About Pat Mosel
I was born in sunshine in the hot, dry, dusty town of Bulawayo in what was then, in 1951, Southern Rhodesia. I have an older sister. My parents both worked. My Dad was an accountant and my mother was a primary school teacher. We lived humbly but, by African standards, well.
One of my earliest memories is of sitting in the shiny shell of a car at nursery school. I must have been about three or four. I loved pretending to drive. I wanted to learn to drive. I went through primary school and in my sixth year of high school I fulfilled my ambition. I got my driver’s licence and could drive to school. I was sixteen.
I was so busy chasing boys that I fluffed my ‘A’ Levels, gaining only one. However, I was given what was called matriculation exemption. Everything depended on my passing French at first year university level. I did that at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa and continued to my third year of a Bachelor of Journalism degree, graduating in 1972 with distinction in English Literature. Apart from English and Journalism, other subjects I studied were French, Psychology, Introduction to Politics and Visual Communications.
During my university vacations I worked for the newspapers the Bulawayo Chronicle, the Salisbury-based Rhodesia Herald and The Cape Times in Cape Town. The Cape Times offered me a permanent job and I took it with enthusiasm. It turned out to be the best job I have ever had.
It was whilst working there that I met my first husband and it transpired that he was moving back to Johannesburg and I went with him. I worked for a short while for the Rand Daily Mail, a newspaper noted for its opposition to the Apartheid system. However, I yearned to study again and applied to the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg to study for an Enlish Honours degree. I was accepted and added the Honours degree to my CV.
After that I went to work for The Star newspaper in Joburg where I thoroughly enjoyed myself and got to be editor of an education page and a section for teenagers. However, I was overwhelmed by a divorce which is what started me thinking of travelling. At the same time, I loathed Apartheid and did whatever I could to expose its evils by writing articles exposing racism whenever I got the opportunity. As a student, I had taken part in several protests against the government of the time.
So, I travelled. First to Holland, then to England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and back to London where I got a job as a hotel receptionist. After more to and fro-ing I decided to apply for British Citizenship and got it. We didn’t have to answer testing questions in those days. This was in 1977.
I started applying for newspaper jobs in Britain and eventually what came up was a job writing brochures for a fund-raising company in Edinburgh, Scotland. I hauled along my tartan luggage on wheels and came to the land of bagpipes and haggis, heather and Scottish reels. Then along came husband number two, the father of my two daughters. He was planning to work in Tanzania, East Africa. So, I went along. Familiar story? While we were in Tanzania a group of us climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, an experience which is only rivalled in my memory by my children being born. To cap this, I got my story about our climb into The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh.
I started to teach English as a Second Language to people of different nationalities, including Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, Pakistani and Tanzanian. I went to Paris, France, and passed a course in ESL teaching. While I was engaged in this, my husband decided to give up his job as a quantity surveyor in Tanzania and to come back to Scotland. As we were were about to leave – via the newly independent Zimbabwe – I wrote my short story called Seasons of Satisfaction and Discontent which was published in New Writing Scotland and which you will find on this website.
It was 1980. Back in the Scottish Borders I worked as a full-time homemaker in an idyllic country setting. My husband of the time had inherited property in the Borders. I have two lovely daughters to show for those years. But divorce struck again at the same time as my father died in tragic circumstances in South Africa.
I was hit hard and illness followed. However, in the nineties I spent some years working as a freelance writer and editor, producing various brochures and magazine articles. An example of this work was that I undertook to become project manager and copywriter for the Scottish Enterprise Border’s Small Business Unit Promotion, producing advertising features published in The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Border Telegraph, Peeblesshire News, Berwickshire News, Southern Reporter and Hawick News. I also wrote the Bedrule entry for the Third Statistical Account of Scotland (Roxburgh). I was involved in writing informative natural history texts and recipes for Beshara Design Company greetings cards. In 2000 I decided to pack in the business, leave the countryside and sell my car. Still in the Scottish Borders, I moved to this small town.
More new books are in the pipeline.