Tuesday 1 March 2016
The Last Word – Fiona Kennedy Clarke OBE
My homes growing up…
My parents Anne and Calum Kennedy had a great flat in the west end of Glasgow when we were very little which I remember vividly having a huge bay window overlooking a quiet street.
My Dad’s grand piano took pride of place in the music room and there was a television on three legs in the corner with an aerial sitting on the top of it to get a signal! We then moved to Bearsden to a big old house which had a huge monkey puzzle tree in the front garden and I was convinced that fairies lived there! The house had rather flamboyant flock wallpaper in nearly every room. Ah those were the days!
We then moved to a farm in Aberdeenshire for a couple of years which couldn’t have been more different. I loved it there as we got to sit up high on the back of trailers carrying big bales of hay and run around fairly wild and free!
My father bought The Tivoli theatre in the city of Aberdeen so we moved into town where we went to school. As if we hadn’t moved enough, we moved back to a house in the west end of Glasgow which actually proved to be my favourite. It was in a leafy garden in the west end of Glasgow and full of character. I was a teenager by then so I could do exciting things like go to the scout club disco! Happy days!
At home I like to relax by…
Languishing in a ridiculously large bath which we bought when we first moved in to our old Gothic folly in Aberdeenshire 27 years ago and it has been the best thing ever. I love looking out of the window from the bath, while listening to the radio and watch birds fly in and out of the trees and squirrels going about their business. In May the trees are in full blossom which is spectacular. There is no better view from a bath and for me it’s heaven!
My taste at home is fairly traditional…
The house was built around 1800 and it’s a very comfortable, lived-in house. Our children haven’t known any other home. We’ve collected all sorts of things over the years from our travels, be it hand-carved African tables and lamps, to antique furniture mixed in with quirky pieces.
Whenever I suggest redecorating a room there’s an outcry from our now grown-up children who want our house to stay the way it’s always been!
I like to relax by…
Taking our four very lively Jack Russell terriers – Diva, Bridget, Bronco and Pee Wee for walks through the nearby woods – rain, hail or shine. In Aberdeenshire we can get all four seasons in half an hour! Our dogs love it regardless of the weather and I often find that when I walk, an idea for a song comes to mind, or even just a phrase or part of a tune.
My favourite room at home is…
The music room where I have my father’s old Bluthner grand piano. It’s a peaceful room with great light and big sash windows looking out on to lush greenery.
It has a fabulous marble and granite fireplace and there’s nothing better in the winter than to have the fire blazing, a drink of my daughter’s award-winning sparkling wine called Nyetimber in my hand, sit in the old captain’s chair and ponder on life!
A lot of fun has been had in this room. I rehearse here with a range of my fine musician friends and we continue to have many family get-togethers and parties in this room. We often push the furniture back, roll up the rug and dance! We’re also very lucky to have a little cottage in Cruden Bay which overlooks the golf course, the North Sea and the ruins of Slains Castle (made famous by Bram Stoker who wrote Dracula).
It’s wooden, modern, light, completely eco-friendly and was designed and constructed by an architect from the Findhorn Foundation. It’s a real haven and you only have to be there for half-an-hour to feel like you’ve been on holiday for a week.
My most prized possession is…
My mother’s engagement ring.