Creative dyslexic: Angel Strawbridge

I’ve been inhaling the new book A Year At The Chateau by Angel and Dick Strawbridge. This British couple are the creative minds behind the super popular Escape to the Chateau series.

The couple describe the book as a “love story” with their 19th-century fairy-tale chateau (complete with 45 rooms, seven outbuildings, 12 acres of land and its own moat).

The book is written in an easy-to-read, conversational style; both Angel and Dick retelling how they found and renovated their French chateau, while parenting two young children, Arthur and Dorothy. Replete with stories of bats, bugs, brilliant design and breathtaking views!

I’m not able to “escape to the chateau” but I can escape from pandemic reality in the pages of this book.

What makes this an even more satisfying read is finding out that Angel is dyslexic (in the book, she says she wasn’t a fan of reading when she was in school…and of course, I knew right away she was one of us!).

A self-described “1940s Vintage-clad redhead from East London,” Angel is founder of The Vintage Patisserie, a glamorous hospitality company, and author of the best-selling Vintage Tea Party series. Her TV career started when she appeared on the British edition of Dragons Den in 2010.

In 2012, she shared her story to Modern Vintage Magazine:

“I’ve had dyslexia since I can remember and found it really hard to read and write throughout my junior years…one teacher…picked up on the fact that I was actually very behind in reading and writing and in her own time I went over to house one a week for tuition. The school then took notice and after being tested and diagnosed, I started to attend special classes, which helps develop the part of your brain that’s struggling. Since school it’s been business as normal and I know where my weaknesses are. I don’t see certain grammatical errors and some words, even if I look a my work 100 times! But living with that is simple; I just get everything checked! On the plus side, I believe other parts of my brain work better! I was terribly good at maths and business and loved being creative! All in all, I feel very very blessed.”

The full article is here:

In another interview, she said: “I have a very open mind, partly because I’m dyslexic – I didn’t learn to read until I was 11. In a way, it was brilliant because I never had my brain swamped by academics, which allowed my creative side to flourish. I was always good at business though, I’m a qualified accountant, and the two skills are a great blend.” (Source)

Angel has said that dyslexia is one part of her journey, not all of it. Her success story is built on creativity, entrepreneurial skills and hard work.

Indeed, this maker of beautiful things, makes her own luck.

“The harder you work the luckier you get.”

I know that her story will inspire so many others.


A Year at the Chateau on Audible

Angel’s website

Home of Escape to the Chateau

2 Comments

  1. Carol Hopkins

    Thank you for this. Escape to the Chateau is one of my favourite programs. I’m not surprised that Angel ie Dyslexic her creative skills are amazing.

    It’s the first time I’ve read about somebody else that shares one of the traits, that effects me quite badly, not seeing my grammatical errors or some words. It takes so long to write emails or anything really.

    I love books but find listening to them is easier than reading them. I wrote this in Lockdown,

    The Dyslexic Bibliophile

    I can’t find your title spine,

    in this alphabetical line?

    I tracked back and forwards, no sign.

    Titles are conspiring to confuse.

    I will not give up; I refuse.

    Focus, fingers on spines, I peruse.

    Success, but as I turn the page

    characters rumba right, off the stage.

    Abstract words waltz off with rage.

    Reading out loud is like a Pantomime,

    gender-crossing characters out of time

    as jumbled prose attempt to rhyme.

    Stage fright, it’s the moment I dread,

    mouth open, panic, no word said.

    I just recite rubbish instead.

    You say, why can’t you read me.

    Words are as plain as plain can be

    in sentences for all to see.

    You look puzzled, let me explain

    why reading out loud is such a strain.

    It’s to do with the quirks within my brain.

    Abstract words like NO, I do not see.

    In sentences where the word NO should be,

    changing the sentences meaning for me.

    I’m just wired; differently, it’s a neural fixture

    requiring all my senses to concoct a mixture

    to transform texts into a mental picture.

    The mental pictures can get confused.

    Cat becomes kitten, wrong context used.

    Words lost in translation; you’re amused.

    You say, excuses, excuses,

    at reading, you are useless.

    You are stupid, that’s where the truth is.

    Book, the truth is you’re trapped every day

    within a narrative with nothing novel to say.

    You just see trees, but it’s a forest, I survey.

    Book, unlike you I have abilities

    which unlock opportunities.

    In my world of infinite possibilities.

    >

    >

    Like

    1. lostandfoundbooks

      Hi Carol! This is an amazing poem! Could I publish it here, with full credit to you? If so, send me an email at annemboys@gmail.com … Yes, I love that show and she is a hero of mine. Like you, I wasn’t suprised to find out she’s dyslexic. Like you, I also don’t recognize some words, and grammar is not my strong suit! Here is the book on Audible: https://www.audible.ca/pd/A-Year-at-the-Chateau-Audiobook/1841884650

      Thank so much for writing this comment and sharing your beautiful poem. Happy Valentines Day!

      Like

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