Tuesday, 16 April 2013

PAULA'S PEOPLE: Guest of the Month, WWII Veteran Daphne Farrow


Today I'd like to welcome young Daphne Farrow who is only 91 years young to my blog as a guest Funny Things Happened to Me on the Way to Old Age. At first I was perturbed by this competition, after all, I had the privileged 'signing' table and thought that a little charming old lady would be more likely to win customers than I was going to. But soon my fears began to melt away as we somehow molded into a double act. If someone bought Daphne's book, I would look at them and smile and say, "Well, there's no point in me telling you about mine is there?" Instead of running up to the till in an effort to avoid me, I found that they would stop and ask me what I was selling and after giving them my carefully rehearsed spiel, they'd by one of my books as well! It may have had something to do with it being Christmas that both Daphne and I sold quite a few copies that day mostly as a tag team and we both struck up a lovely friendship.
 I met Daphne in John Pye's The Bookshop bookshop in the lovely Sussex medieval High St of  East Grinstead. I was doing a book signing in the week running up to Christmas and Daphne, who is a regular feature in The Bookshop, was there to hand sell her book,

Daphne's book is a collection of stories about her life. It is a fantastic insight into life in the 20's, 30's and surviving the Plymouth blitz and serving as a WAAF officer.I was so intrigued by Daphne and her story that I wanted to let my friends and readers know about this wonderful sweet lady who had put her fond memories of her experiences down on paper.In two years, Daphne has managed to sell over 600 copies purely through The Bookshop and I thought I would introduce her to a wider audience by inviting her to be a guest on my blog.

So please welcome the lovely Daphne Farrow!

So Tell me where you were born Daphne? 

I'm from Plymouth, a Devonshire lass. 

What made you decide to write your book Daphne?  

 My daughter Annie kept nagging me to and I gave in because I wanted to make people laugh. 

How would you describe your book?

Light-hearted and exact!

What was it like in the RAF?

I was a staff driver at HQ and later commissioned to become a technical officer.  I had to go on a 6 week course that would have normally taken 3 years! We had to cram a lot of learning into those 6 weeks.  There was a camaraderie and friendship and we all had one thing in common, the determination to survive and fightback. 

What was the most exciting moment of your life? 

Meeting my husband. I had always wanted to fly and he was a pilot and took out in a Halifax Bomber over the field and I was so worried we weren't going to get above the trees. He just told me to hang on to the compass so i didn't fall over! It was the most exhilarating, heart stopping moment of my life but it was wonderful as we flew above the trees!

What or who are your inspirations?

I love music, Big Band music like Victor Sylvester, Classical music : Mozart's piano concerto no 23 and I loved dancing to the music of Strauss. My husband used to teach ballroom dancing so I loved that sort of music.

What have been your favourite books?

I love Agatha Christie books, they keep you in suspense

What is your favourite part of your book?

Absolutely no question, the part where I tell about the day Clifford, my husband flew me through the Northern Lights. As we flew by the beautiful chiffon colours I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Not even the Queen could have done better! 

Me and the lovely Daphne in The Bookshop

Many thanks to Daphne for allowing me to interview her and tell the world about her wonderful book which can be bought on line here or on Amazon or The Bookshop

If you would like to know more about Daphne checkout her website at