Jeanette also tries to engage and participate in the institutions and communities around her, and she currently sits on the UEA Council and the board of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. Although these are not remunerated posts, Jeanette feels these roles are more about giving time and expertise and trying to make a difference. She is passionate about seeing her home county thrive and be successful. She also wants to see women’s lives become easier; there is still a huge burden of childcare and elder care. Every winter Jeanette dreams of emigrating to somewhere warmer and sunnier, and she wonders if she’ll ever have the courage to do something big in her life.
Describe yourself in three words? Resilient, busy, reflective.
What was your first job? Paper round aged 12, after that an Avon round, then waitressing in a beefeater restaurant (in a full Beefeater outfit).
What frustrates you? Laziness, selfishness, snobbery and people who talk and don’t listen. Lack of time to do everything.
How do you spend your leisure time? There’s not much of it, but I like to go to the driving range, swim (the water needs to be warm) and watch live sport, theatre or music.
What’s your favourite television programme? I don’t have one, but I did love binging on And Just Like That and Clarkson’s Farm. I watch BBC Breakfast every morning whilst I am getting ready, it gives me a snapshot of what’s happening in the world.
What’s your favourite food? Chicken pad thai or halloumi, avocado and tomato salad; more important is who I am eating with and where.
What food do you hate? Celery, liver, wasabi!
What is your biggest weakness? Being judgemental and impatient.
Where are you happiest? In Sorrento watching the sun set over the sea in the shadow of Vesuvius, or in my back garden in the summer.
What was the first record you bought? I can’t remember, but I do remember taping Top Of The Pops every week and holding a microphone to the television.
At school, what were you good at? English and I loved history (still do). I also enjoyed drama and dreamed of being a news presenter.
What one material thing could you not do without? My iPhone, there is so much you can do with it these days. Also makeup: you’ll never see me without it!
You’d go to a fancy-dress party as? Agnetha Faltskog from ABBA. I adore their songs.
What poster did you have on your bedroom wall as a child? David Essex.
How many attempts before you passed your driving test? One. I was the first in my sixth form at the time to take my test. The test centre was 200 yards from the school gate and the next day I was able to drive to school and take some friends home for lunch. It was life changing to be able to get about so easily under my own steam.