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I Do Not Want a Fish Finger Sandwich-bookcover

By: Viv Booth

I Do Not Want a Fish Finger Sandwich

Pages: 206 Ratings: 5.0
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Being shown the private convenience of the Queen of England in The House of Commons was not the career highlight that Viv had expected.  A dazzling profession as a Prima Ballerina had been her plan but having two legs of the same length and width would appear to be a pretty strong prerequisite for a successful livelihood in that arena, not to mention a couple of ballet lessons at least. 

What did happen along the way were a random selection of activities which were not anticipated either:

  • Inter-store “It’s a Knockout” on Cable TV
  • Jumping the queue at the Austria/Slovakian Border Control
  • Attempted mugging in Bratislava
  • A West Highland White disgrace on National TV
  • Acquiring a temporary Iranian Bodyguard
  • Drinking schnapps in an isolated house in Eskilstuna


Viv Booth was born in Oldham in 1957, the youngest of four children. Move forward fifty years and you have the meanderings of a short, slightly overweight, middle aged woman living in France, predominantly alone. Not a totally uncommon occurrence but pretty damn unusual for a Lancashire lass.

Customer Reviews
3 reviews
3 reviews
  • Terry Booth

    An interesting insight into Viv's early life, spanning through some years in the retail business, life as a mature University Student

    British Telecom Overseas adventures and finally culminating in a teaching/lecturing post.

    This tale is a journey through life as told by someone overcoming great adversity with a real can-do attitude. I love the use of local dialect and descriptive that make their way onto the page.

    This story had me hooked from beginning to end, although I did struggle with the placement of the Articles that were written for Telecom Publications, I understand that they are important to this story, but feel that it would have been better to have them as an appendix at the end! I feel that their placement in that particular part of the text interrupted the flow of the story. (Nit-picking really!"

    All in all, a great read, written by a very talented young lady. This must have been a great release of anguish and frustration for Viv!

  • Jan Beaumont

    Life can be tricky to negotiate when you're only 4' 10'' - especially when you've got one leg shorter than the other! But Viv has never let little things like that set her back. When sudden and tragic events disrupted her happy 1960s childhood, the resulting upheaval from her family home in Oldham to a new and unfamiliar life in Sheffield was devastating for the young Viv. As we travel through her schooldays and work experiences, which included a brief fling as a Cable TV star player in an inter-store It's A Knockout tournament (despite aforesaid leg discrepancy...), to her being a full-time mum before returning to the world of work, we gain an insight into where life has taken her from those early days, as she recounts and reflects, with a lighthearted narrative, on her often challenging, sometimes poignant but frequently amusing experiences. Viv's struggles for career success as a girl, in what could be an unequal and chauvinistic employment world in the 1970s, drove her determination to break through the glass ceiling in later life. MENSA testing revealed an exceptionally high IQ, and she later gained a degree in Business Studies which helped secure a number of high-profile posts in the male-dominated British postal industry, including traveling across Europe to design IT systems for foreign postal services...cue some typically comical misadventures and cultural misunderstandings! As Viv says... it could only happen to her! A convergence of professional, personal, and domestic issues resulted in a completely unexpected - and sometimes intimidating - career change to a successful role as a college lecturer... an inspiring achievement for a girl who had little or no encouragement to succeed in her own early education. Viv's story continues through retiring, moving abroad to live in France then returning to the UK for family reasons - eventually settling in Norfolk with her husband Mr C to realise her lifelong dream of living by the sea. It is refreshing and inspiring to read the story of Viv's life; one which, since childhood, has been beset by challenges - all met head-on with determination, positivity, and a downright stubborn refusal to give up despite the odds! For me in particular, her recollections of growing up in the '60s and 70's really resonated. Those experiences of an innocent and carefree childhood mirrored many of my own - the importance of family, the houses we lived in, the streets we played in, the games we devised to amuse ourselves as we had little or nothing in the way of material things - brought an unexpected and emotional nostalgia which will stay with me long after I closed the last pages.

  • Tim Carr

    I have been privileged to know the author and Mr. C for a number of years, meeting through our working mutually at Royal Mail. Our work on projects of a national scope introduced me to the friendly and chatty "Northern nature" of which Viv was very much in the fore. Before Mr. C came into her life I was aware of the journey and some difficulties around Viv but she was always a consummate professional and good at organizing "us" and me! So two things struck me when reading the book. One how good she was at getting through problems and two, the struggle she endured from an early stage in her life and how that endurance, intelligence, and "can and will do" attitude pushed her through in those endeavors. It has been my pleasure to know Viv and her family and the book is a thought-provoking, humorous reflection on those aspects of her life. I recommend that the potential reader take a few hours and enjoy the journey.

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