I have never wanted to turn into one of those elderly aunts who says how much everyone has grown. And where does the time go?
But here I am noticing how everyone has grown. And wondering where the time has gone.
Take today. First I met a former colleague from my BBC TV Spotlight days – the lovely Simon Hall, pictured with me here. It’s been nearly a decade since we worked together but, my goodness, it didn’t feel like it when we opened Exeter Library’s “Local Writers' / New Talent” Day together.
And then later on, I ventured out into the sunshine with the hubby to the National Trust’s Saltram House. We took a super tour of the house but, wonderful as that was, the thing that really caught our eye was a tree. Not just any old tree, you understand, but a tree that our two sons loved when they were tiny because of its huge and gnarly trunk, split into several twisty peep-holes perfect for climbing. And….well; peeping.
Fifteen years ago, it was – that we used to visit the grounds regularly for walks with our young boys. And yet here again suddenly was this vivid, powerful image, conjured from nostalgia and longing and love – fresh as the daisies in the grass. Our sons peeping through that tree trunk.
And, on reflection, what's the point of embarrassment? May as well hold my hands up. To admit that I seem to be slowly turning into someone who gets increasingly misty-eyed over memories that have so shaped who I am. Mother. Writer. Journalist. Lover of trees.
It's an age thing. Obviously. No point fighting it, Teresa...Though, if you will forgive, I may just pass for now on the furry, zip-up slippers…
Have a great weekend and enjoy your own writing and reading.
So – this is the new me.
My official brand spanking new author photo which is to appear on the jacket of the German hardback edition of my debut. ( Recipes for Melissa is to be called “Fur alle tage die noch kommen” over there….which means “For all the days to come”.)
Oh Gawd! Can’t tell you how much I agonised/panicked over this. As soon as the email popped into my inbox via my agent, I was in meltdown. A new author photo? For a book jacket? Seriously?
Now - for someone who worked for twenty years in television, I must confess that I am surprisingly uneasy when it comes to having my photograph taken. Especially as the years roll sneakily by!
The truth is I always worked in live news as a reporter and presenter and the beauty of live television is you don’t actually have to watch yourself.
Not that I’m ungrateful – mind. It is, of course, hugely exciting to me to think of any publisher wanting to put my mug on a book jacket …but, all the same, the pressure of my very first “author photo”? What does an author headshot even look like? What pose? What outfit?
I decided to boost my chances of success by booking a slot quickly with a lovely and very talented local photographer in Devon called Claire Tregaskis. I gave her the brief. “I just need to look like someone who might write”…
I booked a haircut. I tried on a zillion outfits. I posed and smiled and Claire, to her credit, displayed the patience of a saint – especially as I was worried that smiling too widely would make me look too piggy eyed. “Bigger smile, Teresa” she kept saying. “I’ll have no eyes,” I moaned.
In the end, we did just fine. Smiling and yet eyes not too piggy for an old bird. A medal to Claire. Whether or not I look like an author, I have no idea. But the German publisher seems happy.
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.