Mrs Beesley isn’t a native Londoner, having grown up in North Yorkshire where she might like to retire; her current home is in Northamptonshire. She misses her three Labradors whom she couldn’t bring to London and would love to have a puppy in her office – if she does, iPaulina knows there will be no shortage of girls volunteering to look after it!
Readers might be surprised to know that although she is originally an English teacher, Mrs Beesley didn’t set out to be involved in the world of teaching. She had intended to go into advertising but a work placement while at university put her off; in the materialistic late ‘80s she says she found it ‘horrible’. When faced with graduating without a job, a tutor suggested she applied to a private school where a lack of a PGCE certificate wouldn’t be a problem. She’s never looked back.
When asked for book suggestions, Mrs Beesley recommended Middlemarch by George Eliot and The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, which are amongst her favourites. She currently has no plans to join our many teachers who are published authors and poets but admits to once writing an ‘appalling’ novel. While at university she wrote a pantomime: Jesus: The Wilderness Years; your correspondent regrets not asking whether it has been performed since then.
Mrs Beesley loves America and is currently enjoying reading more fiction by young black American women. One of her dreams is to study at an American university, while travelling to Polynesia also ranks high on her bucket list.
A favourite holiday destination is Tuscany, where a perfect break would involve reading books, swimming, visiting art galleries and cathedrals before ending the day with delicious Tuscan food and wine. A keen foodie, Mrs Beesley would love to spend her retirement as a food writer and enjoys cooking, despite having a somewhat limited diet for medical reasons. She has shared her go-to recipe with us, which you may see in the next edition of the Foodie; a knock-off of a dish enjoyed at the River Café restaurant, it’s both easy and delicious.
SPGS keeps her busy but when she has a moment, Mrs Beesley loves to run. In London she likes to run by the river but at home in Northamptonshire she enjoys running up and down hills and through the country lanes; she always finds it relaxing and de-stressing.
When asked what advice she would give to young women today, Mrs Beesley had this to say: ‘Don’t be so stressed. Everything is really going to be OK. Trust the people around you, soak it up and have fun because life is very short’.