'But my life isn't very interesting', people often said on our Memoir Writing course. How often Penelope Lively, Julia Blackburn and I chanted, 'Everyone's life is interesting', and so it proved. An ex-nun, a retired diplomat, an ex BBC presenter, the son of a Lancashire miner, an art dealer, a recently retired head teacher, therapists and several others gathered together in our farmhouse in the Dordogne to talk about memoirs they had read and to write their own. There was time to talk, read, discuss, have individual surgeries with the tutors and to write. Some played scrabble, swam in the pool, dozed on deckchairs too. The sun shone for most of the time, French wine flowed, food appeared regularly: the mix of all these ingredients seems to make the course productive. Add thoughtful tutors and supportive participants and it becomes a volcano of bubbling ideas.
Now everyone has left for their very different home lives and taken their folders with their writings with them, clearer now about how they will develop their random memories. Many people want to write their memoirs for their children, grandchildren - and posterity. Maybe at some time in the distant future some family member will be delighted to learn about their relative's life be grateful that he/she came to France and that Penelope Lively and Julia Blackburn gave them encouragement and guidance.
"So that's how it was.......", they will say, and maybe they will see the importance of writing their own memoirs for the following generations.