Photo taken in late 1968. Just over a year later my story began.
From the book:
I handed my brand spanking new passport with the obligatory awful black and white photo to the check-in lady. She flicked through the pages and then looked up at me: Dark hair, long and straight with a fringe; long face, but sparkly eyes (green); five-feet-nine and a half inches tall. It didn’t state slim and athletic with legs up to her armpits; wearing a blue and white pleated mini-skirt that barely peeped out from below a soft three-quarter length sheepskin coat – a fortune at £60 in those days. Nor did it mention white, knee-length ‘wet-look’ boots.
‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.’
— Henry David Thoreau
Autumn 1968 – The Start of a Dream
I am enthralled, glued to the screen as I watch The Trap. Oliver Reed, playing the part of a rough, uncouth French Canadian fur trapper, back in the pioneering days, is battling white-water in his canoe against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains and deep blue-green forest. He is laughing gleefully, almost savagely, revelling in the power and challenge of the river. And he is singing.
I want to be there. I want to stand beneath those mountains and trail my fingers through the ice-cold rushing crystal waters. I want to sit in a canoe on a vast lake and hear the call of the Canada geese as they arrive in their V-forms when the snow melts in the Spring. I want to listen to the silence. Know the stillness of the forest. Fall in love, and live in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, with only the birds and bears for neighbours. I want to explore: spread my twenty year old wings and not just dream the dream but live it. I walked out of the cinema that night and knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that I had to go. I wasn’t sure when, or how, but I knew I would.
It was January 8th 1970 when I received the letter offering me a job.
This is a passage from Chapter Six.
(click on pictures to enlarge)
At long last it’s actually published, and is for sale on Amazon Kindle.
Soon to be published on Amazon Kindle!
A Red Waterproof Jacket
A Red Waterproof Jacket is a story of relationships and a restless search spanning forty years. I was never satisfied with the boy next door, or the idea of settling down and having a small gaggle of children at an early age. That all equated to suffocation in my book; a wild bird caged. But underlying the thirst for freedom and new experiences was the need to connect, to share and to love. Living with conflicting needs isn’t easy, and only works if you can find a relationship that offers both. It probably also calls for compromise which I failed all my exams in. I did come top of the class in determination, and got a distinction for optimism. My search for my elusive ideal relationship took me down many paths, starting with Canada in 1970, aged twenty-two.
By age fifty-five I had managed one failed marriage and three common-law relationships, punctuated by various boyfriends. The pilot-light of hope that I may ever find my soul-mate, had been all but extinguished. Ageing and the slow erosion of self-esteem had got me on the ropes. Strangely it was after I’d given up all hope that ‘he’ walked into my life. Decision time presented itself. Did I dare follow yet another new trail, this time to France? Or would history just repeat itself?
Opportunities skid round the corner and screech to a stop in front of you when you least expect them. Sometimes grabbing them means drumming up an awful lot of courage and launching yourself over the edge.
RWJ is a book of hope for all those who ever had a dream.