PEOPLE

Alex Beer

‘From quite a young age, and throughout growing up, my Mum has always been a big influence on my view of life, particularly with regard to health and nutrition. I suffered badly from eczema as a child, and Mum would take me to a masseuse for treatment with all sorts of lotions and potions, so from the age of 6 I was introduced to the world of alternative and holistic treatments. I loved it, and more to the point, it worked. Ours was a slightly mad household, with 4 young children. ...

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Greg Rowland

‘I live in Honiton now but I was born and bred in Coly View, Colyton and moved to Honiton after I left the army. There’s quite a few generations of us in Colyton. We go back as far as 1331, starting in Upottery as wheelwrights, as they made the carts and wagons that took the stone from Beer Quarry caves to Exeter cathedral. Records were found in the diocese of Exeter, they were called Roland then and a bill was found for making wheels for a Great Wagon for 7 ...

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Janet Gleeson

‘I was born in Sri Lanka—then called Ceylon—and spent my early childhood on a remote tea plantation. The bungalow where we lived was surrounded by fields of immaculately kept tea, shaded by jacaranda trees. It had been built in the late 19th century in the grand colonial style with a veranda over-looking a canna-fringed lawn, the Horton Plains rising above and a panoramic view over distant mountains and the valley below. It was an exotic, isolated but privileged existence. We had a nanny, a cook and several other servants in the ...

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John Fisher

‘I was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1971, but I don’t really feel like I’m from anywhere in England. My father was in the Royal Air Force so we bounced from RAF base to RAF base throughout my childhood. I thought of it as normal but in retrospect, it was quite a weird life because we were in a constant state of motion. I don’t remember being attached to places, or possessions, because our lives were always being boxed up and shipped three months ahead of us. Maybe that’s why ...

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Helen Carless

‘My mother and father met in Cyprus, where my father was doing his National Service. He was Welsh, and she Cypriot, sadly both dead now. They were both quite young, perhaps a bit naïve, but terribly romantic, and they returned to the UK so that he could take up a place at Cambridge. His ambition was to join the UN; a PhD was needed for that, so he chose to read Arabic Studies and spent some time in Cairo, from which arose a love affair with Arab people, their culture ...

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