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Interview with Annemarie Rawson, winner of Age UK Richmond Wish You Were Here Writing Competition 2020

Published on 02 October 2020 09:47 AM

1. Well done Annemarie! We were very lucky to have travel journalist and broadcaster Simon Calder as judge.  How did you feel when you heard you were our winner?     

Over the moon! What an honor having Simon Calder judge the entries and then choosing mine.

2. From your entry we can tell you have an affinity with the borough.  How long have you lived in Richmond and what are your favorite spots?

We have only lived here for 2.5 years but love it. So much wonderful nature and history on our doorstep - The Thames Path, Bushy Park, Richmond Park, Ham Common, Teddington Lock. We love them all.

3. You wrote your entry in the form of a letter to your sister Jill.  Are you a keen letter-writer? Horace Walpole, who built SHH, was an avid letter writer penning some 7,000. He’d have approved of your entry.

 I used to be a big letter writer. Not so much these days. More a blog writer about our lives here to friends and family around the world.

4. Your prize is entry to Strawberry Hill House with a creamed tea afterwards. Who will you be taking as your plus one?

My husband will be the very lucky ’plus one’!

5. Have you always enjoyed writing?  Tell us about any other writing projects?

It really started when we decided to upsticks and move to France where we took a job as estate managers. I was writing a blog there and friends and family said how much they enjoyed reading it and felt they were right there with us in the French countryside.  I have now written two books about it. The first one was published in August called My French Platter and the second, My French Platter Replenished, will be published early next year.

Now living in London, I have been writing Facebook blogs and have a website blog. I have been very lucky to get great feedback from these.

In July I was shortlisted for a story I wrote in a Hammond House competition. I was so delighted to get that far with it.

6. How have you been coping with the restrictions on travel and leisure etc. that have come with Covid –19?

Pretty well actually. I’ve had my writing to keep me occupied and I also started a car-park coffee group over the warmer months, for all those living in our block of flats. I’d bake muffins and take them down for everyone to enjoy. We'd all bring our camping chairs and coffee into the carpark and sit suitably distanced. Other than that, we did a lot of walking in the borough.

7. What’s next for you?

Next is to write a book about our time here in London and Europe in the form of a diary. It's been a magical time in our lives.

To read more from Annemarie :

My French Platter – A Journey to a Dream Life in France