Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Read my story Nature Watch in The People's Friend

I thought that you might be interested to read the inspiration behind my short story 'Nature Watch' that appears in this week's People's Friend.

It was the mid nineties and having recently divorced, I needed to go back to work. The only problem was that having been out of teaching for several years, bringing up my children, I didn't feel confident returning to the classroom (although I did several years later and taught for another ten years). I was looking for something part time that would use my teaching skills - but what?

When I saw the advert in the local paper for an education officer at Woods Mill Nature Reserve in Henfield, I was immediately interested - the only problem was, I had absolutely no experience in anything remotely connected to wildlife.

Did that deter me? Not at all. I blagged my way through the interview fooling nobody but the interviewers bent over backwards to help me out. I couldn't believe how kind they were and was desperate to work for such a lovely organisation but didn't think I had a hope.

I knew that after the interview things could only get better but I reckoned without the fact that I had packed my daughter's (then aged 8) wellies instead of my own for the guided walk around the reserve. So what did I do? Did I tell them? Did I ask to borrow some wellies in my size? Oh no... I forced the little wellies over my feet and tottered a few feet before collapsing in a heap of giggles.

If you read my story you will recognise the real life in amongst the fiction.

Did I get the job? Yes, against all odds I did (they said they had to employ someone who had given them such a laugh) and it was one of the best jobs I've ever had. If you live anywhere near, do give this little nature reserve a visit - it's a gem.

Two pieces of news before I go - another sale to the lovely People's Friend this week and on Friday I am welcoming, as a guest to my blog, someone who you will all know - Della Galton. We would both love you to join us join us here to read about Della's journey from short story to novel.

See you then.


  1. Great story, Wendy - no wonder you got the job! I love wildlife so it sounds perfect. Congrats again on more sales!

  2. lovely story Wendy,I must watch out for your published work on the magazine stands.

    1. Thanks Mary. The guy who interviewed me became my boss, and a lovely one too. Every year since I left to go back to classroom teaching, we have met up for a walk round the reserve and a laugh about my interview!

  3. What a great story! Looking forward to readingwhat it inspired in PF! Congrats on new sale too. Also looking forward to your interview with Della! Edith xxx

  4. That conjured up such a picture, no wonder you got the job. Looking forward to your interview with Della too.

  5. It was such a lovely quirky place to work, Maggie and I still enjoy visiting it.

  6. What a fabulous job, Wendy. It sounds great and I love the image of you wearing your daughter's wellies. Well done for selling another story to PF and I'll be looking out for your's in this week's mag.

  7. So good to hear you used Woods Mill in the PF story Wendy and congrats on your continuing success with them. Heard anything from TWN yet?