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Did you miss Caitlin on Kirsty Young’s Desert Island Discs this week?
Don’t worry, you can catch up by listening to the programme HERE
Having grown up on a council estate in Liverpool, your descriptions of the estates, the smells, your descriptions bring back to me many emotions and memories. Our house had a rat run in the garden, which was a mix of weeds, and paving slabs. The ice on the inside on the windows; a calor gas fire we would make toast on forks from chunks of bread, and pretend they were marshmallows; a bathroom extension which was made of ‘a thick cardboard type walled’ material, where the condensation water droplets got so large when we had a bath on Sunday, that they’d drop on your back and make you cold, we’d try and guess when they would fall and dodge them. I was brought up by my Mum a single parent, she worked nights as a croupier at a casino, and during the day took in typing, she eventually bought our own terraced house with a yard. The other kids thought she was a prostitute so obviously, I was too! (at 11), I was bullied because I was either the daughter of a prostitute, a slut, or a ‘posh snob’ because I didn’t want to join them smoking joints, and had got into grammar school, so my life was pretty miserable. It gave me drive and determination to move out, and like you, I moved to London at 17 I became a secretary, I blagged my way into a job, after enhancing my CV greatly. I too met my husband and have stayed down here since. My children have had a very nurturing loving environment to grow in, I love gardening – something I never had as a child. I love being with them and my family, and love music too. I wish I had been Jo Whiley…. I passed on my obsession with music, to our daughter, who is now writing reviews and interviewing bands in her spare time, and after being introduced to your books last summer by my daughter, I laughed and cried so much, as so much of it I can relate to. Thank you for writing and supporting those who do not have such eloquent voices. Great that you write in the Times, and I will follow your column, I didn’t know that until today, and I was having a geeky moment listening to you on desert island discs and thought I’d be a bit stalkerish, and found this site. Love your work, and I think there is a little bit of you in me – Thank you and look forward to reading more from you.
I dont know if you even read these comments, but, in case you do, I thought id just let you know that reading your first book How To Be a Woman has hugely inspired me. I go to an all-girls school, and talking with some of my closest friends about this I was extremely surprised to find that they wouldnt describe themselves as feminists. That in turn inspired me to write a speech on this whole topic for our Spoken Language Assessment coming up, and I really hope that i can explain why feminism is still such an important relevant topic today. I strongly feel that the word feminism has been dragged though the (figurative) mud and I hope to give other young adults like me a better idea of what its all about. I really admire what you do- thank you!