I’m Valerie. I was born in London and I’ve lived in Surrey for most of my life. I’ve always been a voracious reader.
When I was
young, my mother declared that if I had my nose in a book, she could offer me a
five-pound note and I wouldn’t even hear her. (A fiver! That dates me!)
When I left school I became a Veterinary Nurse. I’d always wanted to work with animals, although I was strongly attracted to drama and, encouraged by my English teacher, flirted for a while with the idea of trying for a Drama College. But the animals won, and I became a trainee RANA at the Blue Cross Animal Hospital at Hammersmith.
After seven years I became Head Nurse and the hospital
had central heating put in. This was significant for me as I ended up marrying
I spent the next twenty-seven years driving a truck around the building-sites of London, loaded to the gunnels with bogpans and boiler sections, copper tube and drainpipes and the occasional smelly contents of a grease-trap.
When we stopped the installation
side of the business, there were no longer fitters waiting impatiently for my
truck and me.
The vehicle was sold and I’ve forgotten the catalogue number of a 15mm Conex bend. For a while I still acted as part-time secretary/book-keeper/maker of tea, but seized the opportunity to pursue my love of writing.