To date, I have led an interesting life. Even though I have followed other careers for short periods of time, I always come back to something creative: dancing, acting, writing, theatre. When in my twenties, I worked in repertory, children’s theatre and for a while I had my own theatre company touring the primary schools of Britain. After having children (all five of them!) I qualified with the Royal Academy of Dance and ran a dance school in North Devon, The Ninette Hartley School of Dance, which later became the Hartley Williamson School of Dance when Maralyn Williamson became my partner. I have always written stories, poetry and short plays, for myself, the theatre company and the dance school. I love the written word both writing and reading it.
I have been married three times: divorced then widowed, now married to Geoff or ‘The Man’ as he is affectionately known over on my blog. In 2008 The Man took me to live in Italy where we spent several wonderful years on an olive farm in Le Marche. Each year harvesting 120 trees for their olives which we pressed for the most delicious oil.
We also had a townhouse that we split into apartments for holiday lets. It was a great time, until we lost Tosh. At that point, I lost all interest in life. I couldn’t be bothered with anything that took effort. Reading and writing became my refuge and I began to write a letter to Tosh which subsequently became my first memoir Dear Tosh.
I loved Italy but I missed England and five years after Tosh’s death, Geoff and I moved back to Dorset. We found a lovely cottage where I began writing in earnest. I joined writing clubs and attended courses. Finally taking an MA in Creative Writing at Exeter University.
We went to France in October 2020 ‘between the lockdowns’ and I was able to pull together all my notes and letters, compiling them into the memoir Dear Tosh. I worked on writing the book from November 2020 until February 2021 and It felt as though I was spending time with Tosh. I felt close to him and loved every minute. I will continue to write to him, but I will keep the letters for myself.