Julian Lennon and his Mother Cynthia

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Julian and Cynthia Lennon

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Perhaps that's partly why you're so close now.

JULIAN: "We are there for each other, Mum and I. We'll be there for each other in a heartbeat and we always have been. When I was a teenager in North Wales, and the only thing I card about at school was art, Mum even became my unofficial art teacher, when it turned out that the school art teacher had taught us all entirely the wrong O-Level syllabus."

According to her, you've gone through great changes over the years. What's going on in your life now?

"In the professional field, I've started my own independent record label, so I'm now the one who makes the decisions. It's a lot more work, because I'm not only the artist; I'm co-producer, manager, and I'm running the business as well. But having control over my career makes an incredible amount of difference. I've called the company Music From Another Room - the other room, basically, being my head."

You have a second company too...

"It's called Pictures From Another Room. At present it's devoted to producing environmental films about indigenous tribes, about whales and dolphins, The majority of any money made will go to help the tribes."

And back to the musical front...

"We've just released our first single in America and to radio only. It's called 'I Don't Wanna Know.' Knock on wood, the latest information is that I feature high on the 'most requested' list for listeners and DJs. And on several charts I'm No. 1. 

"I've been concentrating efforts away from Britain and actually in the Far East where I haven't spent much time before. My intention now is to re-release here later in the year."

How do you foresee your reception in Britain?

"I'm excited and a little nervous, because it's been seven or eight years since I've had a high musical profile here. But it does seem that it's all happening for the right reason this time, because of the work -some ballads, some classically oriented tracks and some pop - rather than the name. 

"The one thing I've always wanted first and foremost is to be respected as a writer and an artist. I now feel very fortunate that it's happening with this particular album."

Like your mother, you've chosen to live abroad.

"I've a flat in Monte Carlo and a lot of friends in the surrounding area. As the old song says, 'I do like to be beside the seaside', and when the weather's nice, its all the better. 

"But northern Italy is my main getaway. I live there in a small apartment on a lake never Como. I love the countryside, the lake itself is very beautiful in summer and I love to cook there too."

Cynthia' just been talking about your culinary talents.

"I probably have more of a passion for cooking than I do for music. I love traveling and finding great little hideout restaurants and little villages and going to the open markets. 

"Eventually I must admit I want to do a cookbook, though people might think it a bit gimmicky - the musician turned cook. Cooking and music, they're very much the same sort of therapy. Both depend on adding the right ingredients to come up with a product that not only you, but everyone else, enjoys. 

"A friend of mine in the South of France has a house with an enormous kitchen. When I'm staying there I tend to find myself less in the sun than cooking for about ten people every day. Music might give me a couple of hits a year, but in cooking, depending on how many meals I cook, I can get three hits a day!"

After music and food let's talk about love. How did you meet Lucy?

"We crossed paths in the Caribbean one Christmas about five years ago. At that time, I was involved with someone and I believe she was too. Every Christmas we'd go to the same place in Barbados and every year I could just see in her eyes that she was the right person for me. 

"I could tell that she was very grounded, very earthy and would brook no bull whatever. If I was out of line she'd straighten me out immediately! I just knew from the way she looked, spoke and carried herself that she was a very caring person. 

"Finally, a year and a half ago, we got together and since then we've probably spent in total only a week and a half apart."

Tell us more about her.

"Her parents are from England, and she grew up in Majorca, the middle of three sisters in a delightful family. She used to do ballet, and when we got together she was in college and doing a lot of part-time modeling which she actually gave up so that we could try to work this relationship out. She's in the company with me now, helping with the day-to-day running of its madness! 

"We try to be together and work together and I can think of no more than two occasions in the past 18 months when we've faced confusion over some issue. Apart from that it's all been incredibly smooth - quite scarily so really!"

So what happens next between you?

"I've given her a ring. I wanted to find her something different, something special and unique...not your average engagement ring because for me it meant much more. 

"Neither Lucy nor I like big and garish baubles, so in choosing a ring I wanted to find something delicate. The ring I found is an antique from an old estate with different coloured diamonds. It reflects the many colours of Lucy."

How do you feel about the age gap between you?

"Lucy's 21 but she's definitely an old soul, otherwise it wouldn't work with me being 36. You can call Lucy my fiancée, but really she's my partner, definitely a partner in every respect."

Where do you hope to settle?

"More than likely in Italy. As a kid I spent all my holidays there, with my stepfather Roberto Bassanini, and I used to speak the language fluently. We're looking for an old home with lots of character...somewhere to be without running round like a headless chicken. We think we've found a place, but it needs a lot of work."

Isn't it a little spooky that you, who did the original drawing that inspired the song 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,' should pair up with a Lucy of your own?

"It's very odd, I know, and wonderful in so many ways. It's like coming full circle."

Have you felt more secure since reaching a settlement with Yoko Ono about your father's estate? Finances apart, there must be a sense of recognition, of old ghosts laid to rest?

"In one respect yes, but I'm still unhappy about how Dad's memory has been handled. Electric-blue ties bearing his sketches, Lennon mugs, and most recently, so-called 'museum quality' photographs at about 80 pounds a print. 

"I understand there are great fans and collectors out there, but I just don't understand the tackiness of what's offered. There could be a more respectful approach. 

"Yoko Ono appears to not like the fact that Mum and I are publicly part of Dad's life. It's very painful. It's as if she wants to deny Dad's English family links. We are thorns in her side because I believe she wants to be seen as the Lennon family and the most important connection to him."