What I learnt this week: 17th September 2015

The right path

My son has reached the age when he has to consider what he does next. It’s a huge question, and when you’re only seventeen, it’s very difficult to answer. How can you possibly know, really know, what you want to do for the rest of your life when you haven’t really dipped your toe in it yet?

And even if you do think you know, you could be wrong. At seventeen I wanted to be a doctor and was devastated when I didn’t get the grades. I thought my life was over. Thanks to the calm reassurance of my parents I pulled myself together, went on to study pharmacy and finally found my feet in the pharmaceutical industry. Looking back on it now, I’d have been a terrible doctor – I’m useless without eight hours sleep, for one thing. But also I loved working in an office environment, being part of a team of hugely bright individuals, all working towards a common goal. It was challenging, rewarding – and so much fun.

It was also thanks to the flexibility of the pharma company I worked for that I was able to work part-time, so starting me down the path towards writing romantic fiction (umm, did I tell you about my new book?!).

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So my advice to my son is to study what he enjoys and not think too far ahead. Life has a way of sorting itself out and fate will, I’m sure, show him his own path.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying going to the university open days. Last weekend, it was Bath. What a fabulous place – steeped in history and so, so pretty.

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Sadly I think I’ve ruined it for my son, because I kept saying how wonderful it would be to visit him there…


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