‘I never once attended a Sunday morning church service in Stanford. There was always the feeling that they weren’t aimed at families like ours.’
Pam Ayres was the sixth child in a hard-up family who lived in a council house, her parents’ generation were harrowed by the war. Yet they lived by the green in the village of Stanford in the Vale, where everything you needed was within walking distance and the sound of motorcars was rarely heard. Then reaching her teens, Pam realised how few opportunities she had. At fifteen she started working for the civil service, and for a social life she had the local ‘hop’. Pam knew she had to reach out for more, and sought it first in the WRAF. But it was some time before she discovered the unique talent that would make her one of Britain’s best-loved comics …
Containing Pam’s much-loved combination of humour and poignancy, The Necessary Aptitude is a beautifully written memoir of growing up in the country in post-war Berkshire.
©2011 Pam Ayres (P)2011 Random House Audiobooks
“Ayres gives a wonderful account of what it was like to grow up poor but respectable in post-war rural England. Some of her writing in the early chapters, describing life as the youngest of six children in a council cottage in the Vale of White Horse, Berkshire, has the original freshness of classics such as Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford.”Mail on Sunday
yes because I remember lots of things sheb talks about
her poems will be next
"Laugh until you cry"
This is one of the best books I have ever read. It is a pure joy and pleasure. I laughed until my body hurt. It took me down memory lane reminding me of people and an era I had once known. Pam has managed to conjure up vivid pictures of her young life through to her military career that you feel you are there with her. Throughout the whole story you feel she comes from a caring and loving family. The icing on the cake being that the book is narrated by Pam herself.
"Funny, nostalgic, warm & wonderful!"
I absolutely loved this - how fantastic to hear the lady herself read this. A really special audio-book.Highly recommended.
"one of those books you miss when it ends"
Warm, funny, engrossing
That Pam read it, that made it even more enjoyable.
I haven't heard any other performances other than the odd poem
I could have if that was possible as it was I put it on whenever I had the chance.
This is just a lovely gentle story brought to life by Pam and one of those audio books that you can't wait to finish but once it's finished you really miss it and find it hard to decide what to listen to next.
I don't know what made me pick this book, I was aware of Pam Ayers and had heard the odd poem but didn't know much about her and I am not the same age or from the same area but I am glad that I discovered it. It doesn't cover her career after she became famous but ends with a summary which is satisfying but I would be happy to read a sequel.
funny - interesting - heart warming
I loved listening to this - and was sad when it came to an end. Pam narrates with such warmth and humour - her childhood, her first jobs, her time in the RAF and subsequent early days of writing poetry. She tells her story in such a self deprecating way - it would be hard not to like her.
"I'm not an Ayres fan but I loved this"
I wouldn't know.
No, it was great as it was.
No I haven't.
No I preferred to listen to it in chunks, like I do all audio books.
"Sparkling wit, kind heart, clear-eyed nostalgia"
Pam Ayres tells the story of her life's journey with style and humour, including stumbles, touching moments, and, finally, her simple delight in finding that she was most successful when she was being herself! Truly enjoyable, I have listened to it twice already, and will enjoy coming back to it again and again. We had a chance to live for a year about 20 miles from the Uffington White Horse, in a lovely village, so hearing all those place-names again, and the trials and joys of village life, was a lovely reminder of that magical year, but her story is so genuine and so delightfully told that anyone can enjoy it. I have loved everything I have heard from Pam Ayres, and I'm so glad these books are available from Audible.
I've always enjoyed seeing Pam Ayres perform on the television so was interested to hear her memoir read in her own inimitable voice. So many things she talks about remind me of my younger self growing up in the middle of twentieth century. I, too had a father who worked hard but was strict and shouted at, rather than conversed with, his children and a mother whom I didn't help enough at home but who was very proud of me. I loved hearing about her exploits as she grew older and Pam comes across as the type of person one would enjoy having as a friend.
"Like a friendly chat."
I really enjoyed this book. Pam was excellent as usual, it felt as though she was standing next to you and just talking to you like an old friend ... And, ( I'm showing my age now) I could relate to a lot of what what she said! - it brought back lots of memories.
"Pure enjoyment from start to finish!"
I loved this book and was so pleased that Pam narrated it – no one else could have, really. From start to finish I loved every minute. She really is the lovely funny, warm person she portrays.
"Refreshingly honest and real!"
Thank you Pam for such an honest and touching biography. My wife and I listened to it in the car and loved it.
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