Feb, 2006. For the past five months I have been living alone in a car at the edge of the woods — jobless and homeless and totally unable to find a way out. I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't scream loudly enough, alI I can do is write. So here I am laying down tracks...hopefully the start of an online paper trail out of here. (Update: my blog was 'discovered' and I eventually got a publishing deal and made it out of my car to write a book about it... Miracles do happen.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

New year, new blog, new eBook

For various reasons I have started a new blog. Partly for technical reasons, but partly because it didn't feel right to bury this last post about Brendan under lots of other posts. It felt like an ending, I wanted to leave it there.... The new blog is:  www.anyapeters.wordpress.com

I also have a new eBook out. It is called The Year I Lived in my Car, and is mostly a compilation of the actual posts from the time of being in the car, giving the story of being there and getting out as it unfolded, so it is mostly for new readers. But I'm very proud of it because I did it 100% myself this time! (even though I also wrote Abandoned myself, there was of course editing and layout and setting etc etc done by others). This is all me....Apart from a bit of help with the cover....

So those of you who have emailed saying you have a story you'd love to put into a book, I say do it! It really isn't as hard as it seems. I did mine with Kindle direct so it is only available on Amazon, for now. But you don't need a Kindle to read an eBook (I don't have one), you can download free software from Kindle to read any eBook on any computer here (which is how I read all eBooks)!

My follow-up book is still 'in progress' but is coming....the first chapter is in the new book. I hope you like it....and will come over to anyapeters.wordpress.com sometime....

Saturday, June 02, 2012

R.I.P. Dad

Brendan died last night. My soul hurts.

Friday, June 01, 2012

...I hear it in my deep heart's core

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree
 And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
 Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
 And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

 And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
 Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
 There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
 And evening full of the linnet's wings.
 I will arise and go now, for always night and day
 I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore.
 Whether on the roadway or on the pavements grey
 I hear it in my deep heart's core

W.B. Yeats

 (I read this poem with a microphone in front of 60 or so people at his graveside. He used to recite poems, from memory all the time on car journeys, and this was one of his favourite Yeat's poems. His endless reciting would often bore and infuriate me as a young, stroppy teenager, but somehow the poetry got in and passed on. I like to think he would have been proud of me standing there in the cold the other day reciting it from memory down to his coffin.

You'll be missed...I hope you're reciting poems in heaven...I wouldn't doubt you boy...)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tea for one...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Alan Bennett

Last week...almost the week before now, I met the writer Alan Bennett. Well, I stood next to him in a cafe, both of us queuing for coffee...

Alan Bennett! Of all the writers to meet, to have him, the writer who wrote The Lady in the Van. Has anyone read that? It's a book about a lady who lived in her van in Alan Bennett's driveway before she died! One day, (as you do at the beginning) I Googled myself - 'Wanderingscribe' — and in amongst 'woman living in her car' articles, and references to Wanderingscribe, and all the dross, I came across the book by Alan Bennett. I bought it the very next day. It is a slim volume, and of course I read it in one sitting... She wasn't like me at all; the Lady he writes about was a real bag lady, who had lived like that for years - though who knows that I might not have turned out like that under other circumstances. Anyway, I went on to read lots of Alan Bennett in the end, this way or that way. His name seemed to generally cross my path — as it does when you come across something new: I'd go into a bookshop and there it'd be, a book by Alan Bennett on the table or the counter, or a picture of him on the book jacket or some publicity flyer. He writes plays too, he wrote the 'History Boys', which was turned into the film, and so his picture was there in all the publicity for that, so you couldn't help knowing what he looks like. And I remember going to the Southbank one evening for a reading of 'Nocturnes' by Kazio Ishiguru, I think it was, and in one of the other theatres must have been something on by Bennett because there in the corner was a lifesize cardboard cut out of him. Yes, the long coat, the green scarf, the shirt and tie under a v-neck, the black specs, the newly cut hair, that boyish grin. It could have been him standing there in the corner, life-size, watching the comings and goings in the foyer. Anyway, it's a image everyone is probably familiar with, iconic almost.

A few months after that, I went out for the day to London, a place where there is a large park and, nearby, lots of smart cafes and the kind of little boutiques where dresses are chained to the rail, and I'd be terrified to even slow down to window shop past, and as I was choosing between cafes, walking towards me, looking very pleased with himself, grinning that grin, was Alan Bennett. Larger than life, pushing a bike, with a bunch of yellow flowers in the crook of one arm, and a couple of A4 writing pads under the other. Just walking towards me as if he had walked straight out of one of his own book jackets, Writing Home, or that cardboard cut-out I saw at the Southbank. Except surprisingly tall, taller than you'd imagine from the photos.

I haven't been to that place since. Until the week before last. Again I was out for the day, and walked from the train along to one of those cafes. This time I had some writing in my bag, and so hurried there, determined to finish a chapter of something. I chose my cafe, staked a claim at a table outside, ordered a coffee and then wandered down to the bookshop further along to get a book. The bookshop owner commented that he personally knew the author whose book I ended up buying. It wasn't Alan Bennett, but was apparently one of his neighbours. 'His children go to school with our children. He often pops in...' he said. And as he said it, it reminded me of the writer I had seen the last time I was there. I had it in mind to tell him my Alan Bennett story: that the very last time I was there I saw him, walking down the street towards me, pushing his bike with those yellow flowers in the crook of one arm, the writing pads under the other. I didn't tell him though. But as I walked out into drizzle and down to drink the coffee already waiting on the table, I had that image firmly in my head. It was as clear as if he was there again, slowly walking towards me along that same stretch of pavement, in that long coat and scarf, those yellow flowers tucked in the crook of one arm, and then past me, walking on, with that expression as if laughing at a continuous stream of jokes he is inventing as he goes along.

I forgot about the image. I drank my coffee. I lost myself in the writing. The words came so well in the end that I didn't dare break the spell and decided to stay and have a second coffee. I went inside to order at the counter at the far end, and as the waiter wiped cappuccino pipes and frothed milk in a metal jug, I turned around and who was walking down the long aisle towards the counter...but Alan Bennett! I did a double take, cleared my vision by staring blankly at the waiter, and then glanced around again and there he was, still there. No yellow flowers under one arm. I gave a cautious, probably very stunned, half-smile of aknowledgement, which he returned with that boyish grin. He then almost dropped himself into a chair at a small table by the counter, and waited to order. Seeing him sitting there, Alan Bennett dressed as Alan Bennett, was like looking at the cover of a book and again made me smile. It was table service, so sitting at that small table by the counter, he could only have been there for takeaway. I tried not to say hello. I tried hard...but in the end I couldn't help myself. I said in one breath, 'I know I shouldn't speak to you...' at which he waved a hand and said 'no, that's fine' which I spoke over anyway saying '...but it's almost like I just summoned you up, because I was literally just thinking of you as I walked along from the bookshop... ' He threw his head back and laughed when I said that, and I told him about nearly telling the man in the bookshop about seeing him last time I was in the area too, and how instead, just twenty minutes or so ago, I'd carried his image in my head all the way back down the street to my waiting coffee. I didn't tell him that I was there to write that day, that I'd taken my book bag with me and was writing for the first time in I don't know how long...and then I think of him coming from the bookshop and turn at the counter and there he is walking up and queuing beside me for a coffee! Amazing! On the day I blow the dust off my notepad as well...Hopefully a good omen.

I wished I'd said more...I wish I'd been able to say more: 'Can I walk with you, Mr Bennett, talk to you about writing?' The things he could have told me...the tips, the advice. I think mostly I wanted to tell him that I lived in my car too, like the woman he wrote about, and that I wrote about it too. That maybe I wrote for her, maybe I wrote her side of things, or a not too dissimilar version of it maybe...? Maybe I'm how it starts,the Mrs Shepherd thing, maybe she was how it could have ended. There but for the grace of God...But of course I couldn't have told him any of that...He did chat for a few minutes though as we waited for coffee, he was relaxed and approachable, with this great avuncular charm about him. He told me he used to live in Gloucester Place, and in the 60's lived in a flat around the corner from where we were, which he loved so much he wished he had back. When my coffee was ready, I could either hang around like some stalker or go back to my table outside. I wanted to hang around and talk to him, about anything, just be in his aura for a bit. But of course I said how nice it was to meet him and left, and minutes later saw him walk away in the other direction with his takeaway coffee, the long coat swinging as he walked off home. In a way I'm still kicking myself for not talking to him, for there not being a way to do that.

If you know Alan Bennett's agent, could you mention it: Anya Peters would love to get a message to him! I'm joking of course, why would he ever contact a complete stranger, I don't think he even uses email (although apparently his partner is editor of one of those glossy ideal home type magazines, surely he uses it. Borrow it Mr Bennett, drop me a line: wanderingscribe@btinternet.com and next time you have coffee at that cafe I could share one with you, show you some writing I've done, get some advice on it. Or just talk. Of course you won't... I'll probably have to just summon you up again one day, instead...

Saturday, June 05, 2010

...a joy forever

Someone sent me this. I have it as the screensaver on my computer. It's so beautiful I thought I would share it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Did I really just do that?

I'm reading The Bone People at the moment...it was recommended...that's all I can think to say...not sure if that is good or bad.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I've just got back from the hairdresser's, and talking to you. I left at 5.00, and have just got back. I don't know whether I should feel ridiculous or relieved. Maybe (and you know who you are) you'll email and let me know.

Friday, January 01, 2010

A flock of colours, a path of yellow moonlight — and may a slow wind work these words of love around you...to mind your life

1 January 2010
From John O'Donohue (1956-2008), a blessing for your New Year:


On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

...from the sieve of her hands...

Sorry haven't been here for a while. Trying to go forwards...Hope you are all well and using up the last of the year well. During the week I got onto a tube in London feeling very tired and despondent, as you often do cramming onto a tube at rush hour, and without a book to read I stared up at the adverts and among them was this poem. It is called 'Prayer' and was almost in answer to one in that moment, and was so lovely I thought I'd put it here. I hope you think so too...

PRAYER - Carol anne Duffey

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre

It would be enough wouldn't it... to write something like that. Even just once...