In her working life Lizzie was a librarian with a love of poetry, especially the old kind. When she worked as one of the librarians at the Scottish Poetry Library (from 1993 until 2017) she had the good fortune to be given the opportunity to compile several anthologies, including Beneath Troubled Skies: Poems of Scotland at war 1914-1918 (Polygon/SPL, 2015). This furthered her interest in the First World War, and led to several other WWI projects, and to a deep attachment to the war poets. Now retired and spending most of her time on gardening and grandchildren, she is always happy to open her books of poetry again and return to old fascinations.
Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:
- Edinburgh is by far the longest I have stayed in one place. Before arriving here when I was 22, I had moved 10 times. (Military upbringing.)
- I was one of the few people who did the joint degree in Librarianship at the University of Strathclyde. They did away with it soon after.
- I’m an armchair traveller – I would love to go places, but only as long as I’m back in time for tea.
- My brown hair is real – I’ve never had to colour it.
What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?
40. I was in my prime, you know.
Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?
The Rev. Septimus Harding, the Warden, from Trollope’s novel of that title, especially as played by Donald Pleasance in the 1980s BBC Barchester Chronicles. A good man.
You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?
I consider my pile of photograph albums to be one possession, so it would be them. They are in a cupboard by the back door expressly for the purpose of throwing them out quickly in case of fire.
What’s your favourite creative pastime?
Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.
I drink whisky.