Peter Davies was born in Barry long before Gavin and Stacey gentrified it and he moved to Cardiff soon after. The Luftwaffe’s bombs meant that his family were soon on the move again to safer places around South Wales.
Back in Cardiff, Peter went to Penarth Grammar School along the coast. A clutch of O Levels got him a job in Cardiff’s City Hall, but Buggins’ Turn was not for him. After National Service in the RAF (he never saw a plane!) and a year in college, Peter found himself doing social work in a red-light district of Birmingham.
On a weekend course to improve his social work skills, he instead fell in love with his soulmate, Christine. A job in London … more study (Newcastle) … and then back to the Midlands – not to mention three children. The next 30 years flew by. Peter taught adults in Cardiff, commuted to London to be a student again, did education advisory work and then took early retirement. This enabled him to travel, try his hand at writing, draw cartoons and compile crosswords. He also still enjoys visiting Women’s Institutes and Alzheimer’s sufferers groups to share poetry with them.
Chris and Peter are recently back in South Wales close to family after 20 happy years in Fressingfield, a beautiful village in High Suffolk.
Peter was the winner of our monthly flash prize for his entry on Dance, entitled “Take Your Partners”.
Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:
- My family lived behind my uncle’s butcher shop in the Rhondda Valley in the 1940s when I was 9 years old. An important part of my education.
- I loved playing sport – rugby, cricket, tennis, table tennis, squash, badminton and especially soccer (Boys Brigade, Church team and NALGO).
- I am immensely pleased I have had the opportunity to learn about human development and behaviour and social policy as the main focus of my education.
- I am proud of my children, their partners and my grandchildren and of the way we have all learned to communicate among ourselves and with others.
What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?
When I was in my late teens, working as a junior clerk at the City Hall in Cardiff. A great social life full of fun but also learning to be myself in a safe environment and working out what I wanted to do and to be.
Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?
Can I cheat and say Alfred Lord Tennyson, famous, over 60 but long deceased? Why him? Because he wrote such lines as:
And out again I curve and flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go But I go on for ever.
You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?
My annotated Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
What’s your favourite creative pastime?
A toss-up between drawing cartoons (which I do badly) and compiling cryptic crosswords.
Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.
I love Venice and everything about it but particularly its churches. As a result, I have been to the Serenissima over 20 times.
If you’re inspired by Peter, April’s flash competition winner, why not join him in becoming a member of Autumn Voices and submitting your entry for free. Details of this months flash entry below:
Our monthly flash theme for May was Walking or Chronic Illness
In May we celebrate National Walking Month with some blogs from keen walkers and ramblers aged 60+, accompanied, hopefully, by some of their photos. We also honour World MS Day with a blog focused on multiple sclerosis and looking generally at how chronic illness and creativity intersect. We would love to read your flash submissions in honour of either or both of these themes. Would you like to tell us something about your experience of being an older person who loves to hillwalk or ramble? Are you an older person managing a chronic illness which has had either a positive or adverse impact on your creativity? Send us your flash submissions!
Entries will be accepted until midnight on May 31st and flash submissions can take the form of a poem, short story or flash memoir. The winning entry will be chosen by the Autumn Voices staff team and the winner will receive the books Walking For Creative Recovery, by Christina Reading and Jess Moriarty and Piranesi by Susanna Clarke.