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Favourite things: Suzanne Yarker

Violinist Aoife Kelly plays anything but second fiddle, with her colourful collection of doggy delights, Chinese whispers, and cereal offences

1 Dog Lucy was a surprise present for my 11th birthday and, today, she's like a member of the family. She's very cute and cuddly but she's also very loyal -- she defends the house like a lioness.

2 Fiddle I was four years old when I saw Caroline Corr on TV playing her fiddle. I thought she looked the business and so I took up playing the instrument. My first violin teacher said I was too hyper and suggested I give up, but I stuck with it. My next teacher, in Hollywood (Co Wicklow), was a lot more encouraging. Now, my fiddle is like an extension of my arm, I feel like I've grown with it.

3 Handbag This handbag has been called many things: my Mary Poppins bag, a refuse bag, or simply the bin for my life. Everywhere I go people comment on the size of it, and I have to admit it is massive.

4 Boggle I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm addicted to playing Boggle. It's one of my favourite things to do on a night in and, yes, I usually win. I do come from a long line of skilled Boggle players; it's a family tradition and we get extremely competitive -- I'm quite the shark.

5 Book Wild Swans by Jung Chang incorporates two of my favourite things -- Chinese culture and history. It's an account of a girl growing up in China in the early 20th century, describing in detail life under Communist rule. After reading the book, I travelled to China thinking it would be a harsh place, with cold people. I couldn't have been more wrong. The people were very happy and uplifting and I was blown away by the beauty of its provinces.

6 Knee-high boots I once read a slogan that said: give a woman the right pair of boots, and she can take over the world. I didn't believe it, until this past Christmas, when I unwrapped these knee-high boots. As soon as I put them on they made me feel sharper.

7 Cereal This packet of Weetabix symbolises my absolute adoration of cereal. I'd happily eat it until it came out of my ears, and often survive for days eating nothing but cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I even order it out.

8 Goblet and bowl My Grandfather was an expert wood turner and we have lovely reminders of him through the things he made such as this goblet and bowl. Unfortunately, I haven't inherited any of his talents, the coat hanger I attempted in woodwork at school, promptly went in the bin.

9 Pulp Fiction CD I admire originality, and you don't get more original than Quentin Tarantino who, in my mind, is an absolute genius. I've included the soundtrack not the film, because I love the way he arranges the music to encapsulate the story.

10 Rig The Jig is a band that I've been in for a year and a half now. All the lads are like a bunch of uncles to me. We play traditional, contemporary, blues, classical . . . all the musicians come from different musical backgrounds, so it makes a jigsaw of different styles that fits together beautifully.

Aoife Kelly is a violinist and vocalist with Rig The Jig. One of the leading lights in Irish folk music, the band plays Whelans on March 9. For more information on upcoming gigs, log onto www.rigthejig.com. Aoife is also available to play at private functions, email kellyofaoife@hotmail.com


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