An Interview with Kay
Want to find out more about the woman behind K Interiors? We asked Kay James a couple of (okay, rather personal) questions…
What is your earliest memory?
I remember really not wanting to go to school – I’m not sure how old I was, maybe around five or six perhaps? In a bid to fool my mother into thinking I was ill, I covered my face in Talcum Powder. Of course, she saw straight through it and I never tried that one again.
What was your favourite childhood book?
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodges. It made such an impression on me which has stayed with me all these years.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
I’m pretty boring when it comes to breakfast – I tend to have the same thing every day. If I’m having breakfast at home, I start the day with a cup of Earl Grey Redbush tea (caffeine makes me a little hyper, so I steer clear of coffee), followed by granola with some nuts, seeds and berries. If I’m having breakfast out, though, it’s Eggs Benedict all the way!
What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?
Oh dear, here goes. I was living in London, and I walked into Waitrose. As I got through the door, in the flower section, a man approached me. He told me that he was unable to read, and asked me if I might be able to read one of the labels to him, as he was unsure of what to buy. I went completely in-depth about all of the flowers, plants etc. He thanked me and I walked into the store, feeling pretty pleased with myself.
I did my shopping.
I got to the checkout, and my purse had disappeared.
I was mortified.
Waitrose were brilliant, I have to say. They held my shopping for me, while I went home and sorted the whole mess out with the bank. The store sent some flowers to my home a couple of days later, which was really lovely of them. They also searched the premises and found my purse – minus my cash and cards.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?
I read a lot, mostly fiction but some non-fiction. This week, I have been reading ‘The Moth’. It’s a fascinating book. In the USA, groups of people are trying to preserve the art of storytelling. They come together and tell stories about things that have happened to them. Some of the storytellers in this anthology are well known, while some are not. But they are all humble, the stories are true and they don’t dress the tales up. It’s amazing; I haven’t been able to put it down. Utterly fascinating.
Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with, and why?
The spiritual side of me would say The Dalai Lama – who wouldn’t want to have the answers to life? But, the naughty side of me would like to be stuck in a lift (on my own!) with James Norton (the actor who stars in ‘Granchester’ and ‘McMafia’). I have a definite weakness for redheads – which, thankfully, includes my husband.
What’s the most useless talent you have?
I get my words mixed up. I think I may be mildly dyslexic! My husband calls me ‘Mrs Malaprop’. The other night, I was commenting on something on the TV and I meant to say ‘belt and braces’, what I actually said was ‘belt and whistles’. I make mistakes like that all the time much to my family’s amusement.
When was the last time you cried?
I cry all the time. This week, it was ‘Call the Midwife’ that got me – Barbara died. And I howled.
What New Year resolutions did you make, and have you kept them?
I promised myself that I would begin practicing Yoga. I have stuck with it, and I absolutely love it.
If you could invite any four people from history to dinner, who would be on your list?
It has been international women’s day, recently. All the news about amazing empowering women and the black dress code at the awards for equality for women, really moved me.
So I would propose a dinner party with influential women who have changed the face of womankind today.
The first person on my list would have to be The Queen, after watching the series ‘The Crown’ (which was fabulous). I have a new found respect for this woman. I felt in awe of her sacrifice and commitment to her role, which she is still performing today.
Secondly, I would invite Emily Pankhurst - where would we be today without the Suffragettes? This woman died three weeks before the vote and dedicated her life to the cause, which created the first platform of equality for women in this country.
Thirdly, I would love to meet Coco Channel - you always need an injection of style! I can’t help but be inspired by the legacy this lady created, I believe she came from nowhere to create such an empire.
Fourth place would go to J.K. Rowling; a creative woman who against all the odds believed in her ability. I feel her story is living proof you can succeed despite the odds and she is such an excellent role model for females today. I have grown up with Harry Potter and have also loved sharing him with my son. We have re-read the books and re-watched the films so many times; it’s such a pleasure.