Sunday with Heather Small: ‘I like films that talk about women’

The singer describes a peaceful family day with gospel music, films and Caribbean cooking

Early riser? I’m not lying in with anyone, so there’s not much incentive to stay in bed, and my son is 24 – so there are no early starts with a child that you can’t reason with.

Sundays growing up? We were all about Caribbean traditions. It was church and family. We’d have a breakfast of sardines, crackers and hot pepper sauce, then an early Sunday dinner of chicken, rice, peas, coleslaw and dumplings.

Sunday lunch these days? My mother lives with me and still loves to cook a Sunday lunch. I absolutely recommend intergenerational living. We were able to look after each other during the pandemic, which was a blessingc.

How’s your Sunday voice? I usually start the day with some gospel music; something classic like Mahalia Jackson. Then I’ll bring it forward to something modern like Le’Andria Johnson. Plus I’ve been on Songs of Praise a few times.

Sunday beliefs? I was brought up C of E. My mother sent us to Sunday school. I’ve always been drawn to religious gatherings. I think to myself that certain things are human-made and some things are higher than us.

Sunday movie? I love the cinema. I’ll go by myself if I have to. I loved Rocks, the British coming-of-age drama because, growing up, nobody really took the time to find out about families on council estates, especially people of colour. And I loved Black Widow with Scarlett Johansson. I like films that talk about women.

Sunday exercise? I bought a basic exercise bike to keep the lockdown pounds away. And I’ve got my toy poodle Nina – after Nina Simone – which means walks in the park.

Sunday evening? Sunday is family time, so we’ll try to do something intergenerational. My son is quite willing because he loves his grandmother. We all watch a good film or a good series.

Sunday wind down? Nothing that makes me worry or have to use my brain. Sundays are all about doing things that please me, make me happy and keep me calm.

Last thing before you sleep? Say a little prayer.

Heather Small tours the UK throughout March 2022


Rich Pelley

The GuardianTramp

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