What has been the highlight of your year so far?
Getting shown around Los Angeles by my 19-year-old daughter, Raqel. Shared time with her is very precious.
What is your favourite Durban restaurant, shop and mall?
I don’t have a favourite restaurant, but Sprigs, Bellevue Cafe, Market, Aubergine, Cake and Satay are all great. Shop? I love The Space. Mall? Gateway.
The movie you most enjoyed in the past 12 months? And your favourite film of all time?
I enjoyed Inception. I really got absorbed by it. My all-time fave is Pulp Fiction.
What album is currently in your CD player and why? Sufjan Stevens’s The Age of Adz. It is really quirky and multi layered. Sufjan is a very accomplished musician who started out as more of a singer-songwriter, and has experimented with different albums, this one being his most “out there”. It has lots of electric instruments mixed with traditional ones.
What is your most cherished album of all time?
Neil Young’s Harvest Moon.
How do you keep fit?
Walking (almost running) my Italian greyhounds twice a day, and also doing very specific orthopaedic exercises.
The things you think make South Africa great?
The awesome spirit of the people and how so many South Africans have a great sense of entrepreneurship. Also, the diversity of our vegetation and beaches, as well as the mountains and quirky places.
What is the word or phrase you most overuse?
“Ja” and “shame”.
One thing about yourself that you would love to change?
My procrastination! I would achieve so much more if I could get over my procrastinating perfectionism.
How and where did you celebrate your last birthday? And when is your birthday?
I was in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, and went to our favourite Italian restaurant there called Fiamma. My birthday is on August 29.
Dream holiday? And with whom if it could be a fantasy date?
A place where there are lots of trees, a beach with a river running into it, and a dry-heat climate, as well as great fresh ingredients for food. I would want lots of time for books and magazines. I’d be happy to go with my immediate family – Glen, Raqel and Ethan – as we do not get enough time together.
If you could be an animal what would it be?
A thoroughbred racehorse. It was my upbringing, with my dad being a racehorse trainer. It is known as the Sport of Kings and brings back incredible memories. Horses are just the most iconic animals – such speed, aerodynamic strength and beauty.
Personalities you most admire and why?
Nelson Mandela, for his patience and integrity. And my mom, Marlene Laird, for her sense of empathy and her non-judgmental and loving nature.
Six things you truly love? And six things you detest?
I love coffee, fudge, any cake (but not mixed with fruit), integrity, patience and kindness. I detest racism, manipulation, aggression, green pepper, cucumber and mango.
Favourite actor, actress, author, singer, band and TV show?
I really don’t have favourites when it comes to entertainment – and I never watch TV.
Three things you have to do before you die?
Travel to Zanzibar, Peru and Osaka.
What are you reading at the moment?
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan.
Your three favourite cities?
Tokyo, for the design aesthetic. And New York, for great coffee, great shops, innovative restaurants and fascinatingly “way-out-there” people. Also Los Angeles, for areas like Silverlake with coffee shops like LaMill and Intelligensia. And all around the city are little pockets of retail, with phenomenal clothing, homeware and shoe stores.
Some things about yourself that most people don’t know?
My first choice for a career was drama. I would really love to be able to play a musical instrument. I would like to be taller. I can squint very well – especially with one eye only. - The Mercury