Just when you think her life couldn’t possibly be more full, Thai beauty Fon Windsor-Clive springs another surprise: she’s just learned how to catch deadly cobras.
It is yet another milestone in the remarkable life of this amazing lady whose thirst for adventure and challenges seems boundless: she flies helicopters and fixes wing aircraft, climbs mountains, explores remotes areas like Antarctica and is passionate about windsurfing, scuba diving, dancing, running and boxing.
There’s more. She’s also a professional photographer, curates exhibitions, is a Cordon Bleu chef, and as a trained EMTB (Emergency Medical Technician) raises money for Narenthorn, Rajvidhee hospital.
In between, Fon somehow finds time to raise two teenage daughters and share her action-packed life with her British husband.
Right now, she’s planning a new and highly ambitious expedition “somewhere in Southeast Asia” but is not letting on about the details until the Covid19 restrictions end.
Given her good looks, athleticism and cool sophistication, you can’t help thinking she’d make a great female 007.
So maybe catching cobras, which she recently learned from experts at The Snake Centre, Thai Red Cross, isn’t such a big surprise after all.
Name: Umaworn Idris Windsor-Clive.
Place of birth: Missouri, US.
Family: My father was a Colonel in the Thai Army, mother an entomologist. My husband Simon is from the UK. We have two daughters – Sofia 16 and Serena 13.
Education: St Joseph’s in Bangkok, Brent International School in the Philippines, BA in photography from Santa Barbara, US, and MA in museum management in the UK.
Profession: Curator of photography exhibitions. After graduation I interned (unpaid work placement) at the Victoria & Albert museum in London, and worked as cultural programme coordinator at Asia House, where I met my husband. I was the Head of Photography department, faculty of Architecture at King Mongkut Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang, Bangkok. And I’m a member of the Advisory Board of the Royal Photographic Society of Thailand. (Pro-bono work since 2002)
In which countries have you lived? US (5 years), Philippines (1year) and UK (12 years).
Where do you live now? Bangkok and a house in Shropshire.
What's keeping you here? Family and Covid19. Otherwise I’d be climbing mountains. Last year I spent over 100 days climbing in France, England, Nepal and Antarctica. I spent a month climbing Mount Vinson in the Antarctic with Garrett Madison, my most magical & the quietest place in the world. After Antarctica I went on a month-long expedition climbing Ama Dablam in Nepal with Kristoffer Erickson.
What projects are you involved in right now? Flying helicopters. I’m also planning a major expedition in Southeast Asia.
Where, exactly? I’m not saying.
Do your hobbies ever get scary? They do come with a lot of high risks, so yes. You need a lot of concentration.
Anything mundane scare you? Spiders. I have a fear of them, and I’ve even seen a therapist about it.
What else keeps you busy? The list is long – I like windsurfing, wake boarding, scuba diving and sailing, which I first learned from my dad aged 12 –he’s a great sailor.
Anything else? I like tennis and long distance running. I’ve also trained with Buakow boxing team (Thailand’s best known Muay Thai boxer). And I like Latin dancing, partly to improve my posture.
What about non-physical pastimes? I trained as a French chef at the Cordon Bleu in London. I am also a keen supporter of charities such as the Children’s Hospital for rare diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and the Foundation for Environmental Education for Sustainable Development.
Where does your amazing energy come from? My parents were workaholics. My daughters’ interests aren’t so diverse. That said, Sofia excels at horse riding and tennis; Serena has a brilliant mind, a fantastic dancer, she’s a little bit eccentric.
What are your life’s high and low points? Other than the birth of my daughters, of course - when I got my helicopter license in the UK. The low point was recovering from knee and shoulder operations from climbing and skiing accidents.
What’s your favorite Bangkok restaurant? The Verandah at the Mandarin Oriental, overlooking the Chao Phraya River.
Favorite cuisine? French.
Favorite weekend destination? Anywhere in the sky.
Favorite country? Antarctica.
Best friend in Thailand? K Pantipa, a friend from school. She’s very grounded and sensible.
Most interesting person you’ve ever met? Julian Freeman-Attwood, an explorer, adventurer and climber.
Who would you like to meet? Tay Za, a Burmese business tycoon and the Chairman of Htoo Group of Companies
What’s your greatest extravagance? Flying a helicopter. Also, Antarctica.
Best qualities in a person? Integrity in a man, kindness in a woman.
And the worst? Dishonesty in a man, greed in a woman.
Any regrets? I didn’t continue learning piano
Do you believe in so-called ‘Thainess’? Bangkok does not represent Thailand, so you probably won’t find it here.
What’s next? I’ll reveal that soon.