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Brighton beach
Source: Shannas

I was born in Sussex. Both my parents were in the medical profession and my childhood was spent living in a house within the grounds of a very large psychiatric/geriatric hospital. It might sound horrendous as these institutions were not renowned for pleasantness and were probably most remembered by the term ‘lunatic asylum’. There was, however, a farm, an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, cricket, rugby and football pitches all set within hundreds of acres of land – all of which, as children of staff members, we safely had the run of.

I was educated firstly at a Convent School where we were taught by nuns who adhered to a very strict, highly disciplined set of rules. After successfully passing the eleven-plus exam, for which my parents rewarded me with a brand new bicycle, I then attended a local Grammar School. Always in the shadow of my very brainy older brother, I became rebellious and a disappointment to my parents especially when I abandoned my career, instead living a bit of a high life until eventually starting to settle down into a permanent relationship.

Married life was initially somewhat nomadic and we have lived in many places in the UK but have been in the North East of Scotland since the early ’70s. I worked in the media for many years before finally needing relief from constantly working to hectic deadlines each day. We then successfully established our small boarding kennels allowing me to concentrate more fully on my canine interests.

Six people in wedding finery
Julie and Stuart’s wedding; pictured on the left are Stuart’s parents
Source: Shannas

We have one daughter, Julie, who is married to Stuart Munro. They live in Gullane, East Lothian along with our four grandchildren. Stuart was a keen rugby player having been capped for Scotland and instilled his love of sports in the children. The eldest, Grant, was a professional footballer at Dunfermline FC, until injury curtailed his career; he then returned to a student life at University. Adam graduated from Aberdeen University in 2018. We are very proud that Charlotte won the Scottish Golf Junior Masters at only 10 years old; she continues to do well in golf tournaments! In February 2014 Charlotte was selected to play for Scotland in the Ladies Under 16s golf team.