Mother, grandmother, writer, humanitarian aid worker, theatre director, sometime film and TV actress, prison visitor and inveterate traveller.
There is no doubt I was born with a wandering spirit. And I have been fortunate enough to have visited many countries throughout my life. From travelling alone across West Germany, East Germany, Poland, Russia, Siberia, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines in 1968 to becoming the President of the English Language Theatre in San Jose, Costa Rica in 2006. From being pronounced a “Living Goddess” by an indigenous Ifugao tribe high up in the Cordillera Mountains of the Philippines to putting the lives and legends of the Bribri tribe from the Talamanca mountains of Costa Rica into dramatic form. From setting up a “Children’s Village” in Makarska, Croatia for refugee children from all sides of the Bosnian War to organizing exhibitions of paintings by children from the refugee camps in Azerbaijan. From being a regular prison visitor to English girls incarcerated in El Buen Pastor prison in Costa Rica to arranging life-changing operations for refugee children with severe disabilities from the wars in Bosnia and Azerbaijan.
Along the way I have met many intriguing people, including Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, Michael Caine, Edie Sedgwick, King Hussein, Frank Sinatra, Sharon Tate, Kurt Waldheim, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Bill Paley, Salvador Dali, James Michener, Art Buchwald, John Steinbeck, Norman Mailer, Princess Grace of Monaco and, of course, my very favourite, my nephew Cary Elwes (Wesley and the Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride).
But I would not want to forget the many ordinary, but extraordinary, people who are not so famous whose lives have been an example of selflessness to me. These people continue to work tirelessly to help others and yet expect no accolades. It is these people I have most admired and have attempted to emulate during the course of my life. And I hope I have passed on this desire to help others to my children and, in the future, to my three grandchildren.