InterviewMemoirNon-fictionSongwritingWriter

Clare Bowditch

Clare Bowditch is a storyteller - a singer, songwriter and memoirist. In 2019 she released her memoir Your Own Kind of Girl.

She is also an ARIA Award-winning musician (Best Female Artist), Rolling Stone Woman of the Year (Contribution to Culture), Logie-nominated actor (for her role as 'Rosanna' on hit TV show Offspring), and a former ABC broadcaster.

Clare Bowditch

TRANSCRIPT

ASTRID: Welcome to the Garret, Clare Bowditch.

CLARE: What a treat to be here. Thankyou Astrid.

ASTRID: Oh, you are very kind. Now you had been working with words throughout your entire life. You were a singer, you were a songwriter, and most recently you are a memoirist. Congratulations.

CLARE: Thank you buddy. I have always been working with words. I think we all have as you know, anyone who can speak. I always say anyone who can speak can sing, but obviously I also believe anyone who can write can write a book, which is why I think I thought it would be… a little more straightforward than it was. Took a while to get here my friend.

ASTRID: So, it wasn't straightforward. I just read your memoir. Firstly, it is beautiful. It is lyrical. You do write beautifully at the sentence level, but also it is a story, a profound story that you've now put out into the world. Take me back to when you decided to write it, but also why it was so damn hard.

CLARE: The book is called Your Own Kind of Girl and that's a title that came late. It's the title of a song that I wrote maybe in 2008. But the idea for this book and the genesis of the idea for writing this book was really from the year 1997, which was the year after I had my toughest time in life. So, I was 21 years old and I went to London and I had what could really be described quite simply as a nervous breakdown. My one and only genuine authentic one. But in the process of recovering from that, I was encouraged by my therapist to think of it as a breakthrough, and I didn't know how that could possibly be true at the time. You know, without boring you with details, it really wasn't looking good for a young CB. But somewhere along the line I found a great book that helped me, and I had this little seed burn inside me. This idea of wouldn't it be incredible if in, when I'm really, really, really, old, let’s say 40, I was able to pass on the baton. I imagined if I had a hopeful story to tell and there was something in that hope that allowed me to think of myself from a bird's eye perspective and start thinking in a gardener’s mentality. You know that one day, I would be able to tell this story correctly. Correctly meaning in a true way, that you know, might actually be useful to someone. But it did take decades before I was … I mean I then I rolled into my musical career and motherhood, and the adventures of –

ASTRID: No small achievement.

CLARE:  No small achievement. And I wanted to wait till my children were older before I told a story like this. I really needed their permission and I needed my family's blessing too.

ASTRID: I'm interested in why you chose the memoir form. I mean, on one level that is an obvious answer, it's your story and so you want your strategy.

CLARE: I didn’t choose it. It’s a great question – I’m laughing because I cannot tell you, I spent about seven years trying to write this as a comical theatre piece or a script for television, you know, as a cartoon, you know, I tried all these different forms and in the end a friend who's a learned writer just said to me what the bleep are you doing. Like, just tell your story. And I said I'm terrified, because you know, because I am. And she just encouraged me to just remind myself of that initial promise. There's nothing like writing a story of self-doubt to make your self-doubt amplify and, you know, grow gremlin children. So…

ASTRID: So, once you had made the decision and not just, kind of knew it was a promise to yourself that one day you would fulfil, but you know, you sat down. You decided this is the year or this is the time that I'm going to start. I'm really interested in how you did it. Like the mechanics of I'm not writing a song, I'm not writing anything else, I'm just writing my childhood and adolescence and early adult years.

CLARE: I've heard the writer Peggy Frew talk about this a couple of times, about how she will quietly side-eye a story or creep up to the, you know, the keyboard and just type a little word and then wander off and do another domestic or whatever's on her mind. And I think I had a similar approach to this story at first, but then probably around 2012 I wrote an album called The Winter I Chose Happiness and I wrote a song in that, a couple of songs, one called Amazing Life, which was a song based on the childhood list I'd written about what I wanted to do with my life. And right up the top there was that you know I want to write a novel, I want to write a book.

So that was when the idea started coming back to me and I was reminded of the person who had inspired me, the woman I never met, the original gangster of mindfulness. Dr. Claire Weekes was her name and she’s an incredibly interesting historical figure, a GP who was derided by the psychiatric profession at the time for many reasons. Partly because she was female, partly because she had a simple technique that was helpful to people. And the author Judith Hoare has written a fantastic biography of Dr. Claire Weekes recently called The Woman who Cracked the Anxiety Code. So that's a just a miraculous coincidence, the two of us happen to write books based on this woman's work in the one year. But anyway. This is a long way of saying there it was. So, the promise sort of reignited in me about 2012, 2013.

All these other projects started to take precedence.

I started a love project, Big Hearted Business, and then you know, wound that to a manageable level to write the book, and then was offered a job on Radio and ABC Radio Melbourne and asked for four days not five, so that I could write the book on Fridays.

ASTRID: Didn't that work?

CLARE: You know exactly how that worked, Astrid. And anyone who’s listening too, you know. I was exhausted on Fridays and I just pretty much was recuperating in my dressing gown on Fridays. In the end, the idea of the book didn’t leave me, I found. In short, I could not write it on the side. The content was too emotionally dense and I needed to sit with it in a proper way, so I made an executive decision to leave ABC Radio Melbourne to write this book. That was two and a half years ago now. And I pretty much spent two years dedicated to …  this book was my number one project. For me that looked like … waking up early and writing. I’m someone who enjoys writing in the mornings. I overwrite something, I've realised, and I had a degree of shame around that. You know, my first draft that I handed in was a disgustingly large amount of words –

ASTRID: Can you tell us what it was?

CLARE: It was really embarrassing. It was – it was – we were edging up on 300,000 words and –

ASTRID: Congratulations on getting that much on the page.

CLARE: Thank you for saying that. And this is just my process. For me that wasn't a positive thing, because … look it was, because it was a first draft and that was the first draft that was handed to you know, a publisher. I wrote six chapters and my publishing contract was based on that and a synopsis, an overview of what I thought the book would be. But I didn't quite know where it would end. I guess it felt like I was spilling out all over the place, and I had to have the courage to say, look this is not how the writers I admire, how I imagine they do it. You know I sort of imagine many of my friends who are writers have quite neat first drafts and that thought could have kept me paralysed for another ten years. But luckily my publisher Kelly Fagan from Allen and Unwin had said, look we took you on as a …  we knew this was your first draft and you have warned us all along that it was gonna be really, a big first one. She said, for goodness sake just hand it over. So that's when, you know, I'm so glad that I did. And then later the editors were able to help me. I actually appreciate a bit of brutal feedback in that sense. You know, we’re all in the boat together. Tell me how to row. Like, how does this look? Are my instincts correct? And to have that conversation was a bloody privilege. My second draft was then about a third of that length.

ASTRID: Wow. Huge.

CLARE: I was quite harsh with my editing and very glad to be.

ASTRID: And where did the manuscript come in at the end?

CLARE: I think it was about 84,000 words, something along those lines, maybe up to 90. But yeah, no, no bigger than that. And all the way through it had this, I needed it to be readable. I know that sounds like a simplistic idea but I really did want it to have some kind of readable elegance, because I understood that perhaps someone coming to this might need that readability in order to … to be able to benefit from it in a way.

Again, I know that sounds silly, but I remember when I was unwell .. I just …  reading was really difficult for me. My brain would get very tired very quickly, and yeah. So for me, that was that was of key importance.

ASTRID: There was a great phrase. “Readable elegance”. I might steal that one from you.

CLARE: It’s yours. Take it.

It did take a while to, you know, to edge in on that. I think we we got pretty close.

ASTRID: So, Clare, we’ve spoken briefly about how long it took you to actually write the book. Partly, I suppose, that's because you are dealing with really a difficult subject matter, a difficult time in your life. Can you talk to me about depicting mental health, your own mental health, on the page?

CLARE: Here we are, recording this, opposite RMIT. RMIT University, here in Melbourne, is the first university I ever had the pleasure of dropping out of … about three and a half weeks, maybe months I don't know, into my first course. I had a really sort of quite disrupted time in between the end of year 12 which I aced, I loved.

I went to a, you know, I transferred from a very strict Catholic ladies’ college, Starof the Sea, very strict in comparison to Press Hill, which was the alternative progressive high school I did my final years in and it was just such a wonderful school for me.

But you know, careers counselling was a little thin on the ground and I was a little naive. So in I popped, thinking I was doing maybe social work slash maybe media. And I started a degree in Public Relations at RMIT.

ASTRID: Oh my goodness.

CLARE: And by the first lecture I was quite sure this is not what I’d imagined. So that started a sort of a period of disruption.

All the while the thing that was keeping me steady was I was quietly writing in my diary every day and I had for a decade, and actually I'd started at 13 and I’d continued to do that. So that's one of the things that was keeping me sane. But it's also one of the things that allowed me to have a very clear picture of what happened with my brain when I went into, what one in four Australians or I like to say -  really just, just about anyone I've ever had an excellent conversation with at a dinner party - we'll experience at some time in their life, which is not to glamorize it, but it's an acute period of mental ill health.

And what we don't often hear about is the fact that we do recover, most of us do recover from these experiences. And for many of us, they actually don't recur, because we've learned to have some bigger tools in our toolkit to deal with them and some different ways of framing them or thinking about them. So when it came to writing about my own acute period of mental health, I am fortunate to be able to have a recovery story to tell. And also the story of the value of having questioned, and being able to process in some ways difficult life experiences and complex adult experiences at the age of 21, 22. And then this book ends when I was 26, and on my way here finally is on there.

But the way I think about mental health and the way I was taught to think about mental health at the time really inform the way I wrote, which is this. I think each of us, each individual, each interesting human being I've ever met … I've never found a human being who's escaped suffering and often the story of mental health is, you know, there's a Venn diagram with many, many different things. And each of us have these unique weather patterns. You know, we are countries and continents unto ourselves. Understanding my own sensitivities, my, my nature, my strengths was very, very helpful. So when it came to writing about mental health I didn't use clinical terms and I didn't attempt to be anyone other than I was. I write from the perspective of someone who has had a truly, you know, a truly fortunate life, because I know how to think and not judge myself when I do spiral into those experiences of anxious thinking or so. I really, I'm not afraid of that anxious thinking or feeling anymore. So to be able to talk about that clearly and really tell it truthfully has been … there's not, there's not the shame anymore, I guess, is what I'm trying to say. And there was for a really long time.

So I was, I guess writing about mental health for me was a positive, a really positive thing because like I said, I don't know that any of us truly escape it.

ASTRID:  None of us do. I would agree with you Claire. You just said the word shame, That is a very big word. Loaded. There is shame and stigma around mental illness and mental health

CLARE: The shame and stigma of just about talking about what we want in the world or who we are or what our big dreams are.

I mean we, we, and I've asked myself a lot why is this. I think it's truly a function of our lower brain that wants us to belong and is afraid of us stepping out of ourselves in order to show the world who we are.  To actually be who we want to be in the world. So I think it's a really normal function of the human brain. Luckily we do have a higher brain.

ASTRID: Kicks in sometimes.

CLARE: It does.

ASTRID: Some of the most powerful descriptions that you included in your memoir are when you were in that incredibly acute period in London overseas, without a support network and, you know –

CLARE: Hands up who's been there. Like, I've been sick.

ASTRID: I just did it in Paris.

CLARE: Somewhere away from home and someone suffering.

ASTRID: But the depiction of you know what your days looked like, what you could remember, what you couldn't remember, you know, not eating, forgetting to eat. Not being able to eat.

CLARE: These are unusual practices for me and signs, early on, something was up.

ASTRID: Very much, but I found reading about them and reading your experience enabled me to understand some of my own experiences but also of those I love and people in my life who have experienced their own visions of life crises. It's a beautiful thing to put down the page for others to read.

CLARE: Thanks Astrid. Thank you. It was tempting to actually not go into that level of detail, because I understand that it's might be difficult for the reader to read and I also understood that it might remind them of some places that they had been. But in the end, that was also the reason why I did do it. I could do it, because I had those detailed diaries there and I have a quirk of memory that allows me to remember things from a few different perspectives through sound and colour and smell.

ASTRID: That’s why you make such beautiful music as well.

CLARE: Maybe. Thank you. It's why – yes, so I did made a call on the end that it was necessary to put down that level of detail, because the point of the book was quite clear in a way. I didn't want to feel alone in that experience anymore and I didn't want anyone else to as well, and I found that the way I had always connected with others in that conversation was in that acknowledgment of the shared detail. And I knew that then perhaps they would be able to trust me. The reader will be able to trust me when I spoke about the detail of recovery as well.

ASTRID:  That's another interesting word. It’s also an important word, because I…  don't know you …  but I was so invested in your story and you flag, you know, pretty early on in the book that you are going to be talking about mental health. But we don't get that. We get your childhood and your adolescence and everything that happened there before, you know, you have a nervous breakdown in your early 20s. And I'd also like to talk to you about depicting your own childhood and how your family liked or didn't like or responded to you putting that out in the world. Let’s start with your parents, who are such strong figures throughout.

CLARE: My beautiful father passed away about 11 years ago, but I knew in writing this that he wouldn't disown me for it.

But that's not to say that the writing of it wasn't very challenging. I come to … my detail of my breakdown and the beginning of my recovery is about in the middle of the book, but every chapter before that sort of speaks about the water that we swim in as human beings. This thing, this odd juxtaposition of love and loss that occurs for all of us. And in my family, just to put some context in play, I am the youngest of 5. We are all 18 months apart. And I say in the book, and I’ll say here that our family was a rare triumph of the Catholic rhythm method really. My parents deserve a medal or a trophy or something. I was brought up in a deeply Catholic family, very loving family actually, I think we were fortunate to get what - you know what - good is on offer from the structure of religion in our childhood. And quite bohemian as well too, because my mother was from Amsterdam and my dad was a bit of a cat. So our life changed when I was 3 and my oldest sister Rowena, who was 5 at the time, became incredibly ill with a complex disease for which there was no known cause or cure. And she lived in the children's hospital for 2 years on life support before she passed away. So that's a sentence that I know, you can imagine there’s a lot more to that than what we're saying, but that's you know, I go, I can write about that in the book because I could process it as I was writing it. But I can't really still talk about it too much into a microphone without needing to then lie in a dark room for a little while. It's still quite difficult because talking about love and loss is really … in you know … it's been important part of my creative life. I did it with the album what was left, and I do it here, but I do that because I need to find still places to put these experiences. So, what was that like writing about? Difficult. What ... what happened with my family or along that process?

Well thankfully, you, know my mother was there. My mother was the one who said to me when I was older, you will use this experience one day, this is not for nothing, your suffering is not for nothing. And she was also the one who encouraged me to think of myself as my own kind of girl. So, you know, basically, she was able to help me with some of the historical information. I wrote a chapter from the perspective of the five year old me who, you know, was not a … I needed to write about childhood grief from childhood, which is that we understand there is something both terrible and exciting going on. We don't know you know why there's all of a sudden people, it's like a party all the time. People are dropping over food and there's lots of laughter, we're trying to keep the mood light all the time and enjoy life for what it is. But also this is incredibly horrible thing going on as well. And I wanted to speak about that bad feeling that I had as a kid, which I couldn't articulate. All I knew was I felt there was something I could have or should have done to save my sister or save my parents or make it … make the world change and make circumstances you know, go back in time like Superman, like I swear I'm doing a movie. Going around the world, turning back time and I couldn't. And so there was this inherent feeling of an inarticulate failure and grief, which I think is a common experience in grief. We are vessels, it makes vessels of us, most especially of children. I had probably not articulated at the time that that's what I was going through because, you know, I didn't have words for it. What you'll see on the cover of this book is a young confident girl in her bathers.

ASTRID: That is an amazing picture.

CLARE: It's a picture taken by my sister Anna Robinson, who's still a photographer, who took the photo on the inside cover as well. So that's what I was showing to the outside world.

But in all of us as kids is another story going on, and that's a story I tell in the book.

ASTRID: You … I mean you just said, Clare, that you didn't have the words, and you didn’t as a child. I mean physically, didn't have the words. But I don't think many adults would have had the words either. Grief is profound and illness is terribly difficult to understand and comprehend. And I would just like to say, you know, in the book you state that your sister had childhood Multiple Sclerosis which is very, very rare.

CLARE: Yeah very rare form of it.

ASTRID: I have multiple sclerosis. The really common vision that lots of adults get but I rarely see. In fact, I've seen it once in my reading life – a depiction of multiple sclerosis of any kind. In literature. So, I would just like to say a really personal thanks, and I don't think it's in literature because it's often too scary for people to put into words. So, I think that you have done something beautiful, not just for people who have a child or a friend or someone younger than them who is ill, but for all people who have illness. Because often it's written out of memoirs just as a bad time. So well done.

CLARE: Thank you.

ASTRID: Moving to a happier topic. Who was your first reader? And I don't mean your editors, who did a brilliant job with your 300,000 words, but who did you want to start sharing even just little snippets with?

CLARE: Well, when I first became a mom, me and some girlfriends started a writers group. We’re really lucky to have this crew of women. None of us at the time … one of us was published. Rachel Power. She'd written. She'd already written a book. And she was working on a second one. And also, in that group were – actually, yes. There was Sally Rippin who was part of that group too. She’d not yet started on her Billy Brown series. And there was also another friend from music called Peggy Frew. You know, buddies, just a crew who we hadn't written or read to each other but some of us had studied riding along the way. And as a way to get out of the house and a way to encourage ourselves that we still had lives, that were, you know, active lives, intelligent lives going on some way in our domesticity.

 

We started writing together and that crew were actually some of my very first readers. Later on, life got a bit busy and the value of their encouragement along the process of writing this book was enormous. Enormous because they were able to map it for me. You know, you get in these miasmic bogs when you're writing a book where you're like what am I doing and who do I think I am to do this. And what a mess. Et cetera et cetera. And I had to practice what I preach. I say this is a memoir of the stories we tell ourselves and what happens when we believe them. And my premise is that we do have the power. We don't we can't change circumstances but we do have the power to tell ourselves a different story. You know, a story for me as a writer that went, it's okay, you don't have to, you know be, name your hero here, you comparing yourself to all of your heroes. You're not them. You're here to tell this simple story. It's okay to tell your story etcetera, etcetera. So those small words of encouragement really came from my friends. And I also had a very fortunate experience early on of having a more fuller reading of my draft by two friends. One was Jamila Rizvi and the other was a friend called Fu-Lin who was very generous with her feedback and encouragement along the way. So they were my actual first readers, but in my mind I always had the idea of who I thought the human was who might enjoy reading this. And I guess in typical cliché form she was someone a little like me in spirit, a little someone who suspected all of her life that she was born for something but had no real idea of what that something was or how to articulate it.

ASTRID: I think that's the story that's going to appeal to so many people. I'd like to go back a little bit Clare. You have a very profound, or it sounds like you had a very clear vision for what exactly the point of your memoir was. Now, memoir is a big word. But what you just said, you know, it's a book about the stories we tell ourselves and how we can change them. Where in the process did that come from? Because it's a great tagline, but was it guiding you all the way through?

CLARE: It was guiding me all the way through. It became really clear in that first draft, it was one of the clarifying thoughts that allowed me to feel okay about the fact that I wasn't telling a particularly extraordinary tale in many ways. I was telling, this is not the rock-and-roll memoir.

ASTRID: That can come next year.

CLARE: Leave it to fleeing Keith Jarrett. It’s a lot like, she played a gig then she did some washing. Then she played a gig, then she did some washing. You know, that's my sort of rock and roll story. So to allow myself off the hook for that was, was one of the processes and when I realized it was probably a strength actually, not a weakness that I was telling a more … yeah, quite a common story. That's when the clarity of ‘this is the story, the stories we tell ourselves and what happens when we believe them’ became clear for me because I realized what was my recovery in its essence. It was effectively the ability to tell my lower brain to shush now, because I've got some work to do in the world. And then to follow my instincts about what that work was.

ASTRID: and let's talk to you about self-care. Now anyone who takes on the task of writing a book has taken on a mammoth task and needs to look after themselves. But having spoken to, you know, more than 100 authors now, a memoir is a particular type of work that comes with a particular exposure to the world and to the people in your life. How did you even begin to approach that?

CLARE: I did it quite quietly along the way and I did it quite methodically too. Because you know, it's a disruption of the ripple, it’s a rippling of ... the surface really, of the clear river of our lives. It’s digging down into the mud and you're making everything messy again. And I am old enough now to know that – I think it was Altamont and I'm not quite sure who said this – but our brains are a neighbourhood that perhaps we shouldn't go into alone.

Something along those lines. So, I got a wonderful therapist who I worked with to process my feelings along the way of writing this book, and I was dedicated to that, and it was actually practically part of what I factored in with this is how I'm going to spend my advance. I just, I didn't, I don't muck around I guess, and I reached out very proactively to the friends that I knew who had written books, published them, gone on book tours and spoken about their lives. And that was really helpful to know what to expect in this process. And I guess in some ways I was careful about the way that I wrote it because I wanted again and again for it to be from my perspective. I certainly … these are shared stories. When you speak about a family, they are shared stories, and I was absolutely as careful as I could be to make sure that I was I was telling it just from my perspective, that I wasn't trying to speak on behalf of anyone else. So, I think a lot of the trauma that perhaps people experience after they write a memoir is that feeling of somehow having disrupted relationships or so on, although it was very generous of my family to allow me to tell this story. They, they were behind it in a way. My mother did do one stunning edit of a draft. I gave her a particularly challenging chapter and, you know, that involved her. And I gave her some Post-It notes and I said, ‘You go for it. If there's anything in there that doesn't ring true, tell me’. You know, I didn't promise to change it but I said, tell me. [whispering] I probably wouldn’t change it, that’s the truth. But what happened was she gave the draft back to me and there were literally about 176 Post-It notes hanging out and I nearly had a heart attack.

I thought, Dear God, I’m never going to finish, I'm never going to be able to tell this story … and was relieved to find that most of them were actually line edits. There were apostrophes out of place. She has a secret skill.

ASTRID: That's adorable.

CLARE: It was really adorable. Yeah it was really adorable.

ASTRID: Now that you … I'm speaking to you at the, near the end of your book tour ..

CLARE: It’s a light at the end in fact. Right here right. Right at the pointy end.

ASTRID: You get to be free in about ten minutes.

CLARE: [cheering]

ASTRID: But my question is, now that you've been through that … the book will be, you know, read and bought for months and years to come. But now that you've kind of experienced that public rush and the public intensity of going from interview to interview in bookstore to bookstore and you know, dealing with the social media and whatever else happens alongside a big national book launch, what have we learned about that? I mean you've got to be in the public eye. You’re a singer. You already have a career. But … it right to say this is a little bit more intense?

CLARE: This has … this whole process has been actually, extraordinarily good. You know, I wasn't expecting to actually have a good time on tour. I certainly didn't expect that the book would go as well as it has just in terms of sheer numbers and response. But we've, you know, just don't expect those things. I've released seven albums now, and I've had you know peaks and troughs of success and otherwise. So, I thought I was pretty used to the rollercoaster of it. But I dare say it's been such an extraordinarily positive time.

You know, just, just enjoying meeting those human beings who, who actually have sat …  you know, it hadn't occurred to me really. But it’s so intimate, sitting with a book in your life with your animals, with your cup of coffee or your glass of wine or any bathtub or you know, I mean. So, to hear those stories back has been incredibly heartening. And I am worried I'll go home and be quite lonely actually, I'll be sort of signing my children's school lunches you know, with my signature. Who am I now? So, although I am looking forward to a period of rest, it has been quite a high and it's been such a long time to have this dream. The deep privilege of being …  You know, this is one of my favourite podcasts, Astrid.

ASTRID: Oh, thank you.

CLARE: I’m not just is saying that but I do. I mean it. So ,what a privilege.

I just, I've, you know, 20 years now working in these sort of public fields and I will just … I will not take this experience for granted, because I am aware that this is a rare experience and I'm just lapping it up to be honest. I got to get home and write another book.

ASTRID: Well, are you going to? Would you go to an album next or would you go to a novel next?

CLARE:  I don't know. I'm doing some work based off this book for an Audible Original for next year. So I think…

ASTRID: That that will be really interesting –

CLARE:  That will sort of be based on some of the more practical themes and to tell a playful audio story about how we tame our inner critic. I have an album that has been in the wings and an incredibly patient record company, Island Records, who … we will be releasing an album in May. But I need to write again. I'm - I'm - I'm - I'm missing it now, I got so used to doing it not in a journalist, in a journal way or a journalistic way, but in a writing of a complete whole story way.

So, I reckon I'll just get back on that on that train again. I definitely have no intention of writing another memoir, like part two. I'm not doing the Jimmy Barnes, God bless him. But you know, I just I need, I need one and to recover really from writing this one. And again as I said, I suspect that Your Own Kind of Girl is probably the most interesting part of my history. So anyway, yeah I'm getting back in that writer's seat again. And I'm not, I'm not exactly sure what's next. First I need to bake bread for a month. Catch up on my washing. Get through the Chrissy period.

ASTRID: Live a little?

CLARE: Yeah, live a little. We just got a new cat. Little things like that. They actually feed and inform my creative spirit in a way.

ASTRID: I'm looking forward to what you do next, Clare.

CLARE: Thank you so much. It's such a pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.