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Far from the Madding Crowd

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
My views on following your dream have changed direction over the 57 years of my life.  I am not going to brag but I have achieved many of the goals that I set for my life. As I child I wanted to a great dancer. By eleven I was dancing all over Europe and was rated in the International top five.
At 16 I was the youngest ever Associate Member of both The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and IDTA (The International Dance Teacher's Association).
By 19 I had to change direction due to parents' ill health. I joined the Civil Service and over the next three years, studied for an ONC in Business Administration, served two years as elected Branch Treasurer for my Trade Union and helped my Mum back to reasonable health. Then I moved into sales and promotions work in between Summer Seasons, teaching and performing in resorts both in the UK and abroad. At 31 I was working in Tenerife and fell pregnant with my son.
Far from the Madding Crowd   That is a sea-change for a performer. I married, kept house, cooked, had a daughter and for the next 22 years, worked at a desk, did the school run, music club, swimming lessons, gymnastics, football, ballet, tennis lessons, snooker lessons. Everything they needed. Oh and I worked as many hours as I could in-between. Somewhere in the middle of it all I lost Dad, divorced, looked after Mum and took the children to the US, Greece, Germany, South Africa, Egypt, Turkey, Italy and Spain.    In 2005 I met an Aussie at Blackpool Tower and began dancing again.  Soon afterwards I started singing and am a proud member of the chorus with Musica Lirica Opera. I have also studied for a BA in English, gaining a first, which led me to writing creatively and personal fulfilment through my role as Wyre Poet in Residence. At 57 I am not yet through with ambition, although some of my poems are in print and part of one is carved in stone in Euston Park, Fleetwood. I still have stories to write, a series of children's books to complete and a trilogy of novels that I promised to my Mum.    There are still at least ten places on this beautiful planet that I want to visit but the real dream ...   Disconnect the battery, Throw away the keys, I just want to walk today, It’s better for my knees. Give me the simple life. Trash the tumble drier, Hand me pegs for the clothes, Let the breeze blow through the bed linen, Like flags in billowing rows. Give me the simple life. Empty the inbox, unplug the hub, Disconnect the World Wide Web. Settle down with knitting wool, Let’s make socks for bed instead. Give me the simple life.   Cross out the ‘To Do’ list, Tear the pages from my diary, Let’s go and track a bullfinch And picnic near the Priory. Give me the simple life. Drag out the TV ariel, Put gentle music in the air, Find a book and glowing candle, Read some poems we can share. Give me the simple life. Blow up the microwave, Stoke up the fire, Put fresh bread on the toasting fork. Butter my desire! Give me the simple life. Break the hands off the alarm clock, Leave the curtains wide apart, Awaken with the sunrise, Sleep sweetly when it’s dark. Give me the simple life. Forget the espresso –maker, Let’s sit and sip Earl Grey, You fill up the teapot, And I will lay the tray with cucumber sandwiches, Scones and clotted cream, We’ll eat it in the garden, Go on let’s live the dream.   Then I’ll wash off my make-up, Let down my hair, Throw on some soft pyjamas And we’ll snuggle up together in the big arm chair. Give me the simple life.   Thanks for reading, Adele.  
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