My secret life: Jo Wood, Businesswoman & former model, 53
Saturday 01 November 2008
The home I grew up in ... was a council house in Basildon, Essex, until I was nine. Then we moved into an old vicarage my dad had bought that was in serious need of renovation; we stayed there until I was 16. It was wonderful: 300 years old and full of character.
When I was a child I wanted to be ... Twiggy: she was my childhood hero.
The moment that changed me for ever ... was learning about organic food. In 1992, I was ill and on steroids, and then I met a herbalist who told me about the importance of eating organically. It changed my whole life.
My greatest inspiration ... Barbara Hulanicki. I fell in love with Biba when I was 16.
My real-life villains ... are junk food and plastic. Junk food is ruining everyone on the planet. And in the future, this era will be known as the Age of Plastic – there's so much around.
If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd like to be a great speller and good at maths. I find it hard to understand numbers. I was useless at school, I just liked art and cooking.
What I see when I look in the mirror ... Myself. People try to find themselves, but you're right there, all you have to do is look.
My style icon ... is Brigitte Bardot. She was absolutely beautiful. I love her hair and the pale lips combined with dark eyes. I've copied her all my grown-up life.
At night I dream of ... Lately I've been dreaming of Ronnie [Wood, her estranged husband]. I miss his presence in the home; after 31 years together, I'm bound to need time to get him out of my system.
My favourite item of clothing ... my Dior biker boots, which I've worn for years.
I wish I'd never worn ... When Bill Wyman married Mandy, I was on steroids and wore this awful peachy-orange floppy hat and black dress. But I wasn't all there at the time; steroids take your soul away.
It's not fashionable but I like ... flannel pyjamas.
You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... drawing. I can draw anything. My father was an architect and model-maker; my mother was a doll maker; and my brothers and sisters are artistic too.
You may not know it but I'm no good at ... thinking before I speak. The other day, I criticised somebody's speech at a party, and the person I was talking to turned out to be their best friend. I nearly died.
If I have time to myself ... I don't often, but if I did, I'd like to explore England a bit more. I've never even seen the Roman baths in Bath. I tend to work out or ride my bike around the park if I have free time.
The shop I can't walk past ... is Whole Foods Market [in London], and cool antique shops.
My favourite work of art ... Tracey Emin's tapestry blanket. She's quirky and I love what she does. Who else sews stuff these days? Maybe she will inspire kids to start that again.
All my money goes on ... vintage clothes.
I drive ... It's not very "eco", but Ronnie was given an AMG Mercedes, which he gave to me. I like to drive fast and would love to take the AMG on a road trip.
My house is ... Victorian. Apparently it was built as a present for Queen Victoria.
My most valuable possession is ... my family.
My favourite building ... is the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. I would loved to have lived in that time. Maybe I did.
Movie heaven ... Comedies. I loved Modern Romance with Albert Brooks. And Young Frankenstein. I hate scary or violent films.
The person who really makes me laugh ... is my daughter, Leah. She cracks me up. I also love Steve Martin and Richard Pryor.
In 10 years' time, I hope to be ... very successful, surrounded by kids and grandkids. Maybe with another partner: who knows what will happen? You never know what's in store, so you take it as it comes and make the most of it.
The best invention ever ... is the camera. I've got thousands of pictures; when I'm a little old lady, I'll go through them.
My greatest regret ... I only have lessons in life. Every day you face challenges; it's how you deal with them that makes you stronger.
My life in seven words ... loving, green, inquisitive, healthy, funny, happy, pioneering.
A life in brief
Born in 1955 in Basildon, Essex, Jo Wood is an ex-model and the recently estranged wife of the Rolling Stones' guitarist Ronnie Wood. Together they have four children and four grandchildren. Jo launched her own organic bath and bodycare range, Jo Wood Organics, in 2005. She lives in Kingston-upon-Thames with her son Tyrone, and is supporting Enterprise Week running from 17 to 23 November ( enterpriseweek.org.uk )
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