If there is one thing that my family is not very outspoken about – and believe me, we are very outspoken about a lot of things (usually each other) when we want to be – it is individual achievements. We were all brought up not to boast or brag about things, not just within my immediate family but across wider generations, too. I think it has made us all more rounded people as a result and I would absolutely not have had things another way.
As an example, at the same time as I finally qualified as a solicitor after almost nine years of (slightly intermittent) study, my parents asked Helen and I to join them and the rest of my siblings in Ludlow for a meal at one of the posh restaurants which at the time littered the town.
I made the mistake of thinking that the two events were in some way connected. Of course, they were not and I should’ve known better. At the time, I was very disappointed but I should’ve known better.
Eighteen months later I had changed law firms and been made a partner in the new one. The family got together at my sister Karen’s house for Boxing Day. Helen urged me to make some sort of announcement. I was still in a sort of fug over the qualification thing and told her that I wasn’t going to tell anyone. Which meant that by being grumpy, even though I was the one in the wrong, I ended up doing the right thing!*
Which is why it is sometimes hard to write these tales, because it does sound like I am bragging, if not actively boasting. It goes against the way that I was brought up, and I’ve never had cause to question the correctness of anything I was brought up to be.
It, hopefully, also explains why I have to ask your forgiveness for the first ever commercial plug on this site. You see, my first book is being published on November 1st. It is aimed at children in the 3-7 year old range, but adults will hopefully love some of the jokes, too. You can pre-order it here. I hope you will – and that you’ll let me know what you think of it.