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About me

Version 2I’m Valerie Poore, generally known as Val (only my students call me Valerie). I live in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and I’m an English writing skills teacher by day at the university here. I teach both staff and students: the former about writing for business and the latter about academic writing. I love my work, but need my blog and my own books for the anarchist in me. The writing I teach is very formulaic, so it’s great to be able to let loose and actually write what I enjoy.

Before coming to the Netherlands I lived in South Africa for just short of twenty years, and since it was where I really grew into the person I am now, I think of it more as ‘home’ than the UK. I loved South Africa. It combined everything that makes me happy: endless horizons, space, sunshine, hospitable people and a huge variety of cultures. I loved both the country life and the urban chaos and was very sad to leave it all in 2001. 

Now that I live in the Netherlands. I have a liveaboard historic Dutch barge and I have become fairly well adapted to life in Holland. What with biking, boating and barging, this is my life now and I enjoy it immensely. I am even a Dutch citizen as I took the plunge in 2018 and gained my Dutch passport .


 Life on the water isn’t always romantic and glamorous. Correction. It is sometimes romantic but never glamorous, and it is very hard work. In Holland they have a saying koop een boot, werk je dood, meaning if you are daft enough to buy a boat you can expect to work yourself into the grave. 

I have written nine memoirs so far and am working on the tenth. You can find a list of my books on my other blog: There are listed in the sidebar with details and links.

As for fiction, I have written two novels. The first was The Skipper’s Child, a book for all ages but branded as YA. It is an adventure story set on Europe’s waterways in 1962 and it won the Silver award in the 2013 Wishing Shelf Awards. The other book is called How to Breed Sheep, Geese and English Eccentrics and is set in Dorset, the UK in the late 1970s. It is a humorous (I hope) novel about a girl and her rather special family who are trying their hands at self sufficiency as a means to holding on to a large and impractical country house. The cast of characters is undoubtedly eccentric and these include the animals too. It is heavily based on my real life experiences in smallholding and self-sufficiency, so you could say it is creative non-fiction or a roman à clef.  I am currently working on a novel set in Africa and another novel in the planning stages set in wartime Holland.

  1. Beautiful pictures and, as always, great content. I’m not sure how I missed this!

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  1. SPAAW – Self Published Author Appreciation Week: Valerie Poore | Sue's Musings

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