Prepare to Meet Your Maker, Only Less Sinister ... I Promise!

Prepare to meet your maker! That has such a sinister tone - but let’s blame all that time spent watching Skeletor in the ‘80s, shall we? I promise I’m charming when you get to know me a little better, which I hope you will in this installment of Behind The Cauldron, stories, and quips from the woman behind the wicks of Pendle Wick.

I've introduced myself before, and you have gotten to know a few of the basics about me, Michelle, the person who lives #behindthecauldron. There’s the true crime podcasts and the British roots, but since it’s Thanksgiving and we’re all going back to our roots this time of year, I thought I’d bring you back to mine.

For this deeper dive into the mind of a candle maker, I enlisted the help of my Mum. Mum's job was a simple one - find a bunch of random questions off the internet and do a bit on an interview with me, the maker, and her firstborn. Mum, you did a brilliant job! Thank you for being such a good sport via Skype. Your check is in the mail (it’s invisible, but it’s there in spirit). 

Here are my immediate and quite possibly not well-thought-out responses to these mysteries of life. We may have gone off on some tangents during the conversation, but I did say all of these things to my mother. 

Mum: If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be? 

PW: I'd go to the football with Dad again. I miss our Saturdays at The Turf (Turf Moor is the home ground for Burnley Football Club - my team I have supported since I was maybe 5 or 6 years old.) That and the other Saturday night fun when we all get together with you and your mates, the other Saga Louts, and everybody shouts at each other. Ah, fun times! 

Mum: Is Darth Vader really evil? 

PW: NO! He's just a soul whose intentions were good. He had a really tragic backstory. He wasn't evil, evil like that horrible git Palpatine. Anakin got heartbroken by an older woman, and well yeah ... I mean, he came good again, in the end, bless him.

Mum: What would you sing at karaoke night? 

PW: 'Like a Virgin'

 [ Mum chokes on her wine from laughing ]

PW: Oi! Cheeky cow. Alright, not that one, and luckily for everyone around me, I do NOT sing at karaoke. If I were to sing karaoke, you can bet your pension it'd be “Killer Queen” or “The Bitch is Back.” 


Mum: This one should be easy for you to answer. What is your favorite book to read? 

PW: Why would you make me choose just one?! You monster! My favorite read that I go back to time and time again is Mort (A Discworld Novel - Terry Pratchett). You never did write to the council either to switch off that streetlight outside my bedroom window that I used as a reading light. 

Mum: I should have taken the bulb out myself! 


Mum: If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?

PW: Now that's just bloody dangerous. I get myself into enough hot water without the addition of superpowers. I want to fly, but then again, it might get cold. 

Mum: Make everyone tell the truth for once - imagine how much chaos that would cause. 


Mum: What's your favorite holiday? 

PW: You're not going to like this one, but you'll not be surprised, seeing as I always wanted to dress up as a witch. It's Halloween, hands-down winner! Oh, I love Spooky Season. It's mega - pumpkins, lattes, all things essential like flannel shirts and brunches with friends before we carve pumpkins and drink delicious cider. It makes me so happy, and people who don't like it need to piss off and let us have the little things that make us happy! I've watched Hocus Pocus 5 times this month already; I am not even sorry! Winnifred Sanderson is my soul sister. 

Mum: If you could interview a celebrity and ask them one question, who would you request, and what would you say? 

PW: Henry Cavill, can I sit on your face? OK, OK, sorry [Mum actually laughed at this, but she then told me I was naughty, so I changed my response] Will you audition to be the next James Bond? 


Mum: Now I want to know the answer to this one because you were such a fussy eater as a child. What's your favorite type of cuisine? 

PW: I miss a good chippy and an excellent Indian out here. I did find one banging fish and chip shop when I lived in Virginia Beach; it's called the Chipper in Hampton Roads. It's as good as the chippy at home. I haven't found an Indian restaurant yet that comes anywhere near to the Four Elephants, though. I don't think it's as good here in America. Oh, but what they do have here, which is amazeballs is Mexican food. Oh my god, it's so good. 


Mum: Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life? 

PW: BATMAN! [Laughing at my hilarity while Mum just rolls her eyes at me.] 

Mum: Batman isn't real! You can't have Batman play you in your life movie.

PW: If you can choose to be anyone, I think choosing to be Batman is quite reasonable. Oooh, Helena Bonham-Carter, she was brilliant as Princess Margaret in the Crown. 

Mum: This one is just silly because you're so outgoing and confident. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? 

PW: HA! I'm an introvert. I will have you know, Mother! I'm an ISFJ-T, Defender according to that 16 personalities test. 

Mum: What song would you say best sums you up? 

PW: Elton John, “The Bitch Is Back”. I am a feisty little diva when the mood takes me. Oh, but we aren't singing it on karaoke, remember! 

Mum: [Trying not to laugh as she asks this question] If you had a warning label, what would yours say? 

PW: WARNING: Opens mouth without engaging the brain. Not responsible for what comes out.

[BOTH LAUGH HYSTERICALLY - this seriously went on for about 5 minutes before we could continue sensibly] 

Mum: On a scale of 1-10, how funny would you say you are? 

PW: I think I am bloody hilarious, and I will point you in the direction of the names of my candles. Mermaid Queefs is utterly laughable. Even if I did not name it, I chose to run with the idea and embraced it wholly. "Rate my Queef; You Know You Want To" is a brilliant line to use with customers. I have just named two new ones as well. An Otters Pocket and a Wizards Sleeve are being released shortly.  

Mum: If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be?

PW: I'm a wild mustang. I have magnificent hair, and I am a wild child. I always have been, I do what makes me happy, and I have a massive zest for life. 

Mum: You've got something, that's for sure. 

Mum: What is your favorite family holiday tradition? 

PW: The matching outfits that my parents would buy for us on family trips. The personalized hats and tee shirts with our names printed on them were my favorite—unique fashion ideas of the 1980s. 

[Pontins Prestatyn - 1980s Parenting Hack]

Mum: There's a witch theme to your shop. Who is your favorite famous witch? 

PW: The Wicked Witch of the West. I even made a candle for Elphaba. I thought Glinda was a two-faced bitch. I said what I said. 

Mum: If you could join any past or current music group, which would you want to join? 

PW: The Spice Girls! I wanted to BE Posh when I was a teenager. I made the mistake of copying her pixie cut in 1999. Thankfully this mistake was at a time BEFORE Facebook, and we still had dial-up internet! 

Mum: Do you collect anything as an adult? When you were little, you had lots of books and Polly Pockets, I remember. 

PW: I'm a sucker for fridge magnets. I have over 70 of them from my travels around the world and across the USA. I also have an El Camino travel bracelet that allows you to carry your travel memories with you. I am missing quite a few 'steps' off mine right now & it makes for an easy birthday & Christmas gift list for family & friends and is relatively small. 

Mum: What's your favorite movie? 

PW: I will always watch Hocus Pocus at any time of year. My favorite movies are James Bond, though, and if I had to choose just one, I would be selecting The Living Daylights. Timothy Dalton is my fave, James Bond. 

Mum: How would your friends describe you? 

PW: As a social hand grenade! I regret NOTHING! 

Mum: Who would you most want to be with if you were stranded on a deserted island?

PW: Superman, then he can pick me up and fly me off the island because I doubt I'd be very good at being stranded on a desert island or any type of island for too long. 


Mum: Who is your biggest inspiration? 

PW: Gaynor! The Honey Bee to my Queen Bee. She's my best friend & owner of her own company @gaynor_carradice_designs I will never get over her threat to cut down the entire Taliban with her fabric scissors while I was in Afghanistan in 2006 and she was graduating from Manchester University. 

[Liverpool - December 2016 - RAF Christmas Ball. Besties make the best plus 1]

Mum: Who is your favorite author? 

PW: Terry Pratchett. I take any opportunity I get as well to bend people’s ears about his books. 


Mum: Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car? 

PW: [Bursts into song] Save a horse and ride a cowboy!

Mum: WHAT? 

PW: Haven't you heard of Big and Rich? You know, "save a horse, ride a cowboy." 



Mum: What would you change about yourself if you could? 

PW: Nothing, I like who I am. As Oscar Wilde said, "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken."  Or as Dolly says, “Figure out who you are. Then do it on purpose.”

Mum: Who is your hero?

PW: Dad, he's my number one ginger! 

Mum: Tell a story about a time you felt super old. What happened?

PW: I was talking to a new girl at work, and she said she was 21. When I joined the Royal Air Force in 2004, I was 21; she was only four years old. 

Mum: What fictional character would you be best friends with in real life? 

PW: Morticia Addams, she's crafty, she likes a drink, and she's all about her family and her life goals. She also does it all while looking fabulous and NEVER once tears another woman down. She's even nice to Debbie! 

Morticia Addams, Anjelica Houston

Mum: If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be? 

PW: At Least I'm Not Boring.


Mum: If you had to make a house out of food, what kind of food would it be?

PW: Gingerbread. The only substance any witch should make her house from, and I might forgo the oven just in case Hansel & Gretel dropped by. 

Mum: What fictional television family is your real-life family most alike?

PW: The Munsters. 

Mum: What are your favorite songs from your teenage years that you still rock out to when nobody else is listening? 

PW: TAKE THAT! Oh, what a band, what a bunch of heartthrobs, and let me tell you, “Relight My Fire” is a 90s banger! I won't hear it said otherwise, and I still know all the words to all the Spice Girls songs. But only in privacy and only when I am alone. 

Mum: What was your favorite Halloween costume you wore as a child? 

PW: A Witch! I know you're shocked and had no idea I was going to say that. It drove my Mum mad - every year, she wanted me to be something friendly and cheerful, not something dark and morbid. Sorry, Mum. You got what you got with me. 

Mum: Who is your craziest/most exciting relative? 

PW: Auntie Joyce. She's the OG! 


Mum: Who is your celebrity look-alike? 

PW: When series 1 of Fargo first aired, I was tagged repeatedly by friends who all claimed that I looked like Allison Tolman. That's a huge compliment; she's one of my favorite actors. I actually liked her character in Fargo. If you haven't seen Why Women Kill yet, then you NEED to - season one was amazing, and then season two, Tolman plays Alma Filcott, and she's brilliant! 

Allison Tolman - Fargo, Season 1[Tolman - Series 1, Fargo]

Mum: What are your go-to shows that you watch when you are unwinding in an evening? 

PW: I love watching CSI, I just started binging the original series again from the beginning. You also can’t beat a good old fashioned murder mystery, like Midsomer Murders. I was feeling homesick so I got the British TV channel to get my old school murder binge in.

Mum: What do you listen to when you’re working in your candle workshop?

PW: Don’t judge me. I listen to true crime podcasts. It’s so relaxing actually to be whipping up a batch of Queefs and there in the background is Jess (@wifeofcrimepod), Margot (@militarymurderpodcast) or my sweet Hadley (@darkdamneddisturbed) going into the details of how someone like Jeffrey Dahmer went about his wicked deeds. 

[Mum does not look impressed right now - I think she’s worried about her eldest child]

And just like that our time has come to an end. That's the thing about the time zones 8 hours difference between the West of the US and the Northwest of England. When it's time for tea here it's time for bed there. 

Leave a question in the comments & come back next time when we go Behind The Cauldron once more on December 4th. 

TTFN, The Pendle Wick 


Good read. Well done.


that was the most fun “getting to know your witch” interview i’ve ever read! love your shop! excited to see what new things you cook up!


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