I’m a small neurotic woman who loves the colour green. I’ve never been able to commit to one country (too quiet, too cold, not enough going on, too much going on) but I am committed to the planet earth on which I live and I wish that we could achieve value for all humans. I’m currently living in Mauritius, and so far, have lived in seven countries.
I was born in the late sixties and grew up in South Africa. As a little girl, I found out how powerful writing could be when my first-grade teacher asked the class to write an essay. Although it was well written, I soon realised that it wasn’t a good idea to write about my teacher shouting all the time. My parents were called in and although I didn’t get punished, I definitely knew I had done the wrong thing. After that, I became a lot more discerning about who I showed my words to. I was not what these days is called a ‘good academic’ and I found learning a distraction from playing in the garden.
One day, one of my high school English teachers called me over. He told me to stop trying to write the words I knew how to spell and start writing the words I wanted to say. I didn’t want my parents called in so I took his advice. His encouragement was a revelation and I began to write little stories. He used to make little jokes about my creative spelling techniques, and I learned to accept that – fore mee speling woold always bee hard. His jokes seemed to have worked because I have just finished my first book ‘But They Look So Happy’, (it’s taken me that long to do all the spell checking.)
At the age of fourteen, I went on a three-month school trip overseas and my lifelong affair with travelling began. It opened my eyes to difference and change. I learned something new in each country I lived in. I was educated in South Africa. I became a failed Fashion designer and went into retail and also, I learned about the ins and outs of importing. I also learned to dance like it just doesn’t matter if you are seen. In the USA, I continued with retail. I found out what it felt like to be judged by the area you were born and more importantly that some of us can spell the word colour correctly, and some of us can’t. In New Zealand, I found it hard to get a job but finally found a job doing admin and reception work. I also learned Reiki and became a carpenter in my spare time. I experienced my first earthquakes and found that illogically, I often felt dizzy before one happened. Mexico was the country that felt most like home to me after my birthplace.
I learned Spanish, built furniture, bought furniture and explored the pyramids. I became a volunteer and met two strangers who later became my children. After I moved from Mexico, it took me decades to stop crying any time I saw anything from that part of the world. England showed me that after all, I can survive the cold if I have to, but I really don’t want to have to. In England, I was reminded that it’s full of expats, refugees and immigrants and in the end, we are all equal. Australia confirmed to me that summer can be longer than seven days. I went back to work in admin and office work. I found my place in a Chiropractors office and learned how important health and wellbeing is. Mauritius taught me how to relax and also that paradise is sometimes just a really good marketing campaign, but it is still a great place to live. Without a job and with my children on their own feet in Australia, I wrote my book.
With all these moves I learned a lot about life and how I like to view it. I’m a cautious adventurer yet the strangest things that have happened to me have usually happened at home. I have experienced break-ins, water shortages and I’ve rolled a car going – well I don’t want to tell you how fast. I’ve had house fires, a car fire and lived through a volcano spewing and a few strong earthquakes. In my alternate reality, I think I would be a smuggler or a spy. I believe that music can fix most things and you can often catch me dancing around my lounge with the music blaring as loud as it can go.
I have always been interested in the human psyche and understanding the reasons for why we do the things we do. I believe in making my own roots. I am pretty sure that I am not a descendent of a Queen. Nor did I come from a Shinto Warrior, but either way, queen, pauper or fighter, I don’t think it would not have a bearing on my personal life as it is today and that is why my roots are aerial rather than decisively planted in terra firma.