What’s the best thing about your hometown?
I was born in Berkshire (home to Kate Middleton our humble, ordinary girl-made Royal princess and a long line of British heritage).
The actress Kate Winslet is another proud icon as well as the ever so funny Ricky Gervais. His accent is a true born-and-bread Berkshire one for sure! (A tad ‘farmerish’ you may say).
Berkshire holds many annual great events, Royal Ascot, Henley Regatta & the Reading Festival to name just a few. Watching the guards march through the town was always a treat and my son, Zach loves to watch their daily parade when we travel home for family visits.
Growing up in the vicinity of Windsor was truly special as a child. I used to love to spot the Royal flag blowing in the wind, signalling that the queen was in residence. We enjoyed all the county had to offer from horse riding to clay pigeon shooting over rolls of hills (space and freedom which is rare these days).
Fortunately, Berkshire is wonderfully green with stunning woodlands. My father owns a stately home ‘out in the sticks’ with a farm next door. Growing up in the Berkshire countryside seemed quite isolating as a teenager; As soon as I found work in London after college, I was out of there! Yet the funny thing is I couldn’t think of anything more magical now for myself and my growing boy brood.
If you could be any age what would you be?
There are definite years that are more poignant than others. At the age of 19 was when I started to travel independently and live life to the fullest. 19 is too young, though; I wouldn’t go there again, (we know very little about forthcoming challenges at this vulnerable age).
35 was great fun as I felt I’d accomplished more than I had ever expected. I’ve married my soul mate, had our two children, travelled the world and lived abroad for many years experiencing other cultures and life away from England. On top of that, we’ve already started a few businesses.
Honestly.. As most women would sincerely say; I’m truly content being the age I am now. At 39 (‘almost 40′) I would like to speak for all and add that women feel the most comfortable in their skin around this age – Yes, bodily parts may have gone a little south along with the story telling laughter lines that start to appear, but in all most of us wouldn’t go back to a certain age – especially not myself. Being the age that I am now, having just grown my second son in my belly gives me an essence of complete contentment, joy and happiness.
“We’re as old as we feel” they say – But I honestly wouldn’t change a thing – (other than a nip and tuck if my maternally maturing body doesn’t recover from the glorious signs of another pregnancy – Joking!) it’s nothing the treadmill can’t fix I’m sure.
What’s the strangest thing you believed as a child?
That’s a tricky one. Probably that the Incredible Hulk was real and that at any moment a stranger in Sainsbury’s could engulf into a giant green muscle monster at any time! (This is one our children may relate to). Also that the tooth fairy wasn’t real because I never saw her, (regardless of one eye open during my sleep and hiding my still slightly bloody tooth in my hand!)
What is something about yourself that you hope will change but probably never will?
My infatuation with beauty products; it gets expensive, but being a beautician does reap its benefits when it comes to complimentary samples at times!
That I’m a natural over-thinker, I analyse everything that happens in my life. I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason and that we learn from all of life’s experiences. Being a spiritual person, I try to accept that destiny is destiny!
What are the things you love doing most with your children?
I’m a creative individual. As a child, I’d spend hours playing with Sindy & Barbie dolls, creating fashion shows and decorating the uber stylish dolls homes.
Now it’s a little different; building camps and Lego forts. Fortunately, my son Zach (who’s 7) loves to bake and practice art-and-crafts which I just love. We’ve had many messy years of fun creating personalised cards and gifts for friends and family including the typical hand-and-foot print for Christmas cards!
I personally get a great sense of satisfaction enjoying activities with my son – Zach and I are constantly being creative – even with incentive reward charts. (Most of the rewards are about being active and artistic).
Having quality time with your children is vital, it’s very easy in our busy schedules to take our children somewhere spectacular, especially in Dubai where there is so much on offer for children but instead, I prefer to practice a physical activity. Being present in a mother and child activity and even several rounds of Uno is super fun.
What’s your all-time favourite town or city and why?
Ask that question to anyone and they’re bound to think of a few. Can I give you three?!
London (hands-down) London has history, class, theatre, the best dining & fashion and art in the world. I’m very proud to be British.
George Town, Grand Cayman Islands, as it was my home for almost a decade.
I’m an avid diver so this one of three tiny islands nestled in the Caribbean ocean ticked all the boxes for me in my twenties. The tax-free haven and British colony has the most serene and spectacular waters on earth. Plus, my dearest girlfriends for life still reside there, with their families. It’s a place that will always have a huge piece of my heart & soul, and I hope to retire there one day.
Florence. Less hectic, densely populated & commercial than Venice or Paris but it is quaintly picturesque and flourishing with art and culture.
Oh, and one more – Palma Mallorca! It contains 20 years of happy memories for me there and I intend on living there permanently one day also.
What do you consider unforgivable?
For my sons to get married one day and forget about their mother. I could forgive just about anything as all humans make mistakes and shouldn’t be on punished for eternity.
Who is your role model?
Mother Teresa. She was the most generous giver of all time, a soul filled nurturer & mother to the world. I believe anyone can birth a child and be a MUM, but it takes utter commitment and unconditional loyal love to be a mother.
What is your pet hate?
People that “cham” at the dining table. (Those that unnecessarily open & close their mouth’s excessively while eating).
The ultrasonic cleaning thing at the dental hygienist.
Trying to sleep with cold feet (but thankfully that’s not a frequent problem in the desert).
Little boys picking their noses, (but with two, I’d better get used to that one!)
Hate to say it, but it’s an obvious one coming from a brow technician (ladies please don’t become paranoid) but unruly eyebrows that could be tamed & groomed to total perfection in one sitting!
What do you find yourself singing a lot?
Current radio chart music as Zach’s obsessed! How do kids learn the words so quickly? It astonishes me!
One can never resist a little Dolly Parton for a ‘feel good factor’ & Fleetwood Mac while driving. My mother had a super talent with singing and as a child, we used to belt out all the best country music America had to offer; artists from Tammy Wynette to Miss Dynamite. Rocking around the Christmas tree sound familiar?!
My son said the ’80’s was the best era for music the other day (aged 7)! Personally, I prefer the classics of the 60’s-70’s. I’m not a fan of the 90’s even though that was my era!
What’s a skill you’d love to have?
To make clothes and save millions.
Which 3 famous people would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Elizabeth Taylor, because the British actress, businesswoman and humanitarian divulges class, glamour and a fascinating life of dramatic love.
Charles Darwin, because I’d love to hear his personal theory of evolution around the dinner table.
Oprah Winfrey, not because of her celebrity stardom, but because she is an icon and one of the most inspirational women of our generation.