I was famous once…

Yes – I was on Wikipedia. I was surprised and obviously pleased when the article appeared there. Several years later it was removed and, although disappointed, I gave it no further thought …just one of those things! My daughter, however, sought to find out why and eventually had an answer. A Wikipedia user (whose judgement was obviously respected) had pointed… 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


Children are a joy to portray in oil on canvas… please note that I didn’t say “to paint”, as someone would be bound to interrupt with whoops of derisive laughter! Not all the little people who have sat for me have done so willingly; anxious parents’ warning about sitting still and being quiet for the three hour session, never help! A two-year-old… 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

The End

I have never understood why autobiographies start at the beginning. Unless you know me, the terribly amusing anecdotes of my life as a tiny tot are unlikely to enthrall. When you get to know me as I am now, you may then be interested in discovering the process that went into making those eighty-four years stimulating enough for me to still be… Read More