“I was born in 1948 at Guy’s Hospital in Bermondsey, London. Like most young families, life was tough and money was tight. We lived in a tiny, one-bedroom house with an outside loo; I remember my father, Albert, moving us in using a borrowed handcart from a rag and bone man. We later moved to a flat in Ealing, and then to Chesham, before father took the brave decision to leave London…for Cornwall. He’d had enough of the rat race, and decided to buy a Post Office Stores in North Petherwin, near Launceston.
I met by husband in 1967. You could say that I hit a bullseye – he was a well-known darts player and appeared regularly on TV and on the competition circuit. We married in 1970 and, for the last 44 years, he’s supported me with my horses, and with my writing.
Working with horses wasn’t really an option until I was much older. Instead, I found employment a life assurance and pensions firm. This was the good old days when work events were held at Grosvenor House and staff could play tennis in the grounds of the Head Office estate. My, how things have changed!
After I married, I spent the next 29 years in payroll and personnel and also managed the company’s (large) pension scheme. I later joined a local school where I still work as Logistics Administrator.
My main interest until the age of 65 was my horses. I never knew where my passion for them came from until I found Mum’s family in Estonia and discovered that her father, my grandfather, had been a Major in the Estonian Cavalry and won major show jumping competitions (or as major as they were in those days) even competing in Hungary. All became quite clear to me then, and I was lucky in that my Estonian Uncle is a fanatic of all things historical and actually had a photograph of Grandfather jumping taken in 1927. (He even dated all the photos) As I neither had the money and there were no opportunities to work and compete in yards as there are today; I have only competed at the lower level of local shows and riding club events, though thoroughly enjoying myself and winning rosettes. I loved buying a problem horse that would not jump for whatever reason, and found it amazing getting that special bond with them so that they would jump for me, and every first rosette ever won was always something special! At one time my poor long suffering husband had eleven horses to look after in the winter, and even had to build another stable block to accommodate them. Though, to be fair they weren’t all mine as Ron loved breeding and breaking in youngsters so we had a couple of brood mares and yearlings amongst that number. I still ride every weekend as much as I can, and who knows I may even compete again. I gave it up once before and then found myself competing locally at the age of 58! Now we only have four horses and I compete by proxy, namely with our last baby, Tintern Tinker, who is 18.3 hh, and competes from Lucy Wiegersma’s Hatherleigh yard. (Needless to say with a decent rider on board!)
As I have only just discovered that I enjoy putting pen to paper – or should I say hammering away on a computer keyboard – I consequently have no previous publishing experience, literary achievements (other than being proud of having written my first book in six months spare time, finding a publisher who actually thought that it was worth publishing, having some sales in America, Australia, England and Estonia, and some great – to me anyway – reviews, and another book almost completed!), or awards. I got quite excited when Lorna Howarth, my publisher of Write Factor fame, e-mailed me to enter the book in a monthly competition with the Guardian, for self published books; unfortunately it is only for fiction! That’s Life!
Like every horse lover, my passion for these wonderful animals runs deep. They can sense how you are feeling. They know if you are scared of them or at one with them. They will try their hardest to please you but like people there are some that are not honest – but you can usually pick that fairly quickly. It is such a great feeling when you think that all that is controlling these tremendous beasts is a small piece of metal in their mouth – your hands, legs and body, and mostly your mind.
They are very telepathic, both with their own kind and with their rider. A new horse will , like a naughty child, ‘try’ you out to see if you are ‘man’ enough for the job and once you prove that you are they really are a joy and will completely trust you whatever you ask them to do – even if it is something that goes against their basic instincts.
Thanks for visiting this site, and for your interest in my life and work. I’d be delighted to hear from you, so please do contact me through the Contact page, or connect with my online.
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