|Andalusian School of Equine Art|
It was the day that I had surgery that went wrong and meant I could no longer eat. I went through hell in the first year but once they fitted me with a PEG tube (tube into your stomach through which you are fed directly) I started to take control of my life again. It was suggested I might want to just sit in the corner and wait to die (not the exact words but the implication) luckily for me I have a specialist nutrition nurse who didn't believe in that idea either.
As a direct consequence I lost my business and was unable to work but instead I went to the University of Winchester to do a degree in English which happened to have Creative Writing modules. I had no idea what that decision would mean for me. It changed my life totally. I couldn't have done it though without the support of my children who were all young at the times and never questioned my choice, just stood by me all the way. Thank you C, L & T xx
That surgery on this day so many years ago was serendipitous. I have met some amazing people who have been so inspirational and supportive, many of whom have actually changed my life and taken me in lots of different directions that I could not have expected. I wouldn't be here today if it hadn't been for them and their belief in me. Luckily most are still part of my life - you all know who you are.
Earlier this year I had the privilege of writing a paper with a good friend about the early days after the surgery. If you are interested you can read it here
The picture above was taken when on a research trip earlier this week for my latest novel. How lucky am I to be able to undertake research like this? (PS Thank you IC for the Christmas present!) I have been to France in the name of research too. I have been all over the UK and to the US giving academic papers. As well as writing a chapter, with AM, which I am very proud of, on the representation of drugs in children's literature. I am currently working on aforementioned novel and an academic book, which I have been commissioned to write about writing young adult fiction. The world never stands still.
Through my work I was lucky enough to come across IC and that meeting changed my life also. It has been exciting year being involved in Golden Egg Academy and watching so many aspiring authors grow.
None of this could have happened without that moment when the surgery went wrong. Today is a day of celebration for me. Don't get me wrong it hasn't been easy but it is amazing what you can do with support from families and friends who are there to stick the pieces back together.
My world is changing again, my sons have moved out and am finding myself on my own for the first time ever. The labels of life have disappeared but this picture is going to take pride of place in the house as I reclaim it as mine.
I am not going to apologise for this indulgent blog post. I just wanted to say as the picture says...It is never too late...Go on follow your dreams. I did and have never been happier.
I am a great believer in having a sound track to my life. As part of this I have decided that this year in my blog I am going to share music that I see as part of that sound track. The following piece has played a large part in my life right from when the surgery happened and in many guises including on the day of my PhD viva. This is Kate Rusby's version of 'You Belong To Me'