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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Naughty – but Nice!

‘Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe,

who hast not made me a woman’.

(From the Jewish morning prayer service)

Yiscah - Jeffrey - SmithThe Israeli weekend news-sites blew in on Friday with an eye-popping profile of an American chassid who’s  transgendered from male to female but kept the ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith.

The true-life tale of Yiscah (formerly Jeffrey) Smith may serve as the inspiration for UK author  Helen Laycock’s knock-about comedy, Occupational Therapy, a tale from her short story collection, Light Bites,  in which fairy Lily Blue becomes a goblin and lives happily ever after.

 Helen.LaycockThis allows me to reveal that Laycock is herself a sort of changeling – a delightfully mischievous one! - who has moved from school teacher to writer and penned prize-winning poetry along with adult and children’s fiction.

She says: “As a teacher, I loved nothing more than inspiring my students to write”. 

This mirthful collection of a dozen cheery tales makes clear  that she revels in her present work  and causes me to wonder how much her school students must miss her – even now.

© Natalie Wood (January 17 2015)

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