Like most people here at newbooks, reading has played an important role in my life, but unlike most of the others my academic life and early career choices were not literary.
I too could read before I went to school and one of my earliest memories was my first teacher getting cross with me when I claimed to have read a whole book in Quiet Time; I did, honest!
As a child I always had my nose in a book, but when it came to A’Level choices my headmistress and father were of one mind; I could do the sciences so I should take those, I could always read in my spare time.
Two years later I found myself at Sussex Uni reading Physics with Medical Physics. Unsurprisingly I felt like the proverbial round peg in the square hole but struggled on to the end. Then, not being able to face a career making bombs or working with computers, I opted to do a PGCE at Marjons in Pymouth.
I met my husband in Plymouth so, wanting to be near him, I took a job as an infant teacher – lots of books and reading but not quite at my level. Children followed and I gave up teaching, but became involved in the NCT as an antenatal teacher.
Then we moved to the South East and I found myself going back to teaching to help pay the bills. However, our youngest was just two at this point and I hated giving all my energy to teaching, leaving little for my family. So took a job as a Science Technician at the Sixth Form College for a couple of years.
Eight years later, feeling a bit bored and in need of a change, I sent a note to newbooks basically saying, “Give us a job” and didn’t include my CV, as I didn’t want to be judged on my science background. Guy rang and my surprised husband passed on the message – I hadn’t mentioned the note to him as I thought it would come to nothing – to meet Guy at the café in Alresford.
Three years now and counting….