The lost book!
Although this is not a tale about our home for waifs and strays, it is still a tale about when I discovered I was a writer......Come along then!
The first book I ever wrote was with my father. I was just twelve years old.
It all began when I won my first writing competition and that came about because I won a music competition with the BBC.
Just like my father, I could play the guitar and won a competition run by the BBC for children. The prize was a trip for our ‘girl guides’ to visit London. It was my idea to escape through a window of the hotel in our pyjamas and go on an adventure. But what I didn’t expect was to bump into Michael Jackson and his brothers. They were equally as bemused to see six twelve year olds roaming the streets of London in the middle of the night in nothing but PJ’s (as they called them).
‘You have hair just like mine,’ I said to Michael and he smiled at me and nodded.
We arrived back at our hotel exhausted but elated. Then we discovered we were locked out. It made us laugh all the more. But lurking in the shadows was our Captain, and she wasn’t laughing at all. Thankfully, she was so relieved to discover that we were all safe and sound, and that the police weren’t, as yet, involved.
I wrote in my diary about the whole experience and entered it in a competition run by a magazine. To my amazement I won and have never stopped writing since.
So my father decided that because we didn’t watch television, we would write a book together, a poetry book. You see, my father also loved to write poetry. It took many months to complete and when we did, it felt amazing. I learnt so much about my father and his life growing up in the Lake District and he discovered about my deep love for all creatures great and small.
At that time my uncle (my father’s brother) was a headmaster at a school in Oxford. He came to visit us and was so impressed with our book that he took it back to his school. We never saw it again. We always asked about it when he visited, but he always made up some excuse as to why he didn’t have it on him.
Although I have often pined after that book, probably because my father wrote most of it, I will always have the memories of the time we spent writing it together, on that old familiar kitchen table.