My guest on the Five Photos feature today is Carol Cooper, author of several non-fiction books, and two novels – One Night at the Jacaranda and Hampstead Fever. Carol also very kindly wrote the foreword to The Write Romantics and Friends’ charity anthology, Winter Tales, so it’s a special delight to welcome her to the blog. Today, Carol is kindly sharing five photos that mean a lot to her, and telling us a little about them. Over to you, Carol.
Thank you, Sharon. It was tough to choose just five photos as I have so many great memories, and a huge amount to be grateful for. Most of the images I’ve picked are quite recent because they’re better quality than some of the others, but the emotions they evoke still go way back.
With the family at Christmas
I treasure this photo of my three sons and myself, taken at Christmas 2014 by my husband Jeremy. From left to right, the line-up is Julian, me, Tony, and Oliver. Julian is the eldest. Twins Oliver and Tony arrived when he was two and I was a busy young family doctor. Their births transformed my life, all of it for the better. While I continued to practise and write articles, I also began writing books on child health and parenting.
Hampstead Heath pond
If you’ve ever been to Hampstead Heath, you may recognise this photo. The heath is nearly 800 acres of calm and greenery in north London, and contains several ponds. Many people (and dogs) enjoy walking and picnicking on the Heath, as well as feasting on magnificent views of London. This place inspired my second novel Hampstead Fever. Shown here, Number One Pond also appears on the book cover, and many locations nearby feature within its pages.
River Cam from Kings Bridge April 2015
I’m fortunate to live in Cambridge as well as Hampstead. In the dim and distant past, I studied here, and, as I often say, that made me. Jeremy and I were walking through King’s College when I stopped to take this. I take a lot of photos of King’s Chapel – how can one resist? But this shot made me realise that a picture doesn’t have to include the iconic chapel to be redolent of Cambridgeness, for want of another word. If I need peace and quiet, you’ll probably find me somewhere by the river Cam, sitting with a notebook and pencil.
Mishmish in a cardboard box IMG 4455
Also part of the family is Mishmish (which means apricot in Arabic and Hebrew). Unlike many ginger cats, Mishmish is female. She gets pretty excited on publication day, which usually means a brand-new box. This one is from one of the medical textbooks I co-authored for Wiley-Blackwell, and the photo was taken last year.
4 generations in Alexandria
Apologies for this grainy picture, taken over 50 years ago. It’s the only one I have that shows four generations of the family. From left to right, there’s my great-grandmother Aspasie, her daughter Madeleine (my grandmother), and my mother Jacqueline, on whose lap I’m sitting. Although my grandmother and great-grandmother did not work outside the home, my mother became an author and artist. I have no talent with a paintbrush, alas, but I think I follow in Mum’s footsteps when it comes to writing. In the photo, we’re sitting in my great-grandmother’s garden in Alexandria, Egypt, where I grew up. My next novel will be set mostly in Alexandria.
Thank you so much for sharing your photos and your precious memories with us, Carol. I really enjoyed looking at them and reading the stories behind them, and I’m sure readers will, too.
Carol is a British doctor and author. After a string of parenting books and an award-winning medical textbook, she began writing novels. Her stories are all about people looking for love and finding themselves, and they’re laced with inside knowledge from her experience as a medic. She also teaches medical students, writes for The Sun newspaper, and is involved with several charities.
If you’d like to know more about Carol and her writing, there’s her blog Pills & Pillow-Talk. You can also follow her on her Facebook page Carol Cooper’s London Novels, Twitter, Instagram, and Amazon.
Carol’s latest novel, Hampstead Fever, is available to buy here.