1) What is love and why is it important?
Love is a many splendoured thing, multi-faceted and sparkly. There's different kinds of love, of course - I don't feel the same way about Alex as I do about Mum or Cassie, but I love them all dearly. Perhaps the thing they all have in common is wanting to make the other persons life better, wanting to shelter them from bad stuff and keep them safe. It's important because it's a big part of making my life enjoyable and worth having. No-one wants to be alone, without love of any sort. It gives you people to think about beyond yourself as well, which can help make you a better person.
That all feels a bit incoherent, but that's another important thing about love. I can't write about it properly :)
2) What would you say is the defining moment of your life, one that makes you what you are today
That's a tricky one to pin down too. Perhaps not a moment, but an event was falling in love with Alex. Over the time we've been together, he's given me bags of confidence in myself and taught me to be comfortable with the idea of being loved. He's also been someone I've had lots of deep conversations with which has really helped me to think through and flesh out my beliefs and philosophies. A related event was coming to Oxford University - I did a lot of developing over my university years which has made me the sort of person I am today.
3) If you had to give up one of your hobbies/interests, which would you choose and why? Inversely, which couldn't you give up?
Tricky. I've almost given up riding anyway - there's not really any stables I can reach easily without a car - so I suppose I can't really count that. Could I give up going to meetings of the speculative fiction group but still go to the parties? If not, perhaps embroidery. I do enjoy sitting down with something good on the radio and a piece of cross-stitch, but I have to be in the mood and it takes so long to finish things! I have wussed out a little here as all the things I've mentioned I already do less than I used to but I can't think of anything else I could give up. I definitely could never give up reading or music (listening and playing) - I'd just go nuts. I'd find it really hard to give up web-whacking or programming too - there's something really satisfying about making it all come out the way you wanted it to.
4) What do you think your favourite animal says about you
Well, my favourite animal is a cat and I have often been told, particularly by my boyfriend that I am very cat-like. In a good way, not catty meaning bitchy. I purr when stroked and wriggle around when you tickle my tummy :) I also can be pretty self-centred and I'm not always willing to put myself out too much for others which I think of as a pretty cat like attribute. I like to think of myself as self-sufficient, which is true in most ways if not in all (see 1). If I was a cat, I'd be one of those ones who jumps on your lap and demands to be stroked all the time. Alex calls me minou, which is French for pussy-cat (and not pussy, as I once told someone!).
5) What is the exact function of a rubber duck? And where does this question come from
I've often wondered about this myself. I think it's mostly ornamental, like those little china statuettes people have in their living rooms. Although I suppose it does make a nice addition to the pond in winter to stop the water from freezing over :) As to where the question comes from, I can only assume you've got a naughty suggestion you're dying to tell us :P