The private side of Dermot Turing

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Dermot Turing

Having been Dermot Turing’s photographer for the last few years, it was interesting to interview him and find out more about the private side of the public man. Knowing someone well when doing an in-depth interview can be more of a hindrance than a help because what you already know might allow you to miss something deeper or more important.

What are you passionate about?
What makes me buzz? mused Dermot. As you grow older things change and so too do your interests. I love being in the kitchen and creating new dishes. All sorts of cooking interests me. Music is another great joy, especially opera which I have loved for a long time. Everything from Monteverdi to Bartók gives me great pleasure but I do have an eclectic collection of favourite music and am always keen to discover a new piece. Driving recently, I was listening to the Leeds Piano Competition which was being broadcast on the radio. I was moved by the second piano sonata by Prokofiev and decided to make it part of my collection.

Do you have a favourite place?
There are many places that have meant a great deal to me during my travels but three favourite places stand out for different reasons. I love the buzz of New York with its vibrancy, colour and bustle. At the other end of the scale I remember fondly my time in Cornwall with my mother. The peace and tranquillity washed over us and it created glorious memories. The third place is Scotland with its majestic scenery and wide-open places, especially Stirling which will be our new home in the near future.

Who would you most like to sit next to on a bench and have a conversation with (alive now or dead)?
I never knew my father’s mother, my paternal grandmother, and I have so many burning questions to ask her about my father and Alan. I would like to be a fly on the wall and learn more about the French Empire during the Napoleonic era.

Who influenced you most whilst you were growing up?
My prep school headmaster had a powerful influence over me. The school was run as it always had been since the 1920s, or so it seemed; but he taught me strong values and that loyalty was important. He taught me to work hard, to have courage and stick up for myself. I am not convinced that these values have survived that well in the world as we know it now.

What annoys you most: what would you put in Room 101?
I have spent much of my life trying very hard not to be annoyed by things, especially things that are just not important. It is so negative. Instead I have sought to be enchanted by things and to see the world from the other side.

What will be your legacy?
I do not have any desire any longer to be remembered for anything. What do I leave behind me? I would like to be remembered by my sons as the dad who said things that mattered and helped them at the time. I was often away working and I missed out on a great deal. In my 30s, how I missed having a father; but I was blessed with a most wonderful father-in-law. We were lucky to have had such an amazing relationship.

Image Credits: Kt Bruce .

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