Wednesday 22 November 2017

'My dad taught me to drive – lots of speed and shortcuts'

Model Alison Canavan reveals her dream car and where she got her love of the open road

Model, TV personality and writer Alison Canavan has shared the catwalk with the likes of Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington. She also works with a number of charities including Barnardos and Parentline.

If you were a car, what car would you be?

A Honda Civic. It's sleek, sexy, functional, a great family car and most importantly very safe for families.

What's your favourite road?

The Garden Route in South Africa. Every inch is simply breathtaking. It's a drive that should be on everyone's bucket list.

What would you do with your last litre of fuel?

Save it for a rainy day.

Do you have a favourite car gadget?

Sat nav, as I travel and work in so many different places and hate getting lost.

What is the fastest you have ever driven (legally)?

As fast as I'm allowed . . . I love the open road.

What cars would be parked in your euromillions garage?

An Audi R* and an Aston Martin DB9 Volante.

Who taught you to drive?

My dad Tom Canavan, who was in the motor industry all his life and loved his cars, hence there was a lot of shortcuts and speed involved.

How has being a parent changed the way you think about a car?

Safety is now a priority for so many reasons. Three out of four people fit their car seats incorrectly in Ireland and it's a risk that's just not worth taking. Choosing a car with a good safety history is now more important than ever as you have your most precious cargo in the back.

During your childhood, what car did your family have?

Dad had a Mercedes when he worked for Denis Mahony, which we all loved, and mum had a Toyota Corolla until dad had his own Honda dealership and we never looked back. We all still drive Hondas.

What was your first job?

Modelling at 15 and also working in Monaghans clothes shop at the same time.

If you could switch careers, what would you do?

Nothing. I absolutely love my job. I write, model, present and have my own parenting show. Every day I wake up I have new challenges but meet truly inspiring people every day.

Whom do you most admire in your industry?

Christy Turlington. She's a great role model for health and well-being and humanitarian causes. Also, my agent Rebecca Morgan who is celebrating 40 years in business this year. Her support and understanding knows no bounds and I'm lucky to have her in my life.

What was your best career decision to date?

To travel and spread my wings. I've been to countries and experienced so much. I feel so blessed and lucky to have been given such amazing opportunities and meet such great people.

Do you have a personal philosophy?

Yes, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life and life is what you make of it. I've been through a few very tough years but hard work and determination have seen me through. A really important saying for people in my industry is that you can't control what others think or say about you. I'm really sensitive but have learned through being a mum to toughen up a bit.

What is on your car stereo right now?

My son's CD of different songs and stories. When he's not in the car it's usually Newstalk.

One item you couldn't live without?

My phone. As parents we worry so it's a sense of security, and also I travel so much for work it means I never miss an important mail or call.

What three people would you want to be stranded with on a desert island?

My friend Caroline Grace Cassidy, my son James and my sister Laura. It would be the perfect combination of fun, good conversation and of course endless cuddles from James. Seeing everything through a child's eyes would mean that we would never get bored.

How do you relax?

Meditation or a glass of wine!

Who is your hero?

My mum as without her I wouldn't have been able to cope the past few years. She's my angel and my son adores his nana, we are very lucky.

Describe yourself in one word?

Umm . . . driven?

Sunday Independent

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