My Weekend: Mardi Marsh

Mardi Marsh

Mardi Marsh

Stuart Piper with his wife Debbie and children Megan, 10, and 12-year-old Abigail  Picture: Sarah Standing (170385-8300)

‘Brain tumour diagnosis was incredibly hard to take in’

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Mardi Marsh, 63, is a Stubbington author who recently had her first book – The Legacy – published. The harrowing tale is set in the world of the 19th century slave trade.

When did you last go away and where did you go?

I went to Turkey with my husband Bob last September. It was a lovely holiday, we had a really nice hotel and the weather was gorgeous. But it was just at a crucial stage with the book. The publisher wanted me to sign everything off. So I had to read about 90,000 words – checking everything. My tablet wasn’t working and the hotel manager was wonderful and let me use his computer. And we did manage to spend some time relaxing by the pool and shopping in nearby Antalya.

What was the last gig/concert you went to?

It was Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra in the gardens of a stately home near Trowbridge. It was a beautiful sunny evening and Jools was fabulous.

What was the last book you read?

I’ve read two really good books recently – A Sister’s Courage by Catherine King and We’ll Be Watching You by Eileen Robertson. The first is a period novel and the second is a thriller.

What was the last film you saw at the cinema or on DVD?

It was Doctor Zhivago on DVD. It’s one of my favourite films. And another I watched recently was Bridget Jones. I love that film and can watch it again and again. I can’t wait for the next one to come out.

What’s your favourite way to relax?

A bubble bath. It has to be nice and hot and have lots of bubbles. That’s where all my ideas for my books come into my brain. And I have a pad and pencil on a stool by the bath, so I can scribble things down. I haven’t dropped it in yet.

What do you watch on TV?

I like documentaries and things like Mr Selfridge and Downton Abbey. I also watch reality telly like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and I’m A Celebrity. They’re entertaining but I also learn a lot about people from watching them. Let’s call it research. But one of my favourite programmes is the American Western Hell on Wheels. It’s very good.

And what do you avoid?

I hate Jeremy Kyle’s show. It makes me very uncomfortable. It’s just too much.

Where do you shop?

I love Zara for their jackets. They’re beautifully cut and very good value.

Where do you eat out?

My husband took me to The Talisman pub in Park Gate for Valentine’s Day and the food was lovely.

What’s your signature dish if you’re cooking?

Macaroni cheese. I love it and cooked it a lot for my children when they were at home.

Where do you go for days out and short trips?

We have a caravan and go off to a farm in the New Forest. It’s very quiet and peaceful.

Do you have hobbies?

Apart from writing, I love exercising. I use the running machine in my conservatory or jog along the seafront.

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