When our two children were small, we lived on a small farm near Exeter. The farmyard was immediately outside the house which meant I could spend a little time with our two sons at their teatime and go indoors again when they were bathed and put to bed. My wife would read to them, and then I would. As they got older, I would tell them stories too, often involving input from them too. Hence, the idea of creating stories as well as just reading other people’s writing.
A few years later, I felt the need for the extra income, so I did a one-year teacher training course at St. Luke’s College and took a part-time job at our local secondary school, teaching slow readers. A colleague there, a teacher of English, heard of my occasional scribblings and asked for some short stories for her to use in class. This worked surprisingly well.
For a number of reasons, we sold the farm in 1978 and moved to a house with a three-acre paddock near Kingsbridge. I became a full-time teacher with multiple handicapped teenagers. Not much time for writing. Also, in later years, when we were gardening beside the River Dart a few miles downriver from Totnes, there was no time for writing.
However, when we sold our smallholding and retired to Totnes in 2000, I took up writing again and got down to it more seriously. This book is the result of my scribbles over the last 20 years.