Rachel in Waitrose

I rarely
write or comment on the blog I just leave that to Rach as she is brilliant at
it. But I thought I’d surprise her and share this with you: The BBC Radio 4 journalist Fi Glover writes a
column each week in the Waitrose Weekend newspaper. Well this week’s column is
on Rachel

Well here is
the full column:

Rachel is
one of the loveliest people I have met in a long time. I’m sitting opposite her
in our new Listening Project booth, which is parked up at a National Trust
property in the heart of east London. It’s a sleek modern caravan of chat which
looks incongruous against the Tudor façade of Sutton House.

Rachel and I
are discussing friendship- in particular hers and Mandy’s. They met years ago.
Both are teachers who share a love of walking, keeping diaries and cheating a
bit in half-marathons. They join more than 1,300 people who have had chats for
the Listening Project-a simple premise where the BBC is creating a sound
archive of our times at the British Library simply by recording you chatting. It’s

I feel I
know a lot about Rachel already through the conversation she and Mandy had, and
it’s one of my favourites so far. What I love about it is the warmth. There is
a true friendship of laughs and camaraderie but also of something far more
profound- a proper sense of support. If you have just one friend like either
Rachel or Mandy, life will be less of a struggle. And Rachel’s certainly had
its struggles because in 2008 her 19 year old daughter Rosie died, very
suddenly of septicaemia. Mandy’s friendship has been especially important
because, as Rachel says, Mandy lets her just be quiet and still sometimes. You’d
need to be after a loss like that.

Rachel has
come along to the booth to talk about what she enjoyed about being part of the
Project. As she so rightly says, everyone has a story to tell. The experience
of others informs all our lives, and often there’ll be just a little something
in one of our conversations you feel you can bung in the bank of life. When I
asked Rachel if she’d recommend the Project she didn’t miss a beat in saying
yes. She said that at Rosie’s funeral she had had trouble with the bit where
you try to say everything happens for a reason- because what possible reason
can there be for losing one so loved? I can’t think of one, but I know this: Rosie’s
death created a huge loss for those who knew her. Hearing Rachel’s wisdom and
strength provides an unexpected comfort for anyone who listens. I’m not saying
the latter would ever compensate for the former-I’m with Rachel on the often
futile search for positivity in every event-but this is a silver of light in
the gloom.

It was such
a pleasure to meet you, Rachel, and this column is for you because I know you
like picking up a copy of Weekend. Ha-ha! You’re in it now! I like to imagine, that
right at this moment you’re phoning Mandy to say,”Ooooh, you’ll never guess
what….?” Now go and read some fine writing by Balding and Agnew –and don’t
forget to do Pippa’s exercises!

FI Glover is so right

surprises in one day, this article and me writing on the blog!

Rach I’m so proud of you and I know
Rosie is as well

We love you
Rosie and we miss you more than ever



3 Replies to “Rachel in Waitrose”

  1. Fi Glover is so right. I’m not sure if you realise how much you give to others, Rachel, but like everybody else you touch with your raw honesty, wisdom, warmth and humour, you’ve reached Fi as much as us. I’m so glad she’s publicly acknowledged that and encouraged others to listen to what you have to say.

    Thank you for posting John, that, to, is a gift to us.

  2. WOW!! Thank you John for posting it! I hope Rachel is proud of the fine words and the impact she has on other people, because she should be!!

  3. Just read this, it’s amazing and so true. I also think Rosie would like and laugh at you being in the Waitrose Weekend Newspaper. xxx

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