Thank you for visiting my website and I do hope that you will enjoy my book Green Smarties.
It has been an on-going project for many years and it is my tribute to having been part of the Royal Navy ‘by proxy’ for twenty years. I have a great deal of respect for the Senior Service and all who serve in the Royal Navy.
I am truly grateful for all the experiences and many stories that have made my life so interesting.
It is said in the Navy that when sailors go away on a long deployment, they ask their wives to collect all the green Smarties from the tubes of sweets during their absence. When the sailor returns, his wife scatters the green Smarties across grass and sends the children out to look for the well camouflaged goodies.
Meanwhile the sailor and his wife have ‘catch up’ time before the children can interrupt them!
A Great Look Into the Other Side of Navy Life
In “Green Smarties” Mary opens up her life as a Navy wife. Often funny, sometimes sad, Mary invites us in to a world not many get to see. If you are looking for a book about naval adventures then this is not the book for you.
However, if you are looking for insight into the side of the Navy rarely mentioned; the life of those who are left behind often for months on end, then this is the book for you. From the early days of struggling to survive as an unoffical accompanying wife in Singapore and then as a wife and mother in Hong Kong, this book will move you in surprising ways.
Mary has managed to combine often almost brutal honesty with a wit and charm I am sure you will enjoy.
All too often the knight in shining armour has a little tarnish, but then life would not be so exciting!
I was provided with a review copy and have known Mary for several years.
A Must Read for Anyone Interested in a Behind the Scenes Life of a Navy Wife
Bengy and I sat together to read this tale of our dear friends’ life. Her trials and tribulations, gently wrapped in a invisible but much felt cloth of the most lip trembling humour. You will laugh and cry, get angry, feel relieved.
Whatever the emotion, Green Smarties, Tales of a Navy Wife is a jolly good, not to be missed read. Please do!
Mary started creating stories in her head when she was paralysed from the neck down at the age of 4 with a combination of polio and diphtheria. She spent two months in an isolation hospital unable to move. Not allowed toys or books because of possible cross infection, and unable to see her family except for once a week through a glass window, her imagination was her only companion.
When she was finally released from hospital but still struggling to walk properly, she started putting her stories and drawings down on paper. Mary was five when a local newspaper reporter learned of this and wrote an article about her. The paper also published her first story about a teddy bear.
She has enjoyed writing ever since and has had a number of different forms of creative writing published and broadcast including two children’s stories published in hardback by Ladybird books.
Her dissertation on ‘Care of the terminally ill cancer patient and their family’ won the Institute of Welfare Officers Della Phillips national award. This was published and used as a model to set up a hospice abroad.
Prior to marriage into the Navy, Mary worked for the NHS, first as a student nurse at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. Mary changed career direction to become a medical secretary at the Royal Victoria Hospital Bournemouth, then as assistant medical social worker at the same hospital. Mary's hard work and dedication earned her a place as deputy personnel officer and part of the commissioning team at the new Poole General Hospital.
In 1970 she married a Royal Navy helicopter pilot. Her book, “Green Smarties”, gives an insight into what life was like for a Royal Navy wife in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s when the Navy still had postings abroad and life within the service was very different.
Mary has three children and five grandchildren. Her hobbies include playing acoustic guitar and singing in public, creative writing and performing on stage with the Bournemouth Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Mary also enjoys co-presenting programmes and heading the on-air interview team for Hospital Radio Bedside – the local hospital radio station covering five hospitals.