Lorna is a free spirit – she makes up her own mind about how to live life and the choices she makes. It’s important to her to be ‘independently minded and not necessarily think what everyone else does’. She’s come to prize this independence and freedom highly, particularly when acknowledging that ‘you don’t always have control over your decisions.’
In connection with this, I also see Lorna as an intrepid explorer. She’s extremely well-travelled, having lived and worked overseas, including in Africa. Discovering the world has brought her much satisfaction: ‘I always feel very alive when I’m travelling.’
As a friend, Lorna is one of the most loyal and reliable people I know. It’s something, when prompted, she sees in herself: ‘I would always stick up for my friends – I’m unlikely to walk away.’ I’ve always been struck by Lorna’s strong sense of tolerance and generosity. She speaks up for what she feels is right, and for those who get a rough deal. She’s inspired by ‘people who are prepared to stand up and put their head above the parapet rather than going with the flow’.
People are indeed at the centre of Lorna’s world – she devotes much time, energy and thought to maintaining relationships. And she’s in her element when simply hanging out and having a good time with friends – especially over a good meal and a ‘nice glass of white wine!’.
Counterbalancing her free-spirited side, Lorna recognises that ‘there is also an achievement element in me, too.’ But, crucially, ‘not at any cost’. One of her heroes, Marjorie Scardino, embodies this well – she successfully led a FTSE 100 company, but ‘did it with integrity’. So while Lorna seeks outward success in her career, ultimately her hopes for the future come down to this: ‘I just hope I’m happy.’ I’d second that wish.
‘I don’t feel bound by conventions. If I want to do something
that happens to be unconventional, I’ll do it.’
How I know Lorna
In our final year together at University, Lorna’s room was below mine, and she often used to pop up for a cuppa and a chat. She would herself admit that it was that way round (her visiting me and not vice versa) as my room was, shall we say, somewhat tidier than hers. (I hasten to add that this is as much a dig at my own obsessive-compulsive tendencies as at her messiness, and she’s changed a lot since!) What hasn’t changed – and I’m glad of it – is Lorna’s loyalty, reliability and warm-heartedness, along with her quick wit and delightful malapropisms!
Lorna chose for her filmed interview not to be shown publicly