Queen Mother Of The Month
PEOPLE: JAMES WILKINSON
Each month we will be bringing you some of the wit and wisdom from some of the most important ladies in our lives - our mums. And who better to be our first QMOTM than the beloved mother of our very own Editor-in-Chief. Q & C sits down for a cuppa and a natter with Mary Wilkinson.
Q&C: Tell me what is it like to have a gay son?
MW: Fabulous, and never a dull moment!
Q&C: Tell us about your home town. What did you most like and dislike?
MW: I'm originally from Altrincham, which is said to date back to eighth century AD, a Saxon settler's hamlet called Old Tring's Ham. Altrincham has the friendliest people. It is also fast becoming one of Greater Manchester's most exciting foodie destinations (www.altrinchammarket.co.uk). There's nothing to dislike.
Q&C Dogs or cats?
MW: Most definitely dogs. Especially Tibetan Terriers. Our furry friend and trusty companion is Mabel. She was bred by Neil Smith, who was the proud owner of the 2007 Supreme Crufts Champion 'Fabulous Willy'. (www.henleybankkennels.co.uk). When I was a child, we did have the unusual experience of an aunt visiting with a monkey. But that's another story!
Q&C: You married a rugby player? Game nights must have been fun?
MW: I did notice his muscular thighs in those tight fitting rugby shorts! Rugby club evenings were certainly memorable with lots of raucous parties.
Q&C: What is your favourite pastime?
MW: Cooking hearty food and eating with family and friends. My current favourite recipes are; Indonesian marinated chicken with roast sweet potatoes & peppers and Blueberry Butter Cake, both from the Books for Cooks range www.booksforcooks.com
Q&C: What has life taught you so far?
MW: Always be positive.
Q&C: Let's talk Instagram. Am I right in saying you have a fast growing following?
MW: I may have after this. I'm fairly new to Instagram and prefer it to Facebook. You can connect to so many like-minded people just through one hash-tag.
Q&C: We both share a passion for shoes. What warrants an online click for a new pair?
MW: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.
Q&C: What books are you reading at the moment?
MW: I've just finished reading I See You by Claire Mackintosh, a psychological thriller which kept me gripped all the way through with a surprising twist at the end. I'm about to start a non-fiction recommendation, The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan.
Q&C: What invaluable piece of advice have you been given that you'd like to share with our readers?
MW: Sometimes it's a challenge but, 'See the best in everyone!'
Q&C: You went on your favourite yearly jaunt to Dunster in Somerset again this summer. What was your highlight?
MW: A good friend's 60th birthday celebration at the famous Luttrell Arms, a great venue www.luttrellarms.co.uk And of course, never to be missed, dinner at the award winning Reeves Restaurant www.reevesrestaurantdunster.co.uk
- divine food cooked by owner/chef Justin Reeves and the very best front of house service and always the warmest welcome from Claire Reeves.
Q&C: We heard rumours that 'Princess' Mabel won prettiest bitch on the beach?
MW: Yes, it was the Somerset renowned 'Dunster Beach Dog Show'. Mabel won first prize in the Prettiest Bitch category. She absolutely nailed it! It was just a case of turning up.
Q&C: Tell us what sports and activities you like most and why?
MW: I love our annual ski holiday, usually to The French Alps. This is an activity I would highly recommend people try, even starting when you're over fifty. It's great exercise in the clean mountain air. When you get the sunshine also, you can't beat stretching out in a deckchair with a vin chaud and a view that feels like the top of the world.
Q&C: What has surprised you most about your gay son's life? Be nice!
MW: How easy it is to be accepting of his lifestyle choice and how it has enriched our lives. He has met and has the most caring and supportive friends and acquaintances.
Q&C: Where in the world is on your bucket list to visit and why?
MW: Canada - to ski. Bermuda - to sail, swim and sunbath. China - to see the sights and visit my good friend Lucy Liu.
Q&C: You have a passion for interior design. Can you tell us more?
MW: It's important my home is comfortable, well designed and easy to live in, but pleasing to the eye. I like to think of it as an evolving project, growing with me, making subtle but continuous changes, such as on trend colours and occasionally adding a new piece of furniture or accessories for an eclectic mix.
Q&C: Creatively, what's your next challenge?
MW: To give Theresa May a makeover.