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I was born in Manchester and grew up in Rawtenstall in Lancashire, the daughter of a doctor and a primary school teacher, the youngest of three girls. 'My growing up with two of the dearest sisters, has been a central influence on my life and our home really was a hive of activity: there was always a buzz-plenty of things going on, plenty of chatter and lots of listening to music practice and records. Living with the surgeries in the basement of course meant that there was a lot of life on the doorstep. The phone rang a lot and being 'on call' before mobile phones meant a very different way of managing things. Both our parents were busy but always had time for us.
I always loved writing essays, and used to keep a five year diary.
As a child, I had a lisp, and because of this slight impediment I had elocution lessons and this I would think contributed to a love of poetry and reading, being in plays etc so there are lots of stories about how words became intriguing. Our father, had a way of playing with words that I think we all benefited from, and found amusing. Later on in my life, I remember his encouraging me, still to write, saying: ‘I know you can do it, you’ve got our quirky way of turning a phrase, that makes folk think a bit more: I see it working with your psychotherapy, it’ll flow with your writing!’
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