Three times a year we send out Scene, the magazine for our members, and each issues also includes Behind the Scenes, a fun way for our members to get to know different members of the extended ISTA family. Will now be bringing you little insights into these through our website.
A regular feature is Box Office Questions Answered, where we ask different people to answer a series of questions so we can all find out a bit more about them. This month, we’re delighted to bring you the answers from Jo Parish, our brilliant Business Director.
Take it away Jo…
1. Did your family have any pet names for you when you were a child?
No – really boring answer here – I was always called Joanne.
2. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Haha – I always wanted to be a shop assistant when I was little. I had a toy brown plastic till with plastic money in it and loved playing with it. When you pressed the button to open the till a bell rang. Later on I wanted to be a travel rep as I loved travelling – so I guess I have the best of both worlds now. I get to work with money (no brown till though) and I get to travel with my job.
3. What do you usually eat for breakfast?
I’m really naughty as I’m really bad at eating breakfast and I know it’s the most important meal of the day. I’m always telling my children that too so a bit of a hypocrite. I’ve recently started trying but it’s got to be something quick… usually a banana or some Greek yogurt and honey. Weekends though I do like a proper brunch as a treat – sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms – the really healthy stuff…
4. If you have a free afternoon, how do you usually spend it?
Living in Cornwall I do try to make the most of the beautiful beaches that we have down here. Either sitting on the beach reading a book or in the back garden if I haven’t time to get to the beach. In the winter a walk with a sea view is always great too.
5. Do you have any big regrets in life?
I can’t think of any regrets so I guess this must be a no. I also think that everything happens for a reason and if I took a different path in life it would mean that each and every one of my three children wouldn’t be here, so no, no regrets at all. If I have to list one though it would be regretting being such an awful teenager as I must have put my parents through hell at times – but I only realise that now having teenagers of my own.
6. What’s your most treasured possession?
Not sure I can call them my “possessions” but my family are most treasured by me. With the children growing up now, my time with them is very precious to me. I would prefer to have time with them so holidays and meals out are much more important to me than any material possessions. My photos too – I love taking photos so that I can look back at them and remind myself of what we’ve all done together.
7. Are you a tea or coffee-person?
Tea most definitely – and just plain old PG tips. That’s the most I miss when I am away travelling as you don’t ever seem to be able to get a cup of tea like you do at home. Coffee is nice occasionally but I like weak boring coffee so all the speciality brands are completely wasted on me.
8. What do you wish you could change about yourself?
I am a bit too much of a control freak sometimes and worry too much about my children too. Saying that though, as a mum, if I didn’t worry about the children surely that wouldn’t be right.
9. What’s the best holiday you have ever been on?
I love ALL my holidays and can’t really say which one is the best as they are all very special. I am lucky to have been to so many places and to be healthy enough to be able to travel. I’ve been whale watching in Australia (when visiting Sally in 2006) with Jacob and Pollyanna (my two eldest). We visited Monkey Mia and saw the dolphins (a place I had wanted to visit since age 10) and went horse riding through the woods and met wild kangaroos. I’ve swum with turtles and watched cricket in Barbados with Darren and Lily; seen a bear at Yosemite; slept in a cabin in the middle of the Monument Valley National park; swum with dolphins in Florida; driven the coast road from LA to San Francisco (and seen more whales!); eaten chilli crab in Singapore; swum in the Dead Sea; built sand castles in the Isles of Scilly; visited Plitvice National Park in Croatia and watched amazing sunsets in Montenegro to name but a few. I’m not bragging – I just consider myself to be very lucky.
10. What’s the worst holiday you have ever been on?
As I said above, I love all of my holidays and can’t think of a bad one. If the accommodation isn’t great or the weather isn’t as expected, so be it. Make the most of them. They are an opportunity to spend time with my family with no outside pressures of school, college, work, household chores etc to do. Travelling is such a wonderful experience and I hope I am lucky enough to be able to carry on doing this for years to come.
11. Tell us of an achievement that you feel very proud of.
My greatest achievement has to be bringing my three lovely children into the world. I am very proud of all of them. I’m also very proud of the fact that I am confident enough to Rep an ISTA event now without having to ask someone else to do my opening speech. I still get butterflies in my stomach before I do it and am completely nervous about public speaking – but I have done it now, more than once!
12. Tell us something that not many people know about you…
I cannot touch slugs – they scare me; I have to write everything in my diary and make lists (my OCD coming out) and if I sneeze it never happens just once. It’s at least three and can easily be between 10 and 20 times. Darren (my husband) says it happens more if I have a drink but apparently it’s in my genes. My Gran did it too and she was teetotal.
You can find out more about becoming an ISTA member here.