Three years ago today, I met a bloke on Paddington Station who would, in no small way, change the course of my life. As I stood next to the statue of Paddington Bear waiting for the train from Exeter to arrive at its platform on March 6th 2005 - Mother’s Day - I had no idea at all that it would lead me down the road that it has.
We had written to each other by email and had shared in lengthy telephone calls, and it was clear by the time of March 6th that we had a lot in common, but there was still the question of whether we would still be suited ‘in the flesh’ so to speak.
However, as we sat sharing a few beers, and a plate of cheesey chips (alas no marmalade sandwiches to hand) it soon became quite obvious that this bloke – with his long hair and leather jacket – was someone who was going to be around in my life for quite a while.
After that day, I undertook what some described then, as a leap of faith into the unknown. I threw in my shorthand notebook and left my job at a place I had worked at since 1996, sold my house, moved to a completely different part of the country and got married again (something I had vowed I would never do after my first marriage ended). However, my intuition served me well (as it usually does) and that leap proved not to be one that saw me crashing to the bottom of some jagged-edged cliff to end in some bloody messed up pulp at its base! No sirree, it was one that has led to me sharing my life with the larger-than-life Jonathan Downes and his anarchical view on life. Three years down the line I can honestly say that I have no regrets at all in stepping off the precipice.
I now live an idyllic life in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, have made new friends, share my home with a motley crew of creatures (and somewhat untidy and oft gibbon-like blokes) and get to meet some interesting folk in my travels with Jon.
He has introduced me to his world of chaos and has encouraged me in many aspects of my life. One of the things he did was encourage me to get my book, Ethna’s Journal, finished and to publish it. I had no intention of ever publishing my scribblings – they had been something I did to get my feelings out of my head down on to paper. There was always a part of me in Ethna and, strangely, I miss her now it is finished. However, I was chuffed when it was published at the beginning of the year and even more chuffed when dear Nick Redfern interviewed me at the end of last week. You can read all about it at http://monsterusa.blogspot.com/ Thanks Nick.
A piece of self-advertising? Well yes, why not? At 51 years of age I think it is about time I blew my own trumpet.