Clair’s Clan : Elsbeth Gelissen



My guest today is Elsbeth Gelissen. We have been friends for a short while on Facebook but I feel we are going to be friends for a long time, as we get on so well and have done from the very start. Thank you for answering my questions Elsbeth.

1. Will you tell us a little about yourself. Please include a picture if you wish.

I am a single 45 year old, working at the local university (non-scientific staff). Twenty years ago I graduated as a botanical archaeologist. Although I am not working as such I am still fascinated with how ordinary people lived through the ages – not just the rich and famous -  the little histories, seeing what remains of their daily lives, and what that can tell us.

2. Where do you live? Tell us what you like about your town or city?

I live in Leiden, the Netherlands. Originally I am from the south of the Netherlands, a little town just above Maastricht. I love living in Leiden because of its rich heritage and history (the Spaniards laid siege to the town in 1573 and every year on October 3 the town still celebrates its liberation in 1574…); and it is very close to other major cities like Amsterdam and The Hague.

3. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

I am quite happy where I live but someday I would love to move back again to the area around Maastricht, it is rural (I am not a city girl at heart), great people speaking the same language/dialect I still dream in (i.e. not Dutch). If not in the Netherlands I would love to live in the Scandinavian countries or Scotland

4. What do you do in your spare time?

I absolutely love reading so I spend a lot of time doing that. Close second is patchwork/quilting which I prefer to do by hand, not the machine. I love the process of choosing the fabric, finding or creating the pattern, piecing it together by hand. I also like long distance walks!

5. What sort of books do you prefer?

I like reading many different kinds of stories, (historical) murder mysteries, fantasy, romances, and biographies. But I prefer reading PNR, UF and erotic romances.

6. If you could have only one book, which one would it be and why?

The Lord of the Rings by J.J.R. Tolkien. I love the story lines, the way his language flows, the world/mythology he created. I keep rereading it, every time finding new little details I love.

7. Which fictional character would you like to be?

I can’t think of anyone at the moment.

8. What is your pet hate?

I can’t stand people who judge people (or worse) just because they are different from them or what they themselves believe to be ‘normal’.

9. What quality do you most admire in a person?

Compassion and integrity.

10. What is your favourite time of the year and why?

I love the wintertime, the earth is asleep, dormant, waiting, and the light is beautiful, golden and soft, almost caressing everything it touches, highlighting the muted colours and I LOVE snow (just not in April please). For me the days getting shorter is a time to go inward, waiting for that joyful burst of spring to come!


1. A place you have always wanted to visit.

Pole Circle to see the Northern Lights.

2. Favourite meal.

Homemade pizza.

3. Best place to take a first time date.

Having dinner together.

4. Most memorable moment in your life.

Becoming an aunt to two wonderful nephews and being present at the birth of my best friend’s daughter.

5. Most embarrassing moment.

Can’t think of one at the moment

6. Favourite room in your house.

My living room where I read and patch.

7. A TV programme you never miss.


8. A real person living or dead you wish you could meet.

My grandfather (my mother’s father) who passed away far too young in 1963

9. Superstitious?


10. Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

No, when in a relationship I liked celebrating days special to us, not an arbitrary date in February.

Thank you again for answering my questions and letting us learn more about you, take care Clair

About admin

Born in South Yorkshire, now retired and recently taken to writing novels. I am married with a grown up family and four beautiful grandchildren. I love Heavy Metal and play it loudly around the house. I love sewing and reading and hate ironing and gardening. I swim twice a week and spend some hours of every day writing
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