My history with words…

My love affair with writing, words and communication has been an inseparable part of me for all of my memorable existence.

Actually, it’s more than a love affair – it’s a natural part of me, as inseparable as my eye colour – it’s a distinct part of my genetic makeup and a tool I learned to use and depend on. It was just as natural as having hands was an aid to eating and getting dressed. I can’t say that I took it for granted, or that I was aware that I might have a greater affinity for communication in comparison to others.  When you’re a child you just accept things as they are and don’t know any different. But if I reflect, I can see how the thread of words has consistently flowed with me on my life journey, just like a large ribbon attached to me.

I’ll share some memories as examples:

When I was four years old, I went with my mom to the hospital for an appointment. She was waiting, and didn’t want to lose her place when her number was called with a loudspeaker. So when I needed the toilet she explained carefully which way I should go to avoid getting lost.  But my sense of direction was not a strength, so on my way back I got lost.  But I found another waiting area where numbers were being called with a loudspeaker. So I approached that lady and explained that I was lost and asked her to please use her loudspeaker to call my mom, and I gave her my name and my mom’s name.  And when my mom came they praised me how surprising it was that I was calm and knew what to do to solve my problem and instructed them on how to help me, whereas other children would be crying and very upset.

When I was about eight years old, my brother spotted a tennis ball on the roof of the petshop while riding on the top of the double decker bus.  He wanted to go and get the ball, but knew that the petshop owner wouldn’t allow him to in case he fell off and got hurt.  So he asked me, his little sister, to go and distract the petshop owner by talking to him inside the store and asking questions about the pets so that he wouldn’t see my brother climbing onto the roof.

When I was very young in primary school, we were told to write a little story.  I wrote about how an alien ship landed in my garden and when I went on board they had a whole maternity of alien babies.  The teacher said it was very good and read it out to the class. The little boy sitting next to me, Richard, who was my neighbour, protested and told the teacher that I couldn’t possibly have written that because how would I know what a maternity was.  Although we were the same age, his strength was maths while mine was language.

I wrote a lot of poems when I was about 11 years old, and have you can read them here.

When I was 12 years old, I asked my parents for a typewriter as a Christmas present.  Later when I finished high school I bought myself an electronic typewriter.

My actual typewriters I got as a child – still with me today.

I still have both and they are very special to me, even though I’m not using them. I have even taken them with me across continents, as my only valued material possessions. But that is another story.

As a child it was my chore to feather dust the furniture.  I would get to my brother’s room and get distracted reading all his books, and even the Scope Magazine.  I know…I know… but besides the pictures, they had really good features about things like how someone survived a crocodile attack or about a serial killer.  When my mother would call and say I’ve been dusting for so long I should be finished, I’d realise I hadn’t done anything, and would quickly scurry around the other rooms with the feather duster not really doing a proper job or lifting the doilys.  During school holidays, I was often tasked with sorting out and organizing the big book case.  I’d end up distracted sitting down and reading and reading for hours and when I’d hear my mom asking if I was finished, I’d realise I hadn’t even started!

Words and communication also helped me to develop a unique understanding of people. From an early age, I was translating for family members who didn’t understand English.  And I’m not referring to translating children’s stories or fun rhymes.  I would accompany older family members to doctors and hospitals and be the one to communicate between them, and often the doctors would be Russian or of other countries of origin, and would in turn have their own different accents and limitations of the command of the English language. And it would often be serious matters, and I couldn’t be a silly kid wasting the time of health care professionals, because they had a whole row of people waiting outside.  I learned naturally to communicate efficiently and to be taken seriously so that all parties could achieve the necessary outcome without unnecessary stress and delay.

So in summary, where words are concerned, I love them, they love me and if you want a wordsmith to help you with your wordy tasks, I can be the one!  Get in touch with me here.