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A few of my
Favourite things Ixworth based writer and poet Mary Bird, author of The Car Masutra
  Mary Bird has lived in Ixworth for the last 20 years, where life, she says, “has gone through many changes”. Her book The Car Masutra – for the man who loves his car made the Amazon best sellers list and her gift range has won a “gift of the year” award. She is now writing children’s books on bees, flowers and garden wildlife, as well as challenging adult poetry, questioning emotional reactions to life, death, love and loss. “We all have our issues” she says, in her amusing and heartfelt way.
Mary was diagnosed with a rare chronic blood cancer five years ago.
Favourite song
Songs and music can take us back to our past, move us forward to the future and give us time to enjoy in the present. To pick out one, is to ignore the rest but Tiny Dancer by Elton John and Bernie Taupin has managed to cover all emotions, and rings true for me. It mentions a little job I had with UB40 when I lived in London - I really was a “seamstress for the band”. I trained at The London College of Fashion, and became a theatrical costumier, making clothes for television, movies and celebrities.
Favourite film
I am drawn to a film from my childhood, that I still find captivating today. It is none other than the classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I remember seeing it at Gainsborough cinema in Sudbury, with the family in 1969 and many times since. I brought my sons up on the video as children, dancing away to The Old Bamboo. It’s a film that educates - there’s good and bad, right and wrong, cruelty and kindness, entrepreneurship, grandparents living at home, single families, positive thinking, pretty dresses, true love, a flying car and the child catcher! I know grown men who still shiver at the thought of him, especially a friend of mine Daniel, but we all learnt never to take free sweets from strangers.
Favourite TV series
I had the fortunate mistake to watch a couple of episodes of Coronation Street during lockdown, and unfortunately has become quite addictive. It is fascinating to see how much the writers managed to cram into one street in Manchester. I liken it to the good old days of Dallas and JR; just without the oil revenue in the bank. To be honest, my passion is documentaries.
Favourite piece of art
When I lived in Lavenham as a child, the highly respected artist Mary Millar Watt approached my father to ask if she could paint me for a RCA Portrait exhibition in The Mall. She did and there I was, admired by the rich and famous. It was the most beautiful sensitive portrait of a six-year-old, wearing an opal blue silk dress with Lebanon lace around the collar. The lovely
thing is that us two Marys still know each other today. An amazing lady.
Favourite colour
I always thought it was shades of sea blue, taupe or duck egg, but thinking about it, I believe it to be coral. I wear coral lipstick all the time. It seems to go well with my complexion and blonde hair, even in the winter months. My favourite summer clothes are coral too, so having always been a blue girl, I now embrace even more sea colours.
Favourite restaurant
I expect a free meal for this ... but 1921 in Bury St Edmunds is utterly fantastic. The service is second to none, and the food is
exquisite. But it is still very hard to beat fish and chips on the seaside at Felixstowe, Mersea oysters and Lily’s Walking Wok in Ixworth.
Favourite travel destination
I adore architecture, history, good food and Rome fits all three; however, anywhere is wonderfully perfect, as it is the company that makes the holiday.
Favourite smell
Millesime Imperial by Creed and sandalwood soap by Roger & Gallett. Both adorable, yet nothing beats the smell of a warm kitchen, with food on the Aga.
Favourite family memento
West Suffolk Hospital baby pictures. In the old days, when you had a baby, you stayed in the maternity ward for a week. It was fantastic. You were taught how to change nappies and bath the baby, surrounded by your flowers and chocolates.
Every night the nurses would ask if you would like your baby taken to the nursey, so all the new mothers could get a good night’s sleep!
and the not so favourite . . .
TV programme you always turn off
Pointless on BBC. Totally pointless!
Person in the public eye that annoys you
Fiona Bruce on Question Time. She appears to have little control of audience, less control of the panel, and all we are left with, are the chosen few who she allows to talk on and on and on.
Having appeared on Question Time a few years ago, when my question was picked to be the first one of the evening, I do so miss David Dimbleby, who stood no nonsense at all.
The phrase/quote or saying that makes you angry
Now that mental health is taken seriously, receiving the phrase “pull your socks up” in reply when asking for help, can be one of the loneliest responses to hear.
It says, you are on your own and to do it yourself.

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