I never really knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. At the age of five, I was awed by the miracle of childbirth and briefly toyed with the idea of following my parents into the medical profession, telling everyone I wanted to be a “Baby Doctor”. By the age of eight, I thought I could also be a Lollypop Lady on the side. By the age of sixteen, I had dropped all notion of being a doctor. I wanted to do something “businessey”. What that meant exactly, I had no idea. I went on to study Land Economy at Newnham College, Cambridge. Although I’d never heard of the subject, my careers teacher — to whom I’ll ever be grateful — said it would be worth considering given its breadth and the fact I had little idea of what I wanted to do. During my three years at university, the ultimate career choice continued to elude me. I thought I could be a lawyer, but pouring over the minutiae of semantics and never-ending sentences didn’t exactly get me excited; nor did accountancy for that matter.
When I graduated, I joined an investment bank without a clue as to what a bond or commodity or a stock really was. I remember my first day, feeling a fraud amongst the go-getters who had the latest exchange rates and stock prices on the tip of their tongues. I didn’t think I’d last the distance. By some miracle I lasted eleven years.
Priorities changed. I got married, had a family and I left the City. I had always loved reading and for some time I’d thought about the idea of writing a book. So that’s what I did — with a little bit of help from Faber Academy.