My Weekend: Mike Williams

Mike Williams
Mike Williams
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Mike Williams, 65, is a volunteer PR and marketing trustee at Southsea’s Kings Theatre. He is retired from the Royal Navy and as a deployment manager with QinetiQ.

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

My wife and I have just been to New Zealand where we have family in Christchurch. We also went to Australia where we have friends. Mount Cook and Milford Sound in South Island, New Zealand, then Sydney Harbour Bridge and the delights of that vibrant city made for a memorable experience. What had the greatest impact on us was the resilience of the people of Christchurch who saw their city devastated by two major earthquakes in 2011 and 2012.

What was the last gig/concert you went to?

A brilliant Classical Spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall, which was a feast of music and laser lights.

What about the last theatre show you saw?

Having spent many years stage managing shows for South Downe Musical Society, it was a delight to sit out front for once and watch Evita starring a very talented Guide Awards Best Actress winner Samantha Kelly.

And the last book you read?

I am currently reading Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Countless people have seen the musical and film, but reading a 1,400-page book that tells the story in brilliantly-written prose gives the whole visual experience a much greater depth.

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

The 2013 film Still Mine, starring Genevieve Bujold and James Cromwell. It tells the true story of 89-year-old New Brunswicker Craig Morrison, who decided to build a house on his own land that was more suitable for his wife Irene, who was starting to lose her memory. It told the story of his common sense approach to construction against building regulation and bureaucracy. The sensitive approach to love and caring between two people in their twilight years was very moving.

What’s your favourite way to relax?

Ideally, a good book but recently I have taken to playing the ukulele and play with a group from my Rotary Club! This instrument is such fun to play. It amazes me that you can get so much enjoyment from just a few chords!

What do you watch on TV?

I enjoy shows that have historical backgrounds and am a Downton Abbey fan. I also like watching Call the Midwife as my wife was one at St Mary’s Hospital when we first met in the 1970s.

What pubs and bars do you visit?

A group of my retired service colleagues meet up every Friday lunchtime in various hostelries in the local area. Of all the places, one that 
I enjoy most is The George 
on Portsdown Hill.

Do you have any hobbies?

I sing in the choir of Holy Trinity Church, Blendworth, Horndean where I am also church warden. I am a member of the Rotary Club of Waterlooville. I still get actively involved with performing arts backstage. And I enjoy spending time in France at our house in the Loire region.