Born in Stamford, Lincs U.K. In 1953 – yes that makes me 63
A post-war child of an RAF family, I attended 15 different schools, learning to adapt to new situations and to different people. This stimulated my interest in languages and in how people communicated in general. At University, I studied Psychology and French, and went on to teach French in secondary schools, always intending to become an Educational Psychologist.
One husband and 3 children later, I still hankered after returning to my original vision of looking at the child as a learner and especially as an unsuccessful learner. Teaching French was a pleasure, but MY pleasure, often not theirs!
So once my children had left home, I started back on the Psychology route, working first as a Student Adviser with 14-16 year old school phobics and non-attenders at a local Further Education college, then with those Not in Education, Employment or Training, the NEETS, then as an Outreach Coordinator, sourcing educational programmes for young lads excluded from school. It was busy, demanding and rewarding.
And then I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in April 2012. And I retired at the end of that school year, aged 59.
I started to write the Jake and Granny Parkinson’s books, and other non-related stories and poems for small children. I became a volunteer reader at a local nursery and then at a junior school. A rich seam of ideas was inspired by the children there.
I became a granny in September 2012. This was the best feeling. Though I was afraid of becoming the sad old lady in the corner of the room, I decided I would stay fit, positive and healthy for as long as I could, for my grandson as much as for myself. I spent 18 months looking after him for a couple of days every week, travelling from Bristol to London. We had and still have a very special, close relationship.
The family then left for Tanzania. I am still writing and trying to keep positive.
I want to share my books. I want families to be able to talk about PD in the early stages and not be afraid. Children I have shared the books with enjoy the stories and adults too love the pictures with their gentle humour. There is something for everyone.
I have self-funded all my books. Story 2, “I’ll Do It, Granny” was partly crowd-funded. Thank you to all those of you who helped me in this. This is the site on which it was funded. The video helped greatly.