Christine Keeble Watson

Short biography
I spent my childhood on St Georges Hill, a beautiful wooded hill with views of Surrey about half an hour’s drive from London. I went to Exeter University, graduating in English Literature, followed by 15 years in London working in public relations and marketing (for consultancies and self-employed). I then moved into television, working as a marketing manager/producer and I was doing this when I met husband, Rod. Marrying him meant moving to Germany, where I became mum to our daughter, Darcy. Rod worked in pharmaceuticals and in 1998 his company made an acquisition which moved us from Hanover to Paris. During Darcy’s childhood I renovated my Paris house and garden and I taught English as a foreign language. I started up a little ‘Wednesday school’ called “English Club”, especially for bi-lingual kids. When Darcy reached ten I was considering my next career move but then there was another company acquisition which took us to Cyprus. My next project was renovating our house here. I joined CIWOT in 2008 (yes, before it was even official!) and I became CIWOT President in 2014. I so enjoyed developing CIWOT and expanding the membership and activities - which I continued for five years until 2019. In my travels I did learn to speak German and French. However Greek presents a greater challenge. So here I remain – loving the sun, the island and its diverse peoples – and trying to learn just a bit of Greek!

Where are you originally from?
UK – as above. St Georges Hill is near Guildford in Surrey.

My husband’s work in pharmaceuticals brought us to Cyprus.
Do you have any skills or talents that most people don’t know about?

My hidden skill or talent is dancing! I was in a cabaret display team for a unique partner dance called LeRoc/Ceroc/Modern jive. We performed in night clubs and I started my own dance club called the Hotfoot Club. I also taught dance for a children’s charity. I produced and presented the first ever How To Jive video which helped spread the dance across the globe. In 1994 I founded the LeRoc Modern Jive Federation. This is the examining body for dance teachers of this dance and it continues to this day (affiliated to the UKA Dance teachers association).

What are your hobbies?
Sailing my little yacht, Drumbeg. CIWOT, Zumba, dancing modern jive, art, writing, garden, movies, swimming.

What was the best tip anyone ever gave you?
Best tip was from my grannie when I was a child “If you cannot say something to someone’s face – then never, ever say it behind their back”

Who or what inspires you? 

Sitting at a table under some leafy, dappled shade with good food, good friends, witty conversation and laughter.

What publications do you regularly read?
Mensa Magazine. Ted Talks.

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?
Chatting to my daughter on Facebook about all her various acting projects (or, better still, catching up with her in real life)

What are some causes you care about?
Global warming. I am anti Big Brother data & media manipulation and Trafficking of people.

What do you do with friends in your spare time?
Eat, chat and laugh. Sail my boat.

What would be your personal motto
“Angels Fly Because They Take Themselves Lightly”

What is your favourite Cypriot custom or saying?
“Sega, sega” I love the Cyprus pace of life and the philosophical acceptance that good things take time.

What's your current occupation?
I am renovating my yacht, Drumbeg. She is a Contessa 32 and sails like a dream but she is old and tatty and needs a facelift!

If you have a business, talk to us about it.
I studied entrepreneurship at Cranfield School of Management. I had my own business before I was married. I had an exclusive licence with the Times to take their printing plates and turn them into framed artworks for those who featured in the pages. Margaret Thatcher received one and she invited me to tea at the House of Commons so I could present it to her in person. I was also self-employed when I made my first how-to ‘movie’ called “How To Jive”. It took me a year to raise the capital and it sold continuously for 30 years so it was worth the effort.

Who is someone you admire, and why? 
I admire Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand. NZ is suffering due to Covid, like many others. However, Ardern’s generosity of spirit in leadership is one I relate to – empathy, teamwork, compassion and nurturing. Plus leading by example.

What’s a typical day like for you?
The routine bits are a swim and a very long coffee session chatting to my husband about world affairs, the movie we watched last night and this and that.

Which famous person, either historic or still living would you like to meet and explain why.
I would love to meet Jane Austen. A woman who can write with such wisdom and humanity must be worth knowing.

Must see or hot spot in Cyprus or surroundings
I just love the sea and sailing.

If you could be anywhere other than here, right this minute, where would you be? (Don’t overthink it!)
Walking some cliffs in Devon with a good friend or two.

Finish this sentence. On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me…
Pottering about my terrace with brunch on a tray.

How do you want people to remember you?
When my father died the newspaper headline read “A man of rare integrity”. That’s a hard one to follow and I’d settle for the same.

How do you think your friends would describe you?
My best friends once gave me a little silver teaspoon with an owl on the handle. They told me it was because they found me wise.

What do you want to make sure you do before you die?
Write novels. Paint pictures. Bounce some grandchildren on my knee. Travel a bit. …. and help keep world peace.

What’s a goal you have for yourself that you want to accomplish in the next year?
Complete the renovation of my lovely boat and learn to sail her solo.

Name a few of your daily habits (other than a shower and brushing your teeth).
Absolutely nothing worth writing about.

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