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Former councillor publishes poetry

PUBLISHED: 16:00 29 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:52 16 August 2010

AN EX-COUNCILLOR says realising she was old is what spurred her on to write a book of poetry. Pensioner Helen Rabbatts, of Telescombe Close, Orpington has released her first book, Out of Time, published by Athena Press. The poems take a satirical edg

AN EX-COUNCILLOR says realising she was 'old' is what spurred her on to write a book of poetry.

Pensioner Helen Rabbatts, of Telescombe Close, Orpington has released her first book, Out of Time, published by Athena Press.

The poems take a satirical edge to ageing, including verses on hormonal imbalances and nostalgia for black-and white photographs. The Liberal Democrat who was a councillor for Crofton for eight years, also tackles the ills of modern society from third world poverty through to the inability to speak to strangers on public transport.

She said: "My poetry is varied and reflects my thoughts on the sudden realisation that 'I am old'.

"One day you feel great and the next day you wake up and realise that you are really ageing. And there is nothing you can do about it. I have friends of my age who have bought the book and my thoughts obviously strike a real note with them as I have had numerous comments agreeing with the sentiments I have expressed."

The grandmother-of-four began teaching English and art at the Marjorie McClure School in Chislehurst in 1974, whose pupils have a physical disability.

She said: "I was there from the first day and worked there for more than 20 years, ending up as deputy head.

"To say the pupils were a delight is no exaggeration. All levels of ability and all types of disability were catered for.

"I have personally known well over 100 children who have died during or after the time they were at the school and this has made me very aware of my own mortality and that none of us know what time will bring.

"It was indeed a privilege to work in a wonderfully happy school."

Now the mother-of-two works part time as a legal representative for defendants in criminal cases.

She said: "This job gave me the time to start writing poetry. There is lots of travelling and waiting outside courts for all sorts of reasons and this gives me more time to think."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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