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Favourite things: Monica Loughman

Baby photograph Everybody tells you motherhood is going to be difficult and I was expecting it to be a real slog.

But nobody ever explained to me how, when you make a life, getting up -- even 20 times -- at night, isn't a problem. As an artist I was quite self-involved, but since I've had Damien, I've mellowed. I'm also the happiest I've ever been.

Babygro I'm small, and stayed tiny, even when I was pregnant; so everyone was shocked when I gave birth to such a huge baby! Damien was nine pounds six ounces. The only thing that fitted him was this Superman babygro.

Ring My mother left me this Alexandrite ring, which was her prized possession. It's a very rare Egyptian stone, which changes colour in the sun; and although I love it, I never wear it -- you have to have nice hands, and mine are horrible. I'm keeping it for the day I have a manicure!

Perfume People can get it so wrong when they're buying presents for you, but when my Russian friends gave me this bottle of Armani Code, they got it so right.

Mirror I don't buy stuff for myself, as most of the money I have goes back into my work; but when I spotted this art deco mirror, I couldn't take my eyes off it. When I got back to the car, the mirror was sitting in the back seat. Even though I hadn't said anything, my fiance, Robert, had bought it for me, making it even more special.

The Irish Ballerina I wrote this book in order to get all those memories out of my head, so I could create room for new ones. While it's pretty watered down, it's still not what people expect from ballet.

Passport We in Europe take it for granted how freely we can travel around. However, my fiance is Russsian and I see how difficult it is for him to get into different countries. Thanks to my passport I've visited Russia and other amazing places.

Tutu Designed for a photoshoot for Allianz (my sponsors), no ballet had ever used a tutu in such colours. That was until three Russian ballerinas saw it hanging in the dressing room and decided to make copies.

Ballet shoes Even before I took my first ballet class, aged four, I had these dance pumps, which are more like house slippers, with their hippy design and now dirty blue ribbons. When I'd outgrown them, my mother tried to give them to my Irish ballet teacher, who handed them straight back to her, saying: "One day, Monica will be famous, and you'll get big money for these." At the time, I'd no plans to do what I'm doing now, yet here I am.

Ballerina statue This was a present from my Russian dance partner, who bought it to say thank you. It was very thoughtful of him, since all I was only expecting a bottle of wine! It's worth going that extra mile for people, because people do appreciate it.


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