Christmas is only round the corner and if you are stuck for ideas over what to get your children this year, why not treat them to Marion Hertz’ collection of short poems, called My Computer Won’t Work And Other Problems?

The author, who grew up in Woodford but now lives in Radlett, wrote the collection two years ago at 68-years-old and donated the profits to the Cfdreamholidays charity, which raises money for holidays for children suffering with cystic fibrosis.

She explains why she wanted to help the cause and where she gets her inspiration to write about everyday problems that children may face…

She says: “They are poems that children can identify with, like forgetting football boots, being late for school or not doing their homework and shows them that you can make a story out of anything silly.

“This book was sponsored, so every penny went to the charity and I chose this particular one after having my golden wedding party with my husband a few years ago. I was looking for charities on the internet for our guests to donate to, instead of receiving presents and I wanted to support a smaller charity instead of a bigger, national one.

“Cfdreamholidays is run by one lady who unfortunately recently lost her daughter to cystic fibrosis while she was in her thirties, so it is all for a good cause.”

Marion was inspired to write after being unimpressed by the stories she read to her seven grandchildren, who are now all aged between 10 to 25-years-old, while they were growing up.

She explains: “I was reading stories to my grandchildren and most of them were so miserable, such as Bambi. They used to make me sad after reading them and I just thought that there should be some happier books out there.

“I get ideas from everywhere, even while I’m out walking my dog and my grandchildren also like to give me tip and feedback. They are my sternest critics.

“The name of the book was actually inspired by my husband trying to fix our computer. I could hear him going mad and shouting and I went upstairs and told him it just wasn’t plugged in. It is just little things that you don’t take much notice of at first but you realise they are funny when you look back at them.”

Some of Marion’s poems are based on her own childhood, while she was growing up in Woodford and attended Woodford County High School, in High Road, Woodford Green, but she thinks the themes in her writing are still relatable for young people in this day and age.

She says: “One of my poems is called Brussel sprouts and is about the school dinners I used to eat at school- I can still smell inside the lid of the horrible vegetables they made even now.

“I also wrote a poem about homework, which was a bit like me at school, as I was always putting it off. So I do think they are still relevant, as nothing really changes, such as breaking bones, playing in the snow, having a puppy and moving house.

“I have written some more poems but at the moment, they are just sat at my desk. However, I am also hoping they can be turned into cartoons, as that would be something different and interesting.”

Here are a couple of Marion’s favourite poems:

Big Match

I’m off to football with Dad today

Going to see Chelsea, they’re playing away

It is a cup game, so we really must win

Mum sees us off with a big wide grin

Win or lose, she won’t get excited

She is a supporter of Manchester United

Brussels Sprout

I’ve eaten my nuggets and eaten my chips,

Not one Brussels sprout has passed my lips,

They are round and green and taste so bad,

It is not right for this growing lad,

Carrots and mushrooms are tasty no doubt,

So why must I eat a Brussels sprout?

To find out more or to buy Marion’s poems, visit: