a mountain, but actually it does (I know, I climbed one – and believe me the mountain was easier, albeit a little one). I was (as in, used to be) arachnophobic: Truly, seriously scared of spiders.  We’re talking backing over landing banisters to escape the eight-legged beasties, fetching strange men off the street (I kid you not!) to rescue me, screaming so loud when one crawled into my bra while I was on our boat (no, I wasn’t wearing it at the time) that a child riding his bicycle on the towpath fell off and landed in the canal. When I ended up renting my house out, too terrified to cohabit any longer with the (HUGE) arachnids that had also taken up residence, I knew I had to do something.  Sooo I took a cognitive therapy course.  I walked into the counsellor’s room threatening to jump out of the window if she brought a spider anywhere near me.  At that point, I would have done, believe me.  Fight or flight kicking in, I would have chosen the latter option, headed for the nearest available exit and flown – or possibly not. We were three storeys up. Miraculously, this is what happened when I did finally come face-to-face with my worst nightmare (look away now if you suffer from arachnophobia).

Yep, that’s my hand. I was still terrified, but would you believe this time of dropping it and hurting it?!  I have no idea whether this could work for everyone (maybe I just badly needed it to) but it worked for me. Phew.

I also threw myself out of a plane.

No, I wasn’t being pursued by an eight-legged beastie that time.  No terrors to tackle, this was a true bucket list item, something I needed to do before I shuffled off the mortal coil.  I suspect my tandem man, who asked me for a celebratory kiss once we’d landed, was a teeny bit frightened, however. Perhaps he should have looked before he leapt.  I had my back to him at the time (we had only just hit terra firma).  Not a lot of choice, I turned around… blinkity blink … and beamed him a smile – through the snot and dribble all over my face.  Well, it is a long way down and it’s awfully windy up there. What can I say?  Arrrrgh!

It’s a good thing people can’t see me at the moment because I am sitting with my mouth wide open in awe. I could just about handle a spider, if it were small, but skydive? No way. So, what pleasurable activities would you undertake if you had unlimited time, money and resources?

Take a cruise around the world, definitely.  Experience different cultures, customs, climate, landscape… Lounge about when I feel like it – a handsome uniformed man to attend my every need *sigh* and loads of time to do what I can’t seem to live without doing.  Yep, you guessed, write.  I could set a chapter in every port. Ooh, yeah. That’s going on my bucket list.

That certainly sounds pleasurable. Is there anything you always wanted to do but have not done yet?

Meet George Clooney.

Join the queue my friend. Are there any particular countries, places or locations you want to visit?

That goes back to my cruise, I think.  I’d love to see the Northern Lights from the deck of a cruise ship.  My escort would be GC, of course, in a tux *big sigh*.  Come on, George, get a move on.  Or maybe Ben Affleck.  Or maybe I would just leave them to fight over me while I sipped my cocktail and watched the night sky.

What would you say are your biggest goals and dreams although I’m guessing GC cruising with you in a tuxedo is definitely one of them?

Being a writer, obviously I would love to see one of my books up there in the bestseller list *huge sigh*.  Second best, though, would be whale watching, maybe in the Azores. I can’t imagine anything more exhilarating than witnessing migrating big whales up close, perchance to glimpse a Blue Whale, the biggest mammal on earth.  I can’t help thinking that would give a person a better perspective on life.  I would also love to see polar bears in their natural habitat. The polar bear, the largest predator on earth, weighing in at around 600kg and standing up to three metres tall on their hind legs, is truly an animal to respect. Witnessing those magnificent beasts up close would be an awesome experience. I have no idea what drives me to want to do these things.  Maybe getting up close and personal with what I perceived to be the world’s most fearsome creature has given me courage? I think I’d better get on a write that bestseller to fund it!

On a more personal level, when I do finally shuffle off (quietly, as I would), I would hope not to leave people with regrets.  Life is too short to worry about what might have been, or what you could have done or said differently. So, anyone who knows me, you may bestow all your love on me now.

That is beautiful.  Some people have a desire to meet someone, maybe from film, theatre or politics. Is there any particular person you would want to see or meet in person? 

George Clooney – in my en suite the morning after the night before (a girl can dream, can’t she?).  Seriously? Stephen Fry. He’s an incredibly intelligent person and someone who I think would talk openly and honestly about mental illness, in particular a disorder that many people simply don’t understand and is often misdiagnosed.  Sometimes a little understanding goes a long way to helping those people close to and around us who might suffer in silence.

Excellent choice. Actually, excellent choices. So, given that you are a real go-getter are there any other activities or skills you still want to learn or try out?

I mentioned my little mountain climbing expedition earlier. It was actually more mountain walking in Snowdonia with a bit of abseiling thrown in (I needed the experience for one of my books: A Little Bit of Madness – released Feb 14).  I enjoyed the abseiling aspect (throwing myself backwards down a rock-face.  Yes, I am a little bit mad!) so much, I would love to have another bash at it over a longer period.

On a more serious note, what do you think are the most important things you can ever do in your life to make it more fulfilled?

Smile! I know it sounds a bit of a cliché: ‘smile and the world smiles with you’ and all that.  I really do believe, though, that that simple little gesture, and one which costs nothing, can go a great way to brightening a grey day.  We all have our trials and tribulations in life, let’s face it.  You might be struggling with a problematic life event, but chances are the person you meet in the street/park/supermarket will be struggling with something too. Offer them a smile, why not? Bet your bottom dollar they’ll smile back – and everyone’s mood is just that little bit lighter.

You’ve succeeded in making me smile today, Sheryl. I could talk to you all week but time is running out. So, finally, and I’m expecting a good answer, what would you call your bucket list?

Chocks away?

Brilliant! Sheryl, it is always great to talk to you. You are an inspiration for us all. I’m just going to make that call to book all the loveahappyending team onto a group abseiling course.

Please leave a comment

  1. Sheryl Browne Says:

    Aww, thank you, Carol. I even sounded half-intelligent there! Maybe I’m not so scatty as I seem when it comes to knowing what I want to do! 🙂 xx

  2. Kit Domino Says:

    Was doing great until I saw that photo of the spider. You are certainly a braver woman than I. No way could I jump out of a plane unless I had to and no way would you ever find me near a spider let alone holding one. Hope you do get to meet George Clooney one day. Great post, ladies. 🙂

  3. Melanie Says:

    I don’t mind spiders – even tarantulas. I’ve held one of them albeit a long time ago. But, you would never catch me jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft. No way, no how… well, maybe if it was a choice of live or die.

    Loved the post! 🙂

  4. Nicky Wells Says:

    Love you ~ I hope George is taking the hint. I can just about deal with spiders but I can understand your fear and welcome for overcoming it, you rock. Now if I could just do the same with wasps… I might need the name of your therapist! X Great feature, ladies!

  5. Carol Wyer Says:

    Couldn’t have ended with a nicer interviewee. Love ya Sheryl and all of you. xx

  6. Emma Calin Says:

    I have been frightened of spiders since I was a toddler – I used to call my father into the room in the middle of the night as I would have nightmares about them crawling on the curtains. I still wake up in a cold sweat a couple of times a year thinking there is one crawling on my face. I take my hat off to you Sheryl – perhaps I need the number of your therapist?

  7. kimatsafkhet Says:

    somehow, we are going to have to get George out there to shake your hand. I mean, how hard can it be? You are fearless, your are brilliant, you are funny and I happen to know that Mr. Clooney likes to smile, too!
    I’m on it…

  8. Sheryl Browne Says:

    Yay! Thanks, Kim! And if you could just get him to pose for my next cover, too… Tell him I promise NOT to ravish him. I’ll just smile – a lot! 🙂 🙂 xx

  9. Sheryl Browne Says:

    Thanks for all you lovely comments, guys! 🙂 xx

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