My plan was to write a post on the continuing saga of a girl living abroad but I will throw all of that to the wind this morning. Instead, after receiving the news last night that my book has gone to the printer’s, there is only one subject this morning that interests me and I hope will interest you – since we all have them… dreams. Not the kind that swirl images haphazardly through your head making you more tired when you wake up than when you went to bed, but rather the dreams you concoct from a variety of ingredients throughout your childhood; a sprinkle of gym class here, a dash of brotherly nudging there, a well-rounded cup of sisterly and parental encouragement, two heaping tablespoons of planning, a very reliable alarm clock and a whole tumbler full of desire. Once baked at the highest possible temperature, but knowing just when to simmer, you suddenly find yourself with a pot of perfectly brewed “goal”.

That recipe worked nicely for my dream of getting to the top of the rowing world all those years ago. And I was close, a few times just shy of a medal at the World Rowing Championships. There are no words for the intimidation I felt as I glanced left and right of me in the starting gates at those enormous hairy under-armed eastern block rowers. But it was in coming third in the Commonwealth Games, that was perhaps a pivotal moment for me as I realized that third didn’t seem good enough, that somehow all of this was not my dream but something expected of me.

So I started growing a new recipe for myself, one that was sometimes spicy and other times filled with far too much coziness. But it was my recipe, my dream, no matter how unexpected it was to others. I was lucky enough to have a leftover bag of sisterly encouragement. Every time I’d doubt myself, I’d just add another scoop. Somehow, that bag never seemed to empty. And lo and behold, that recipe baked many stories along the way, stories that started to get noticed. Now, my tasty recipe, turned dream, turned goal, is now the beautiful soufflé it was meant to be, The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley, now at the printer’s.

A very grateful writer