Classic Rock (08/2004), Christine McVie: A Week in the Life
Classic Rock, August 2004
Christine McVie: A Week in the Life
"At around eight in the morning I take my dogs for the first of three long walks I give them every day. Iíve got two Lhasa Apsos, which are like Pekingese, only with longer noses. I would like to say theyíre a lot prettier than Pekingese, but I donít 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 Iím starting to look more like them every day Ė it must be the shaggy blonde fringe and the ears!
Recently Iíve spent a lot of time restoring my house. Had I known it was going to need so much work I probably wouldnít 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 itís bigger than the local village, to be honest. The main part of the house dates from 1664, and Iíve 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 thatís never fazed me in the slightest.
Reading wise Iíve just finished Robin Hobbís massive fantasy trilogy The Tawny Man Ė 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 Iím one of those people who gets nervous in front of a blank sheet of paper. I start out thinking Iím going to create a masterpiece, and of course that always leads to disappointment. I have all the artistsí supplies and everything, but if what Iím creating doesnít look brilliant form the outset I abandon it.
I donít have any famous works of art around the house Ė nothing by Renoir or Monet, Iím afraid. I do have lots of nice etchings and prints and nice landscapes, though. This house is very traditional and very English, so you canít bugger about with anything too modern or it just looks silly. I have a flat in London, though, and the dťcor 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 thatís a little bit drier. I had to egg myself on to watch the first couple of those, and then I got really into it. Itís definitely a grower once you get used to the way it works.
Cookery shows are good viewing for me, too, and Iím 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 whoís 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 Iíve actually been on a few Italian cooking courses. And although I say it myself, Iím pretty damn good at everything, really! Iím not tremendously fond of making desserts like tiramisu, but I do them well. Iím happier preparing the main courses Ė 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 donít 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 itís quite literally a pain in the arse so I donít 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. Itís hanging in my hall landing, and it was painted by a guy called Peter Frampton Ė not the rock musician, but a turn-of-the-century painter from 1904 or thereabouts. St Cecilia is playing the organ, and sheís surrounded by beautiful flowers. I donítí know if many people have even heard of Frampton, but heís becoming quite collectable. I also love my grand piano. Itís still the same one I wrote ĎSongbirdí on.
I do own a computer, but as I donít enjoy typing I donít really surf the net. Iíll email Mick [Fleetwood] or Stevie [Nicks] from time to time, but other that that I donít 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 lat-night person, but these days Iím more of an early bird and so I go to bed about nine in the evening. Usually Iíll read for a while, but Iím always asleep by midnight. When I still drank, Iíd 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. Exciting stuff, eh?"
Thanks to Gailh for the transcription and for posting the link.
2004-08-01 Number of views: