Frances Spiegel – The Story of a Compulsive Writer From Wembley

by FrancesSpiegel

Frances Spiegel is one of Wizzley's newly recruited writers. Although not new to internet publishing, Frances is still discovering that there's always something knew to learn.

Life's Too Short to Waste...
Life's too short to sit around doing nothing, and I can't bear to waste time! I was born at a very early age and in my 64 years so far I've been to at least seven schools, done umpteen jobs, performed on dozens of stages, married and had two children, and am now in my third or fourth career. Sounds a bit of a mishmash? Yes, but it's been very interesting along the way.

Me and Education

A Lazy Child Comes Good

In the early days I went to at least seven different schools. The reason was that my father, an analytical chemist for the family firm, moved from place to place on an irregular basis, depending on where he was needed. I never really settled in well at any of the schools I went to because I always knew I'd only be there a few months, possibly a year at most. I actually stayed in my secondary school for 3½ years – a major achievement. I left, aged 15, my only qualification being a reputation for truanting and bad behaviour. Luckily for me the local college accepted me on a secretarial course with the proviso that I attend regularly and work my socks off. After two years at Brixton Day College, in south-west London, I had excellent typing, shorthand, and book-keeping qualifications.

The Very Mature Student!

In the later days, as a mature student, I finally completed my education in 1995 with a BA Honours Degree (arts and history), and a Diploma in European Humanities, from the Open University. I say “completed”, but that's not really true as I see life as one long educational trip.

Me and My Jobs

I Don't Believe in Careers for Life

My husband Ron, of 43 years, is partly retired, but I refuse to join him. I feel sure my brain will turn to sponge if I stop working, or to be precise, writing. In any case, I've worked all my life in a variety of interesting situations. I've been a secretary in the medical and petrol-chemical engineering fields, wired printed circuit boards, re-trained as a nursery teacher, and in the past ten years have re-invented myself as a journalist. I think this is the job I've enjoyed most of all because I can write about the things I feel passionate about such as the arts, travel and food.

Me and My Hobbies

Food for Fun


Stuffed Cabage with LentilsFood is of special interest because I'm now learning to live gluten free. The kitchen has become an experimental workshop which my husband once described as a “voyage of discovery”. We laugh over the experiments. When they go well, they're very, very good; when they go wrong they're horrid! Just image you're about to tuck into something delicious, when a voice says: “Stop, I haven't taken a photograph”. Successful recipes, both with and without gluten, get published on the internet, the unsuccessful ones get binned, and it's all down to the local pub for lunch.   Here are some of the more successful recipes:


  • Jerusalem Artichoke Soup – Gluten Free Vegetarian  Winter Warmer
  • Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cupcakes Filled With Orange Marmalade
  • Gluten Free Cheesecake – Also Suitable for Passover



The Travel Bug

Other hobbies include travel whenever we can afford it. Sometimes I get offered press trips. Make no mistake, these are not always the carefree jollies that people talk about. They can be extremely hard work as you write pages of shorthand notes ((usually illegible), as you follow a guide through endless hotels, golf courses and holiday villages. There are also miles of glorious golden beaches but you haven't got time to enjoy the sun.



Treading the Boards

Throughout my life I have been a keen performer. As a teenager I was part of a large choir. We performed with many popular stars such as Maurice Chevalier, Trini Lopez, Val Doonican, Rolf Harris, Vera Lynn and Johnny Dankworth. I still tread the boards in local amateur shows, as well as performing professionally (yes, they actually pay me money) in local residential homes.



Life's Too Short - Go For it Now

Someone, I believe it was Wayne Dyer, said: “Go for it now.  The future is promised to no one.“ I am a firm believer that you should take whatever opportunities that come along, meet every challenge with a smile, and get on with your life – as they say: life's too short!

The Travel Bug

World Travel
Rick Steves Portugal (2023 Travel Guide)
Rick Steves
$23.99  $21.36
Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to ...
Wizard Publications
$21.99  $16.9
Rick Steves Ireland (2023 Travel Guide)
Rick Steves
$22.49  $17.47
100 Cities, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go,...
National Geographic
$25.99  $19.12

World Travel

Updated: 02/28/2013, FrancesSpiegel
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Mira on 07/01/2015

It's good to read about you. It appears that Wizzley attracts many interesting writers :)

frankbeswick on 07/01/2015

It is good to hear from you again, Frances. We communicated a bit when we were on Suite101.

jptanabe on 06/30/2015

Thanks for the introduction! Your life does sound rather fun.

FrancesSpiegel on 11/20/2013

Thanks for reading.

AbbyFitz on 11/19/2013

You sound very interesting!

BrendaReeves on 03/06/2013

Frances, we have the same philosophy about life. Nice to meet you.

FrancesSpiegel on 02/26/2013

I think I'm getting the hang of Wizzley. It's great, the way the article upload page works every time, without silly hiccups and nasty little glitches.

Mira on 08/11/2012

Hi Frances! :-)

sheilamarie on 01/17/2012

Nice to meet you, Frances. We just keep growing and experiencing, don't we?

JoHarrington on 12/26/2011

This was very entertaining. My friend is gluten free, so I've witnessed some of the issues with finding delicious food. I'm going to forward your links onto her. <3

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