When I was 15, I got the flu, really badly, just before Xmas and, with one thing or another, spent three weeks in bed. My friend got me books out of the library and among them were The Grapes of Wrath and I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Don't want to be melodramatic but I think they changed my whole outlook on life. I read every Steinbeck book I could get hold of, like a alkie in need of a drink. And all her authobiographical books – what a life, what a person. And I always think to myself, what would we all be, us ordinary folk, going about our hum drum lives, not being famous or glamorous, loving and living but in a small way, working in shops, driving buses, working in a factory, folk like her taking the ordinary and making it fantastic.
She was just such a beautiful spirit, lovely, you are so right. The quote from her on the BBC sums her up for me. 'If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."
Gove won't put her on the national curriculum but it was the best education a boring, plump unconfident teenager from the stix could have and I will always love her for that. xxxx