Mum of three and PR Executive, Shilpa Saul is incredibly clever, cool and funny. In this Q&A session, she talks childhood memories,motherhood, Kylie & turning 40.
Tell us about you. My name is Shilpa, I am 40 years old and I live in Carshalton with my husband and three children. I am full of contradictions.
Why did you start your blog Must be the Mummy? People would always tell me they loved my status updates on Facebook and kept asking me to start a blog. Eventually, I succumbed although I’m afraid to say I really don’t blog as much as I should or as much as I’d like.
You wrote about the joys of turning 40, tell us more about that. I think the popular meme ‘Don’t regret growing older, it’s a privilege denied to many’ sums it up for me. I just feel really grateful and happy that I have turned 40 and am happy and healthy. There’s no denying that I am now a proper grown up and that has given me an immeasurable confidence to do what I want whilst giving zero f***s about other people’s opinions. 2016 has been and will continue to be ‘the year of me’ because I finally trust my gut instinct.
How did you meet your husband? We had an arranged marriage and didn’t meet each other until the day of our wedding. KIDDING! We met in a dark, dingy, achingly hip club in West London (the Notting Hill Arts Club) at a club night called ‘Bombay Bronx’. I had actually spotted him at a couple of events in the past but, disappointingly, he claims he’d never seen me before that night. Anyway, I was chatting with a friend of mine who was in a band. The girl who did his PR came over and introduced herself to me and said that her friend really liked my jeans. Up strolled Mango dressed like a McFly/ Busted reject with a massive grin on his face. I have to say, it was love at first sight for me. We spent the evening chatting about random things and it turned out we knew plenty of people in common as he worked at Smash Hits at the time, whilst I worked at a PR agency called Freuds. When it was time for him to leave, I gave him my phone number, email address and business card. The rest, as they say, is history.
What is the coolest thing about you? Nothing. I am deeply, deeply uncool (see above)
What is the coolest thing about being a mum? There are so many cool things about being a mum. One of my favourite things is being able to dance around the kitchen with my little girls and coercing them into loving Kylie circa 1987.
What is the one talent you wished you had? I would love to be able to write great songs – beautiful music with inspired lyrics. In fact, I would actually like to be able to write one incredibly popular Christmas hit single so my family and I could live off the proceeds for the rest of my life and my music would be indelibly etched into the memories of a generation or two.
What is your favourite music of all time? I am a massive lover of Christmas so it’s probably Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’.
What is the book that made a difference to your life? Enid Blyton’s The Folk of the Faraway Tree. I remember my late mother reading this book to me over and over again until I was old enough to read it myself. I’m pretty sure I read it every summer for a good few years. It is a wonderfully magical tale and every time I think about it I remember just how much time and effort my mother spent encouraging my love of reading and the written word.
What do you still have from your childhood? LOADS of stuff! Care Bears, a Cabbage Patch Kid, a chic-a-boo monkey, a Strawberry Shortcake handbag – the list goes on. I’ve given most of it to my girls. What I love is that everything was in pristine condition but are now completely battered – a good sign that they’re being played with and enjoyed!
Who is your fashion Icon? Edina Monsoon, from Absolutely Fabulous. I think as I get older I am more inclined to dress like an ageing teenager. Such fun.
What is the lesson your kids have taught you? To forgive easily and laugh often
What is the best advice you have ever been given? I suffered a huge crisis of confidence when I returned to work after having my first child. I eventually went to see a hypnotherapist who told me that people are often way too concerned about how they are perceived in the workplace to really have the time or energy to form an opinion about me. Put another way, everyone’s got their own sh*t to deal with so really don’t care about yours!
What advice would you give your 14-year-old self? Your parents can’t read your mind. If you feel sad, scared, worried or upset speak up and tell them.
What is the one rule you ignore? I actually love rules – I’m a stickler for rules and instructions, particularly the highway code. I try not to ignore any.
What is the one rule your kids ignore? To turn the TV off after they’ve watched one programme each.