By Pam, 72. Perth, WA
I am a human writer. I’ve been human for 72 years now! (As of last Sunday, actually!)
My childhood was in England, an only child. Mum had three miscarriages, so I was forever making friends so I had someone to play with. I was quite good at that, though lonely at home with no one to play with. I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up from when I was knee high to a grasshopper! I wanted to train to look after children. I was possibly the only kid in my class with such direction, and consequently didn’t pay much attention or have interest in maths or history, and instead, I realise now, studied people.
My ambition never wavered, and that is exactly what I did. A two year diploma in a residential children’s home, then worked as a nanny, then started travelling. I think my uncle planted the travel bug and adventurous spirit in me, as when I was only five he and his wife, my lovely favourite aunt and uncle, went to work in Africa for three years. From then on, I wanted to go to Africa, but other than a week in the Gambia and a week in Morocco, I seemed to have missed that boat! However, once I left home to start my childcare training and could make decisions on my life’s direction, I have to say my adulthood has been a lot more fun than my childhood!
I’ve remained single, footloose and fancy free. Had various romances. Opportunities, but none matched up to my aunt and uncle’s happy relationship, so I moved on. My maternal desires have been, maybe, fulfilled by looking after umpteen children in England and most of my adult life in Perth, Western Australia, where my career path was always with young children, the pinnacle of my career being I suppose teaching childcare at a TAFE college and coordinating the course!! I could do it standing on my head (though didn’t)!
I had to/chose to quit work to go back to UK to care for my mum till the end of her 100 years as it turned to, so I was there longer than expected! But being the glass half full to overflowing type, I looked upon it as an ‘extended holiday’ and I came back with excess baggage, which was new friends!
I’ve traveled and worked in several countries, not least around Australia, where I originally came on a one-year working holiday — 44 years ago! I am still packing as much fun into my life as I can — lots of dancing, singing, environmental projects … and I enjoy writing. If I pop my clogs tomorrow, I will have no regrets as I look back on the fun life I created for myself! (And am blessed with lovely friends.)
That’s me in a nutshell!