About Valerie

I’ve had a fairly adventurous life, living through the Blitz- time in England – I watched and remember the Battle of Britain as a two-year old – had a stint in post-war Germany with my army family, living at Belsen, living in the Beast of Belsen’s  old apartment,  travelled to school in Malaya in an armoured convoy through bandit-infested jungle,  and later found myself trapped in the middle of the first Red Guard march in Hong Kong during the Cultural Revolution in China.
In New Zealand, I once awoke to find a grey-suited man with a stocking over his head in our bedroom during my husband Pat Booth’s fight to free an innocent man wrongly jailed for a double murder (he was pardoned at the end of the eight-year battle). Then there was the time I found the wheels of my car had been tampered with to cause an accident when the Mr Asia drug ring – a world-wide drug ring my crusading journalist husband had exposed – had put a price on his head.
I grew up in an army family, joining the British army myself.  Living in Hong Kong with my army husband, I had to learn journalism on the run when the marriage broke up in order to support my two children. Eventually I came to New Zealand with the children aged five and six, knowing no-one, with no money, no job and no home, to start from scratch in a new country. We arrived with three suitcases, in two of which I’d packed sheets and cutlery to start a new home!

 I was Woman’s Editor of the South China Morning Post before leaving Hong Kong, In New Zealand I became a writer at the liberal paper the Auckland Star, where I wrote a column for twelve years, became Woman’s Editor, and at the same time wrote a column for families and children in the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly for fourteen years. I stopped writing for magazines last year after fifty years of journalism, and have also written twenty=two books..

Now retired, I still write my blog, am writing several more books, and live in the middle of a protected forest miles from anywhere with my new partner.

Hobbies are gardening, grandchildren, reading, cooking, moving house and restoring and re-decorating old houses, friends, music, opera, pets and people watching ( there must be more).  I don’t have dogs any more, but over the years have had seventeen, mostly rescued, usually three at a time, including three afghans, two salukis, a borzoi, a labrador, six cavalier King Charles spaniels, a boxer, a mastiff-boxer cross, a mastiff, plus the lodgers – the dogs who came to spend the day with me while their owners were at work !

It isn’t just pets that I care about, I’m involved with several world –wide animal organisations both to save animals from being tortured and exploited (including bull-fighting and bear-baiting) – and to save wild animals whose habitats are being destroyed by hunting or clearing. And of course, like the rest of us, I worry about preserving our planet before it’s too late.

I write this blog because I love writing – about anything – but actually I write about the things that interest me , and they’re different every day.

226 responses to “About Valerie

  1. Hi Valerie, I feel very honoured that someone with such a wealth of life experiences is now following my blog – thank you! Like you I enjoy the writing (although I’m not and have never been a professional writer), and I restrain myself to posting once a week for fear of boring my readers. Great to know that I’m not alone in that!

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  2. HI there, thank you so much for your lovely comment – apologies for not getting back sooner – internet problems –
    I couldn’t resist following your gorgeous pics, the idea of the lovely food, and the heavenly places you photograph. I shall be living in France vicariously as I follow you!

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  3. Valarie I’m blessed to have found you as you popped into my blog and left a comment. Was really interested to read you account of your life. You are one gutsy lady. I look forward to reading more of your blog posts. Off now to have a wee read and subscribe.

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  4. Pingback: The VersaLiebLy Awards « Someone Fat Happened

  5. Hi Valerie! Thanks for visiting my blog and introducing yourself to me through my “About” page. … What a life you’ve lived so far! … I can relate to your story about moving to a foreign land and starting over with two small children, only with me it was my mother who was starting over with my brother (5) and me (7) in tow. We moved from Canada to London, England where mom was to begin her long career in opera. Like you everything we owned was in three suitcases. … I look forward to exploring your blog and being inspired … Be well, Dorothy 🙂

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  6. Hi Valerie, good news; I have nominated you for the Reality Blog Award!

    The rules are at

    http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/reality-blog-award-thanks-rhubblog/

    Like

  7. Amy

    Hi Valerie, I’m inviting you to the Līgo Circle of Appreciation. It’s not an award. You only need to choose two a day if you want just do for one day and if you want to play… 🙂

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    • Hello Amy, Thank you so much for thinking of me and pointing people in my direction. What an honour, and what lovely words you wrote about me. But sadly, I’ve given it a lot of thought, and feel I have to dip out of this …

      A. I can’t get my head around how to do it… ( I am a nincompoop!) B. I am going to have to pay someone to come and help me do whatever I have to do with all the wonderful awards people have been so kind as to give me so far…( I am a nincompoop) C. I can’t bring myself to pick out different blogs when I love the ones I follow for different reasons, and would hate to hurt any-one’s feelings by being leaving them out… ( I am a nincompoop)

      So for all these reasons, I’m not a suitable candidate for the award. I feel very touched and honoured that you should have thought of me, so thank you so much Amy. With real appreciation and gratitude, Valerie

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  8. Amy

    Hi Valerie, Thanks you for taking time to reply. I feel the same as you do. I don’t like to pick one blog over another as it can hurt someone’s feeling. And, that is not blogging is about. I hope you’d consider my invitation as a small gueture of appreciation. Have a great week! — Amy

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    • valeriedavies

      Amy, you are lovely – I did feel really thrilled and touched that you invited me, and it’s lovely too that you understand – we come from the same place !!! Valerie

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      • Amy

        I don’t mean to brag about it at all. I had three “awards” that I have not reponded. Actually, I felt relieved after reading your comment. 🙂 Amy

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  9. Thank you for your visit to my blog. – your ‘about’ is wonderful, almost a ,memoir itself! We are contemporaries, and as a child, I knew a Valerie Davies who lived near me in Worcester Park. Was that you?

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    • Hello Viv – thank you for your message – No, Davies is the name from my first marriage – but since I was well known in my new country as a writer by that name, I kept it.
      yes, I’m rather embarassed by my ‘about’ – my printer who set up the blog for me told me to write something, and not having checked out any blogs, that’s what I did. Now I realise it’s a bit over the top , but feel it’s a bit late to change it!
      I followed you from dear celi’s blog….

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  10. Yaz

    I love this in depth look at who you are Valerie. What a full interesting life you have lead. Thank you for sharing it.

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    • Hello Yaz, thank you so much for popping up on my blog, I’m loving reading your wonderful posts now .
      Thank you for what you say about my life story ( or half of it) I didn’t realise that people did short witty pieces, and never having looked at a blog, when my printer who was helping me said, write something about yourself, I rather overdid it I think… However, it’s there now!

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  11. Hello Valerie, thankyou for visiting The Naturephile and enjoying it enough to follow it. Your profile is a fascinating read! (Were you old enough to know who Josef Kramer was when you were in his house? If so, that must have been disconcerting!).

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    • Thank you for taking an interest! You sound like me -always wanting to know more! I was nine when we lived there, but our parents never told us what Belsen was, until several years later. I remember when we went to have tea with the German vet in Bergen, the nearest village ( we’d got to know him well when there was a distemper epidemic and our dog had died) his wife and daughter had talked about seeing their poor wounded soldiers going past in the trains in blood-stained bandages. On the way home my step-mother said hotly to my father – “well if they saw those trains, how come they didn’t know about the others?”, and because I couldn’t understand what she was talking about, it stuck in my mind…and I couldn’t understand who the displaced persons were in the DP’s camp – they were survivors waiting to go to Israel, I learned later…. and politics being what they were, they seemed to hate us, and set the pine forest on fire just beyond our quarters… all very puzzling to uninformed children… adults didn’t tell us much back then…

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  12. I am indeed needing to know more! My family history in WW1 and WW2 has made this time a huge area of interest to me, and I’ve never before had the opportunity to ask questions to someone who saw the aftermath of the Holocaust.

    With the vet and his family being educated people it’s inconceivable they didn’t see ‘the other trains’ and know what they were transporting, but I suppose it’s understandable they neglected to mention them! It may have implied some form of complicity. It must have been tricky for the adults to explain to children the horrors of those times from midst of the immediate aftermath.

    Why did the DP’s hate the British? So many aspects are puzzling to me too!

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    • Hello Finn, I’ve done a lot of research to try to understand what was going on around me then. First of all, I discovered, that Belsen became the holding place for DP’s from many other camps, who were unable to return to their homes behind the Iron Curtain. The facilities were the best, since they were accommodated in a Panzer training depot next door to the camp, and we all know that Hitler’s military got the best! But many DP’s were not only depressed and traumatised but hostile to all authority after their experiences, and not all refugees were upright, honest pillars of the community – there was riff-raff as well. and they were very difficult for the army to deal with ( who were also tired and traumatised after six years of war, and social problems like returning to families who hadn’t seen them for six years.)

      The Jewish leader in the camp, a Belsen survivor and charismatic person, would only communicate with the frustrated British in Yiddish, even though he was a perfectly fluent English speaking person. He agitated for everyone to go to Palestine, as it then was, instead of trying to find other refuges. ( The Americans were still only taking in tiny numbers) But the British were constrained by the Mandate, ( responsibility given them after World War 1) and were not allowed to let unlimited refugees into Palestine. (Exodus was cruel and somewhat misleading propaganda).

      The Arabs – rightly as it turns out -were concerned about their place in their own country, as since the Balfour declaration, a quota of Jews had trickled in, but this didn’t bother them, when it was in the two thousands a year. Come Hitler, numbers jumped to 60,000 the first year and continued to rise, until the Arabs were fearful they would be outnumbered ( they were right to be fearful).

      The British were caught in the middle of this. I might say, the Jewish leader at Belsen, whose name has slipped away at the moment, did not go to Israel when it was his turn, he went to the States where he made a successful career….

      Also, Europe was in chaos at the time, and the British Zone had very little farming land, so food was a real problem for the British authorities, both in England and in their zone of Germany. Attlee considered at one stage reducing the ration for the English to 1700 calories a day, they were so up against it, with paying off the huge loans to the Americans for Lend lease – which they finally paid with all the interest in 2006.

      It was also the time of the changing of the currency and the Berlin Airlift. The Black Market was a nightmare for the authorities, and it came to be known that Belsen was the biggest hub of the Black Market. The British wanted to go in and search the place, and stamp it out. But the clever Jewish leader held them off for nine months, stalling over the idea of German police or British soldiers trespassing on their hallowed refuge after all they’d been through with the Nazis.. By the time the British got into the camp, they had been able to hide or destroy the evidence. All these events built up real hostility and dislike, as you can imagine, and I now understand why every-one was so unsympathetic to the DP.s who I had thought needed all the sympathy and understanding in the world! Does this very truncated version of events answer your question??? I deal with quite a lot of this in my book “The Sound of Water”, which is available on Kindle and the internet, and in the physical form on Amazon and from me. The info is in my latest blog, and also in “about Valerie’s books” As you can see, I’m really enjoying this conversation….. .

      Like

  13. Hello Valerie,

    Wow. That’s fascinating and does indeed help to answer my question. It wasn’t a black-and-white issue and there were a multitude of complexities due to the prevailing conditions.

    For someone who never witnessed anything like that it’s almost impossible to comprehend, but I suppose when all normal rule of law breaks down and itself becomes criminal then the conventional moral and legal code is inverted and all manner of iniquities prevail – on all sides,

    I’ve done huge amounts of reading over the years but I’m still trying to grasp how all that went on could go on.

    Thank you very much indeed for taking the time to make such a detailed and lengthy reply!

    Like

  14. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman

    Valerie, I know you are not blogging, but I trust you will check your messages, I just had to tell you that I really liked how you called our creator on my post – “Divine Source”. I love that description. Thank you again for your lovely post! Blessings – Patty

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    • Dear Patti, Thank you so much for both your lovely messages – I was going to get back to you…yes, I love that phrase too, it raises fewer hackles than the other descriptions which sometimes tend to make people think vaguely of an angry old man with a beard and a frown thundering out of the Old Testament.!!! – Not the Great Spirit of infinite love and infinite creativity – “almighty, invisible, …. in light in-accessible hid from our eyes” in the words of the old hymn… I was going to ask you if you’d come across Glenda Green’s remarkable book,” Love without End – Jesus Speaks.” It rarely leaves my bed-side, and I’m always buying copies on the internet to give to people. One of the chapters ends with Jesus saying that the Day of the Last Judgement will be the day that the last man on earth judges another. I find this so inspiring… love Valerie

      PS… I don’t know whether you’ve come across the Golden Key to use whenever things are troubling us… simply recite all the names of God that you can think of, Rock of Ages, Eternal father, etc etc, thinking of nothing else but the Names of God. When you’ve done this for as long as you feel you need, you feel calm and comforted, and there is a sense that the other person has also benefitted… You probably already do this….warm wishes…

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      • thoughtsfromanamericanwoman

        I have not heard of that book I wrote it down and will get it after Christmas. It sounds like a book to have on hand. And I have not heard about the Golden Key, I like that idea. You are so much like my spiritual mentor who has become a very dear friend. I am so glad that being a Christian means I am constantly learning and growing and meeting many spiritual people. Sometimes I am amazed at the change in me! God is awesome – The Great Spirit of love! Blessings ~ Patty

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  15. ‘Enjoyer of life’ – what a great description. i just had to come and look.

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  16. My goodness, Valerie. What an adventurous life! I’m sure you have some incredible stories.

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  17. I think the About Me part of your blog is the most incredible read I have ever stumbled across. Talk about really living your life. I’m fascinated and want to read more. All the best. P.S. I have always wanted to live in New Zealand so I’m excited to read anything you might write about it. 🙂

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  18. And what a life you’re leading… it’s a pleasure to meet you. What I love about blogging is you just never know who you’re going to meet next. I look forward to getting to know you…

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  19. daily life impressions

    I am also honored to have you following my blog and your kind and comforting words for me meant a lot to me. I am always thankful for comments and replies on my blog posts, especially if they have to do with my son, who died 8 month ago in a car crash and it was also a Friday night….
    thank you so much Valerie….

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  20. Alex Jones

    Fascinating life you have been living. Good to meet you.

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  21. Dear Valerie,
    I am so glad that I popped over to visit your blog….a very interesting life you lead.
    Denise

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  22. WOW – what an extraordinary life you’ve had!

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  23. I look forward to reading more!

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  24. Glad you came by and read my post. Now I can enjoy yours. Be well.

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  25. Valerie, Each time I visit your page, I am just awed by your writing and your attitude towards life….and by your lovely recipes (a few of which have already been made and served here :)). Today I landed on this page and am left speechless, at the wealth of experiences that you have collected on your journey. You are an amazing soul…and I am thankful to life that has allowed me to connect with you. Much love and a huge hug from me to you.

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    • Dear Rachna, I’ve just discovered your beautiful message on my ‘ about ‘page. I’m really sad that I Haven’t responded to the loving words you sent me… thank you so much for what you say, and I’m so glad that you enjoy my blog – as you can tell, I love writing it. And I’m so glad you enjoy the recipes too!!
      Your gentle sweet blog I feel is on the same wavelength as mine,and I really enjoy your words of loving wisdom, though I haven’t seen any of them lately… are you taking a break? I hope all is well with you,
      Warm wishes to you, with love, Valerie

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  26. What an amazing life! Also you are a great writer. It is an honor to read your blog. Thank you!

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  27. Congratulations, Valerie! I’ve nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger Award. (I hope you consider this good feedback … 😉 ) … Please click on this link for more details. Be well, Dorothy 🙂 http://shakespearesgal2.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/two-award-nominations-thank-you/

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  28. prayingforoneday

    Please accept this award nomination, and why I awarded it to you in my blog here
    http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/very-inspiring-blogger-award-6/
    Follow the rules and give back to 15 others and do what I did in my award.
    Please accept this award.
    Shaun, well done

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    • Shaun, congratulations on your award for your lovely blog. Very inspiring blog indeed… even the beautiful name of your blog. Thank you so much for thinking of me… I’m very touched. It is such a vote of confidence!!!!

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      • prayingforoneday

        The pleasure is mine.
        Thank you for accepting.
        We are new to each other here, but friendship takes time.

        I am glad it made you smile
        Shaun

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  29. prayingforoneday

    Please accept this award.
    The “Thank You Award”
    http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/the-thank-you-award-3/
    Thanks for being there with advice and honesty
    Shaun

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    • Congratulations on all your awards Shaun, what an amazing following of appreciative readers you have . Thank you so much for thinking of me, it’s always a thrill to know that a fellow blogger enjoys one’s stuff, Go well, Valerie

      Like

  30. prayingforoneday

    Please accept this amazing award.
    BEST MOMENT AWARD
    http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/best-moment-award-2/
    You bring meaning and kindness to my Word Press experience.
    I just needed you to know this. I hope you can accept.
    Shaun

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  31. prayingforoneday

    I would LOVE IT if you accepted this award
    THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD
    http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/the-versatile-blogger-award-3/

    Thanks
    Shaun

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  32. Hi Valerie, you are an inspiration. I am reading one of your books, Chasing the Dragon!! Wonderful! Please keep writing. I am hoping to learn a lot from you! 😄

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    • Terry, thank you so much for this comment – it gives me such a buzz to know someone is reading one of my books, great to hear from you, and thank you for your generous comments — happy reading !!!

      Like

  33. holstads

    Hello Valerie… I see from other comments people have thanked you for visiting their blog. I am doing the same. I am new to this, trying to get some followers, and hoping to publish a book in the next year. Thank you for stopping by my blog and reading my “Oprah” story. take care… sherri

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    • Hello Sherri, thanks for calling !!! Blogging is a funny business! I’ve written two blogs, one called Bloggers Complexes, and the other Bloggers Addictions, which you might find helpful !!! Followers seem come slowly, for no rhyme or reason… have you heard of Zemanta? I don’t think it makes much difference to me, but others seem to swear by it… google it,. it might help. I know that everyone says that reading other blogs, following commenting and liking brings people to your blog. It’s a very time-consuming activity !!! Good luck!

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      • sherri b

        yes im finding it very time consuming-but something i guess is necessary. have a great day Valerie, and I look forward to reading more of your stuff! 🙂 sherri

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  34. Valerie, I have nominated you for the “WordPress Family Award” at http://drbillwooten.com/2013/05/23/nomination-for-award-valerie-davies/ You have a wonderful blog that is truly award winning in my eyes . . . Bill

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  35. Just wanted to say thanks for the follow! 🙂

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  36. You have lived one incredible life wow!!

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  37. Glad to “meet” you.

    S. Thomas Summers

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  38. In response to Brooke’s Sister’s nominating me for a Super Sweet Blogger award, I’m extending a nomination to you as well to add to your other awards. The cupcakes should go nicely with tea, by the way. You’re free to decline, of course. Or should you accept, there are five requirements. Either way, thanks for all the fine posts you’ve been sharing. Tootles!
    1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger who nominated you.
    2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions. (See below.)
    3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post. (It’s the cupcake illustration.)
    4. Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.
    5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.
    FIVE SUPER SWEET QUESTIONS
    1. Cookies or Cake? Both?
    2. Chocolate or Vanilla?
    3. Favorite Sweet Treat?
    4. When Do You Crave Sweet Things the Most?
    5. Sweet Nickname?
    Here’s hoping you accept.

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    • Dear Jnana – Many congratulations on your award, I wish I could get your blog, but every time I try to go to it I can’t find how to click on a following – is there something really obvious that I’m missing?
      I did wonder at first if you really meant me for this sweet award, as I’ve had a few messages for you from others, though I haven’t worried as they’ve obviously gone to you as well. The internet is a permanent mystification to me.
      But since you mention having a cup cake with my tea, I suspect you may have read that blog, and did mean me to indulge my very sweet tooth.
      So thank you so much so very Sweet of you,

      Like

      • Before you take my computer skills too seriously, let me confess that I had a very nice reply composed and somehow lost it while searching for the Send button. So!
        The best way I’ve found to add a WordPress blog to the Reader lineup is to click the Follow button in the upper left corner while you have that blog open. If the X button turns to a check mark, you should be set. If that doesn’t work, grab a teenager and ask for help — seriously.
        (One of the smarter moves I’ve made in this second marriage was naming my then teenage daughter the household webmaster; she’s gotten me out of more technical messes than I could tally, selects and orders our new equipment and software, and provides ongoing tutorials.)
        Would love to compare journalism stories sometime, too. Or, as the wife of one colleague called it, talk Bodoni-Bodoni. Do you remember hot type?
        But first, my morning coffee. Cheers!

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      • Hello Jnana, Thank you for your reply… I’ll do what you suggest… I know exactly what you mean about teenagers… I rely on my grand-daughter when she can take time out from Uni, to come and sort me out… failing that, a local teenager! Do I remember hot type!!! Going down to the stone each day to read it back to front and check it, and cut it on the stone… We girls ( a metaphor) used to take turns as we hated going down and having to put up with low wolf whistles ( remember them?) stares and sniggers, as though we were some sort of rare freak! Some things have changed for the better! Great to be in touch…

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      • Oh, my, you DO remember! We are, alas, in an ever-shrinking minority.

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  39. Congratulations! You’ve been nominated as a VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER by Jadi at jadicampbell.wordpress.com. Go to her most recent post to see your nomination and learn about the award. THANK YOU for sharing your experiences and ideas with the blogosphere!

    Like

  40. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

    what an extraordinary life you are thriving in….!
    I knew I was going to enjoy following your thoughts!
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    ladyblue

    Like

  41. It’s so nice to know more about you! I also lived in Bergen as a child. I suppose peoples’ attitudes to what children should or shouldn’t know about had moved on a little since you lived there, as I remember an outing to the camp at Bergen/Belsen. What struck me the most was the atmosphere of the place, which I remember as being very cold and still. And the fact that the memorial stone stated that the camp had been liberated by the Allied Forces on 15th April – my birthday.

    You and I became connected through a mutual connection and now the connections between us are also revealing themselves… isn’t life wonderful?!

    Like

    • Fascinating indeed… we actually lived at Belsen, which it was known as then, Bergen being the village nearest to it, where we got to know the German vet for our dogs… We lived in the camp – at Hoppenstadt Strasse, and had the Beast of Belsen’s flat – which was two turned into one…they were bleak days straight after the war, with little food, no fresh milk – no cows etc etc.The atmosphere was still awful.. I went to collect my best friend for our early morning riding lesson, and couldn’t get any reply. By breakfast time everyone knew her father had shot them all,and then himself…

      We have other connections – my husband is obsessed with Japan and Japanese culture, learning a number of martial arts, writing books, and collecting antique Japanese swords and works of art for his ‘collection’ . He’s visited Japan many times…
      This is such an exciting connection with you !

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      • Oh Valerie, it’s almost eerie, isn’t it? It must have been so difficult for you and your family to be there immediately after liberation. I can’t imagine… But I can understand how it affected people so deeply. It was a horrifying chapter in human history.

        And how interesting about your husband! What kind of books does he write on Japan I wonder. I know a number of sword collectors. They are so passionate! Understandably so, when you realise the craftmanship of the swordmakers and the beauty and quality of what they produce.

        I look forward to keeping in touch and exploring these connections with you more. With my very warm wishes and love xx

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  42. You have been nominated for TWO awards: The Loyal Reader Award & Wonderful Team Membership Award. Get your badges and info here: http://wp.me/3EVe2
    Thanks for reading!

    Like

  43. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts
    as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would truly benefit from a lot of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Thank you!

    Like

  44. Mike Narracott

    It is wonderful to have found you through David Wilmot’s website for Slim memories. 1953-53 (when I was at Slim) is so distant now that I find it difficult to remember a lot but I do certainly remember you both by name (Valerie Fletcher) and by looks with your curly hair and pretty face. I will make a point of reading your blogs and writings whenever I can.
    Mike Narracott

    Like

    • Hello Mike
      Great to hear from you… yes it is a very long time ago isn’t it. Amazing that you should remember me… Your name is familiar to me, but I can’;t put a face to it… what a horrid self-absorbed person I must have been !
      Thank you for reading my blog, hope you enjoy it, Valerie

      Like

  45. Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read
    this paragraph i thought i could also create comment due to this brilliant post.

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  46. You have got a beautiful blog running here. Your vision and thoughts are indeed a revelation. Great work. Keep blogging. I will definitely hang around here a lot savouring the perfect cocktail you offer here.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your lovely words, Prasad, you are very generous.
      At the moment – if you’ve read my most recent blog, you’ll see I’m taking a break…I need a little time and space to go inward to replenish…but I will be back… best wishes, Valerie

      Like

  47. Checking in with you, Valerie. Hope you are well!

    Elisa

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    • Dear Elisa,
      How lovely of you to think of me, thank you… I’ve been noticing the changes to your blog!
      I’m very busy – one book being published in London by Christmas, working on the proofs of another one, and writing another one…so it’s all go..
      I was so touched to see your message XXXX

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  48. It is an honor and a pleasure to meet you. I have never had a conversation with someone who actually saw the blitz, it is usually tales of those who did not survive. I’m certain I will be enjoying many a visit here.

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    • Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. Your blog sounds so fascinating that I’ve sent it to my husband who is obsessed with the Pacific War and has done a lot of writing and research. he will love your blog ! I was interested in the Korean ex-erpts you shared… my brother’s regiment fought with the ‘Glorious Gloucesters when they were surrounded at Imjun river by 200,000 hidden Chinese ( they wore gym shoes, and carried branches – when US spotter planes flew overhead, they knelt beneath their greenery, and were never discovered.) The two regiments endured horrific treatment as prisoners of war of the Koreans and Chinese… You might be interested in the blogs I’ve written about my life in the army…maybe not !!!! Best wishes

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  49. so beautifullly have you described your persona and important incidents in your life.

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