Lockdown limbo and memories of schoolboy mischief have been brought together in a lively and playful new book by local author, Guy Dudeney.
Published this month, Peggy. Lockdown Letters to My Mum features fifty mischievous letters written by Guy, who lives in Ditchling, to his mother in her care home between March and August this year.
The letters capture the emotional highs and lows of lockdown between the caring team, their residents and families, whilst reliving the mischief and misbehaviour of Guy’s schoolboy days into his early adult years in Africa.
“The last time I regularly wrote to my mum, Peggy, was back in the 1960’s and early 70’s when I was at boarding school in Sussex while my family were in Nigeria,” Guy explains. “I thought it was time to share some toe-curling adventures with my mother that she was better off not knowing back then. Now she’s in her 90s and there’s a pandemic, we can happily raise a glass of wine with a bit more perspective!”
The letters were read to Peggy by many different members of the team at St Clare’s Care Home on Ditchling Common, who encouraged Guy to write more. As he did, he started to write for a larger audience in an attempt to entertain the carers just as much as his mother.
“It’s been a really tough year for many people and especially for nursing homes and their staff,” Guy continues. “With these letters I was not only able to keep in touch with and entertain my mother but put a smile on the faces of her carers too. They’re all doing amazing work.”
The collection goes on a voyage through boarding school life in Sussex in the early 1970s and Guy’s African school holidays through to his transition into adulthood and initial experiences working in Nigeria. It features fifty letters.
Peggy. Lockdown Letters to My Mum has been edited by Jeanette Quinton-Zorn and published by Indie Self-Publish Ltd. It is available now from Amazon in both paperback and e-book.
A contribution from all book sales will go to St Peter & St James’ Hospice in Wivelsfield, with whom Guy and his family have a close link.
Caption: Guy Dudeney, 62, from Ditchling
FURTHER INFORMATION: Susan Fleet, Lea Graham Associates – 01444 235475