'I was reared on raw milk from our single Kerry cow – magic stuff'

Favourite book

My current favourite is 'Real Food: What to Eat and Why' by Nina Planck – no house should be without a copy.

Favourite CD

Anything by Leonard Cohen – how predictable.

Favourite MEMORY

Picnics with Mum and all the family on Cullohill mountain.

Favourite piece of furniture

My kitchen table, which we sit around with family and friends, children and grandchildren; even if we're only arguing, it keeps the lines of communication open.

Favourite item of clothing

My current favourite item of clothing is a navy Eskandar dress with a flowy skirt.

allergies

None, mercifully. I was reared on raw milk from our single Kerry cow – magic stuff.

PERSON WHO MEANT THE MOST

My late mother, Elizabeth O'Connell – what an inspirational role model. She knitted and sewed, gardened and kept chickens, cooked like an angel, kept the business going when my father died when I was 14... and all that with nine children.

I only hope we hugged her enough.

what advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

Have the courage to follow your dream.

first kiss

A handsome local lad in Cullohill village. We had hidden in the cow byre near our house but were discovered by Pad, who looked after our kitchen garden.

He was quite rightly deeply suspicious and had been keeping an eagle eye on my movements.

what characteristic in yourself do you like the most and least?

Crazy energy.

Favourite tipple

A drop of Paddy Whiskey.

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