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'Skiing's such an adrenaline rush and great stress easer'

We ask local celebrities what are their most favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

Petra Wolsey. The 41-year-old is group marketing manager for the Beannchor Group, which owns The Merchant Hotel, and has just launched her own collection, APD Jewellery. She lives in Holywood with her husband Bill Wolsey and their daughter Caolin (5)

My best moment

Definitely Caolin coming into our lives. She's a real sweetheart and very feisty, so she's a lot of fun. She certainly is giving me a run for my money already - I'm going to be snookered when she's a teenager.

My best song

About nine years ago, Bill and I toured the United States and I made us a play-list for the trip. Snow by the Red Hot Chili Peppers was on it. We had a particularly wonderful time in Cape Cod and we both loved that song whenever it came on, although we don't usually have the same taste in music. Now, hearing it reminds me of that wonderful holiday.

My best way to relax

I love going to the movies when I'm at home. The absolute best way for me to relax, though, is to ski. It's a very mindful thing because if you don't pay attention to what you're doing you will crash in spectacular style. Bill and I have worked hard over the years to improve our technique, so we ski fast. It's a total adrenaline rush and a big stress reliever for me.

My best Job

I've been in the same line of work for a very long time and because I'm part of the family business that's unlikely to change before I retire. I love what I do and its challenges - it seems like a brand new job all the time. As soon as you think you've got used to the status quo, then we'll start a new project and it all changes again. I'm on a radical learning curve every day. Just in case I wasn't busy enough, I started up APD Jewellery to scratch my creative itch.

My best advice

Have faith in your own instincts - trust your gut. I think, with all love and respect for the male of the species, women do have a kind of sixth sense and intuition going on and we would all do well to pay attention to it. If your gut is screaming at you to do or not do something, it's worth being mindful of that.

My best movie

The Merchant Ivory adaptation of EM Forster's A Room With A View. Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter both star in it and it's so beautifully crafted in all sorts of ways - the acting is lovely and it looks wonderful. Everything Merchant Ivory do is lavish. I love the cinema and enjoy just about every genre, apart from horror.

My best gift

My sister Nikki is a landscape gardener, but she taps into her creative side by sewing patchwork quilts for the family. I've only just taken delivery of mine, as she seems to be working through the family chronologically. It's the kind of thing I'll pass down.

My best achievement

The thing I'm proud of isn't because of the thing itself, but because of the amount of fear I had to overcome to do it. And that was to ski Europe's steepest slope, the harakiri in Mayrhofen, Austria. It has a 78% gradient that scares the life out of me. I couldn't do it with an audience, so I had to wait until everyone else had gone and coach myself down the slope. Hopefully, I'll be able to apply that skill set in later life.

My best buy

My first tattoo. I wanted something that represented the spiritual element of human existence, even though I don't subscribe to a particular religion. I found images of magnified snowflakes in a magazine that were absolutely stunning. On the advice of a friend, I lived with the image on my wall for two years before I got the tattoo - and I still love it.

My best book

I was an avid reader before I had a child - these days I get through two pages and fall asleep. The book I like to dip into every now and again is The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It just lifts you and makes you stop and draw your breath for a minute.

The Merchant Hotel marked 10 years in business in April. For more information about the The Merchant Hotel visit Visit APD Jewellery's Facebook page for more details

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