They're the inspiration for all my books because, although I was born in Lancaster, I grew up mainly in Cumbria: in Whitehaven, Dad's home town, and during the war, age 3 - 7, I spent all my school holidays with Mum's aunt in Windermere. You can read more about her in two of the poems in Dandelions Growing Up in Cumbria. Below is one of the two images of poor dandelions brightening life's darkness, which give the book its title. The other image is the oil painting for the cover (see books).
Poor dandelion: condemned by gardeners
as riff-raff running riot over precious lawns,
and wilting shortly after being picked.
An old Windermere woman
heedless of Lakeland’s Recommended Views
saw with the eyes of the child she used to be.
Wounded by the transience of life,
she would pick a bunch of dandelions
to put beauty in a vase.
Remembering Mary Johnston, 1887 – 1974
It's almost two years since I published In Our Fathers' Footsteps (see under BOOKS). My latest book, One Dog and His Cop, about my cousin's police dog,was published 30 November this year (see under BOOKS).