David Hartnell - One minute interview with Carol Lee-Honson

Carol Lee-Honson is a woman with a wonderful sprit, who has lived in the Ponsonby area most of her life. Carol is an extremely talented painter, humble about her work and always thinking it’s not good enough.

Best thing about Ponsonby?
Window shopping and buying impulsively. I never get to go along the whole of Ponsonby Road as I always end up spending more time in a shop than I intend to, or end up in a cafe having my soy flat white and doing my code cracker.

What was your childhood like?
Care free! Mum and Dad worked so my Grandmother saw us off to school. She didn’t speak English, I managed several times to convince her that we had the day off so I didn’t have to go to school. Adrienne and Corinne lived over the road and we are still friends today after 64 years.

Your aunt Diana Wong still lives in the family home in Grey Lynn, what do you remember about the house in Ariki Street?
It was a three bedroom home with one toilet purchased by my great-grandfather. There were three generations living there. I remember it was a cold house with no insulation. The street was lined with plane trees. We used to scooter all the way down to Williamson Avenue through Crummer Road. There used to be a corner store where I bought du Maurier cigarettes for Mum and flour for Grandma. It’s now a cafe with bean bags on the pavement.

I will die happy if...
I don’t end up with excruciating pain and still have my marbles!

Most annoying celebrity?
News readers who speak very nasally.

Dream holiday?
Mmmm. So many choices. Definitely somewhere warm but not too hot, fine sand, warm, clear waters, good food. Any one of the Greek Islands I wouldn’t say no to.

Bucket list?
My bucket’s already full.

The most Kiwi thing about you?
Not being assertive enough.

See yourself in 10 years?
Definitely being able to take advantage of the cheap airfares to any place in the world without having to worry about who is going to care for Mum.

If they made a movie about your life, who would play you?
Jackie Chan in drag!

What do you dislike about your appearance?
I’m learning to love who I am otherwise I would, as my homestay tells me, have to kill myself!

How would you like to be remembered?
Not at all. Life goes on.

If you were an ice cream, what flavour?
Blueberry cream!

Something you really disapprove of?

Biggest disappointment?
That I didn’t take the opportunity offered to me to buy a beachfront block of land in Omaha for $1000 in the 1970s.

If you won a million dollars?
How boring, I would re-concrete the drive, it’s like an obstacle course.

What motivates you?
My son Justin who died in 1997 at 26.

What do you think happens when we die?
Nothing. That’s why we should enjoy our lives now.

Favourite movie?
Gloomy Sunday. Saw it three times but can’t remember why!

Teenaged self some advice?
Things always work out and there’ll be someone for you out there.

How do you chill out?
Going down to my art studio.

Which item of clothing can't you live without?
My pinnie!

What are you insecure about?
I am trying not to be insecure so I’m not telling you!

Tell us something very few people know about you?
Recently my 53-year-old son who I gave up at birth made contact with me.

Your greatest fear?
Dying with excruciating pain.

What superpower do you wish you had?
Ha ha, hearing. Everyone is telling me I am losing it!

Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to paint effortlessly.

What gizmo can you simply not live without?
To be honest, I can live without any of my gizmos. Well, maybe not my garden mulcher.

Your dream guest list for a dinner party?
My mother has dementia, and can always crack up a party!

Favourite movie?
About a Boy always puts a smile on my face. I do believe no man is an island and surrounding yourself with good hearted, fun and loyal friends always enhances your life.

If you could change one law in New Zealand, what would it be?
Change the law to allow easier access to marijuana for medicinal purposes. (DAVID HARTNELL, MNZM)