A long time ago, in a university far, far away, a Lady of a Certain Age walked in through the doors thirty years after leaving formal education – not to pick up where she left off, but to jump one step ahead of herself straight into a degree course without the benefit of a return-to-learn, access, or foundation level course first. Three years later she emerged as the proud holder of a BA in Creative Writing with honours, First Class! 

In the same week that I learned my degree classification, for I am that Lady of a Certain Age, I also learned that a short story of mine had been accepted for inclusion in a collection, Dark in the Day – alongside real writers (that I’ve actually heard of).

The view from cloud nine looked so rosy that I decided to take leap right off the edge and enter a couple of writing competitions. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained – not that I think I stand a chance of winning,  as I said to my Lord-and-Master. 

‘Probably not, but never mind,’ he said. ‘What you’ve got to remind yourself is that you’re going up against people with talent.’

Did you hear that crash? That was the sound of a Lady of a Certain Age coming back down to earth with a bump.