My mother is not a model. She is not perfect. That awareness is part of learning to love someone. Predicting the actions of someone is an act of love. We persist, even when we get it wrong. That's the beauty of love.
Six is the hardest number for me to experience, the smallest. It's the absence of something - it's cold, dark, almost like a black hole. If someone tells me they are depressed, I might imagine myself in the hole of a six to help me empathise.
How any person decides to emphasize strengths and mitigate weaknesses is something people have to figure out for themselves. I'm wary of the self-help literature that suggests there are certain rules. I'm very happy for people to look at my story and say it's possible to achieve many things.
There are always things I find difficult - being in crowds, remembering faces. I do like routines. I always travel with someone. My life in Avignon is a very quiet one. I have an apartment that looks over the whole city. I can drop into town, but a lot of the time I write from home. In some respects I still live a very quiet, simple life.
I know from my own experience that there is much more to 'intelligence' than an IQ number. In fact, I hesitate to believe that any system could really reflect the complexity and uniqueness of one person's mind, or meaningfully describe the nature of his or her potential.
My family supported me. I wasn't hot-housed at all as a young child; I didn't go to any kind of gifted school. They didn't exist in the very poor parts of England when I grew up in the 1980s. I had a great time to learn, had access to libraries and teachers who were patient and enthusiastic when I showed ability in some subjects.