First thing

The way they start their day 8. Marcella Detroit singer/songwriter California

When I get up depends on how much sleep I've had - or haven't had. I like to get up when my five-year-old son, Maxwell, comes in and wakes me, usually between 8 and 8.30am. But if he comes in too early I'll send him into his nanny, who lives with us. Sometimes I won't have gone to bed until about three in the morning, because between midnight and three is my creative time.

I sleep in a bed that I had made about two years ago. It's a huge, Gothic- looking thing made out of rusty, gold-coloured metal - my bedroom is full of golds, burgundies and deep reds. It's a four-poster bed, but there are no curtains round it, and it's positioned in a big bay window so that I can look straight out on to the front garden when I wake. It's a lovely view, with lots of greenery, and I can see mountains in the background. There's lots of farmland around me, giving a feeling of living in the country - though I live only an hour out of LA, out towards Santa Barbara.

I always wake up with a real need to pee, but after that I go straight downstairs with Maxwell and watch cartoons with him on TV. I might pick up my guitar and play for him, and I might write at this time, too, if I'm feeling inspired. But if I'm still tired, I might just doze on the sofa.

Until recently we lived in England. My husband is still based there because of his work, and so he's often not around. But if he is here he tends to get up with Maxwell, too, before doing some exercise. He likes to go for a run or do weights: we have a little weight-training centre in a gazebo. But Maxwell and I stay in our pyjamas for a while, until we feel like breakfast. If I have to go somewhere first thing, then the nanny will feed and dress Maxwell, but if I'm able I like to do these things myself.

I always have something really healthy for breakfast - usually oatmeal, and toast with some kind of protein on it, like cottage cheese or peanut butter. I also take a food supplement based on Chinese herbs, called Quinary, which was recommended to me by PP Arnold while I was doing the Absolutely Fabulous shoot. It boosts your immune system, which I really need: I was feeling run-down and exhausted all the time, because of jet-lag and not getting enough sleep, and so I was vulnerable to colds. I mix the Quinary with a tea called Calli, and I drink it throughout the day, especially if I feel a cold coming on. It doesn't taste very nice - it's a thick, brown mixture - but it feels healthy, and it works.

I'll then go to the bathroom and clean my teeth - I have an electric toothbrush, which is good for my gums - and I'll often have a leisurely shower, before getting dressed. Usually I go for trousers, and a T-shirt with a jacket over it, but sometimes I might go and work out, in which case I'll put on some sweats and save the shower for later. I also like to go for a swim in our pool in the morning, but because it costs pounds 600 a month to run, I only do that in the summer months.

I don't really watch any news in the morning, unless there's some issue I'm interested in: I find it too depressing. I don't get newspapers, either, unless I'm travelling. I like just to be with Maxwell before he goes to school, and we play Nintendo 64 - Super Mario; he's due in most days at about 11.20. He's just started primary school, and I drive him when I can; otherwise, the nanny takes him.

I then often have to head into LA for various appointments - the hairdresser's, maybe, or lunch with friends. But I might go to my own studio, in another building about 20 yards from the house. It's not much, but it's professional enough for me to have recorded three tracks for my new album in there. My goal now, though, is to master all the new computer technology there is in recording music.

Interview by Scott Hughes

Marcella Detroit's new single, `Boy', is released today.

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