Entries in q&a (3)

Monday
May112015

q&a with Cathy Martin

It is delightful to welcome Cathy Martin to the Salt and Sparkle q&a.  Cathy is dynamic, powerful, inspiring and interesting, not to mention very glamorous.  

The director of Belfast FASHIONWEEK and owner of CMPR, a media relations and events company. I first met Cathy when I interviewed her for a film I made for Channel 4 News several years ago, and since then it has been a pleasure to watch her success.  

During a lunch several years ago Cathy said to me, 'Nicky what are you doing for you, with your talents? You're doing a lot for others, but what are you doing for you?' At the time the comment slid into my head, and then stayed in my memory, gently nudging me to remember, I need to do things for me, with my talent.  

This short comment, during a quick lunch has been one of the most profound things anyone has said to me in my career. Thank you for that Cathy, and it is wonderful to interview you.

Cathy will soon be speaking at the Belfast Tedx at Stormont, she is a person worth listening to.

 

1.     Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

First and foremost I am a mummy to Valentina, a daughter to my lovely mum Mae, a sibling to six and a cousin to many. I’m also a colleague to Lucy, Leeza and Chris and a friend to quite a few people who are my rocks and my laughing partners in this wonderful thing we call life.

2.     Where are you from, where are you based ...

I’m from the Lisburn Road in Belfast, but I now live and work in Holywood, which I absolutely love. It is a wonderful community and a pretty place to live.

3.     Talk about your work ...

I have quite a few hats. First and foremost I am a PR consultant and advise clients across many sectors on promoting their businesses and projects. Secondly I own and manage Belfast FASHIONWEEK, which has been running for over ten years now.

4.       What are your future plans ...

I just want to be happy. Workwise, I have no ambitions for a massive company, I quite like being small and manageable – as well as personal.

5.     How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

I find inspiration in hard working people, honest people, those who are respectful and those who are creative. I love nature and music as well as a well written piece of poetry or prose and I am a big fan of art and nature.

6.       Describe your space ... 

My workspace is very modern and fresh, open and contemporary, with bright artwork and lots of light and mirrors. My home is grey and more traditional with a large fireplace and lots of art and photographs.

7.     How are you feeling today ... 

I always feel happy and blessed. I have a lot to be thankful for.

8.     A non-negotiable in your life is ...

I dislike lies and thieves, secrets and disrespect.

9.       Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...

It’s nice to be nice.

10.    Your work life philosophy is ...

Work hard, play hard.

11.   What is your favourite smell ...  

I have many! Coffee – although I don’t drink it, and bread – although I don’t eat bread! I also love a rich chocolatey smell, and the cinnamon smell of Christmas, plus, lastly, I love the smell of faint aftershave on my other half’s neck.

12.   Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

I listen to a lot of opera and classical music which would probably surprise people.

13.   Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

I love sea bass in butter and rock salt with fine green beans, broccoli, courgette or any other greens done in butter with a tiny bit of garlic. I could actually eat that most evenings for dinner!

14.  Three things or products that have changed your life...

Having my daughter Valentina has changed my life. But losing my daughter Rosie to stillbirth a few years before Valentina came along changed it much more. I had a very serious infection and in years gone by, probably would’ve died giving birth, so I am grateful for every day I’ve been given on this earth and have made some decisions recently to allow me to live this wonderful life to the full.

15.   How do you relax ...

I love to laugh in the company of good friends. We eat, drink and dance usually!

16.   What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

I love having fun with Valentina – at the park, in our home, wherever. But equally, I love being alone on a beach, reading a book and enjoying the warm sunshine, the breeze from the sea and the noises of nature.

17.   What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

I’d love to visit more of Asia… The mountains and cherry blossoms of Japan, plus the beaches and islands of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I’d love to go back to Australia and sail the Whitsundays or snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef.

18.   What do you most value in your friends ...  

Loyalty, a sense of fun and adventure, plus they need to have a good ear. I talk a lot! And they also need to understand that my job means I won’t make every social occasion, but it can mean some fun ones for them!

19.   What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ...

I used to read at least a book a week, and then I became a mum. It’s harder now to read even a magazine at home, so I look forward to holidays and a blast of literature.

20.  Share some words of wisdom ...

Never cut what can be untied…

 Thank you for spending time at our place Cathy.  You can connect with Cathy on Twitter, Facebook andInstagram or check out her website.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Monday
Sep152014

q&a with Geoff Talbot founder of 7 Sentences

 


Who are you, what’s it like being you...

Being me is like being nobody else… I am learning to be me more, to care less about assimilating to the world around me. Being me is wonderful, but I don’t think you should try being me, I think you should be you because that is wonderful too.

Where are you from, where are you based...

I am a free thinking kiwi, married to an American, living the dream in a city full of angels (LA) and whole crap-load of ordinary people just like me.

Talk about your work ...

I am a digital strategist, a storyteller and an ex-Veterinary surgeon. We work with people all around the world helping them to use the Internet to build relationships with others in a way that grows their business and builds their brand.

What are your future plans ...

I would like to have more children; I would like to learn how to be a more patient father, a kinder friend, a better partner and lover to my wife. I want to give more to the world… the mechanism (jobs, dreams etc) as to how these things happen is not as important to me as is used to be. There are loads of options… other than the more children part lol

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

Inspiration is everywhere; life is teaming with inspiration I just have to open the window of my soul to see it. If I don’t take care of myself through exercising, resting and eating well then I simply cannot tap into the river of inspiration flowing over me.

Describe your space ... 

I work primarily from coffee shops in our area… I love being able to chat to people. I like having life around me.

How are you feeling today ... 

I feel rich today, fortunate and grateful

A non-negotiable in your life is...

Great question. That my immediate family unit is more important than anything else…. That no matter how dark circumstances around us become, there is always hope. That compassion will always prevail over judgment.

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...

“You’re a great man Geoff” Words from my mother that affirmed me during a dark hour and gave much dignity to some tough choices.

Your work life philosophy is...

Design your ideal life and work towards it.

What is your favourite smell ...  

It is a tie between Jelly Beans and Roast Lamb; both smells are rich with nostalgia. We grew up with a ceramic jar that had jellybeans in it from time to time… I spent many hours sniffing that empty jar and imagining. 

Coming from New Zealand where lamb is to a kiwi what a French fry is to an American I would often arrive home from school to the smell of roast lamb permeating through our house… mmm

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

Mumford and Sons. Gospel. Love Pharrell’s Happiness Song. Crowded House to remind me of a kiwi summer.

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

Easy question. Roast Lamb --- My favourite 3 ingredients are mint, sauce and lamb LOL

Three things or products that have changed your life...

Faith. A book on meditation written in the 16 century by Madame Guyon and my Mac Book Pro.

How do you relax ...

I like to zone out by myself in the cinema or I like to have a meal with close friends usually in our home.

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

A million places in my imagination,  I go there wherever I choose. It’s mine and nobody else’s.

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

I love London, specifically sitting on the trains with the rest of Europe, watching people interact or avoid interaction… I love this.

What do you most value in your friends ...  

A lack of guile and pretence…

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ...

Well I have a 2.5 year old son who can say the words gorgeous, fantastic and gravitas so they would be my favourites.  I am totally digging Thomas the Tank Engine, The Man With The Yellow Hat and Giraffes Can’t Dance (Highly recommended) right now.

Share some words of wisdom ...

Write as much as you read, explore as much as you absorb. We need to listen to others but equally we need to be unafraid of the voices that we have been given and the actions that our hands were created to make. Avoid passivity.

It was a pleasure to talk to you Geoff.

Salt and Sparkle highly recommend you go visit Seven Sentences, and get their daily email sent to your inbox or you can catch up with Geoff on Twitter.

 

That's it for now, until next time ...

 

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Monday
Oct222012

q&a with Marie Lacey Director of Belfast Community Gospel Choir

 

Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

I’m Marie Lacey, daughter of Alex and Margaret Leebody (sadly both gone now) sister of older brother John, wife of Lynas and Mum of Jonathan.  I’m the Director of the Belfast Community Gospel Choir who are just AWESOME! I can honestly say I love being me. I know that could come across conceited and I don’t want it to, but I really do love who God created me to be.

I love the family and friends He has put in my life and I love the experiences, challenges, highs and lows that life has brought as in every situation I’ve proved God to be faithful. Now do I like everything ABOUT me, well that's another matter. I would love to be slimmer, have thick hair and perfect skin, no arthritis, no back ache, blah blah blah - but I am what I am and I’m contented.

Where are you from, where are you based ...

Born and bred in East Belfast, just off the Newtownards Road. I still live in East Belfast. My mum once said “when you cross the bridge you’re in another city” and that seems to have stuck. I cannot imagine myself living anywhere but in the East!

 

Talk about your work ...

I spent most of my working life as an office administrator and enjoyed singing, performing and leading the worship in my church in my free time. That all changed in 2009 when I formed the Belfast Community Gospel Choir and that is now my full time job … rather my vocation for it is 24/7 and I love every minute of it.

What are your future plans ...

Home life – Lynas and I hope to sell our house and downsize to a little bungalow (in the EAST lol!) I very much hope that my 28yr old son will settle down and make me a granny! I want to tour more with BCGC as our recent tour to New York was absolutely tremendous and changed us as a choir, both in our relationships with one another and our performance skill.

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

In great music artists are write amazing, truthful songs. I absolutely love KIRK FRANKLIN and all the great black gospel performers. They take music to another level!

Describe your space ... 

Warm and welcoming, not always tidy – in fact seldom tidy, but I live in an atmosphere of PEACE and that’s what’s most important.

How are you feeling today ... 

JOYFUL!

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

MY FAITH! 

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...

I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ!

Your work life philosophy is ...

Do everything to the glory of God.

What is your favourite smell ...

Cinnamon  

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

At the minute TASHA COBBS her voice is incredible

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

Medium cooked rib eye steak with buttery mash, sautéed mushrooms and onions.  CHOCOLATE. CHOCOLATE and CHOCOLATE!

Three things or products that have changed your life ...

" title="" class="">Macbook Pro.  " title="" class="">Dulop Latex Pillow.  Bible.

How do you relax ...

TV and Movies. Bit of an addict actually – when I find the time.

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

Phone calls from my son. Saturday or Sunday road trips with Lynas. Great scenery! Great food!  Great music!  Having said all that, I know this is shallow but you’ll never find me more happy than when I’m strolling around an AMERICAN SHOPPING MALL – they’re the best.

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

I absolutely love visiting the USA and have visited quite a few states. Would like to visit Colorado and more of the southern states like Alabama and Louisiana.

What do you most value in your friends ...

Honesty!  

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ...

I’m not a reader – never have been. I’m too impatient to get to the end of the story. My favourite words are LOVE. PLEASE. JOY. PEACE. HOPE.

Share some words of wisdom ...

NEVER give up on a dream. Do not waste your time in the company of negative and cynical people. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging and honest friends. 

 

It was a pleasure to talk to you Marie.

Until next time.

That's it for now ...

 

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable