Diana is Deputy Director at Somerset House, a creative community where contemporary culture is imagined, made and presented in a historic setting. Somerset House welcomes over three million visitors each year, but is also home to London's largest cluster of creative enterprise, including Somerset House Studios. Previously Diana was Director of The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation, a community foundation bridging the gap between people living and working locally and charities and community groups through philanthropy, corporate engagement and volunteering. This followed thirteen years at live music producers Serious, whose work includes the annual London Jazz Festival. Much of Diana's focus was building partnership and facilitating international artistic collaborations.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A day spent visiting galleries and museums and discovering somewhere I haven't been before, followed by an evening of friends and feasting at home.
Which living person do you most admire?
The unsung heroes of our society. I have worked with some amazing charity workers and community project trailblazers at places like Venture Centre in North Kensington, who are making a positive difference to real lives every day for very little reward or recognition.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Fresh flowers. I feel incalculably better if there is a bunch of flowers in the house.
What is your current state of mind?
Impatient. There never feels enough time to fit everything in.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Temperance. I'm not sure moderation and self-restraint are always the best policy!
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I'm not sure about specific words or phrases, but I absolutely know that I vocalise most feelings by outbursts of (not necessarily tuneful) singing.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Musicianship. Working with some of the most incredible musicians has made me even more in awe.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
In general I'm a peace-maker and there are times when I'm sure I should be more confrontational.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Weaving a career that I truly love. Being lucky enough to have always enjoyed what I do and to work with people I admire and respect every day.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A seal or sea-lion. They always look completely blissful in the water.
Where would you most like to live?
I have spent a lot of time in the Peak District with my family and there's one very specific view there that I would love to wake up to every day.
What is your most treasured possession?
Perhaps my Smthyson travel journal that friends gave me for me 21st. It's bursting with memories.
What is your favorite occupation?
Plotting and planning some sort of event at home or work that's about bringing people together.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Optimism and dependability, those are the positive ones!
What do you most value in your friends?
The laughter and unerring support.
Who are your favorite writers?
Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Ben Okri, The last few years have been dominated by children's literature. I am going to miss it hugely when my children no longer want me to read to them and am certain I will continue to buy illustrated children's books! They are hard to resist.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Matilda. Roald Dahl creates the most plucky heroes.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My parents set the bar pretty high. I'm sure their relative youthfulness stems from the fact that they have so many different interests and are fundamentally interested in other people, as well as collecting a lifetime's worth of friends from across generations and backgrounds.
What is it that you most dislike?
Lack of kindness and consideration.
What is your greatest regret?
I have a very short term memory when it comes to regrets. Hopefully I learn from them, but then a move on. Life's too short.
What is your motto?
No man's an island.