Know-vember: Byron Ballard

Yes, it’s your Village Witch, the Appalachian wise woman, Ms Ballard. We first met at the witchcraft conference at Harvard and managed to keep up with one another ever since. I’m hoping Byron will be able to manage a trip over here while I’m in Ireland. Should be wonderful to have her in the land of the ancient Celts — many megaliths and pubs to visit. Of course she would be welcome company any time, any where.

1. What’s the first thing you do upon waking in the morning?

I lie still for a few minutes and imagine the day ahead. Then I get up, put away the futon that is my bed, open the shades at the window. And go pee.

2. What’s a song you might be persuaded to dance to?

I will waggle my ample backside to almost any kind of music–yes, I have danced to Mozart’s Requiem–but I love classic metal, trad Brit, bluegrass. They require different dances…or do they?

3. Where in the world do you live?

I live in the oldest mountains in the world in the southern highlands of Appalachia. From my window, I can see the third oldest river in the world. So here in NC, I feel pretty young.

4. What’s a great night out for you?

A great night out would be seeing a play done well (a rarity), a bottle of excellent French wine, and something delicious to eat–all with friends.

5. What’s a great night in?

A few friends in for high tea that morphs into us making dinner, listening to or playing music, telling stories and jokes. Perhaps a fire outside in the fire pit.

6. If you were offered an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

My first thought is always either Meath or London but since someone else is picking up the tab, I’ll go a bit further afield. Crete or Greece, I think.

7. What book do you wish everyone would read so you could talk about it?

Whichever book I’m reading at the time. Schiff’s Cleopatra bio is my current one.

8. What movie makes you cry?

Gad, I cry at all of them. I’m a big sap. So, Love Actually, Calendar Girls all that sentimental rubbish. I love it.

9. What makes you laugh?

I never tire of Hot Fuzz. I’ve seen it a zillion times and I still fall out at “NWA” on the door of the Neighborhood Watch group.

10. Are there fairies at the bottom of your garden?

Um, yes. I call them the Cousins and we have a fair working relationship in the growing of veg, as long as I remember my place. There is also a disgruntled djinn who can’t figure out how to get home and has taken up residence in the shed. Long story, I’ll show you the scar sometime.

Thank you!