Barnham’s Nadine Baldock finds herself with a surprise success on her hands with the release of her memoirs of her Welsh childhood.
76-year-old Nadine had a hundred printed and, after a rush for copies, has had to order a hundred more.
“My book is called Me and My Valley. Its’s autobiographical covering the years from 1939 to 1955. Although the family lived in London, the war had started so I was actually born in Ebbw Vale, one of the important Welsh valleys.
“It’s about what I saw, how we lived, just life through those years, with my Welsh grandparents.
“I have not had one bad or indifferent response from it. To say I’m proud is an understatement. I just wish my husband were here to see my book take off like this. The enjoyment this has brought me is making up for the very sad couple of years I’ve just had after losing my husband after 45 years together.
“It was a complete shock selling so many in such a short time. Although I knew it was interesting, it’s been truly amazing how many people are just loving it. It has brought back so many memories for everyone that reads it.
“It was a shock at how quickly it sold and is still selling. It doesn’t seem to matter where you are from or how old you are, it’s of an era that’s long gone and people like to know what ordinary life was like and to relive through my book their own memories.
“The response I’ve had has been lovely as I’ve not had one negative mention. Many now are coming back to me ordering more as Christmas gifts.
“I was given a computer in about 1997 or 98 as a gift, and I didn’t know what to do with it or if I could use it. But I just started fiddling with it and started writing about my life in Ebbw Vale.
“I would start writing and then put it to one side and then start writing again and put it to one side, and so it got bigger and bigger. Two years ago, just before my husband passed away, I didn’t know what to do, and I just carried on writing it. And so I finished it. And then a friend said I should get it published.
“Really it is about who I am, where I come from, my ancestors, my grandparents. It is my life growing up. I was born in 1939.
“My parents lived in London, but I was born in South Wales because of the war. I have got to thank Hitler for that. Without the war, I would have been born in London, and I wanted to be born in South Wales! Looking back at where we lived in London, I am glad I was born in Wales!
“I had more freedom to run around the mountains, to play cowboys and Indians. I was brought up by my grandparents. My mother left me there a little lady.
“When she came back, I was a dirty little back-street Indian. My parents took me back to London for a while, and I started school in London, but I was back and forth between London and Wales quite frequently. But when the bombing got really bad, they took me to Wales and I stayed there until 1945.”
The memories are now revived in the book. Once she started writing it, they flowed: “I just don’t know where they were coming from.”
The final chapter is about Tenby, a place dear to Nadine’s late husband and a place they visited two or three times a year together.
The book is available directly from Nadine at £8.99 plus p&p in the UK or at £5 as an email book.
Email Nadine on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01243 552673.
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