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If I told you I believe in miracles. 

And, serendipity. 

And, us.

You might tell me that I am a dreamer.

And, you would be right.

 

I can almost touch the finger tips of my eighteen year old self.  She is in France.  She can taste the very possibility of life and she knows, without even the merest blink of doubt, that she will fall in love with the soul, the beauty of words. Their commitment.

 

There is no hesitation to her:  I want to be a writer

 

Then.  Somehow.  The days intervene. 

 

I have always known that I would become a writer when I grew up.  But, I did not know how lengthy, complicated and, at times, formidable this exacting journey would prove to be.  

 

Growing.

Up.

 

I am still travelling.

But, I am here. 

 

Here I am.

Born in the North of England, I was privileged to study both English and Art History at the historic University of St. Andrews in Scotland.  Here, my sense of connection to the spiritual beauty of landscapes began to truly evolve.  Then, surrounded by the indelible soul of North Yorkshire, I embarked upon a teaching career that is still inspired by the words and stories of others. 

 

New Zealand was a bold - and blessed - move.  A place to land, so full of light. But, we left behind people, places, moments that we loved.  How could they know we carried better hearts because of them ? 

 

We arrived on Christmas Day.  Without a road map.  

 

Which is how I seem to live my life.  And, is the reason for my words.  I’m always searching for the best route.

 

I will never forget listening to Bill Manhire, New Zealand literary legend, share his haunting poem Erebus Voices. This remarkable tribute to those who tragically lost their lives in the Antarctic air disaster of 1979 offers the perspective of the mountain - the place of impact.  He captures an intuitive empathy that would otherwise have been hard to reach.  In such moments, a writer reveals the deepest poignancy of our shared humanity. 

 

I have come to realise that the power of words embraces the same power of seeking to look beyond: 

the extraordinary alchemy of hope.

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