Born and raised in Singapore since 1958, Joan started writing at an early age. Growing up in Tanjong Katong Road, she attended Haig Girls primary school and then progressed to Tanjong Katong Girls Secondary school. There she met her forever friends with whom she re-unites at every opportunity.
After Hwa Chong Junior College, Joan worked as an audit clerk for Price Waterhouse while studying for ACCA. Being good in Maths Joan thought that accountancy would be the easiest way to gain a life skill. ‘Easiest’ turned out to be a misconception as the years of hard study and work experience seemed endless before culminating her finals in London.
It was in the UK where she found complete freedom from her traditional upbringing and lived life to the full. Urged to return home after a totally unsuitable liaison with a “good for nothing Irish” (her father’s words which, in hindsight she begrudgingly agreed were correct), Joan set off for Singapore via a ‘Round the World’ trip. Her journey through USA (where a Mafia boss offered her protection and), Tahiti (where a French Hotel Manager offered her a job as his mistress), New Caledonia (where a Tongan bus driver and a French tourist guide offered accommodation with strings attached) and New Zealand (where she missed the opportunity of hanging out with a handsome gold prospector).
Three years in Singapore with Ernst and Young as a tax accountant ended rather abruptly when her boss commented that she spent so much time away that holidaying appeared to be her main career and working for the firm a mere pastime. She then told him she was done with counting other people’s money and needed to find something more challenging and worthwhile. She quit and set off with a backpack to find life. After many adventures Joan arrived in India where she met a Himalayan mountain climber. They joined forces and started a trekking and mountaineering company for the next 5 years. The liaison ended in 1993, following her partner’s adultery. Joan then returned to Singapore with her 3-year old son to recover from the break-up. She was later to write a novel featuring the people she met there called Valley of the Gods”.
For the next 8 years, she concentrated on bringing up her son (who has Asperger Syndrome) and worked her way up to become the General and Finance Manager of the largest private media firm in Singapore. During this time Joan was inspired to write and publish a children’s book called “The Star Child”.
Everything changed once again when she met the love of her life online who understood what it means to commit. He flew over to Singapore from UK and they were married within 6 months. 3 years later, they decided to return to the UK and bought a shop in Battle, a small market town famous for the 1066 Battle of Hastings.
They spent the next 12 years serving the old people of Battle where, it is said; people retire and forget to die. The average age of residents is 80. Joan and Brian retired in 2016 and Joan published a book as a tribute to the people she had come to know and love. She called it “Fascinating People of Battle” and sold out all 61 copies she printed.
Meanwhile, Joan never forgets her Singaporean roots and has regularly contributed articles to the Overseas Singaporean, an online magazine.
Joan’s latest writing venture was a play (her first) entitled “100% of Nothing is Nothing” (her first) for a competition and it was one of three to be selected to be staged in various parts of UK.
Joan missed most of the shows as she was in Singapore indulging in the local hawker food and meeting up with old friends (mostly doing the two together) which she misses so much when in England.
She hopes to continue living her dream as long as her legs carry her with her overloaded luggage (Singapore food), every time she crosses the oceans from her adopted English home to her forever Singapore home.
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