Interview se spisovatelkou
Projekt We are the readers.
Janet Wingate is the author of book Nonsuch Summer.
This book is about her childhood on the island Nonsuch. Now she lives in the Czech Republic with her husband.
How long did you live in Bermuda?
I lived in Bermuda, permanently until I was sixteen. Then I went to school in England and to university in England until I was 22. So, I was still living at home, travelling home for the holidays. But after age 22 I stayed in London with my boyfriend. Then he became my husband.
And how many islands are there?
I think, all together (very small ones and big ones) there are maybe 350 islands! There are five main islands.
What was your childhood like on the island?
I think, I will describe it as idyllic. Because it must be idyllic to live on your own island, your private island. It was very private! Not very many people came there. And people who came there were scientists, who were my father´s friends. Sometimes they had children, so we had friends to play with. But it was just very peaceful and very beautiful. In fact, sitting on the veranda of the house and looking out to the sea was one of the best things there. Because it is the most beautiful view. Across the sea to other islands and you imagine everything in your head. You keep looking and it goes on forever.
What is the most interesting thing you did on Nonsuch?
Oh, I did so many interesting things on Nonsuch, so it is hard to choose the most interesting. But, I think the thing I enjoyed most of all was swimming. Because we lived there in the summer. I mean, we lived there when I was a child up to the age of five. From the age of five I had to go to school so we only lived there in summer. And swimming was the best for me because the sea is so warm and I just loved swimming.
Why did you move to the Czech Republic?
So, I moved to the Czech Republic because I met my husband. He was a Czech emigrant, he left Czechoslovakia when he was ten. And he lived in England for maybe 24 years. I met him and after the revolution he wanted to come back to his home country because he had good memories. He kept telling me. He said: “Czechoslovakia is so beautiful. It’s got beautiful mountains and beautiful towns. It’s a lovely place to live so we should go back.” So that’s why we live here.
What has been the most surprising for you?
I was most surprised… because Czech people don’t eat vegetables. Czech people eat meat with potatoes, meat with pasta, meat with dumplings and no vegetables. And I couldn’t understand it because when you were driving in the countryside, people had vegetable gardens with vegetables growing and I couldn’t understand.
What happened to the vegetables?
And then I saw that people put vegetables in soup or they put them in jars. That was my biggest surprise. Because in England it isn’t a meal unless there are some some vegetables.
What do you like the most here?
Here, I think I like the nature and the beautiful buildings. So, for example I love the fact that I can go walking in the forests, I can go walking in the mountains, I can go cycling through the countryside. And you have very beautiful towns and villages, cities, and the architecture is gorgeous.
How long did you write your book Nonsuch Summer?
I would say from start to finish probably about eight months. Three months for the first draft and then another five months to finish all the illustrations.
Do you want to write another book?
Yes, I would like to write another book about our first year in this country. And I hope I will! But I don’t know when. It takes time. So, you have to find the time, you have to have the inspiration. And it’s a bit difficult but I would like to.
And we are looking forward!
Linda Kybeková Anežka Miškovská