Conversation Starters with Peggy
Sometimes, to get the ball rolling in my interviews with Peggy, I would ask her a few simple questions and she would respond with the first thing off the top of her head. She seemed to enjoy the process.
Some of these conversation starters made it into the book, but here’s a bunch that didn’t.
What most encourages you?
Having given a good Alexander lesson.
…least encourages you?
I’m not least encouraged!
What do you most enjoy about teaching?
How good it makes me feel.
And what do you least enjoy about teaching?
I don’t least enjoy.
What are the pet peeves about being interviewed?
[Laughing.] Being asked silly questions!
What kind of things bore you?
Jokes on television [laughing] and silly conversations!
And what excites you?
The idea of a wonderful, beautiful meal, lovely wines, and things like that.
What were your favorite subjects when you were in school?
Didn’t have one!
What makes you feel whole?
What makes you feel fragmented?
Not being well, and not being able to lead my usual life.
What makes you want to scream?
Nothing, ‘cause I wouldn’t put up with it.
You’re most interested in people who…?
[Laughing.] Are interested in me.
You’re least interested in people who…
[Laughing.] Don’t take any interest!
What fills you with longing?
What unsettles you?
If I have something to deal with taxes—that sort of thing I find terrifying. Or if by any chance I do anything naughty when I’m driving, but that very rarely happens, thank God.
What fills you with wonder?
When you see a very beautiful sunset or something in nature, and I can still remember from years ago when I was in Switzerland seeing this Dr. Bauer, and I used to live in a little village. And I came out one morning early and the sun was rising. And there were lots of trees. And it was just so beautiful. And you know, I said, ”Well, you’ll remember this all your life.” Funnily enough, I was thinking that this morning.
That’s my next question! What is the most beautiful place in the world?
Well, that was! Just that moment, though, because the actual village wasn’t [beautiful], but it was just seeing these trees. It was gorgeous.
What gives you a cheap thrill?
Betting on the horses?
No, it gives me an expensive thrill! [Laughing.]
What brings you joy?
Well, just being here and thinking of all the good things that happened to me. But then there’s always that slight feeling I’ve got to cross my fingers. I think how good things are, but you never know when you’re going to be smacked.
What do you wonder about? Anything?
Complete this sentence: “I am most concerned about…”
At this moment or generally?
Whatever comes to your mind.
Well, at this moment I’m most concerned about plans for Christmas. But apart from that, I’m not, no.
Are you concerned about the state of the world at all?
It’s too big a thing for me to take on.
“I no longer care if…”
Well, I no longer care if people think badly of me when I know that I’m not bad. At one time that used to be a quite big thing.
“I wonder if I will ever learn…”
I’m sure there must be things I ought to learn! But I don’t know what they are! [Laughing.] Well, not to throw my penny away on the horses!
“I’m glad that I never…”
Remarried again. Very glad.
What tries your patience?
Nothing. I think I’d step away if I felt something was.
“I’d like it if…but I’m not holding my breath…”
Win a lot of money on the horses. [Laughing.] Love it.
What makes you think you’re unusual?
Just being me!
What makes others think you’re unusual?
People here think I’m rather unusual because they think I do this peculiar therapy.
What makes you unique?
“I would still like to…”
[Laughing.] Win on a horse!
Remedy for a sore back?
Lying on the floor.
Remedy for a cold?
Remedy for a headache?
Just lying down and being still—certainly not taking aspirin.
Remedy for a broken heart?
Don’t know about that…. Just living and going on with life. I don’t think my heart gets broken; it’s just very tender at times.
What’s your favorite meal of the day?
’Cause the day’s over…?
What’s your favorite food?
Pasta. I love pasta.
What’s your favorite holiday?
That I’ve had? Honeymoon.
Thank you very much.
Your favorite age?
My favorite age? Now!