Octavia has written poems for as long as she can remember – the first one she clearly recalls was written around the age of eight, after an encounter at school with a pipistrelle bat.
“A bat can’t see as well as you and me. He has no need; in a cave lives he!”
Writing poems for her own enjoyment, it wasn’t until she wrote one during her recovery from postnatal depression, anxiety and PTSD, that she decided to create an online presence for her poetry, following some amazing feedback. This poem, called ‘Enough’ caught the attention of the charity Home-Start who supported her during this time, and she was asked to read her poem at her local branch’s AGM. It can be read, along with many others at https://www.instagram.com/poems_by_octavia/ or https://www.facebook.com/poemsbyoctavia/
Octavia continues to be an advocate for talking about our mental health.
During the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic of Spring 2020, Octavia penned several poems, and one that stood out was about a group of cats, trying to work out what was happening as their owners stopped going to work! This book (Cats’ Eye View of… Lockdown) is the first in a series, covering all sorts of situations that the cats discuss.
Along with her love of writing poems, she has a passion for creating art and music that stretches back to childhood.
Memories that have stood the test of time are making a collage of an exotic bird, that was then exhibited in the Tate Gallery, and being selected to paint the teacher’s portrait during a school project on the World War II evacuations. Adept at bold, acrylic paintings with a Pop art-influenced style (her first cousin-once removed, was Patrick Caulfield), and fond of sketching pencil drawn portraits, she is looking forward to passing her artistry on to her daughters (where are those potatoes??).
Earliest musical moments include being the youngest ever to gain her blue ribbon in the church choir, and getting a round of applause as she started to sing her first ever performance to a large crowd (it felt like in ‘Stars in your eyes’ when the audience approved!). Lead soprano in an a cappella choir, she often impersonates various musical instruments (but much prefers the lyrics – preferably a sol!). Octavia’s absolute favourite note to sing is Top A Flat (not Top A, must be flat), and she is happiest ‘off the stave’.
Octavia’s talent for art, lead to a career in graphic design that has spanned 20 years – working across industries as diverse as travel, construction and retail. Her graphic design skills mean she creates all of her own artwork for her books (and as a self-confessed control freak, that’s probably for the best). She lives in Surrey, England with her husband, and their twin daughters, who are her inspiration and motivation.