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23rd May 2016

How I Make it Work: Festival Curator, Kath Gorman

Katie Mythen-Lynch

Kath Gorman is Artistic Curator of the Cork Midsummer Festival, which kicks off in June. She lives in Cork with her husband Ian and their daughters Leah (16), Charlotte (10) and Rachel (8).

“I wake between 6.45am and 7.45am – depending on who is doing the early shift and getting our eldest daughter out the door for school.  At the weekends we try to have more of a lie-in now the kids are getting older. Breakfast is quiet and quick – more a case of making sure everyone’s eaten to set them up for the day.

I spend about 10 minutes on myself – just enough time to shower and get dressed. Then I’m doing my make-up on the bus to Cork! I use Nivea cold cream (in the big blue tub) to take my make-up off.  I sometimes use Ponds night cream and recently bought Boots No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum, but I haven’t noticed any improvements yet.

My greatest weekly indulgence is a nice hot bath, a Jack Daniel’s and Coke, a tub of ice cream and watching The Good Wife with my husband.

My husband Ian does most of the cooking. During the week I’m usually not back until 7pm, although sometimes I do work from home. Our eldest daughter has been vegan since January, and our youngest daughter is vegetarian, so it can be challenging catering for the different diets. I’m looking forward to being cooked for at two events in this year’s Festival! There’s an outdoor banquet on Oliver Plunkett Street called Our Table and dinner at The Farmgate Café in the English Market for Crosstown Drift.

If it’s a normal day, I finish around 5.30/6pm. Sometimes when I’m seeing a theatre or dance show in Cork, it will be later. I also travel a bit for work, both here in Ireland and abroad, so this can involve some evenings and weekends, but I love meeting artists and seeing new shows.

Ian does the majority of the drop-offs and pick-ups for the two younger girls. Last week Ian was working in London, but we have a brilliant childminder, Sue. My mum was over too to look after the girls, as I was heading to the Brighton Festival.

At the weekend we head into Cork, somewhere like Fitzgerald’s Park (where the free day of family entertainment, Picnic in the Park takes place this year), or walk along the old Blackrock railway line. Sometimes we go for a stroll in the countryside out near Kinsale, or to the woods or beach, perhaps with a stop to a café or pub along the way!

We live in Kinsale so have made many trips around west Cork over the years. I never get bored of it – there are so many gorgeous places to explore. Having lived in Ireland now for seven years, we are gradually trying to work through the counties. Abroad, my ideal holiday would be in Corsica, Amsterdam or somewhere in Italy such as Le Marche region.

The last book I read was Love and Happiness by Galt Niederhoffer from our fantastic local library in Kinsale run by the lovely, soon-to-be retired Eileen O’Connell. I’m currently reading Kevin Barry’s award-winning book, the brilliant Beatlebone. Kevin is actually taking part in the Midsummer Festival on June 25, presenting Crosstown Drift. He’ll introduce some of the finest writers based in Ireland today in some of Cork’s most intimate and unusual locations.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is: Nobody on their death bed said they wished they had spent more time at work! It’s a great reminder about trying to get a good balance between work and life, which can be hard to strike at times.

What advice would I give to a new mum? Keep your expectations low and make sure you look after yourself. Take up offers of help from friends and family and try and get even half an hour to yourself. It’s easier said than done, but take a rest when your baby sleeps rather than trying to keep the house looking perfect. No one is expecting a show home!”

The Cork Midsummer Festival (June 17 to 19, 21, June 24 – 26) is packed full of family-friendly events such and spectacular performances. Don’t miss The Jungle BookPicnic in the Park and the hands-on art workshop Tales of Tomorrowland at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery.