A Week In The Life
Classic Rock Magazine
"At around eight in the morning I take my dogs for
the first of three long walks I give them every day. I've got two
Lhasa Apsos, which are like Pekingese, only with longer noses. I
would like to say they're a lot prettier than Pekingese, but I don't
want to offend any Pekingese owners. My dogs are twin brothers, both
blonds. One of them is called Dougal, after the dog in The Magic
Roundabout, and the other is called George. They run my life
completely, and I think I'm starting to look more like them every
day ' it must be the shaggy blonde fringe and the ears!
Recently I've spent a lot of time restoring my house. Had I known it
was going to need so much work I probably wouldn't have bought it. I
live just a few miles outside Canterbury in Kent, and the house is a
rambling red-brick building with thatched barns and lots of
out-buildings, cottages and a little recording studio. Is it a
stately pile? No! But I think it's bigger than the local village, to
be honest. The main part of the house dates from 1664, and I've been
getting a lot of the wooden beams replaced. If there are any ghosts
they must be very nice ones, because I spend quite some time here
alone and that's never fazed me in the slightest.
Reading wise I've just finished Robin Hobb's massive fantasy trilogy
The Tawny Man ' three fantastic books, each of them practically the
length of The Bible.
I used to draw quite a bit, and I still flirt with the idea, but I'm
one of those people who gets nervous in front of a blank sheet of
paper. I start out thinking I'm going to create a masterpiece, and
of course that always leads to disappointment. I have all the
artists' supplies and everything, but if what I'm creating doesn't
look brilliant form the outset I abandon it.
I don't have any famous works of art around the house ' nothing by
Renoir or Monet, I'm afraid. I do have lots of nice etchings and
prints and nice landscapes, though. This house is very traditional
and very English, so you can't bugger about with anything too modern
or it just looks silly. I have a flat in London, though, and the
d'cor is more contemporary and eclectic.
In the evenings I like a bit of telly, particularly crime dramas. I
watch Law & Order almost every night, and I like Homicide: Life on
the Street. Sitcom-wise I love Seinfeld. I must have seen every
episode of that several times, and Jerry Seinfeld is probably my
favourite comedian. I like Curb Your Enthusiasm, with Larry David,
too, but that's a little bit drier. I had to egg myself on to watch
the first couple of those, and then I got really into it. It's
definitely a grower once you get used to the way it works.
Cookery shows are good viewing for me, too, and I'm a big fan of ER;
George Clooney was definitely the most handsome of the doctors, but
I quite fancied the bald guy with the glasses as well. You know, the
one who's not in it any more, Dr Green [Anthony Edwards]. The other
thing I watch is Have I Got News For You. That satirical humour is
very English, and the banter between Ian Hislop and Paul Merton is
usually very good.
I love Italian food, and I've actually been on a few Italian cooking
courses. And although I say it myself, I'm pretty damn good at
everything, really! I'm not tremendously fond of making desserts
like tiramisu, but I do them well. I'm happier preparing the main
courses ' a good risotto, a nice spaghetti with seafood, or a
traditional roast with a bit of an Italian influence.
I eat a pretty healthy diet, but I don't work out as such. Three
times a day around the paddock with the dogs, or just going from one
of this house to the other, is quite enough! I do ride a bicycle
occasionally, but not those stupid stationary ones you see in gyms.
I do have one of those, I must confess, but it's quite literally a
pain in the arse so I don't use it.
The only thing I collect is antique perfume bottles: art deco and
cut glass stuff or any other odd ones that catch my eye as I hobble
past antique shops or antique fairs. I try to get up to London a
couple of days week for a bit of retail therapy, and that usually
has the desired effect.
My most prized possession is an oil painting of St Cecilia, patron
saint of music. It's hanging in my hall landing, and it was painted
by a guy called Peter Frampton ' not the rock musician, but a
turn-of-the-century painter from 1904 or thereabouts. St Cecilia is
playing the organ, and she's surrounded by beautiful flowers. I
don't' know if many people have even heard of Frampton, but he's
becoming quite collectable. I also love my grand piano. It's still
the same one I wrote 'Songbird' on.
I do own a computer, but as I don't enjoy typing I don't really surf
the net. I'll email Mick [Fleetwood] or Stevie [Nicks] from time to
time, but other that that I don't want to sit in front of a screen
all day. The computer looks very nice on my desk, though [laughs].
I used to be a late-night person, but these days I'm more of an
early bird and so I go to bed about nine in the evening. Usually
I'll read for a while, but I'm always asleep by midnight. When I
still drank, I'd wind down at the end of the day with a glass of
good champagne, but now I find that a cup of tea and a chocolate
Hobnob does the trick.
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