On this day 100 years ago my mother Irene Goulding was born in Belfast. She and her younger sisters were the inspiration for my trilogy of novels set in N Ireland during WW2. Her first job was hand-painting linen tablecloths, but with the outbreak of war she went to work at Short Bros & Harland aircraft factory helping to build Stirling bombers. At the same time she and two younger sisters, Pat and Peggy, formed the ‘Golden Sisters’ singing in close-harmony – Belfast’s answer to the ‘Andrews Sisters’. As members of ENSA they entertained the troops and performed in concert and dance halls raising morale. Writing the books I began to see wartime life through their eyes and got to know them as young women. Sadly they’re all gone now but today I raise a glass to my mother, Irene. I’m so proud of you.