My Loife and Toimes
I was born in Cape Town in the Stone Age and wanted to be a journalist in Fleet Street from the age of 12 when someone told me me their job was to ask questions. Getting paid for asking questions seemed like a good deal.
But I had to raise the fare to London myself. I was working as a lowly trainee journalist on the local newspaper and did three other jobs … One was addressing thousand of envelopes – by hand – I told you it was the Stone Age, another was waiting tables. But I arrived here not knowing one living soul. That soon changed.
I loved London from the beginning and the sense of freedom was addictive.
I didn’t realise how restrictive my home home country was until I arrived here. And I still love this place. Only people who haven’t lived anywhere else don’t know how great it still is, with all its faults.
So I got to Fleet Street and worked on several nationals, became a columnist, then went into TV as a scriptwriter … co wrote a sitcom, became a founding director of an independent television production company and produced several programmes for BBC and C4 then reinvented myself again as a novelist. With two friends we had great fun writing six novels but it was really hard work so then I volunteered to help the Hoxton Apprentice which gave on the job skills to long term unemployed young people. We had a 70% success rate but when this government came into power they stopped all funding so the restaurant went into administration, such a pity as the government schemes don’t work nearly as well.
Then I started Lady Val’s Professional Women’s Network and, since my husband’s death 16 months ago, have written a book about his life and work to subsidise the charity we started in his name: the Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation. I am also working with Heather Phillips of Singingworks to try to get choirs into prisons and we have a couple of Governors who seem interested.
I have a lovely daughter who is a Friday columnist on the Daily Mirror and who writes under the name of Polly Hudson (my maiden name and the one I wrote under) .. She often writes about me and sometimes not in glowing terms! And she married a man whose surname is Dear and he is.
So that’s up to date and in this blog I look forward to sharing with you the people I meet, the places seen and everything in between.