Cerys Matthews: ‘The only way you can change anything is in small increments’

The singer and presenter talks about being a small fish in a big pond and running a mile a day

My happiest day would be to find a meadow, light a fire and cook a big meal. I’d play my guitar or just listen to bird song. Music, food and good company is, as far as I’m concerned, the elixir of a good life. I don’t entertain a lot, but we have a big family and I cook every day. I don’t buy pre-made food or takeaways. I’m not into clean eating, but I am interested in trying to reduce my carbon footprint. We all know how much rubbish we put out every day and we have to start changing the way we live.

I’ve lived in Ladbroke Grove, London, for 18 years. It’s a bit busier than Wales, but it’s good to be a small fish in a big pond. My children go to school where there’s at least 75 languages spoken and I like that aspect of it. A lot of interesting minds are drawn to the city and it makes for a culturally rich place to live. I have no romantic illusions about living in the countryside and the public services closing down. As far as I’m concerned, life is about your neighbours and community.

I care about being healthy because it all adds up to, hopefully, staying around a bit longer. I’ve started cycling and I’m trying this mile-a-day idea, running 10 minutes daily. Within days you feel like a different person – I’ve been doing it for two months.

You can’t put off ageing, but you can change your behaviour. Now I embrace it as part of the miracle of life. When you’re young you have the energy to change the world, but when you’re older, you start understanding the inevitability of history and conflict. That’s why I turn to life in the community: the only way you can change anything is in small increments around you; where you shop, what you buy and how much you’re willing to bring positivity into difficult situations.

Cerys Matthews’s The Good Life Experience is on 14-16 September at Hawarden Estate, Flintshire (thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk)


Interview by Juliana Piskorz

The GuardianTramp

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