Okay, so I’m not one for getting excited about things, but…
Firstly, let me explain my reason for a lack of enthusiasm which doesn’t allow me to get overly excited about anything whether that be winning competitions, having my books published etc. Over the years, I have grown a thick skin, and a coldness where I have mastered a wait and see attitude about life. I’m not one for daydreaming, but instead become frustrated as I feel I’m denying myself an enjoyment.

I think it all started on my seventh birthday when I requested a horse. Growing up at the mill, our neighbours the Streets who lived in the big house had three daughters, jill, Elizabeth and Diana. The girls had their own horses. Elizabeth would take me riding with her. l didn’t see it as being beyond my father’s possibility, and my horse could live with Elizabeth’s. Not only that there was a big brick shed, and a chicken run in our huge garden.

My latest finished painting of Sunflower Cottage in the village of Goathland, North Yorkshire, England.

When my father asked me what I wanted, and I said a horse, he didn’t sit me down and explain about them being expensive, their upkeep etc. He just said, yes, he would buy me a horse.
I got really excited and told all my classmates about getting a horse for my seventh birthday, and they could come and see it, and, of course, ride it.

What would my horse look like? They asked as my excitement spread. What would I call it?

I didn’t know and I couldn’t think of a name for it until I saw what it looked like.

Of course, I had a book on animals so I knew all about the different breeds of horses and colours, but I was just happy to know my father was going to buy me one, and I would love it.

Two things happened on the day of my seventh birthday that crushed my excitement. Firstly, there was a big argument between my grandmother and my father over a shop-bought birthday cake with yellow and white royal icing he placed on the table. Gran said it was a waste of money and why had he bought it for me when her home-made cake was good enough for me.

My father then handed me a parcel. No way it held anything to do with horses. As I tore the paper off, I discovered it held a plastic mother and foal on a black stand. To my seven-year-old self it was okay, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I said, “Thank you,” while wondering how I was going to face my classmates.

I take the greatest of pleasure in seeing other people’s excitement and anticipation while wishing I could feel the same about things in my life, but alas, I can’t allow myself the pain of utter disappointment. It does so take the edge off things.

Over the Goth weekend I shall be taking my books into the Pandemonium Goth Shop in Whitby.

Hopefully over the busy Whitby Goth Weekend the books will sell, and the owner will want to replace the order, so all I can do is wait and see.


  1. I feel your disappointment. I had a similar thing happen to me as a child of about 7. It wasn’t a horse, but something else l wanted as a birthday present, ( can’t remember 60+ years later, with a diagnosed memory problem) and l know l was terribly disappointed not to get the present l had wanted!!


  2. Oh, Paula, I feel I want to hug that little seven year old girl that was you. Like you, I try and stay positive when faced with disappointments; being able to deal with them is what makes us stronger people (or so I tell myself!) Wishing you great success with book sales in Whitby.


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