Angela Caldin

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not an easy thing to write a potted biography of almost seven decades of life. What to include and what to draw a veil over or leave out completely? Looking back, I can see so many roles, schoolgirl, student, daughter, friend, civil servant, wife, lover, mother, manager, magistrate, landlady, teacher, grandmother, blogger, editor, proofreader. The list is very long indeed and it’s been a great life with ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments, births and deaths, fun times and sad times.

Nothing particularly out of the ordinary, but there’s one episode I’d like to mention. Several years ago, I suffered a period of severe depression and anxiety, plunged into a black hole of hopelessness, guilt and extreme sadness with thoughts of suicide. The worst of it lasted for two years until the fog began to gradually lift and in another two years or so I finally returned to some kind of normality. I never imagined that anything like this terrible paralysis would happen to me, but now I know that it can happen to anyone and that one in four of us will experience some kind of mental illness at some point in our lives. Weirdly, I wouldn’t choose to be without this devastating episode which I now consider as a period of enrichment which has somehow left me more positive and optimistic than before, realising how wonderful life is and how we should always live it to the full.

And that’s exactly what I intend to do, spending as much time as I can with my children and grandchildren, crossing the globe between London, Auckland and New York as many times as I can before old age or ill health catch up with me. When I was much younger, a gypsy came to the door and I bought some hand-made lace from her. She told me I would live in good health until I was ninety seven, so I reckon I’ve got almost three more delightful decades to go.

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