There was intense excitement in our house when the Sunday paper arrived yesterday. I had sent in some words and a photo for a regular feature in the New Review section of The Observer, called My Cultural Life. I didn't expect it to get published, but IT DID and apart from the teen's toe-curling shame, it caused a great deal of laughter and brightened up my day considerably.
I must say, this is
not my first appearance in The Observer, oh no. In 1984 I came second in the Northern Region section of the Observer/Whitbread essay writing competition.I won £150, a tour for my economics class around Boddingtons Brewery ( I have never before or since been so popular)and a visit to London for the grand final. This overall prize was won by Matthew D'Ancona who went on to be a Tory party speech-writer and editor of The Spectator. Not invited to the London bash were those "highly commended" in the regions. A little while back I was clearing out some stuff and came across the prize winners names. In the "highly commended" section for the Scottish Region was one Michael Gove, now Education Minister. So for one gloriously brief moment in time, I was better at essay writing than the future Secretary of State for Education. Allow me to bask a while, it was the pinnicle of my writing career to date!