Looking Back and Looking Forward

While living in Dorchester-on-Thames, in Oxfordshire, in the seventies, I was asked to write and illustrate local stories connected to Dorchester Abbey. They were published and sold in the Abbey Museum which helped to raise much needed funds towards the upkeep of the cloister garden. Over the next decade in the Far and Middle East, more of my time was… Read More

Holme and Alcock

Everyone seems to be researching their family tree, these days – I started one myself forty years ago. It grew quickly, and it became more interesting when the names and places reminded me of the stories I’d heard from my maternal grandparents about their early lives. My Granddad’s Holme family were farmers somewhere near St Helens and many of the… Read More

Flighty Duck

Mai Griffin in 1954

It wasn’t how I’d planned to spend my weekend – but, on the other hand, my weekends never needed much planning in 1951. The young man I intended to marry was serving in Malaya (jungle warfare, strategically called The Emergency to safeguard the Planters’ insurance), so I spent time writing letters to him or watching TV for news of the… Read More

Time Out

On what started off as a fairly normal day, there is nothing like being pushed unceremoniously into an ambulance and spending twenty-six hours in an Emergency ward attached to an incredible number of needles, wires, drips and a blood-pressure machine, to make one appreciate being back at work! Work, for me, is sitting at the computer doing anything other than writing my… Read More

Safely Back Home…

I couldn’t help reflecting on other long road trips. Most went smoothly but one in particular was unforgettable. In 1963, while living in Singapore, my husband decided that we should have a week in Penang. If memory serves me right it was 132 miles away and he drove with only a couple of short breaks in eleven-and-three-quarter-hours, mostly through secondary… Read More