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All the best: Julie Andrews on her favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 07/11/2016

Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews

The 45-year-old is the director of the Linenhall Library and lives in Belfast.

My best moment

In the year 2000 I was on holiday in India and I found myself sitting on a bench outside the Taj Mahal at sunrise. I remember thinking to myself back then that it was a pretty good place to be. It has been hard to top that one.

My best song

Rebel Yell by Billy Idol - you can tell I'm a child of the Eighties. It's been my favourite song since I was a teenager - this track was a little bit rebellious and quirky when all the other music around seemed to be by boybands.

My best way to relax

It's very simple - I have a little dog called Benji and I spend my time taking him out for walks to clear away the cobwebs.

My best job

Obviously it's the job I have now - I've been here for three-and-a-half years. How could anyone get a better job than heading up a 228-year-old institution that's such an iconic part of the history of Belfast. It's such a prestigious place to work and you don't now what's going to happen from one day to the next. I'm the person who makes sure the library is still here tomorrow. I have a background in business so I've worked in all sorts of different industries . Before I came here I managed the Spectrum Centre on the Shankill Road in Belfast.

My best advice

When one door closes it's shut. I'm a great person for looking for opportunities and I prefer to be looking forward instead of back. It's a philosophy I've collected along the way, I don't think anyone gave it to me.

My best gift

On my 40th birthday my mum gave me my granny's engagement and wedding rings because she wanted me to get them in nice circumstances instead of after someone had passed away. She thought a birthday was a nice time to receive them.

My best movie

I like action movies so one of my all-time favourite films is Gladiator. It's an action film but it has a bit of history in it, too. The other one I really like is The Usual Suspects - I see something different in it every time I watch it.

My best achievement

Again this is holiday-related. I went to South Africa a few years ago and even though I'm very scared of heights I managed to climb to the top of Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town. You can see for miles from up there. I just decided to do it because when I'm on holiday I want to see and do everything that I possibly can.

My best buy

That's a recent one - I have quite a sedentary job and I realised I needed to move more so I bought a Fitbit fitness tracker in July. It's now making me do 10,000 steps a day and making me aware of how sedentary I can be. Even though I have a dog and take him out for walks I'm not actually very fit. I was much lazier before, but now I'm constantly making an effort as to how many steps I've done. I even find myself going for a quick walk at lunchtime whereas before I would eat lunch at my desk. I wouldn't say I'm getting much fitter, but I am being less sedentary.

My best book

I am a massive reader so it's very hard to choose a best book. I tend to favour ones that I'm reading or have just read so right now it's The Godfather by Mario Puzo. I jump around reading everything from the classics to contemporary fiction. One of the great things about the library being in the centre of town is that there's no parking, so we all take public transport. That gives me the time to have my head in a book to and from work each day.

Belfast Telegraph

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