My story so far...
I was born in Zambia to parents, ‘pioneers’ of their time, who in 1955 bravely chose to leave the family farm in Northern Ireland to begin married life on the other side of the world, growing tobacco in Africa. Due to my mother’s ill health, my family returned to Northern Ireland when I was almost three years old, and I experienced growing up during ‘the troubles’. My childhood was immersed in marvellous tales of wildest Africa, and the adventures and challenges of living there at that time.
In 1980 I left Ireland to study Agricultural Zoology at Leeds University, and inspired by my father, my ‘life plan’ at that time included returning to Africa to live and work. Unable to find suitable ‘agricultural’ employment, I chose to study for a Masters degree in Toxicology at the University of Surrey, after which, I was offered a scientific research position in East Anglia, and in 1985 I married and settled very happily in beautiful Norfolk.
After having our first son in 1986, I became enthusiastically involved in parish catechesis, and helped to prepare children for First Communion and Confirmation. I was very fortunate to join a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which proved to be a transforming and unforgettable faith experience. Around the same time, I also began celebrating the liturgy of the Word with children, at a time when such celebrations were still very new to many parishes.I thoroughly enjoy developing ideas and resources to use with young people, and was asked by other catechists to write material that they could use too. When a meeting with the publisher Kevin Mayhew afforded me the opportunity to put my ideas into print, my ‘life plan’ took another unexpected, but deeply fulfilling, change in direction.The success of my books on Children’s Liturgy, means that I have been privileged to provide talks and run training days for parishes all over the UK in recent years, and this has allowed me in my own small way to ‘go out to the world and share the Good News.’
At the end of 2000 I completed a two year Key Catechist’s course - another important milestone in my journey. Since then our family has increased by two, and we have completed our own self build project, although the garden is still ‘work in progress’. I continued writing various books until the expansion of my husband’s business and its increasing demands, required my undivided support, a role which I enjoyed until the end of 2011.
I have recently decided to return to my original love of writing, so watch this space...
Life has a habit of not ‘going quite to plan’, and mine has certainly taken many unexpected twists and turns so far, but I hope that the best is yet to come. Who knows, one day I might even make it back to Africa?