Get to know Yvonne
Born in the Fifties
My birthplace was Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. I was born in a peaceful time, when the horrors of the forties were over and there was hope for the future.
I grew up on an estate where I knew everyone in the neighbourhood and was free to play outside in the street from dawn until dusk.
There was a large island in front of our houses and each November we would join together to build a huge bonfire in the centre. We children would make a Guy Fawkes and trail it around in an old pram to collect money for fireworks. Then we would watch the Guy burn on the bonfire while we twirled our glittering sparklers.
I walked to school by myself or with friends from an early age, our mothers never having to worry about escorting us.
Sweets were a week-end treat, and Christmas was the biggest treat of the year. I would always receive books and my favourite stories were Heidi and Little Women, chic-lit from the 1800’s which is still popular today.
My most memorable TV programmes are Andy Pandy and Crackerjack.
My hairstyle in those days was a short bob with a fringe, commonly known as a basin cut.
Always a girly girl there was no climbing trees for me. I loved to watch my mother put on her lipstick before going to the shops and I would copy her by licking my finger and tracing it around my lips. She wouldn’t go out of the house without her trademark red lipstick and I have inherited that trait.
Teenager of the Sixties
After passing my eleven-plus I moved to Cheltenham Technical High School, a fair distance to walk four times a day from where I lived, and I constantly wore out my shoes.
Every Wednesday morning I'd excitedly await the paper boy who delivered 'Jackie' my favourite comic. I would shove it into my satchel and read it on my lap during double science - Physics and Chemistry, Yuk.
I managed to gain 5 GCE’s after studying for hours in my bedroom, playing Procol Harum’s ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale', on repeat. It’s a wonder my parents didn’t go insane and I still have that single tucked away somewhere.
Jobs were plentiful for school leavers in those days, you could pick and choose, if you didn't like the job you had you could easily find another. I chose to take a secretarial course within a large company.
It was the time of the Mods and Rockers. I started out as rock chic, shaking my head to Led Zeppelin, my long dark-brown hair flying all over the place. I became a Mod when I acquired a Vespa scooter to transport me to work and thought I looked cool in a Parka. This phase didn’t last long because the scooter was forever breaking down and the crash helmet played havoc with my hair.
Sixties music was fab-u-lous. I saw the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in concert, and adored Tamla Motown. I truly believe there has not been an era to match it since and much of the music of the sixties is still being played, which says a lot.
Hair straighteners were not around in those days, so I would lay my head on the ironing board and iron my hair, miraculously I was never burned.
Wife and Mother of the Seventies
I met my husband in Devon whilst on holiday with a friend. He was with a mate and a year later both my friend and I married our holiday romancers. We are all still married now.
I moved to Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire to be with my husband directly after our honeymoon and we were blessed with two children, a daughter and a son, born sixteen months apart. It was a busy time and I will never forget the aroma from the mountain of nappies soaking in Napisan prior to being boiled in the washing machine and hung to dry on the permanent indoor clothes airer. Oh what a joy it would have been to have a tumble dryer.
I still walked everywhere, but with a pram and then a double buggy that always had a way of going where it wanted to go, and not where I wanted the darn thing to go. Those pre-school years were precious, when our children were totally ours. I never had time to do anything with my hair, but still wore my lippy!
Career Woman of the Eighties and Nineties
With the children in school, I returned to work part-time in Personnel (better known as HR these days), and found it fascinating. Once the children moved to senior school I was able to work full-time, and that’s when my career in Personnel Management began.
I stopped walking and drove everywhere (badly).
My husband and I became grandparents for the first time at the end of the nineties. A beautiful grandson, born to our daughter, and soon all the fun of childhood began again for us.
My hair in the eighties was poodle-permed and ginger, changing to blonde in the nineties.
Retiree and Author of the 2000's
I was fortunate enough to be able to retire early with my husband. We moved to Spain and still live here now. It is a joy to wake up to sunshine almost every day and I count my blessings for the life we are able to lead.
It was difficult to leave our family and I often wish that I could beam myself up and drop in on them for a cup of tea, and then beam myself back again.
We became grandparents twice more. Our son’s wife gave birth to two gorgeous girlies who are full of fun and a pleasure to be around.
We visit our family as often as we can and they come to us usually in the summertime to enjoy Spain at its best.
I began to write after I came across an old English exercise book from my early schooldays. I read my compositions as they were called in those days and was surprised by my fledgling writing skills, so decided to give it a go.
I wrote tongue-in-cheek articles about ex-pat life here in Spain which I submitted to one of the free newspapers who published them. I have put some of those articles on this website.
I have written personalised bedtime stories for my eldest granddaughter so she appears in each one. I'm still writing them for her but the content is changing as she grows older. She now likes to give me her ideas for stories and her younger sister has also begun to enjoy them.
'Consequences' is my first e-book novel, published in 2013 it has hit the top 100 best seller list in Family Life category on Amazon.co.uk.
'Viva La Yoga' was published in 2014, followed by its sequel 'Sunseekers' in 2015.
I write Contemporary Fiction for women and have written 'Viva La Yoga' featuring five fifty-plus women as the main characters because I believe there is not enough chick-lit devoted to this age group.
Each of my novels features Spain in some way and this is likely to continue in future novels I have in mind. There is also a tiny bit of me in each of them, but I’m not telling where!
My hair is still blonde, (with the help of 'Nice n Easy'), but longer these days, and I still walk whenever I can.