Category: Lives

Experience: I saved an elephant from drowning

The river was deep and unpredictable, and infested with crocodilesI live in Samburu, in northern Kenya, but I was raised even farther north, on the border of Ethiopia. Where I grew up, there were elephants living in the wild. I...

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Experience: I can only paint in my sleep

I’ll use any tools I can find. At a friend’s, I used coal and chicken bonesWhen I was at school, I hated art. Growing up in north Wales, I was not able to scrape higher than an E in my final exams. I wasn’t too bothered; I...

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Experience: I make prosthetic arms with Lego

I tested one by hitting it against a wall – the wall took the damageI was born with Poland syndrome, a disease that prevented the formation of my right arm and pectoral muscles. I was bullied at school. People said things like,...

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Experience: I can smell illnesses in people

We walked into a Parkinson’s support group and the smell hit me – it was overwhelmingWhen I was six, I embarrassed a boy in class by putting my hand up and telling the teacher he’d wet himself. He sat two rows behind me but I’d...

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Experience: I broke every bone in my face

Normally in facial reconstructive surgery they use the working bones as support, but in my case there weren’t anyLast year, I was enrolled on a master’s course in computer software engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in...

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Experience: my sunglasses took my eye out

I had glass shards stuck in my face. I was in so much shock I could barely feel painI’ve worn sunglasses ever since I was a little girl, regularly going shopping with my mom for new pairs. After splurging on some gorgeous large...

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Experience: I guard the Amazon rainforest

All we want is to preserve our land. Our enemies want us deadMy family have lived in our indigenous territory for generations; the Maranhão region of northern Brazil is my ancestral home. For centuries, across 400,000 hectares...

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Experience: I found a human bone in the Thames

I didn’t know if it belonged to a murder victim. I had to report itIt was a lovely midweek morning last September. I’m a keen rower and I go out on the Thames with my club as often as I can. The river is usually murky and grey,...

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Lady in Waiting

The remarkable life of Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret who was also a Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation. Anne Glenconner reveals the real events behind The Crown as well as her own life of drama, tragedy and courage, with the wonderful wit and extraordinary resilience which define her.