Hello fellow creators!
As this is my first ever post on my first ever website, you must forgive me if I make a few blunders!
Firstly, let me introduce who I am and what I am about… or perhaps more appropriately what I hope to offer here by way of shared experiences, new ventures, thoughtful insight and most of all friendship; we are nothing without friendship, love and support. I hope you’ll join me on this journey.
I come from quite a humble background. My parents are from the East and West End of London and yes, one supports Spurs, the other Arsenal, which has often meant many a raucous Sunday afternoon, especially on London Derby days! That being said, my parents have always had a strong and loving relationship and I along with my younger sister and even younger brother had a wonderfully happy childhood. Mum and Dad moved north of the city just before I was born and we were brought up in the leafy suburbs of Hertfordshire, which must have felt like living in the sticks after being in the hustle and bustle of London.
Much of my childhood was spent out in the street with my friends on our bicycles or on roller-skates (I think I recall trying them both together to not a very good end!). We had a farm just down ‘the lane’ where we would play hide and seek among the corn or scrump apples from the orchard. We played ‘Knock Down Ginger’ to the annoyance of many of the parents in the road and I always remember kiss chase… a game I either despised or loved depending on who was playing! I’m sorry to say the farm has long since gone, given over to a sprawling housing estate, although ‘the lane’ still stands between old and new.
We moved again when I was eight and I was lost for a while without my best friend who had lived just round the corner. But our new road, a cul-de-sac, had a green at one end and we discovered cricket! Hours and hours we spent on that green with kids from up and down the street. It was a constant interchange of seven to twelve year olds and at any one time there were at least six of us playing, one of us whacking the ball and all the rest, except the bowler, running down the road after it. Heaven knows how we didn’t smash windows or damage cars… or get run over! Looking back on it, there was an unspoken level of tolerance for all – everyone was either a parent or child and life was good.
As well as the hours I spent outside, I somehow managed to enjoy just as much time reading; and I could read. I was the archetypal bookworm! If I was lost in a book (and I love that books can still have that effect on me), no-one could get me to do anything – my poor mum! My first love was Winnie the Pooh and nursery rhymes – so many: Hickory Dickory Dock, Wee Willy Winky, Sing a Song of Sixpence; I read all the Famous Five books and the Secret Seven and who could forget Milly Molly Mandy, Anne of Green Gables, Swallows and Amazons, Lord of the Rings and Peanuts… I adored those Charlie Brown books. An all-time favourite jumped out at me the other day while I was searching for a book that might engage a pupil. I work in a local primary school and this young lady had become quite despondent with reading. I was so excited to find Mrs Frisby and The Rats of Nimh that I almost cartwheeled across the library! I’m happy to say, she took the book and is enjoying reading it…or so she tells me. I have a mind to read it again after all these years! I digress. In my youth I was also an avid fan of Spike Milligan (still am) and I absolutely loved listening to The Goons, which I had on tape from somewhere. Of course, as I grew older my tastes changed and I encountered horror… The Rats was a terrifying read, I recall, but I loved it and went on to devour the whole series. Boys at some stage in my teens interfered with my passion for reading and my influences became more romantically led… I distinctly remember a brief spell of Jackie annuals and Patches magazines and then suddenly I was doing A-level and reading Hamlet and Frankenstein and Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and WOW, I was exposed to a whole new side of glorious literature. In amongst all that, my love for clever verse never waned – Pam Ayres is right up there, such a clever lady and perhaps the reason why I write in verse…now there’s a thought.
Jump forward a good many years and my love of books and all things creative are as prevalent as ever. I am happily married with two gorgeous children, who I have made it my business to instil in them a love of books… and thankfully they do love to read! I re-engaged my love of Winnie the Pooh and all those nursery rhymes from my own childhood, while finding new and wonderfully written children’s books: Goodnight Moon; Dear Zoo; Harold and the Purple Crayon; The Velveteen Rabbit; Splat the Cat (read over and over again); Hairy MaClarey From Donaldson’s Dairy (yes I did the voices! and still remember them!) and so many more! We are past bedtime stories age, sadly; although, once a year on Christmas Eve, my two cherubs indulge me and I’m allowed to open the Christmas book of Christmas books and read aloud ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’. Oh how I feel that time is slipping away…
And so to present day. I have always wanted to write; I am determined more than ever to write and if I am in any way capable of bringing the type of joy to others that books have brought to my life, well then I shall be doubly rewarded. I can’t wait to share ideas with you, talk with you, listen to you, learn with you and create, create, create! Let the journey begin…