We moved around such a lot when I was a child it just seemed to me to be the norm. I was lucky that my parents finally decided to settle in North Wales. They bought a rambling old house on a mountain pass and to my delight my grandmother, who lived with us, bought me a horse. It was a fabulous place to grow up.
I developed a love for reading and writing at grammar school, encouraged by my English teacher, Brookes. As soon as I was old enough, I'd pack up a rucksack at every opportunity and head off into the blue. I was a free spirit, comfortable in my own company, and intrepid when it came to exploring foreign parts. My best friend on my travels was my journal, in which I tended to write in a stream-of-consciousness vein, which makes my scribblings rather hard to understand in parts if ever I try to read them today.
After my language degree, I lived in Paris for a while, teaching English privately, working very briefly as a trilingual secretary, and then more happily as a city guide. It was my brother who suggested I train to teach English as a foreign language. It led me to jobs all over the world and I haven't really looked back. I never imagined I'd become a classroom teacher and teaching didn't come naturally, but I survived to tell the tale, as I do in my memoir The Fun We Had.
Since retiring from teaching, I have examined for Trinity College London. It was a job made for me as, especially before the pandemic, I travelled extensively to distant lands, often alone, but unlike in my youth, usually accommodated in good hotels. Another bonus in this job has been meeting other examiners on tour, not just English examiners, but also Music and Drama types. Thank you, Trinity, for all the happy memories.