I first qualified as a dentist in 1953,and then as a doctor in 1959. In 1963, in between having 4 children, Josh and I opened an educational toyshop in Wimbledon but, having had enough of being an entrepreneur, when the children were all at full time school and aged 43, I returned to medicine. Five years later I was a consultant pathologist and director of a Cancer Research laboratory at a major London teaching hospital.
Now I suppose I can add ‘author’ as a fifth career. A near fatal heart attack in 2016 made me hurry up and complete my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’, self-published on Amazon in 2017.
Of course, I’d written papers about our work on the diagnosis of cancer and had needed to submit applications for funding. I hated the anxious times waiting for a response, especially once I had staff dependant on me for their salaries and futures.
Having long since retired and rather under protest, I finally joined Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn. However, I felt that Social Media really wasn’t my thing and certainly not for someone in their eighties.
But then, the summer before last, I got the bug and started posting regularly on Facebook. I found great pleasure in the responses to my little stories. making ‘pen’ friends from the USA and Canada as well as from the UK. It’s lovely ‘talking’ on Messenger with someone in Montreal in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep and it’s still daytime over there!!
Writing posts for Facebook is just right for me under lockdown, fitting in writing between doing other things. I am still trying to master Ancient Greek; I play the piano and attend virtual Art History classes at Further Education college. I bake all our own bread and cakes, and Josh and I cook dinner on alternate days. No takeaways, of course.
If I can bear to delay posting for a few days, I discuss my latest offerings with my Writing Circle on Zoom. We still meet every fortnight, but I miss seeing my friends in person. I expect they miss the homemade muffins and cafetiere coffee I always provided.
Last summer I published a collection of my Facebook posts ‘Abby’s Tales of Then and Now’ on Amazon. It was discovering that Kindle started to publish in colour that persuaded me. Now my children and friends can have another souvenir of me for ‘if and when’.
When you reach your 90th year, ‘if and when’ is never far from your thoughts!!