Send me a parcel with a hundred lovely things ... A memoir
In my new book I consider how my own life was shaped by my refugee antecedents' experience of displacement and reinvention - ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times in the twentieth century.
I include extracts from my parents’ letters revealing a historic resentment and suspicion of refugees and a unique picture of the internment camps on the Isle of Man.
A neat drip-dry childhood of the fifties in grey northern drizzle is counterbalanced by my aunties’ rainbow knitting, my granny’s cakes and my father’s retreat into music.
Wearing rings on my fingers and bells on my toes, I take the reader through the seventies counter-culture, into the creative and imaginative spaces lying between my peer group of artists and the inner city neighbourhoods where we sang in street processions, danced round burning effigies and invited children to sculpt the creatures of their dreams.
The new millennium and now a psychotherapist, I sit in a circle with asylum seeker mothers singing lullabies in different languages; a new generation whispers to their English babies using foreign words.
My book will speak to anyone who has experienced or observed the effects of displacement and finding a place.
It offers a vibrant account of the impulse to create an alternative life-style. Its narrative traces the history of the Community arts movement and what we have lost since its decline.
It offers a unique insight on healing the fractured lives of young children and speaks to everyone who imagines belonging and dreams of creating community.