Catching up with Dr. Pixie

*Tell us about yourself and your involvement in Genes Day.

Cork born and bred I now live in Cambridge in the UK where I combine a career in motherhood medicine and the media. My day to day life can be summed up in one word-chaotic! Although I no longer live in Ireland as the saying goes “You can take the girl out of Cork but you can’t take Cork out of the girl?. I spend as much time as possible on home turf. I’m delighted to support Genes Day as I think it’s crucial to raise awareness and funds to establish the genetic link particularly where Cancer is concerned. Cork has the highest rate of bowel Cancer in Ireland. We need to better this statistic by throwing funds in the direction of screening and targeted treatment. There are numerous other life limiting genetic diseases in communities all over Ireland. The more we understand about the genetics the more likely we are to get the better of the disease.

*What’s your ideal way to spend a Friday night? (night out on the town, meal with friends, feet up at home…)

I’ve just had a whole pile of work on so I’m a bit exhausted. This Friday night I have a date with my sofa and a box set…my husband might get a look in if he keeps supplying me with a constant stream of Barry’s tea. I am also quiet partial to a night on the tiles whenever I get a leave pass! With a 3 year old it’s a luxury!

*Is the weekend work free… or does it creep into things?

With TV I do tend to have some weekend commitments. I also write for newspapers and magazines and have just completed 2 books. So I can frequently be found tapping away at the iPad when I should be relaxing.

*Do you get to indulge some hobbies after your week’s work? Even as a spectator?

I run and cycle and have recently taken up swimming. As a nation I think we are rubbish swimmers – something to do with the weather I?m sure. It’s a skill I?m trying to master… slowly. I also love rugby so head to Ireland and Munster games whenever I can.

*To recharge the batteries where do you head to locally? (walk, beach..)

To be frank nothing relaxes me as much as a shopping trip! I think you should be able to get retail therapy on prescription. In terms of the great outdoors, Baltimore is my favourite place in the world, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else whatever the weather.

*Budget is no problem… where is your city break destination of choice? Ireland or abroad?

It has got to be New York! If I’m staying local you can’t get much better than The Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore.

*How important is it for you to meet up with friends/ family at the weekend?

Family are hugely important to me. As I no longer live in Cork we all tend to congregate in Baltimore. There’s nothing I love more than a family dinner cooked by my mammy. We all sit around the table and my Dad dishes out advice…and wine well into the night.

*Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the former do you have a signature dish?

I much rather being entertained. I destroy the kitchen when I cook – it looks like there’s been a murder in there when I’ve been on duty. As for my favourite food…leg of lamb and shed loads of spuds!

*We are spoiled for choices when it comes to eating out in Cork – where are your going to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

I love Gourmandises. Great food and atmosphere – a little bit of France in Cork. We have been going to the Ambassador since I was tiny so if I’m feeling like something orientalist that’s my spot. Afternoon tea at Hayfield Manor is a real treat too.

*How do you spend Sunday nights.. which always come around too quickly?

I hate Sunday nights as it?s a throwback to school when there was always a mad frenzy to get an essay finished in time for school. I now ignore the fact Monday is coming by never preparing for it. Inevitably this leads to utter chaos and swearing come the dawn of day…but I prefer it that way.

Dr. Pixie McKenna is our wonderful Genes Day Ambassador again this year. Sign up now to take part in Genes Day on Friday 16th October.