Jennifer Ridyard spent a happy, sun-drenched childhood in the mining town of Benoni, South Africa, during the 1970s and 1980s --- her only defense for this being ignorance.
On leaving school she embarked on a rocky career path including a short stint as a nurse, several waitressing jobs (the best was at an ice-cream parlor), a prolonged run as a bank clerk, and a span as a barmaid.
She worked as a check-out girl, conducted market research surveys, and was even a Sunday School teacher, albeit briefly.
Finally in 1994 --- the year of South Africa's first democratic election --- Jennie became a cub reporter at a local newspaper. Her first job as a newshound was literally a wild goose chase, rushing to the scene when a rare waterfowl landed in someone's swimming pool. Unfortunately the bird left before she got there. She went on to become the lifestyle editor on a national daily newspaper.
In 2004 she moved to Ireland, but spends much time in South Africa.
She writes, reads, recycles, tries to paint, doesn't eat meat, loves cake, and enjoys long walks with the family pound puppies, Sasha and Coco.
Jennie has two children, Cameron and Alistair.