The power of radio. After my Woman’s Hour spot, I had an email from a friend I’d known at my brief and wretched Quaker boarding school, Sibford. The last time I saw her was 1967, when I was about to go to Oxford and she was about to become a single parent (the contrast less than it might seem – in many ways I was very uncertain at that time), but she was one of those friends who remain in the mind, so I was glad to hear from her. She ended her resume of her remarkable life so far by saying:
“But, one more thing. Your mother’s well ordered way of running things has been a model for me. I liked her style. And the way she managed to get on with things in her studio, and always had a fridge full of wonderful food. And the way she seemed not to pretend, or make a faux-effort to like me as so many other people’s mothers did.”
That clear-eyed memory brought Nancy back very movingly indeed.