Whenever I meet someone new and I mentioned that I have published two children’s books in the last year I get given a look of complete incredulous. Really?! That’s not what you hear when you meet normal people. Normal people? I can assure you I am very much a normal person. Like any first time mom, I battle with the constant changes with my child, battle might not be the right word to use but I do struggle with how fast he is growing up. Im a full time working mom so I struggle with the guilt of not spending enough time with Daniel as well. But I often stop and think to myself where I was nearly two years ago now when I decided to immortalize my Daniel and Tasco by making them my story.
In August 2012 I flew to South Africa, with Daniel, for the first time. The second half of my trip was spent on the farm where my husband and four generations of Liguori’s before him grew up in the Eastern Free State. It was cold but after the brutal Dubai summer I welcomed the prospect of the chill. About six weeks before our arrival my Mom in Law’s German Shepherd, Lyca, had give birth to a litter of puppies, most of the puppies had been rehomed but one little puppy was left behind and he snuggled his way into becoming a part of the family. He was called Tasco, Tasco soon became my shadow and Lyca and Zeis (Tasco’s father) soon followed suit. I think that it was more about protecting Daniel really, he moved, they moved!
Our evening ritual before bath time was to go for a walk down the oak avenue, the trees were planted in the second world war by Italian POWs who were bought to carry out hard labour. (During World War II vast numbers of Italian P.O.W. taken in North Africa were detained in South Africa) How they came to work on Triplolitania is another story all together! But on our third last evening my Mom in Law, Daniel, all the dogs and I set off down the avenue for our stroll and as my MIL was reminiscing about my hubbies childhood I thought to myself, “I would love to write about this.” And for the first time in my life I found myself with a feeling of complete determination, I found my calling in life. There, walking under the golden leaves, I knew why I had always felt this need to accomplish more, try harder and suddenly it was clear… I wanted to write children’s books.
And so as we trudged home and over the sandstone motor gate, I plotted and wrote my very first story in my head. Nearly two years later and two books complete with number three on the way I have something of notable worth to show the next four generations of Liguori’s growing up on our special part of the world, Tripolitania.