‘Me Jane’

'Me Jane' is my 19th book, published by AuthorHouse in May 2020

‘Me Jane’ follows a 1950’s childhood through the thoughts and feelings of a child living in the countryside then sent to a rather demanding boarding school in Surrey (complete with mad matron and flasher). The language gradually changes from that of a four-year old, on through her teenage years (with a desperate search for a boyfriend) until, at 17, she becomes a beatnik and heads off to study art in Oxford.

Using her mother’s diaries, and later her own, she evokes clear memories of those far off days, so different from now. It also tells how those in power – a subject not taught in schools – deprived Aylesbury of a beautiful Georgian house and grounds which had taken the family seven years to completely restore, but which was subsequently destroyed by a road-widening scheme – and which also broke apart the marriage of her father and mother.

‘Weather or Not’ is my 18th book, published by AuthorHouse in May 2020.

It all started when I was six or seven. Twiddling the knobs on our ‘Bakelite’ radiogram I would listen to the Shipping Forecast … and I presumed that characters like Dogger and Bailey, Hebrides and Malin actually made the weather for us every day.

This is when I began writing my ‘Weather Story’, imagining that these creatures were divided into two groups: the Fair and Foul Weather Fairies, battling to control our weather. And as I wrote more and more they turned into individuals, Malin-the-Bad, for example, and Finistere the White Witch.

Much later, I developed it during ‘Creative Writing’ - the Subsidiary Subject I chose while studying for my MA in Ceramics at The Royal College of Art. And it won the ‘Creative Writing Prize’. However, the story, though fun, still didn’t have a strong enough core for my liking.

But then we became aware of ‘Global Warming’; this would provide a strong centre for me to complete the tale.

‘Weather or Not’ is for readers aged 9-90, including those who go out to sea in ships – and those who love the Shipping Forecast.

This is a book about the rise of Global Warming seen through the eyes of Wendy, a young girl snatched from the roof of the Exeter Weather Station by German Bight, only to be captured and imprisoned in the dark, unwholesome dungeons of Heligoland – a cloud-castle situated at the heart of a LOW barely rising above the Irish Sea – the home of the Foul Weather-Makers.

Then, as she uses the Jet Stream, we follow Wendy on a journey to Beaufort – a towering white Cumulus Cloud situated above the White Cliffs of Dover where the Fair Weather-Makers like Faroes, Fair Isle, Fastnet and Nanny Dover dwell.

A magical Weather Book gives power to whoever opens it to create Extreme Weather. Wendy is sent down again to Exeter, to warn the Mortals about all the changes that need to be made urgently to save Planet Earth.

Dichrotic ‘Saphiret Glass’

Dichrotic ‘Saphiret Glass’ looks brown when reflecting light and purple when light shines through. Fred Daden, the Gaffer in the Royal College of Art Glass Department, gave me a piece of this to blow at the RCA, and I made this group of small vases and a tumbler. It is made by mixing molten gold and glass and was much valued by the Victorians. But its production ended when gold got too costly. And now it is sought after.