Attractive, bubbly, confident and with a contagious laugh – there are simply not enough descriptive words to capture in a single sentence the experience of meeting professional chef, Jacky Standish.
Looking younger than her 57 years, Jacky has engaged on an unusual “bucket list”, though she’s quick to point out: “I’m definitely not dying. Quite the opposite!”
For the dog-lover, who confesses “she doesn’t know who to smile at first,” the list is all about making up for lost time.
It’s hard to imagine, this woman who laughs easily and is generous with her smiles would ever want for anything, but reflecting on recent years she admits “there’s plenty of catching up to be done.”
Relaxing over a coffee, the former chef and house manager to Hagley Hall’s Lord and Lady Cobham, explains that enduring decades of teeth troubles left her battling with some very dark days before receiving implant treatment at the Denture Clinic in Dudley.
“I was deeply ashamed of my teeth. I could cook fabulous meals for the rich and famous who regularly visited the hall. But for my own pleasure with food, it was becoming a nightmare as I found it more and more difficult to eat the meals I prepared.
“My bucket list . . . all the places I want to eat out,” she muses, “and I just might cook at home and throw a dinner party . . . that sounds terribly old fashioned, doesn’t it,” she adds.
“I always used to find meals out with family and friends quite daunting and felt my presence compromised those with whom I was out.