I’ve never been much of a blogger, so you’ll have to forgive me if I get it wrong. I started off recently telling anyone interested about my desire to become a writer, but perhaps I should just tell a monthly story about my life in general. If nothing else, it may help you to avoid making the sort of mistakes I’ve made.
On leaving school I got a job in an office, but after a few months I suddenly suffered an attack of boredom, and when I saw an advert for someone to work on a chicken farm I applied, and got the job. I suffered from asthma and my mother, who had sat up on so many nights listening to me struggling for breath, was convinced that the job would kill me but I decided that death by chickens would be better than death by asthma.
For about nine months I worked outside through all weathers, I spent most of a heat-wave inside small movable chicken coops while the birds were outside in their run. I wore a bathing costume, to the joy of neighbouring farmers who dropped in for a chat with my female boss. The poor souls didn’t seem to realise that only the bathing suit was sexy – underneath it I was all skin and bone.
Sweat dripped from my hair and down my face to the floors, which I was trying to scrape clear of chicken shit. It struck me only recently that I was breathing it in (thought – could chicken shit cure asthma?)
I had to get used to being hauled from sleep to deal with problems such as when a stormy night threatened to drown the birds in the small coops, and the two of us had to carry several coops plus contents to safety.
Then there was the night the young Alsatian bitch went into labour for the first time, panicked, and went to ground under a large wooden hut, built on stilts. Being skin and bone (I prefer the word ‘slender’ but I don’t think I have the right to that) I was the only person who could try to coax her out.
It was pitch dark under there, lit only by the dog’s glittering (and possibly threatening?) eyes and I had to squirm towards her on my stomach, talking as I went. Halfway there I managed to turn and head back to fresh air, still talking to her and at the same time trying to calm my backside, which kept telling me that it was about to be mauled.
Thankfully, I managed to emerge from under the hut safely, and when I stood up I found the bitch by my side. She was able to give birth to her pups in the warm kitchen and for that, my backside and I were very grateful!
2016 – Evelyn Hood Blog June 2nd
Many apologies to all my readers for the long silence. It wasn’t because I gave up writing – more a case of me falling under a spell cast by an extremely nasty fairy godmother.
The eighth Prior’s Ford book was ready to start a year ago, when I developed something called dry macular degeneration in my right eye, which happened to be my only seeing eye at the time. Macular degeneration causes a distortion in the eyesight and as if that wasn’t enough, it then turned to wet macular degeneration, which is more serious. Fortunately, three injections into the eye, one per month, saved my eye, but not enough to get back to writing. For that, to happen, I needed the removal of a long-term cataract in my left eye.
I was lucky enough to have this dealt with successfully by a fantastic surgeon, and for a few weeks it looked as though my problems were over – then the nasty fairy godmother intervened again will stop, When I finally reached the I was due to have an eye test and get new spectacles it turned out that the macular degeneration eye was suffering from a detached retina, which had to be operated on immediately. I can tell you from experience that two eye operations within eight weeks isn’t much fun!
At the moment my sight is still distorted and life is quite embarrassing because I don’t recognise people until we are practically rubbing noses. So far I haven’t actually rub noses with a stranger but it might yet come to pass!
Within the next month I hope to get another eye test leading to new spectacles and the opportunity to get back to work on the next Priors Ford book. All fingers crossed! I can’t wait!
Hopefully, my next blog will appear much sooner than this one has, and will carry some good news in it.
Until then, keep your fingers crossed for me and my eyes!
Love to all,
As a child I suffered from croup, a nasty chest problem that kept me and my poor mother awake many a night while the rest of the family slept blissfully. Fortunately for me, Mum was great at making up stories, which is almost certainly why I became an avid reader.
The croup turned to asthma, which meant that I missed out on quite a lot of schooling, especially in the winter months. My siblings were at school, my parents worked in the shop they owned, and I was wheezing at home. Maths terrified me because every time I got back to school the maths class was working on something that made no sense at all to me. I was a word person.
Fortunately my parents were both readers and days spent alone at home meant that I could feast on words. My favourite reading turned out to be a full set of Charles Dickens – he was very special in that every time I opened one of his books the characters seemed to step right off the pages and act the story out for me.
Because of him, I wrote a short story, typed it on my dad’s typewriter and posted it to the Girls Crystal magazine.when I was 12 or 13 years old. My hard-working mother coaxed her children into bed early every Friday evening by handing out our favourite reading material. Mine was the Girls Crystal magazine.
My parents were surprised when the kindly rejection arrived; later in life I found out that most people got upset at the first rejection and some vowed that they would never try again, but I was okay about my rejection. I still remember thinking, ‘I’ve got a lot to learn and I’ve got time to learn it. I’ll get there. And guess what? I did.
More next time.
Is there anyone there? If so, nice to meet you. I’m a formerly prolific writer, author of 40 novels plus several plays and short stories. Unfortunately, I was stopped in my tracks about 2 years ago by sight problems including a nasty thing called Macular Degeneration that knocked out a chunk of sight in my only decent eye, the other one being blotted out by a long-term cataract that had to be removed..
It wasn’t an easy operation; the cataract fought back tooth and nail but the fantastic surgeon finally won the battle. To my surprise he then said ‘and here’s your cataract.’
That stopped me in my tracks. I’ve given birth to two children and I recall hearing ‘and here’s your baby’ following each occasion, but I never expected‘here’s your cataract’, And there it was, a tiny ball of rust on a nurse’s outstretched palm..
I’ve since asked several friends who have had cataracts removed if that had ever happened to them but so far they all said no. My first thought was that I should say something along the lines of, ‘It’s beautiful, I’m going to call it Geraldine,’ followed closely by wondering if I was expected to take it home and keep it on the mantelpiece. Fortunately, they didn’t.
So there I was, with one working eye, ready to get back to writing – but fate wasn’t finished with me. Eight weeks later I was back in hospital to have an operation on my non-cataract eye to deal with a detached retina. Once home I had to lie flat on my back for 8 days and 8 nights – not easy when you live alone. Fortunately two very kind neighbours. fed me.
I have never really got over the appalling time I had and every time I have a hospital appointment I pack a bag to keep me going for at least 3 days just in case.
I have now started work on another Prior’s Ford book because that’s what I do and what I want to keep on doing. I wish I had learned to touch type years ago just in case, but I didn’t and I’ll just have to do my best and hope that I can keep the sight that’s left to me.
Dear readers – are you there? If not, I don’t blame you – in fact, I’m beginning to wish that I wasn’t here myself. Many, many apologies. Last time I was in touch with you I told the sad tale about losing most of my sight and I’m still trapped in the same situation.
I’m working on my new Prior’s Ford book but as I live alone I’m constantly being interrupted by the clamour of daily ‘must do’s’. I try to snap back with ‘Don’t want to’ but it doesn’t seem to work.
I’ll keep on trying – promise! Happy Christmas, everyone! My own Christmas will be quiet this year as I have had three Christmas dinners in the past two weeks and I’m looking forward to spending Christmas Day digesting before the television set.
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