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.