I’ve had an adventurous life, living through the Blitz in England, a stint in post-war Germany with my army family, living in the former “Beast of Belsen” residence at Belsen, travelling to school in Malaya in an armoured convoy through bandit-infested jungle, finding myself trapped in the middle of the first Red Guard march in Hong Kong during the Cultural revolution in China.In New Zealand, I once woke to find a grey-suited man with a stocking over his head in our bedroom during my husband Pat Booth’s fight to free an innocent man wrongly jailed for a double murder (he was pardoned at the end of the eight-year battle).
Then there was the time I found the wheels of my car had been tampered with to cause an accident when the Mr Asia drug ring – a world-wide drug ring my crusading journalist husband exposed – had put a price on his head.
I grew up in an army family, joining the British army myself. I was a captain when I married. Living in Hong Kong with my army husband, I had to learn journalism on the run when the marriage broke up in order to support my two children. Eventually I came to New Zealand with them aged five and six, knowing no-one, with no money, no job and no home, to start from scratch in a new country. We arrived with three suitcases, in which I’d packed sheets and cutlery to start a new home!
I was Woman’s Editor of the South China Morning Post before leaving Hong Kong, and in New Zealand became a writer at the liberal paper the Auckland Star, where I wrote a popular column for twelve years, and became Woman’s Editor, and at the same time wrote a column for families and children in the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly for fourteen years. For years the Solo Parent column I wrote made me to some extent a voice for lone parents when they had no voice.
Since leaving full-time journalism I’ve written for magazines, and written a few books, and am in the middle of two more… Nowadays, after twenty five years of counselling and personal growth myself, I also enjoy life-coaching, and watching people who’ve been burdened become light and joyful.
My main ‘hobby’ is the spiritual life, others are gardening, grandchildren, reading, cooking, moving house and restoring and re-decorating the new hovel, friends,
music, opera, pets and people watching ( there must be more).
Arthritis in my hands has compelled me to give up knitting, embroidery, and painting. I don’t have dogs any more, but over the years have had seventeen, mostly rescued, usually three at a time, including three afghans, two salukis, a borzoi, a labrador, six King Charles cavalier spaniels, a boxer, a mastiff-boxer cross, a mastiff, plus the lodgers – the dogs who came to spend the day with me while their owners were at work !
It isn’t just pets that I care about, I’m involved with several world –wide animal organisations both to save animals from being tortured and exploited (including bull-fighting and bear-baiting) – and to save wild animals whose habitats are being destroyed by hunting or clearing. And of course, like the rest of us, I worry about preserving our planet before it’s too late.