1 girl with five siblings
1 B E’d Hons degree
1 writing habit
1 dose of cancer
- After a suburban childhood and University education, add a tablespoon of teaching.
- Mix with a large dose of the travel bug to produce a longhaul stewardess.
- Stir in a little love potion and a marriage, followed by the arrival of a daughter.
- When mixture comes to boiling point, beat in divorce.
- Marinade slowly, whilst taking caution, another dose of love potion and 2nd husband.
- Blend in two more children -1 girl and 1 boy, until family complete.
- Toss in large, fearful dollop of cancer, stirring all the time to prevent more lumps.
- Avoid steeping in Prozac by relocating.
- Bake in the Sussex countryside until content.
- Serve with oodles of red wine, sit back and enjoy life.
And it was as easy as that. Well, maybe that’s telling a few kilos worth of lies, but sixteen years on from the Big C, I’m still here to tell ’em. ( I just love it when I can change that number each year.)
As a quick dish that gives you a starting point but as with all good recipes you can always make your own adjustments. My children are now Inbetweeners: the eldest having left the nest and flown to University and beyond. I’ve added running my own beauty business and photography to my list of careers and learned that being a romantic and traditionalist isn’t always a good thing. We are still renovating the house [well, it was a huge project] but I’ve made myself more useful, have stopped writing about it and am more hands on.
My childhood bucket and spade holidays to Bracklesham Bay instilled in me a love of Sussex. The beauty of the South Downs always takes my breath away and these days I indulge myself by walking the dogs along the top by Firle Beacon, wind in my hair undecided as to whether the sea or country view is my favourite.
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to walking through a field of horses [ they’re just so damn inquisitive] and the family know they will have to coax me to climb a stile to pass through grazing cows [ same reason but they come in a group.] But I’ll always be grateful that we swapped the town for the countryside. Nothing beats doing the school run driving alongside the farmer’s fields, even in the teeming rain, instead of roads and roads of terraced houses.
On a perfect day you will find me sitting at my writing desk, in the corner of the conservatory, large china mug of fresh coffee in my hand [ must be china, I allow myself a few foibles now I’m ‘of an age,’] contemplating my next masterpiece. I would have just returned from enjoying my favourite meal of the day, breakfast, and pottering around the exquisite town of Lewes.
Oh, and as it’s a perfect day, have I mentioned the washing machine wouldn’t be grinding away in the background, and there isn’t a layer of dust building up on the photo frames? I would have waved away my day job, the ironing pile and other needless distractions to replace them with vases of sweet peas, books, books and more books and most of all, endless time to read them.
If you would like a more in-depth recipe please take a peek at my website, www.teresahamilton.co.uk where you will find extra ingredients to while away a whole meal, and mints afterwards.
This was written before I lost Nick, in September 2017. This is the woman I’m struggling to find again.