Somewhere between work and family life, English teacher Eve Kelleher made the dreams of her 13-year-old self come true – and has the pandemic to thank for igniting it.

The unexpected turn of events that hit the world in 2020, impacted everyone. Nothing was the same once covid arrived.

It was an incredibly difficult time for many. But amongst the seemingly never ending gloom, there are tales of people who made the most of things, and shone bright.

One such person is Eve Kelleher.

The 43-year-old has published a collection of poetry, 42 pieces written during her 42nd year. Something she could have only dreamt of as a 13-year-old facing rejection from publishers.

Simply titled 42, she has written under the name of Lowrey E Gray.

The start of things arrived with the shock of the pandemic.

Along with her science teacher husband, English teacher Eve, from Buckley, would supplement their income with exam marking and tutoring.

With the first lockdown, everything stopped.

"But that's where my writing voice came from. It gave me the opportunity to actually do it," recalls Eve.

Balancing everything with family life, the mum-of-three found work at Aldi, which she describes as "one of the best things I've ever done".

As she wrote more, her thoughts turned to 'what next?'.

She said: "Writing the pieces was the easy part for me compared with deciding what on earth to do with them.

"The problem was, this creative voice was locked within an introvert, one who was burnt out on navigating a family through a global meltdown.

"Adopting the pseudonym, Lowrey E Gray, helped me to separate my writing from the day to day mantle of mother, wife and employee.

"It allowed me to strip away all expectations and the mental guards so many of us build up for self-preservation in a hugely busy, chaotic and demanding life."

In terms of her creating the book, Eve said: "I'd written a piece for a girl I'd read about on a Facebook group, who was having teeth out but couldn't take them home because of covid restrictions.

"I sent it to her mum, and she replied saying that it had made her cry. It was that moment where I thought 'that's a stranger, it had an impact'.

"After that, they [poems] really started coming from nowhere. I shared some with friends and they suggested having them published.

"I started my website initially, it seemed more manageable at the time.

"But after printing a little booklet for my grandparents, with the paper in my hands, I just thought 'this needs to be a book'."

Eve has now had an initial run of 100 copies of 42 printed. Copies can be ordered from her website - or picked up from Berwyn Books in Buckley.

She said: "There is something quite indescribably magical about seeing your words in print, and picking up the draft copy was a day I'll never forget.

"I've learned this year, or perhaps been taught, by becoming Lowrey E Gray, that the dreams that are important, won't be stilled, even if it takes several decades for them to fall into place."

Below is an example of Eve's poetry featured in 42, and she hopes they help remove some of the reservations or cliched ideas people may have about poetry...

The Fifth Decade

Watch out for the 40s

They'll catch you off guard

That decade that rips you

Apart at the heart.

Still young enough to dream

But old enough to know

That this moment is not forever

You can't let it go.

Watch out for the 40s

It may not be what you think,

When domestic bliss is suddenly

Threatened by a chink

In the armour of compliance,

Conformity or such

But your spirit is screaming that

It isn't too much

To indulge in your passions,

Or realise your dreams

To put yourself first again

To sew back the seams

On a person who got ragged

With life's relentless demands

And has given the past decade or so

To raising little hands.

The children or career

Have now flourished set to fly,

So you sit a while and wonder

How so long slipped by.

25 years since high school friends

Danced weekends away

And made all those plans

In the cradle of the bay.

We're scattered now like jig saw bits

Across the fabric of the globe,

But the pull of the sea

Drags the soul home.

The answers are inside ourselves

That purpose to fulfil

The time is now to find ourselves

From the view on the hill.

Not a mid life crisis

But a mid life, "Who am I?"

A pause. A glitch. Recalibrate.

To stretch the wings to fly.

The writers wield their pens

The musicians sing it loud

The players tie their shoes on tight

And we hold our truth proud.

So watch out for the 40s

If it hasn't got you yet.

The person that you locked away,

... it is time that you met.