My Perfect Weekend; Archaeology, Ancient Stones and Daddy Cool

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), October 17, 1998 | Go to article overview

My Perfect Weekend; Archaeology, Ancient Stones and Daddy Cool


Former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman was once famous as a party animal. Now 61, he prefers digging his garden, collecting ancient relics and sterilising baby bottles

I'm always up in the middle of the night. In my world, time is different. I live on New York time, five or six hours behind everyone else, and I find the best time to work is between midnight and five in the morning.

I also have three young daughters and we have to get up with them in the middle of the night; I'll burp Matilda, the baby, or sterilise her bottle.

And if I wake up in the night I won't go back to bed till the next evening. I only sleep when my body tells me to.

I can't go to many public places without hassle, so I tend to keep strange hours, even at weekends.

I used to drive out to Beachy Head to watch the sunrise for a couple of hours after recording, or I'd take my son Stephen to Richmond Park at 7am when he was younger, so we could watch the deer in peace.

We have a nanny, Elaine, to help us but she only works from nine to six on weekdays. We have the girls to ourselves at weekends. We're very hands- on as parents, and that's very important.

I love to go shopping with them on the King's Road in London, or I'll take them down to the Embankment on the Thames to look at the boats.

I've taken the two eldest ones, Katharine, who's almost five, and Jessica who's three, to the museum a couple of times to look at the dinosaurs. I love to teach them things like that. You can give them your DNA, your blood and your shape and your body but you can't teach them what you've learned - I wish you could.

I'm fascinated by natural history. Since the '50s, I've been teaching myself all sorts of things - astronomy, antiques, archaeology, legends.

We have a house in Suffolk where we spend most of our weekends, and sometimes full weeks. I love the country, I'm more of a country person than a townie, especially now I'm getting older. I like the quiet.

Everyone is usually to be found around the pool while I'm up in my study, tinkering away on the computer, finishing some project or other.

Since I finished recording the new Rhythm Kings album, with Eric Clapton and Georgie Fame, I have more time for other things - I'm writing four books at the moment, one of them is about our house which dates back to 1480.

Whenever I can, I dig in the garden. I started a few years ago, just for a laugh, I walked up the garden, away from the pretty part, and started digging inside the moat.

I went down about nine inches and found a wall, and then another, and another. The local museum and archaeologists help me now; and I have a room in my attic filled with relics we've found, 300 coins, 17 Roman brooches, bronze age and iron age stuff. …

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