The thought of writing a memoir had never crossed my mind. I’ve listened intently as members of my writers’ group read from their life writings. One member decided to defy convention and sail around the world with her children. Another lived in India for years to learn the practice of Ayurveda, a form of traditional Indian medicine. Both amazing life experiences. But, consciously thinking about writing about my life experiences might not have occurred to me but, the fact was, I’d been doing it for years.
It was hot and steamy on the makeshift dance floor as I swilled what I thought was a lot of bitter lemon with a little gin, but the bitter lemon disguised a lethal cocktail of various spirits. With my sound system set to max volume, Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits began to sound hollow and distant as my surroundings blurred and my speech slurred. I managed to make it upstairs to the bathroom where, kneeling in front of the lavatory, I projectile vomited the fermenting brew inside my stomach.
What was going on in my teenage brain is unfathomable to me now. I was driven by the overwhelming desire to be expelled so I could spend more time with my dog and my horse.The only teacher that had any control over me was my English teacher, but only from the day, he asked us to write a poem. I wrote hundreds, then moved on to short stories which he helped me get published and I became more focused and a little less defiant.
By the time I was twelve, I had been at boarding school for a year and had become a bit of a comedienne. I was the classroom joker, not the brightest thing to be, but I was fuelled by an inner rebellion, which I seemed unable to subdue. So, I took my anger out on the system.