At the beginning of August, the lovely Teresa Ashby gave me a really gorgeous blogger award. Thank you, Teresa, for thinking of me and my blog and here are the five fabulous things about my life.
1. I have never felt bored. If I'm in a boring situation, my mind switches to imagination mode and I think all sorts of ridiculous things that keep me entertained. When my headmistress gave the sixth-form a long speech for our leaving day, I recall imagining her dancing the can-can. It was a complete contrast to her stiff and starchy image and when she appeared to look straight at me, I was convinced she could read my thoughts. About four years ago, I adapted my tendency to live in a dream-world to writing fiction. I love it more than I can say. The disadvantages of an over-active mind are that I never see anyone wave to me and I have to ask what happened when we've finished watching a film.
2. My father bought me a paperback every Saturday morning. Our day began at the kitchen table, where I would read Bunty or Mandy while he scanned the racing pages of his newspaper. We drank lots of tea and I ate lots of those iced biscuits (like Party Rings, only square and with iced pictures on them. I think they were called Playbox) for breakfast. Then he took me into the town and deposited me in the miniature branch of WH Smith to browse while he visited the turf accountant. When he collected me (hours later) he bought me whichever book I'd chosen. They cost two-and-six then. If I couldn't choose between two, he might agree to buy both, depending on how the horses were running. No Saturday could have been more perfect than that.
3. I developed a horrendous kidney disease when I was five. My parents were told it might be leukaemia. I was covered in bruises and in terrible pain. Driving me to hospital, my father screeched to a stop outside the toyshop, ran in and came out with a huge box for me. It was the Playdoh factory I'd wanted for ages.
I'd only just started school then, but was at home recovering for over a month, during which the entire class sent me pictures and paintings and cards. I remember the package being delivered and sitting on the stairs to read them all, wishing I could go back to school soon and get to know them all. I did recover fully, I'm glad to say, and caught up with school life. But I was always the shyest girl in the class.
4. After living in Germany for almost a year when I was twenty, I discovered I should have applied for some sort of visa and had my passport stamped. I lived in fear after that, especially when I was caught without the correct ticket on a bus in Hamburg. I was asked to produce my passport, but I didn't have it with me. The inspector was terrifying and issued me with a large fine. A lovely lady in the seat in front of me turned round to ask him to be lenient and to bear in mind that I was English and would get a dreadful impression of the German people if he wasn't prepared to let me off with a warning. But he went ahead and gave me the fine. I sat there with tears rolling down my face at the lady's kindness and at the humiliation. I couldn't eat anything except cheap bread for a week to pay the fine. And I drowned my sorrows with a bottle of very cheap wine, scraping out the cork with a fork, which took a whole afternoon, but is possible.
5. I have the best life ever and hope it goes on for a very long time.
Thank you, Teresa. x