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  • Jude

    Hi, and welcome. I hope that you will enjoy browsing through my pages Here is a short bio of my life so far, and how I became interested in writing...
    I have always had an interest in writing throughout school, college, and working life . Later,as I started a family,I wrote for the NCT where I trained as a breastfeeding councillor. For several years I wrote several short scripts, speeches, accolades,etc. for anyone that asked. Writing always keeps me absorbed and I am at my happiest when writing . My other passions are my family music and drama

    So, everything was fairly run-of-the-mill until 1st April 1988.The actual date was apt (April Fool's Day), as I boarded a Swiss Air flight with three children under the age of five. Armed with a garrison of toys and books, we settled down, and the stewardesses cooed over my three little blonde-haired "angels". Reveling in the attention, my youngest daughter discovered she was wearing a skirt for the first time (yes, I know...bad mother) and proceeded to stroll up and down the aisle lifting her skirt up thus attracting the attention of everyone on board. The stewardesses thought this rather amusing and removed her to first class, where she remained "entertaining" them for the rest of the flight. Result!
    One month earlier, Alex, my husband had departed for Istanbul in Turkey and had been living a bachelor life of sorts courtesy of his employer, a big international company. However, our ultimate destination would be Hendek ( in Turkish..."ditch") a small village in rural Turkey, where no one spoke English, had no idea what Marks and Spencer, was, or what Heinz baked beans were. On one of the few crackling, undecipherable phone calls that I had received after his first visit to our new home, he had intimated... "It's a bit grim...don't get your hopes up.".

    It was , indeed, grim at times..frequent earth tremors, intermittent electricity, water shortages,unpasteurised milk straight from the cow, and home school for two of my three children. We spoke no Turkish at all. We were the only expat family at that time, and with three flaxen haired green eyed children, we were a novelty. People would stand and stare at us.It was a very character building experience. Our children learned to play with a few cardboard boxes for a few months whilst we waited for our goods and chattels to arrive. During our time in Hendek, the kids learned to swim in a converted trout farm with no shallow end, and our fourth child was conceived.

    After Hendek, we eventually moved to Istanbul where there were decent schools. From Istanbul we had a year out in Sha Tin, Hong Kong and back to Turkey, this time to the capitol,Ankara It was in Ankara that I started to write anything and everything. Most of my work was involved in writing plays/pantomimes/ school assemblies/general entertainment for the local communities and international charities…free of course. Writing for such diverse audiences was not without its challenges; the hardest being to re-write Macbeth so it could be understood by non-mother -tonguers, and also to make it "funny."
    One of my achievements, was getting the Italian Ambassador on stage to dance to YMCA. Apparently, it had been a long held ambition of his to do so.
    My favourite play, however, was "A Midsummer Night's Dream" set on the beautiful lawns of the British Embassy on a balmy Midsummer night.

    When we returned to the UK, we first lived in a small village near Wastwater in Cumbria,where I started to write with a friend, mostly on ideas for comedy series for both children and adults. I continued writing plays for schools from my website. After 2 years we moved to Pitchford in Shropshire
    Whilst living in Pitchford, until 2016 I co-edited a monthly community magazine called "Village Views" which is now online. It covered the areas of Pitchford, Acton Burnell, Frodeslay,Ruckley and Langley. I also wrote a book for children called "Gwendol the Greedy Giant," which was based on a local legend. theirWhilst in Pitchford, I came fascinated with a local manor house, Pitchford Hall..I passed it almost every day. It was set back from the lane, and looked magnificent. Sadly it was neglected, and would take millions to repair. I began to research the history of the hall and the village, and knew there was a book in it somewhere. Of course, as is usual for us, we had not been there long , when my husband was offered a job in Australia. It was a big decision for us, as our youngest was just about to go to university. After a family discussion, it was decided we should go, especially as it was only for a year (it turned out to be six years.)

    For the first time we were without our children in Australia. After so long living in ex pat communities, and always having our offspring at social events, it felt very strange. Even back in Pitchford we frequently had a noisy houseful of their friends staying the night or turning up for random meals. It was quiet! Initially we lived in Grafton, New South Wales. by the side of the Clarence River. It was a delight to feed the cheeky Lorikeets every day, that lived in the orange trees in our garden. Grafton was not far from a dolphin sanctuary that does amazing work rescuing at rehabilitating dolphins that have become estranged by their pod, or are injured.I was enchantes and wrote an anthology of poems about dolphins...which had the conservation's approval. Read about it at Dolphinology
    We the moved to Caves Beach which was lovely. I used to walk by the ocean every day. All was fine until we were invaded by some very aggressive Australian magpies Not to be confused with the British magpie! So, we moved again, this time to Lake Macquarie I worked for a short time as a jingle writer, but it was sitting in the house, listening to the calls of the gulls, and watching life sail by, that I decided to get on and write my book.

    It was change of direction for me. A serious novel.I can honestly say that from the moment I decided on my subject that all has gone smoothly. There have been many coincidences that have led me to believe that this book should be written. For example, I decided to write a gypsy character into the book, and then discovered later that she had had a gypsy family living on one of her estates. I was delighted to find her diaries online, and used snippets in my second book. I hope you consider reading them. John Yates from The National Heritage once said. "Pitchford is a sleeping beauty of Shropshire and one day it'll wake up again" I agree, and hope that this my book will be the Prince to wake it up, or should I say, Princess?

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