I was born and brought up in London Colney and was taught at a very early age to be able to repeat my address parrot-fashion, almost as if I could sing it: “402 High Street, London Colney.. near St Albans, Herts”. Presumably because if I got lost I could tell anyone where I lived.
Now that is, in today’s day and age, an astonishing thing to think. Five years old… and the freedom to wander wherever I wanted to safely enough, to go far enough to get lost and then to be able to say where I lived if I did get lost. It says a lot about how wonderful and carefree those innocent times in the late 1950’s were.
There was Porrats, a derelict mansion house and estate just over the road. Napsbury had a railway track and an aerodrome, down the street was the river Colne and the gravel pits and up the road the Nightingale Woods were only a walk away, we were surrounded by rural countryside. My two brothers and I escaped, adventured and wandered all around these places without fear.
Now sixty years later, and a life later.
As they say: I have loved and I have lost.
But I still retain that carefree innocence and joy in my writing… and I always have written…
And I have always written. Poems, essays, short stories. But I did very little with that writing, apart from store it away in a folder. Until 2011, when I decided, not on a whim but as a project, that took years, to process all these words…some three decades of manuscripts, scraps and notes, the oldest of which were lost, discoloured and forgotten.
But, lost no more. Then found, transcribed and word-processed.
Then in that task I rediscovered again the joy of writing and along came fresh ideas and new reflections. ‘Brain Glue’ was born and published through New World Publishing.
I followed that joy with a series of other self publishing fun.
I encourage you all to go on that journey.
I thank Len so much for giving me the opportunity of showcasing some samples of my work over the years.
I am proud to be the longest serving member and chairman of our writers’ group that flourishes with so much talent and is a group of friendly, encouraging people who love words and love telling a story.
I scatter words at you as I would scatter paint at a sheet of paper in the hope that I can make a picture. And that picture is me.
David Strong November 2020