Indomitable, Incandescent, Irresistible Iris!

How I wish Iris Barnes lived in London instead of up north!  If she did, I would pursue her company shamelessly!  No wonder our daughters are firm friends!


Born in Hong Kong, educated in the United States, a previous career in banking, three husbands, two kids, relocation between continents, and I’m quite certain she’s not even hit 50 yet; Iris has lived the sort of life I see unfold in cinematic colours as she talks me through the then, and the now.


You must understand, Tammy…I didn’t set out living everywhere… I just go with the flow..

You ask me about strength… I like what Buddhism expresses- the peace with everything in the world.  Do not force what you can’t change, do not force yourself on your environment.  Take what you have been offered and roll with it.


Billy?  He’s over 6-feet tall!  Now they say, “special needs”, “learning disability”…But to help you understand, once upon a time he would be called, “mentally retarded”.  He is 16.  He is extremely disabled, his cognitive age is 18months- 2 years.  He hasn’t been able to progress.  In fact, he regressed.  He’s lost a few words.


I look at Virginia, and I see a little me.  She’s so interested in my life, even after 18 years!  I’m touched.  I never get over how we can influence a little life so much…I am fascinated by this.


With a disabled child, at the back of your mind, you always wonder, what’s gong to happen…you can only do so much…It really is like going into  battle.  You can only prepare… You can never let go as he will never be able to fend for himself.  But you can’t let this be the centre of your life, it won’t do anyone any good.

I don’t want to be alone.  It’s harder when you have kids.  I would like a partner.


It’s the internet age!  I went with a shopping list!  You can pick and choose!  No, I wasn’t scared. I felt I was now a better judge of character… I wouldn’t be so easily fooled.  Previously I was the prey.  This time, I’m the Predator!  And poor Nic got picked!


Ask yourself- are you attractive and why?  Are you confident?  Interesting and interested in people and things instead of your hair and nails, which frankly nobody else cares about?  Men are less logical.  If they like what they see, they will make it work, otherwise there will never be the ferrari, the most impractical car in the world!


After the look, it’s the substance.  You can’t be an airhead.  If you are witty, it helps.  If you are not dull…Go look at the car industry!  Nobody wants the people mover!  Everyone wants the ferrari!

Even the old ferrari?  I asked between laughter.

Old ferrari?  You are still desirable.


  •  All images of Nic and Iris were shot by Virginia Saul, and photographs of Billy and Virginia belonging to Iris were used with Iris’ permission.

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