Xav Herring – One of our ‘Village People’ – Wing-it! & GreenAmi
Interviewer: What is your Name?
Xav: Xavier Herring
Interviewer: Your Business/Organisation Name?
Xav: Greenami & Wing-it!
Interviewer: Remembering the other “Village People” disco band of 1980s which one were you?
Xav: Definitely the Native American. I was seldom a Cowboy in the playground at school.
Interviewer: How long have you lived in the village?
Xav: 16 years in August
Interviewer: Who do you live with (partner/children/parents/pets/plants etc)?
Xav: My Wife Michelle, our two kids Ben and Chloé, our two dogs Rusty and Ruby.
Interviewer: What was the first record (single, LP, tape or CD) you bought?
Xav: Rat Rapping by Roland Rat. Purchased from WH Smiths in Walton Upon Thames in 1984 with a £2 voucher for winning a school Chess Tournament.
Interviewer: What is your all time favourite film, and why?
Xav: Blade Runner – Directors Cut 1982 – The combination of cinematography and Vangelis soundtrack is a match made in heaven.
Interviewer: When did you start?
Xav: GreenAmi started in October 2014 having spent 3 years previously as a Sole Trader.
Music involvement in the village started with the ‘Buskers’ open mic night at The Perseverance in 2013 and its still going strong. Wing-It! was an inevitable outcome of brilliant nights there playing with, now, very good friends.
Interviewer: What inspired / triggered you to do this?
Xav: My business started as a result of being made redundant in 2011. It was the kick I needed. I knew I could build something on my own and always wanted to. Plants and nature have always been a passion for me so making a living from green fingers is a real pleasure. I’m lucky to say I love my job.
Music has been with me all my life and my guitar has been my best friend throughout. Musical parents instilled the love and I ran with it.
Wing-It! started after fellow band member, Guido, had his 50th birthday party at The Percy. A few of us joined in with him playing his guitar and we played all night. It was magic. The next day I got a phone call with a ‘Let’s do that again sometime’, A live Sunday Session was booked at The Perseverance soon afterwards and we haven’t looked back. We’ve had such a laugh.
Interviewer: What is your all time favourite book and why?
Xav: Watership Down. It was my first BIG book. I loved the struggle for and achieving of a better life for a community. I still love rabbits.
Interviewer: Please explain exactly what GreenAmi involves?
Xav: My work involves installing and maintaining interior and exterior plant displays in and around London for large offices, restaurants and hotels.
I also look after plants private houses.
Fortunately I love driving in London and accept traffic as a part and parcel of getting my work done. The cost of operating in London keeps rising, which is a real pressure and challenge.
Its also a concern going forward but its kept me happy in work and my family secure for over 10 years now.
Interviewer: And Wing-it! ?
Xav: WIng-It! have also been going 10 years now. I can’t quite believe how. We never rehearse and somehow throw together gig after gig. There’s always a party, wedding or village function to play at and I love being a part of the musical madness.
Interviewer: If I had a magic wand, and you had one wish, what would it be?
Xav: That my family stay safe and happy. Its always on my mind.
Wouldn’t mind having my classic cars roadworthy again and my current boat project instantly completed though!
Interviewer: Describe your typical day, from the time you wake up, to the time you typically get to bed.
Xav: I’ll give you a Tuesday. 5am alarm – plant wholesalers to collect plants for my day at 6am – first job in London at 7am, typically I’d be watering, pruning, cleaning, feeding and accessing pest and disease to treat accordingly.
I try to get out of town for 3pm as I need to get home for the home stuff, dog walking , cooking, etc. I always try to stop at The percy for a quick pint on my way home though. My excuse for Michelle is “I need to check the orchids!”
In the evening it’s ‘Buskers’ open mic at the Percy, I help the host, Ian Bennett with setting up kit and warming it up with a few songs before the other musicians do there magic. Every night is different. I have fantastic memories from all of them and there has been some incredible and spontaneous collaborations creating some of the most exciting music I’ve heard. We are so blessed with talent in this village.
A short stagger home and try not to wake the family up!
Interviewer: Where would your dream holiday be? & Why?
Xav: I’m happiest with people.
We go to Burgundy in France every year to see the family and there are moments there, in the sun, surrounded by family, wine and beautiful food that I can honestly say I could not be happier.
More of this please!
Interviewer: Presumably your achievement wasn’t all plain sailing, what was the low point?
Xav: When I started my company, GreenAmi, my biggest concern was coping with financial pressure. I took on a big contract that I knew would push me, but would give my family a better life and the possibility of being able to buy our own house in the village I love, if it were to succeed.
I underestimated the physical and mental demands of my work load and had quite a ‘wobble’ for a few months.
Michelle pulled me though. I have so much to thank her for.
Interviewer: ..and the high point?
Xav: Moving into our home in Wraysbury. All the hard graft paid off.
Interviewer: What motivates you to keep going?
Xav: I live for the day really.
I wake up with a smile and a song, try and have as much fun each day and go to bed with a bigger smile.
I always look forward to tomorrow.
Interviewer: Do you have a goal in sight, by which you will achieve what you dreamt of…?
Xav: My priority is security for my family.
I would love to be able to believe that I could retire one day!
I could do with seeing the view from the top of Everest and would die Happy if I see a Blue Whale close up.
Interviewer: How important do you think it is that you are based in Wraysbury/Horton villages, has that affected your success?
Xav: For the support received from village friends it’s been vital.
I’ve had tough days to get through, especially at the beginning of GreenAmi. The power of this village is phenomenal.
I honestly believe that anything is possible to accomplish here with such a fantastic support network.
Interviewer: Do you have a message for your neighbours, friends and the wider local community?
Xav: Always try to be kind.
Thank you to anyone who has helped me and , in turn, my family along my journey. X
Interviewer: If you were an animal, what would you like to be & why?
Xav: Easy – Albatross.
Interviewer: Thanks Xav, I’m looking forward to hearing your rendition of Rat Rapping next time Wing-it! are performing!