Here you will find Something About Mary – details of my work as a Civil Celebrant as well as my latest writing project: “Gucci Wars – Jenny Gucci’s Story”. The book will be available from November 2021 to coincide with the release of the Hollywood blockbuster “House of Gucci” – please take a look at the official trailer below.
Gucci Wars tells the story of Jenny who, as a young opera student in Florence, catches the eye of fashion designer Paolo Gucci, grandson of the founder of the world’s biggest fashion house.
They marry in 1977 and for ten years she is blissfully happy. However, she soon discovers that behind the iconic Gucci name, lies a family torn apart by betrayal, jealousy, greed and even murder. The latest Ridley Scott film also focuses on the killing of Paolo’s cousin, Maurizio (Adam Driver) by his wife Patrizia (Lady Gaga).
Against a backdrop of boardroom rivalry and infighting, a dark side of Paolo’s character emerges and Jenny’s world is turned upside down. When she takes the unprecedented step of asking for a divorce, her husband swears to make her and their daughter homeless and penniless. No-one could have foreseen the lengths to which he is prepared to go in order to carry out his threat.
The first edition of Gucci Wars was the Daily Mail Critic’s Choice and to quote the review: “Anyone who still believes money buys you happiness should read this book”.
In addition to being a writer, I am also a celebrant and here, on my website, there is plenty of information on planning each and every special life event: weddings, vow renewals, child naming ceremonies as well as funerals and celebrations of life.
After a career of more than forty years as a journalist and radio broadcaster, becoming a celebrant (with the UK Society of Celebrants) in 2015 was a natural transition. A successful celebrant needs to be good at relationship-building, listening, interviewing, writing as well as public speaking and presentation – this is something that I was born to do!
During my time as a print journalist and the host of a live magazine radio programme I have learned to always be prepared for the unexpected as well as making the most of fresh opportunities when they present themselves.
This attitude – together with an insatiable wanderlust – took me away from my Norfolk roots first to London, then The Netherlands, to Zambia, the Middle East and eventually to Southern Spain which was my home for almost twenty years.
I am pleased to report that the travel bug is well and truly gone and I have now happily put down roots – also literally – in the Norfolk countryside with Rob, my husband of three years, our cockapoo Maddie, and the new addition to the family, a gorgeous kitten named Mason.
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Traditional, enforced retirement at sixty (for a woman) or sixty-five (for men) – with a small office party, presentation gold watch, and a good luck hand-shake – doesn’t seem to happen anymore. While our parents’ generation might have accepted a hearthside ‘pipe and slippers or knitting’ stroll into the sunset, the baby boomers are definitely not.
Happily we “pensioners” of today are not retiring – in either sense of the word.
We might decide to stay in our present work or even select a new career path during this period of our lives. In between grandchild care and possibly still looking after elderly parents we will try and make time for taking up a fresh hobby (paddle boarding seems an especially popular choice), learning a new skill or just learning for the sake of it: the U3A has never been busier.
For many of us (myself included), we can – often for the first time – choose to become whatever we want. Energy levels permitting, we can selfishly take the opportunity to explore enticing possibilities that we were denied in our youth. This stage of life is proving to be a heady mix, bursting with unlimited ideas.
“I create my life each day”, is a terrific mantra by which to live.
For me, this daily creation includes writing. Gucci Wars – Jenny Gucci’s Story is ready for publication to tie in with the release of the new Ridley Scott film “House of Gucci”. The book itself is finished and I now face a raft of fresh decisions regarding marketing, publicity and social media exposure. When this phase passes, I will tidy my mind – and my desk – and re-engage with the novel which I began during lock-down. The characters had become my friends and I find myself missing them and wondering if they will be on the same trajectory when we are reunited.
As a celebrant I am also looking forward to writing and presenting pre-pandemic “proper” ceremonies, with unlimited guests. I can’t wait to fill up my celebrant diary once more.
Any free time is taken up with working in the garden – with its ever-expanding vegetable patch and wild-flower meadow. My next project is a small area of roof garden; and a green house is also on my birthday wish list !
I enjoy painting, with bold water colours, play tennis (not very well) and have been a yoga enthusiast for forty-five years… my aim is to stay flexible – in body and mind – for a long time to come!