Many thanks to fellow crime writer, Alison Gray, for nominating me for the Lovely Blog award.
The rules of a Lovely Blog post are to write seven facts about yourself and then link to up to fifteen of your favourite blogs, inviting them to do the same.
I have tried to think of things which you may not know about me.
Fact 1: my love of the sea
I grew up on the south coast of England in a village a few miles north of Chichester in West Sussex. My parents, aunt and grandmother had beach huts at West Wittering, and I think my love of the sea developed from the years spent sploshing through rock pools and swimming in the sea. When I was four, we were on holiday in Denmark and one morning I decided I wanted to swim. There and then. So, I put on my costume, with floats in the abdominal section, and took myself into the water. My dad found me swimming among stinging jelly fish. I had no idea what they were.
Fact 2: my name – nouveau jambon
When I was teaching in Tower Hamlets I lived in the neighbouring borough of Newham. It was always funny phoning the council and giving my name, and I had to keep producing evidence of my identity as the people on the phone couldn’t believe the coincidence. My mum always hated the name ‘Newham’, not sure why. To be fair, people often mispronounce it ‘New Man’ or ‘New Ham’ or ‘Newnham’.
Fact 3: my teenage crush
My most enduring crush is the utterly divine (in my opinion) Bryan Ferry. I have adored him since I was thirteen. I was once in a pub that he was in (I used to ride in Petworth near where he lives). We had ridden there for lunch. I didn’t know he was there until later, and smiled for about three days afterwards, saying that I had shared the same oxygen as Bryan Ferry. Bless. I still swoon, I’m afraid, when I see him on the telly box.
Fact 4: ‘Isobel? This way, please.’
Vicky (Victoria) is my second name. Isobel is my first. I’m guessing this must have been fashionable at the time my brother and I were born as our parents called us both by our second names. When the doctor/dentist/official person/whoever comes out and calls me by the name ‘Isobel’, I don’t recognise myself. And I never answer to ‘Victoria’. I like both names. Just not for me.
Fact 5: I used to work in damp-proofing
After completing my language degree, I was impatient to get earning and didn’t want to do any post-graduate study. I went into business with my boyfriend at the time, in … damp proofing! As I didn’t want to be seen as the office girl, who would be bypassed to speak to the man of the business, I did all the technical training courses. This work involved: taking up floor boards and crawling in sub-floor spaces to check joists; inspecting lofts for timber decay and infestation; installing chemical damp courses and learning how to plaster walls. I really enjoyed it and learnt a huge amount. I think I may still have woodworm in my hair. If you need a bit of silicone injection, you know where to come.
Fact 6: When I grow up I want to be a writer
I have wanted to be a writer since I was ten. As a child, I wrote stories in my bedroom for entertainment, to let my imagination run free and to make sense of the world around me. I have always said that writing makes me happier than anything. When I am writing I often completely lose all sense of time and forget to eat for the whole day. When I can’t sleep, I often get up and write. In my twenties and thirties, I wrote stories and articles but never did anything with any of them. It was when I read Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories and Sophie Hannah’s Little Face, I thought, I have to write the novels in my head.
Fact 7: I have rehomed two Lucys
When I rehomed Lexi (my crazy cockerpoo) she was called Lucy. My old cat, Loulou, also rehomed, was also called Lucy by her first owners. Coincidence, huh? Loulou was as hilarious, spirited and full of character as Lexi, and she had her own blog: https://itsacatslife2012.wordpress.com/
To finish this post, I’m passing the lovely blog award on to the six following blogs. I appreciate all of them for different reasons, and admire their interesting and useful content.
Please know that there is no ‘must’ about joining in, but if you do please: link back to me; share your seven facts; and nominate (up to) 15 others.
Vicky Newham © 2015