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By: Carole Payne

Times of My Life – Part Two

Pages: 186 Ratings:
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A sequel to Times of My Life: A Forest Gate Girl, this book carries the reader from a wedding in 1971, to the present day in Wiltshire, spanning 50 years of events that have punctuated the writer’s life up to now. It’s been a whole adventure and education for a girl from a fairly sheltered and strict family background, embarking on married life as a young wife which would soon take her away from the London she had known and loved to following her husband’s career all over the country.


She would eventually achieve all the things she had dreamed of as a child. She would travel the world, meet fascinating people in far-flung places and make lifelong friends. She would have a successful career of her own. She would teach. Her love of music, theatre and performance would lead to one of her most thrilling and satisfying endeavours, running her own musical theatre group with amazing young people and watching them grow in skills and confidence. This memoir revisits those hectic days which tend to get lost in the fullness of time. Treasured old photos bring it all back. 


Most of all, she would have a long and happy married life, and be blessed with wonderful children and grandchildren. There were many adventures and so many reasons to celebrate along the way. But there were also trials and challenges, tragedies and sadness, as there are and have been for everyone, particularly during the Covid years. The best of times always outweighed the bad, however, and the happiest memories will be cherished forever.


Born into a large and very traditional Roman Catholic family in Forest Gate, London in 1950, classically educated at a strict Ursuline Convent School and City University, Carole Payne was an unusual and imaginative child. Her life was shaped by global events and chance encounters with interesting, and famous, characters. The swinging sixties scene, music, arts and youth revolution had a massive impact on her, as did her early first and only true love. She decided to write down her memories of this early life for her grandchildren and it turned into a bit of a saga. So this is Part One – A Forest Gate Girl, taking us up to her marriage in 1971. Part two continues her varied career and the adventures which never stop to the present day. Now with family scattered all over the world, as a grandmother with time on her hands, Carole Payne Berry lives and writes in deepest Wiltshire.

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