Mum of three turns poet for hire

Three years ago, aspiring rhymester Gill Hawkes could barely pick up a pen because of crippling arthritis. But the Norfolk mother-of-three has now become a dotcom poet-for-hire, thanks to the wonders of medical advances.

Three years ago, aspiring rhymester Gill Hawkes could barely pick up a pen because of crippling arthritis.

But the Norfolk mother-of-three has now become a dotcom poet-for-hire, thanks to the wonders of medical advances.

For more than 20 years, the learning support assistant, from Thorpe Abbotts, near Diss, has been creating her own brand of catchy rhymes to record her life on paper.

The 42-year-old is now set to share her creative writings with the world after overcoming the excruciating pain of her inflammatory arthritis to set up the Rhymes for Reasons website.

Mrs Hawkes hopes to become a successful dotcom businesswoman by selling made-to-measure rhyming messages for “whatever the occasion throughout the seasons”.

But the rhymester said she would not have had the confidence to take on the venture had it not been for a new wonder drug, which has eased the pain of her condition.

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Following diagnosis after the birth of her third child in 1998, Mrs Hawkes had two hip replacements, but could still hardly walk because of her arthritis until she took part in a new drugs trial three years ago.

“I can not describe how much it has changed my life,” she said.

“I was in a terrible state and I was as low as I could get. I could hardly do anything. The extra drug meant that I could go back to work after more than six years and has been such a huge boost to my confidence that I've been able to take on new challenges like the business,” she said.

Mrs Hawkes, who works part time at Archbishop Sancroft High School, in Harleston, said she was still sticking with her day job, but would be writing birthday, anniversary, valentines, sympathy, thanks, and other rhymes for individuals during evenings and weekends.

“I have been doing rhymes for ages and I do not know what gave me the spark, but I thought it could become a viable business. There are quite a few people offering the same service around the world, some of them are good and some of them are awful. There is a lot of competition out there, but I would love to become well known for my type of rhymes,” she said.

Mrs Hawkes guarantees to send a personal rhyme to a client within 48 hours of payment being cleared and receiving an information form through www.rhymes4reasons.com.

The Reason for Starting, by Gill Hawkes

For over twenty years I've been writing in rhyme

As a way of expressing my feelings

I've come to the stage I think it is time

To enter the business world of wheeling and dealings

Combining work and being a mum

Is a role that many can embrace

But mixed with illness I was feeling numb

And found daily life hard to face

Advances in medicine have brought about change

And I started to feel much more whole

To go back into work at first was quite strange

But it gave me back confidence and a new goal

So this is now the stage I am at

A chance to write rhymes which come from the heart

All I need from you is a little bit of fact

and I promise an individual rhyme from the start