Co Armagh singer-songwriter Rue: My volleyball career took a back seat and my music one took over

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: Co Armagh singer-songwriter, Rue, who will be performing at tomorrow's Irish News Ulster GAA All-Stars Awards

Co Armagh singer-songwriter Rue
Gail Bell

Up and at it - what is your morning routine?

My usual morning routine features my alarm going off and then I have a cup of tea - I really can't start the day without a cuppa. I get my little one ready for nursery, we brush our teeth and then it's out the door, ready for the day to begin.


What might you eat in a typical working day for...Breakfast?

Every morning is different, and some mornings I am hungrier than others, but typical breakfasts would be eggs and toast, Weetabix or, sometimes, a smoothie.


I mostly stick to the same things every day but do have slight variations. I'd have pasta salad or a wrap of some sort. Sometimes, it's just a sandwich.

Evening meal?

This is usually chicken with rice and some sauce or other - I like spaghetti bolognese. Steak with rice and veg is one of my favourite dinners.


Is nutrition important to you – do you take health supplements?

More recently, I have invested time for my health. Every day, I take a multi-vitamin and usually try to drink two litres of water. This is more difficult than it seems.


Ever been on a diet – if so, how did it go?

Yes - but diets and me do not work. I tend to overindulge when I am 'dieting', as my mind beats me most of the time into thinking I am hungry, so for that reason, I don't bother with them any more. Instead, I like to just be mindful each day of the amount of carbs I am eating.


Weekend treat?

I always think it is lovely to treat yourself at the weekend, so my husband and I try to get out to a restaurant at least once a month. If that doesn't happen, we usually get a lovely Indian meal to take away - the hotter the better.


How do you keep physically and mentally fit?

With work and having a child, it is hard to do something every single day, but most mornings, after I drop my little one to school, I usually go for a walk around the local club, just to get the steps in. With regards to staying mentally fit, I have started listening to some podcasts and these definitely help set a positive mental attitude. This, along with listening to my favourite artists, always keeps the mind healthy. Other times, I'll escape the hustle and bustle of daily life with a really good book.


Best tip for everyday fitness?

Have a 'get up and go' attitude. If everyone could aim for 10K steps a day, they would feel much better for it. And be a healthier and happier version of yourself.


Were you a fan of schools sports/PE or do you have a memory from those days that you would rather forget?

I actually enjoyed sports day. The team races were my favourite, although I am a very competitive person generally. I loved PE in school - my favourite activity was volleyball and I was on the school team. I tried football for a while too, but my favourite subject was always music, so I guess my volleyball career took a back seat and my music one took over.


Teetotal or tipple?

Can I say almost teetotal? I honestly don't have any desire to drink much, with my husband being a teetotaller. I enjoy the odd cocktail now and again when out with the girls or socialising with family. I really believe your company influences your desire to drink, sometimes.


Stairs or lift?

Let's be honest, if there is a lift there, I'm getting in. Although stairs are the healthier option, I do have my little girl in her pram most of the time when I am out and about, so I guess that gives me a golden ticket to use the lift - right?


What book are you currently reading?

I take my little girl to the library, so it's always good to treat myself to a great book when I'm there. Recently, I have been intrigued to find out more about this universe that we are living in, so the books I am reading are definitely influenced by my current interests. The book I am reading right now is called The Secret Language of the Universe by Laura Lynne Jackson.


Best Netflix?

I absolutely love Netflix. I love getting into different shows - it's something to look forward to in the winter evenings. Some shows I watch are Selling Sunset, Ozark and Emily in Paris. I also love Sort Your Life Out.


Most surprising thing you've learned about yourself over the pandemic?

I think the pandemic definitely taught everyone a lot, individually. It taught me lessons about what I prioritise in life. We honestly don't need that much - the material things don't matter; nothing else matters, really, but family and your health.


Any new skills or hobbies?

Listening to podcasts and daily affirmations. I have also started to learn the piano as it's been something I have been wanting to do for a long time and I have joined a yoga class which I absolutely love.


How do you relax?

Podcasts and 15-minute meditations on YouTube.


What are your goals for 2022/23?

To be a healthier and better version of myself and to be more positive and release new music.


What time do you get to bed and do you think you get enough sleep?

I try to be in bed no later than 10.30pm most nights. With a three-year-old, I am well ready for it at that stage.


Biggest gripe?

Slow, slow drivers... And pigeons in public spaces scare the life out of me.


Have your priorities in life or perspectives changed?

Since having a child, yes, absolutely. Everything changes; your whole perspective and outlook every day is a blessing and you realise health is everything.


Has coronavirus changed your attitude towards your own mortality?

Not really, but if I can help my body in anyway, such as taking multi-vitamins etc, it has encouraged me to look after my health more. With regards to my attitude towards mortality - well, that's something I can't avoid, so why give it much thought?

Rue's new single, Call on Me, is out now and she will be performing tomorrow at The Irish News Ulster GAA All-Stars Awards at the Ulster Hall.