In the summer of 2007 I reinvented myself.
I was tired of being pigeon-holed under the name I usually went by. I wanted to break free from the personal straitjacket of a locally high profile job I'd had for five years. So I took the first name of my maternal grandmother and married it to the maiden surname of my maternal grandmother.
And so Maddie Grigg was born. I liked her a lot. She was a bit kooky, a wild romantic who lapped up the world around her and with a fine eye for detail, the amusing and the amazing. She was my online self, the real me behind that other, duller person. A rural Bridget Jones and not as fat.
The irony is that the Grigg side of me comes from a long line of recluses, three of whom to this day live in separate corners of the same Somerset field. It's as if my assertive granny (Maddie) has kicked my shy granny into action.
One of Maddie's poems was shortlisted in the prestigious Bridport Prize competition, her blog was chosen as a Blog of Note (just look at the editor's comments on Real West Dorset) and she had a piece in the Guardian, which prompted a pedantic correction (honestly, their sub-editor told me to use the word epicentre in this context. The BBC do it all the time).
And then Mrs Champagne-Charlie's scriptwriter daughter pleaded with Maddie to send her some material from the blog. She was going to knock it up into a film just crying out to be made for Ray Winstone and Joely Richardson in the leading roles.
And then a story about Maddie's grandfather won the People and Land writing competition in the Marshwood Vale Magazine. And a piece of Maddie's prose was selected for a forthcoming book, Dorset Voices.
Maddie was on fire.
And do you know what happened when she sent the first thirty pages of a book based on this blog to three agents? A polite but immediate rejection from Conville & Walsh and no reply from the others.
And what happened when she emailed Winstone's production company with a great idea for a Sunday prime time television series? Nothing.
And then Mr Grigg said: 'Do you think there comes a time when you should perhaps give up writing? After all, you are fifty. You haven't written a best seller yet.'
'I have,' I said. 'I just haven't sold it yet.'
And then Mr Grigg started his own blog.
That's about it.
Love Maddie x
As I write, it’s a mad scramble to get things done before heading off on the annual weekend trip to North Devon. In years gone by, there w...
A smell of garlic began to make my nostrils twitch. I was inside the house, the shutters were closed to keep out the sun and mosquitoes and ...
Something for the weekend... Featuring our local beach here in Corfu. That's about it. Love Maddie x
Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was a child in a meadow with a woodland circle of beech trees around me. And there was clover growing i...
Once upon a time, when I was fit, I cycled up to the most wonderful place on earth. It's in West Dorset and, when you get to the to...