browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Three years on

Posted by on May 16, 2014

A little over three years ago, without quite knowing what I was letting myself in for, I arrived at the Faber offices in Bloomsbury for the first meeting of their new Writing Family History course. I had signed up the summer before and had not given it much thought until the day arrived for that first session on a chilly January evening. In the summer, anything seems possible – the evenings are light, the air is warm and just as the days are long and full of life, so in my heart and head it seemed just the right thing to do, commit to a weekly writing session in London, 150 miles away from where I live, starting the following January, without giving much thought to the practicalities let alone whether I was in any way capable of doing the writing. I look back at that time with a wry shake of my head – it was not the first time I had signed up for something of which I had little experience. But it turned out to be one of the best things I have done. it showed me that perhaps I can write, something that I was never sure about and while it didn’t exactly lead us by the hand straight to a publishing deal, the course did give us a community of writing friends, friends who still meet regularly and work to keep each of us on our toes and writing something, anything that can be put online on this blog and that may add to our projects. I felt humbled after that first meeting – everyone seemed to have ‘a project’ that this course was meant to further, everyone that is apart from me. I drove back home at midnight down the empty motorway around Birmingham and the cold, star- bright Shropshire countryside and thought what a mistake I had made and how could I go back, when I had no project, no writing under my belt, no way forward. Well, the course showed me I could write andI did find a project, in a roundabout fashion, an idea that perhaps my own life could be mined – it came about through an exercise that we had to do about a house we had lived in. I chose our house in Zaire…I am still writing about that life, a life that is long gone but still vivid, remembered through letters, pictures, people so precious, that it feels to me that it should be recorded, honoured. Three years on and it is slow-going, life gets in the way and I need a prod every once in a while, but I get that from our group and summer is upon us, so for a few months anything seems possible, doesn’t it?

Clare and Sam in the bush in Zaire 1984

Clare and Sam in the bush in Zaire 1984

One Response to Three years on

  1. Nicola Stevens

    Keep writing Clare – I am loving the trail of photos you have posted with your writing ….. A life seen through hats and hairstyles …. And such wonderful evocative words of an era and places.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *