While I was writing The People Who Changed My Life something (nosiness?) made me google Mrs Dordi who had taught me at Grammar School. Although she was always ‘Mrs Dordi’ her christian name flew unbidden into my head.
She was a lovely teacher, a huge influence in my school life and my love of literature. I remember her perched on the edge of a desk, always smiling. I can’t place which works I did for O Level and which I did for A Level, but I remember lots of them, and still love them: Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Wife of Bath, 1984, Animal Farm, The Crucible, Lord of the Flies, Testament of Youth.
I don’t know what I expected to find; I suppose I thought she’d still be teaching, probably at the same school. But instead I found her details here. Having retired from my school, she has been teaching creative writing at Canterbury University, writing her own poetry and editing a poetry magazine Equinox.
I wrote her an email:
Dear Mrs Dordi (I can’t call you anything else)
I don’t know if you remember me – but I was writing something
on my blog when I decided to google you: and there you were.
And then I signed off
The next day I got an email back. It was so lovely, but she signed off
Barbara (you can't possibly continue with Mrs Dordi)
So I wrote:
Dear Barbara (oh my goodness, I’m not 40 years old, I’m suddenly 13 again)
Isn’t it funny how 25 years can evaporate in an instant?