Feb, 2006. For the past five months I have been living in a car at the edge of 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, but I can read and write. So here I am laying down tracks...hopefully the start of an online paper trail out of here. (Update: Miracles happen....if you are reading my story I am part of your proof.)

Saturday, April 27, 2024

La Dolce Vita

Think I may have to see that there is another way to be.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

From blog to book (In the Hands of Angels

Some time ago, wanting to know how easy or difficult it was to produce an e-book, I started one, putting together all the blog posts that I originally wrote while I was in the car, and that whole time up to me getting a book deal. People often email me, still, asking how a blog becomes a book. Well, this is the story of how mine did.... It is now available on Amazon as a Kindle book.
The title is:  In the Hands of Angels

As we sometimes all are....

It was very difficult reading through these again. And it reminded me that the trick is not only to understand your mistakes but to learn the lessons from them too, to make sure we never make the same ones again. 

Friday, January 30, 2015


Sometimes it is because we are stupid or uninformed or naieve...but sometimes it is simply expedient to cling to illusions. Today I am badly in need of mine— if that's all they were. Reality can hold off for another day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Memory lane

It has been so long since I wrote in this blog. I thought I had finally put it all behind me, but today, emailing an old Headmaster in a school I worked in, reminded me of it all....

A walk on the beach to blow the cobwebs away.

Me, my dog and I....

Friday, January 16, 2015

Rachel Weisz

I was in Cambridge this morning. It's a place I go quite often with a friend. While he returned books to the University Library I sat in the coffee shop in my favourite bookshop. It has lots of nooks and crannies and, as a single woman, it's easy to sit there alone and not feel that you are taking up a table that several people could sit at. But yesterday there were no free tables. So I sat at a large table with one other older lady sitting at it. I was happy to keep my nose in a book but she struck up a conversation with me, about the book I was reading.

It's such a small world. She used to live in almost the exact spot where I lived in London, and she turned out to be the mother of the actress Rachel Weisz. Rachel Weisz of 'The Constant Gardener', 'About a Boy' etc. fame. She was really lovely, and seemed almost surprised that I knew of her daughter, who has for years now lived in New York.  But of course I knew of her, and I saw her several times in the street in Hampstead where I lived when I first moved to London after my Law Society Finals at The College of Law. I was young and full of life then, probably the same age as Rachel, and my childhood was just that childhood, something that happened way back in the past -  as whatshisname said 'The past is another country' and  I wasn't even sending postcards back there at the time, I was too busy enjoying life.

But speaking to her today, I had been through that whole car thing and homelessness and had written the book, so the childhood issues had come to the fore again. She probably would never have guessed though. We ended up having a long chat. When we got on to books and writing and the things I wanted to do in the future I stalled, because of course I couldn't tell her about the book I had already written. Or maybe I could have done, maybe I should have... Maybe she wouldn't have looked any differently at me, wouldn't have turned away as I fear people will. Maybe now, after all this time, it's time to stop worrying about those things completely, and just be who I am - which is the friendly, respectable, approachable woman who was sitting in the cafe opposite her today, chatting about the times I had seen Rachel Weisz in Southend Green when I lived there: one memorable time standing behind her in a queue in the greengrocer, her with a summer cold and a tick black scarf wrapped multiple times around her neck, with a rosy face and glazed eyes and a nasally voice as she chatted amicably with the greengrocer, who clearly knew her; another time at Belsize Road tube station walking up and down platform in a short skirt and very high heeled shoes. It felt like two different worlds the me I was then and the me I am now since the whole car thing and then writing the book. Wished none of the latter had happened and I was just standing behind Rachel again at the greengrocer's getting an equally friendly smile from him when she left and it was my turn.


I went kayaking yesterday in Lake Windermere! My first time in a kayak. It was the greatest fun I have had in ages. It reminded me how much I love people and laughing and feeling alive. Being alone became a bad habit for years. I need to remember days like today.

I was told I would go under pretty soon. But I was determined not to, and put everything into steering a straight course and not tipping over. 'It's only water...You're ONLY water' I half-shouted aloud, half under my breath, lots of times, laughing in frustration as the current came surging towards me sending my kayak spinning in circles no matter how much I tried to paddle upstream, '.... I will NOT be defeated by water...' I shouted into the tide as I dug my paddle into the water. And in the end I wasn't. But it was a battle. And lots of times the water almost won....In fact, even though by the skin of my pants I managed to not capsize, it was probably a draw. Water:1 - Me:1 But even if I'd gone in dozens of times, it still would have been fantastic. Just being out there on the water with a group of like-minded people, with the evening sun on my face, and every ounce of energy I had going into keeping afloat and not making a fool of myself, was such a thrilling, life-affirming thing to do...and beautiful....watching pairs of geese hurry across a coloured sky or skid across the water, a heron unfold itself awkwardly from an island of broken reed and noisily take off from the middle of the lake, and in the distance, purple cloud-shadows creeping across the backlit hills. I've never been one for water really, I'm not the world's strongest swimmer, but this could be a conversion. If ever you get the chance go!

I thought I never would either....

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

New year, new blog, new eBook

I have started a new blog over on Wordpress. Partly for technical reasons (Wordpress is easier...), 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 hope to see some of you there.

Monday, January 07, 2013

One Pound Food

I only found out about One Pound Food just before Christmas. And without it, now, three or four times a fortnight, I'm not sure what I would do.

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 recited this poem in front of 80 or so people at his graveside, a microphone shaking in my hand as I tried to blank out all the curious faces of his family and friends, some of whom - including one or two of his daughters family - who only now knew about me for the first time after all these years. He had an amazing memory for poetry. And he smuggled it into my childhood. As a child, Brendan was almost the only person we knew with a car. I didn't know he was my father then-  in the early part of my life-  he was just a friend of my mother's in Ireland, a glamourous, gentle stranger who always wore a suit and tie and arrived from Ireland every few months bringing presents and laughter, and who picked me out for special attention. Which in a large bustling family is quite something to have. One of my earliest memories is of him arriving unexpectedly outside the block of flats on my estate in a shiny new red hire car from the airport, coming like a movie star into our lives, taking me off for 'a spin' without any of my cousins, or slipping me out of that world to have lunch with him in a marble-floored hotel in the 'West End' as he called it. He wasn't much of a talker alone with a small girl, but I guess he got across what he wanted to get across with poetry, poems and lines of poems filling the many silences, or else filling my head with dreams, which were a dangerous. commodity back then. Car journeys in particular brought out the poetry in him - on all those spontaneous visits to see us all in London, or, later, the long drives to and from both boarding schools. And Innisfree was one of his favourite Yeat's poems. As I got older and became the cheeky, (slightly) rebellious teenager (which in retrospect I see he encouraged - almost created as a balance to the earlier part of my childhood...). His endless reciting (instead of answering my stack of 'why's' about their decisions about my life, once I discovered he was my father) would often infuriate me. I would sit in the back, a stroppy teenager gazing out over endless green fields pretending not to listen. But somehow the poetry got in and was passed on. I wasn't even sure I knew all the words to this poem. Until in the church, seeing his daughters and granddaughters go up one by one to give a reading or pay tribute, I realised I needed to say a public goodbye too. So, in the cemetery I spontaneously asked the priest if I could have the microphone and was surprised at my memory as every word of 'Innisfree' tumbled out.  'That's where I'll go when it's all over' he always joked, 'and I'll "live alone in the bee-loud glade" (which he claimed was one of the finest lines in the whole of poetry). I don't know if his other daughters knew Innisfree, or had poetry threaded through their childhoods the way I did - I think we all had our own Brendans. I like to think he would have been proud of me standing there in the steady drizzle 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...