‘For a per­son with­out much ed­u­ca­tion I’m good with words’

1980s pop icon Ali­son Moyet nar­rowly es­caped a life of dead-end jobs – and is proud her own chil­dren have had a world of op­por­tu­nity

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FEATURE -

What is your ear­li­est mem­ory? I was at a child minder’s when I was about two. I was sit­ting on the floor alone in her empty liv­ing room and on the wall she had a moulded plate of a water­mill scene. I re­mem­ber think­ing life was hap­pen­ing in­side it. I’ve been look­ing for that scene ever since.

When did you last feel re­ally happy? Yes­ter­day. I went to the stu­dio to re­hearse, only this time I took the bus from the bot­tom of my road. Life felt straight­for­ward. I was go­ing to work to do some singing and I was a part of the real world and I could see the sea. How bril­liant is that?

How do you re­lax? It is not how I re­lax; it is how to mo­ti­vate my­self. Re­lax­ing comes eas­ily; my job is punc­tu­ated by a lot of wait­ing so you learn to be still and pa­tient. I can re­lax in a den­tist wait­ing room. I read, watch rub­bish telly and bril­liant films. I walk the lanes and the seafront. I bathe till my fin­gers look like Nora Batty’s stock­ings.

What has been your big­gest achieve­ment? De­fy­ing a life with­out prospects. I dropped out of school and into short, ill-paid jobs in which I also failed to shine. Chang­ing that for my chil­dren is a source of great plea­sure; they’ve ac­com­plished so much more than me and have choices that I did not.

And your big­gest dis­ap­point­ment? That I have not been able to undo the bag­gage I carry. Those close to me would say I think too much. I de­con­struct ev­ery­thing and it’s ex­haust­ing. Not only am I floored by un­kind­nesses but any­thing I’ve done that hurts some­one else haunts me for years. What are you best at and what would you like to be bet­ter at? I am good at af­fec­tion and for­give­ness. And for some­one with­out much ed­u­ca­tion I’m good with words. But I’m bad with ad­min. I’d like to be bet­ter in emer­gen­cies, too. My daugh­ter was once howl­ing with pain in the early hours. My hus­band took con­trol... I fell over be­cause the noise made me faint.

What is your best and worst char­ac­ter­is­tic? I’m emo­tion­ally gen­er­ous; I don’t with­hold and I see beauty in ev­ery­one. My worst is self-loathing. I feel ridicu­lous and odd. My knowl­edge of cur­rent af­fairs is woe­ful and my mem­ory like a colan­der. I with­draw into in­vis­i­bil­ity so those I love don’t know they are in my thoughts: I don’t like this about my­self.

Who do you most ad­mire? Peo­ple cool enough not to need bol­ster­ing by as­so­ci­a­tion. I have a friend who adores a par­tic­u­larly naff act, and she’ll pro­claim it in a with­er­ing crowd. I love some­one brave enough to moon at the fash­ion po­lice.

What is your most trea­sured pos­ses­sion? I don’t care much about things. I don’t own any­thing I couldn’t bear to lose. But that said, I like my cof­fee maker.

Who are you clos­est to? I’m clos­est in dif­fer­ent ways to many peo­ple... but I am at my most naked with my hus­band.

De­scribe the best night of your life.

My son’s wed­ding: food, danc­ing, fam­ily and love. The sun shone all day and it was won­der­ful to catch up with my ex-hus­band and his beau­ti­ful wife and, to­gether with my hus­band, David, it was a de­light for us all to see our lad marry his dar­ling girl.

What is your big­gest fear? De­men­tia. I have seen Alzheimer’s af­fect a num­ber of peo­ple in my fam­ily. It’s cruel for the sub­ject and ev­ery­one around them.

What is your favourite word and why? ‘Yes’ is bril­liant un­less it’s the an­swer to ‘Am I an a**ehole?’

What is your motto?

‘The sooner we get on, the sooner we get off.’

What was the last show you loved? Dex­ter, Six Feet Un­der, Nurse Jackie, The Of­fice, Ex­tras. Any­thing with Alan Par­tridge. What was the last gig you went to? I don’t re­ally like go­ing to gigs. I get anx­ious. My last gig was my own.

What would your dream din­ner date be? Back at my par­ents’ ta­ble with my sib­lings, on a happy day, like Easter. The table­cloth came out, Dad bought lemon­ade and there was no shout­ing, Mum cooked and they were both well. Then the ice- cream van stopped and we got a rasp­berry rip­ple block and it ended with Ja­son And The Arg­onauts on the telly.

What is the last thing you want to say?

What? Ever? ‘Mor­phine!’ Ali­son Moyet plays the Cork Opera House tomorrow, Belfast Water­front Hall on Tues­day and The Olympia, Dublin, on Wed­nes­day. Her new sin­gle, Changeling, is out on 14 Oc­to­ber

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.