“I first became aware of it at school and especially at exam time. I’d be out in this red rash and the other kids would be saying ‘Eeow!’
“It does affect your confidence but it’s just one of those things and you learn to live with it,” says the Dubliner.
Claudia uses steroid creams for a week or two at a time.
“All they’ll do is keep it at bay. These creams are a ferocious price. I’ve found a new hemp cream which is really good and isn’t very expensive. Concealer is wonderful too!”
Aged 44 , Claudia’s latest book, A Very Accidental Love Story, is about a busy and stressed newspaper editor, who decides when she turns 30 to have a baby.
My job’s very sedentary. When I’m editing a book, I go at it very hard. Whole days go by when I’m sitting at my desk from 7am to 3pm. I’m a member of the local gym — the best gym for anyone is the nearest one because you’re more likely to go. I go four or five times a week.
I’m not supposed to eat gluten. My mother calls this a Celtic Tiger disease. I feel better when I’m not eating bread — I have more energy and am less bloated.
Flax seed oil bread is great. Switching to rice cakes has also helped.
But do I get my five a day? No, I don’t, though I’m pretty good with fruit, which I eat in the mornings. I try to eat one vegetable a day.
In the evening, I try to get a bit of broccoli or asparagus into me.
Chocolate — I get into a bad mood if I don’t eat any.
I’m an insomniac — particularly if I’m over-tired, working very hard or stressed, which I can be if I’m up against a deadline.
Going for a four- or five-mile walk really helps.
I’d invite Michael Caine, who is a great raconteur, Peter Ustinov because I loved him on telly and Michael Parkinson because he would ask great questions. I’d also invite Graham Norton and Oscar Wilde.
I love lilies. The joke in my house is you wouldn’t always find food but there are always lilies.
Recently, watching the last half hour of The English Patient. I was in floods.
So much, but especially my psoriasis and I wish I had skin that tanned.
Lack of punctuality is my pet bugbear.
I wish I was more disciplined. I’m a bit of a procrastinator.
Yes, I do, particularly when I’m stressed or I have a book out. It’s a very Irish thing, to say ‘say a prayer’.
A trashy gossipy magazine and a bar of chocolate.