I hail from North London, UK, where I grew up but my origins are mixed. My family is originally from Guyana (formerly British Guiana), South America (the only English-speaking country in South America).
After completing my studies, I worked in private sector management (Sports – IMG) then public sector management (working with the homeless/benefits) until I got married – with a few other short work periods of being a Traffic Warden, in-house trends/insurance, a Therapy Worker with the elderly and a fleeting moment within the music industry in a girl band. Yep! That was fun while it lasted.
I then became a teacher of English as a foreign language, translator, interpreter and vocal coach after moving back to my hubby’s home country, Venice, Italy. He’s a professional musician amongst other things.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
That’s a strange one as the first half of my life was spent in London my original home and now the second half in Venice, Italy.
London was a magical place for me growing up. I had and still have many friends from mixed ethnic backgrounds and we all learnt a lot about each other’s cultures. London in general has its own rich culture and I often explored that richness in the form of art galleries, historical buildings, museums (where I spent most of my Saturdays as a child) and more. I also explored many places in the UK with their own special beauty: Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Stonehenge, Cambridge, Nottingham (where I often spent my summers with my grandparents and Aunt) and many other places. The list goes on.
Then there’s Venice, Italy which has been my home since 1995. I fell in love with Venice on my first visit as a 17-year-old schoolgirl and vowed I’d live there one day. Then my Venetian husband fell in love with me… and me with him… and here I am. It is also a magical place to live. I guess I’m truly blessed to have two places I can call home.
What turns you on creatively?
I’m a great people watcher. I think you can learn a lot by doing that. I also love photography and use my camera to capture emotions which I sometimes use to excite and inspire my muse when writing.
I have always kept a diary – which still makes me smile when I re-read them. (Yes, I’ve kept them all). I then tried my hand at poetry, short stories, non-fiction and song lyrics. My love for the written word and expressing it in various forms continues to grow. Secret: I’ve been writing my autobiography for a few years… well quite a few years… but I know I’ll finish it one day.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
One of my favourite words is: Imagination. So many famous writers and poets have used this idea in their work. The Wordsworth site in Grasmere for example says, ‘Wordsworth saw imagination as a powerful, active force that works alongside our senses, interpreting the way we view the world and influencing how we react to events. He believed that a strong imaginative life is essential for our well-being’.
With imagination from any source stories can transfer onto the written page. My imagination helps to express how my story characters feel and helps me to transmit their emotions into believable narrative. My imagination allows me to walk in others’ shoes. This spills over onto ‘the written page’ from understanding how people truly are beneath their different masks used in real life. Sometimes I use my imagination as a form of escape. I often use my imagination to visualise my wishes for a better world and a happier future for everyone. John Lennon’s song Imagine is a good example of this.
My poetic piece: Imagination
How I long to hold those warm hands once more that held and guided me throughout my life I close my eyes and imagine your beautiful smile your loving eyes looking back at me
I miss your warm embrace In quiet moments I hear your soothing voice comforting me when I’m at my lowest
You were and still are my mentor, my rock I will hold you forever in my heart dear Mom with all those special memories that will continue on as my guiding light throughout the rest of my life
There is something about losing your mother that is permanent and inexpressible… a wound that will never quite heal…
Tip: Use your imagination to write down ideas for a short story, (maybe from some of the ideas I’ve described above), and then think about how a time traveller from the distant past or future would feel now. Then break down those ideas into 25 words to summarise and begin to write your first real draft.
What is your pet peeve?
I really have a big problem with people who lie – liars. Obviously, all of us tell small white lies every single day. Example: How are you? Answer: I’m fine thanks – when really, we’re not.
What I mean are those who tell bigger lies to cover up whatever they may want to hide from the person they’re lying to. It’s an insult to that person’s intelligence. To my intelligence. How can you trust anyone who tells lies? I admire honesty in people. The truth always comes out in the end and liars can hurt deeply. Liars are not nice people.
What defines Valli Henry-Boldini?
Family is very important to me. I lost my father when I was 7 years old and mother 3 years ago. The remaining members of my extended family are few but they are all very important to me. I’m also very lucky and blessed to have friends who have become my family.
As I mentioned above, I’m a people person. I love connections and learning about others. That’s where my love for travel helps. My writing expresses those connections. I’m a loyal friend and great listener. I also believe in living in the present, forgiving past hurts and looking forward to the future without planning. I believe in destiny. It’s worked out quite well so far.
Thank you all for taking the time to read about me.
Valli Henry-Boldini hails from London but now lives in Venice, Italy. She is an educator, translator and vocal coach. Her writing began at an early age with diaries, poetry, lyrics then non-fiction/fiction. She is currently trying to write her autobiography. Her writing has appeared in Woman’s Weekly (Print version), Taste of the Caribbean and 101 Words Org to name but a few.