Today's episode of How to Fail is sponsored by Joe Malone, London's charity Candle Collection. Thursday, the 10th of October is World Mental Health Day. One in four people will be affected by mental health issues in their lifetime. Joe Malone. London is shining a light on mental health. They are proud to support those struggling with their mental health, empowering people to recover, to reconnect and to grow. Since 2012, Joe Malone London has donated over two point three million pounds to dedicated projects with inspirational charities to help shine a light on mental health, raising awareness, providing support, stamping out Stigmas One-Step and Kandal.
At a time, you can discover a little more about the charities and the projects that these KANDELL purchases helped to make possible at Joe Malone Dakotah UK Forward Slash How to Fail. Thank you very much to Joe Malone, London. Hello and welcome to How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, the podcast that celebrates the things that haven't gone right.
This is a podcast about learning from our mistakes and understanding that why we fail ultimately makes us stronger, because learning how to fail in life actually means learning how to succeed better. I'm your host, author and journalist, Elizabeth Day, and every week I'll be asking a new interviewee what they've learned from failure. I'm so delighted to welcome today's guest onto the podcast, I have lost count of the number of messages I've had from listeners begging me to get her on.
And I can promise you this will be more than worth the wait. She is the winner of the six series of the Great British Bake Off, a woman who inspired 14 and a half million viewers.
With her rousing victory speech catapulted into the limelight, she went on to front several hit TV food programs and was chosen to bake the queen's 90th birthday cake. She's also got 13 books to her name, including four works of children's fiction and last year's moving memoir, Finding My Voice, her fifth cookbook, Nadia Beeks, has just been published and comes with an accompanying BBC two TV show.
She is, of course, Nadia Hussain.
But as well as being a superstar, Hussain is always quick to point out that she also inhabits several other roles. She is a mother of three who grew up one of six children in a working class Bangladeshi community in Luton and who had an arranged marriage at the age of 20. She has a wife, a daughter, a sister, and by her own admission, a woman capable of eating 20 fish fingers in a single setting. Yes, you heard me right, 20.
And she is someone who has been brave enough to speak out about her own mental health, talking openly about her panic attacks and PTSD with trademark openness and humour. In doing so, she has made it easier for countless others to be honest about their own struggles in turn.
I am forever making it out like I've got it all together and I know what I'm doing, she has said in the past. The truth is, I haven't got a clue. Nadia Hussein, welcome to Hide Tofail. Hello.
That just made me feel quite oh, that made me feel a little bit emotional.
Oh well I'm glad. I suppose if it was. Yeah.
I mean it's all you that's your life so far is wildly impressive for someone who says that she doesn't have a clue.
I mean, how true is that? That you don't have a clue?
I don't really and I don't say that just because I just want to sound like I don't know what I'm doing. But really, I've got this master plan. I really don't I don't I've never had I think what I learn as a youngster was I always have plans like I was going to go to university and I was going to go I was going to become a psychologist and I was going to as a young kid, even younger than that, I said to myself, I'm going to be an archaeologist.
And I think life taught me that it's not worth having plans because it just causes disappointment.
So I just kind of don't plan anything anymore that is so up my street, I can't tell you. I used to be someone with a five year plan. And then I realised that I was living my life according to a future version of me, rather than paying attention to what I might want in the present.
And also not having a plan means you can be flexible so you can win Great British Bake Off and your career can take this extraordinary turn.
But what was fame like for you? Because it really did happen overnight.
Nothing can really ever prepare you for that. Like, I think I literally felt like I'd walked out of one life, shut the door behind me and stepped into a new one with my husband and my kids. And what happens in that situation is that you choose to step into that life. Everybody comes along. And that's not always easy transition to make, because that was difficult for the children, difficult for my husband, for our relationship. And also, you know, the people around me, my brothers, my sisters, their children, it affects them.
And I don't think you really see it. I certainly didn't see that at the time. And five years later, I look back and I think, my goodness, they adjusted really well. And I applaud them for that because literally I did walk out of London and walk into another. And I don't know that I'll ever, ever walk through the other door ever again. You can't really walk back from all of this, which my kids always tell me.
They're like, you know, you've got a wiki page. I'm like, Kid, seriously, stop Googling me. Stop. I don't let them Google me. They used to do it quite a lot. And I don't because there's quite a lot of negativity and hate out there as well. So they Google things and get really upset and say, Mom, so-and-so is saying this about you. And so I'm like, OK, we need to stop that.
We have to stop that. And so it's a rule. Nobody in my family is allowed to google me ever, ever, ever. But yeah, it was something that happened so quickly. Like I said, I never had a plan. And Bake Off certainly wasn't a route to a grander, bigger plan for me. It was just because I suffered with anxiety and my husband applied for me and said, I just think you should do something. So and he thought, let's put you on the biggest baking show in the country.
I mean, yeah, that's not going to help my anxiety.
And actually, when you were filming Great British Bake Off, as composed and talented as you seemed on screen, I know that after filming ended, you would often go back to the hotel and have anxiety attacks, wouldn't you?
Yeah, I mean, I would have them in between. I would go to the loo and I would just I knew there was coming and I would. Try and find excuses to go and hide and have panic attacks and for the entire 10 weeks, I definitely was not well, you know, I wasn't looking after myself mentally and it wasn't easy. But I think five years later, I meet so many amazing people who are so open about their own mental health now.
And because I talk about it, I think people feel that they can talk to me about it. And I love that somebody will be in a queue. And I'm like the person that signs really quickly, but I will spend ages to I just spent ages and I, I hate it when there are people ushering people. I'm like, just stop. Does it matter. Just let them talk, let them be. And we talk about their mental health, my mental health.
They've always got questions and I find myself really, really struggling. And it wasn't a fun place for me to be at the time. It wasn't easy at all. And I really did struggle with my mental health. And I think lots of people who watched the show, the people that I'd met afterwards said I could see it. And it's really weird. I think if you suffer with mental health issues or suffer with anxiety or panic, it's like this hidden language that people see.
And loads of people that I'd met afterwards said you seemed confident, but you could see was struggling as well. So it's really weird how people picked up on that as well. What's it like then?
Sort of combining those two facets that we've just talked about, having severe anxiety and then becoming famous so quickly and going out onto the street where you live and feeling like your face is conspicuous? Is that how it felt that there was no hiding?
It's safe to say that. That just doesn't you know, I can't go out anymore. And without I mean, even now with a face mask on, they still I still have people struggling.
How do you know it's me?
And often people say it's your voice. They say it's your voice. They can hear my voice. And so that's definitely your voice. So and it just kind of seems to happen more. I think if I'm doing something on the or if there's a show on the telly, it happens a lot more. It's insane how I never really thought about it. And then I went out. I remember there was one day I went out and this guy said he looked at me and he pointed at me and always makes me laugh.
This does he pointed at me and like a good five seconds, he kind of pointed right at me and he said, and you could see he had his thinking face on and he said, Do you work at HSM?
And I just looked at him and I smiled at my kids or smiled back at me. And I said, yes, yes, that's exactly where I work.
And he said, I thought so. And then he just walked away. And then I watched him as he walked away, he kind of kept looking back as if he'd made a mistake, which we knew he had. And then I just kind of and I was like, that's kind of sweet. But you can't say, well, actually, no, this is where you you can't. I could not say that. No way. But that was hilarious.
I found that then my kids always talk about that.
And how old are your kids now?
My eldest turned fourteen and my second son will turn thirteen in the next few days. And then my little girls nearly ten. So like literally in September and October are very busy months for us. So 14, 13 and ten.
And how has lockdown been for you as a family? Let's fast forward 15, 20 years from now. And the kids are grown up. They have their own lives. I think they're going to fingers crossed. We all are happy, healthy, and we make it that far. I know that sounds really morbid, but I'm really like open about talking about death. It's like we're not going to make it. We're not all going to be here. So hopefully, you know, in fifteen, twenty years time, they're going to say that was that time there was this pandemic and we all stayed at home for six months.
Their kids are going to wish a pandemic into existence only because the thought of. Yeah, they are because for them, they're having a laugh. And you hear about war stories where young children laugh and, you know, they tell stories about evacuating and bunkers and they talk about this moment that was difficult and sad, but they've taken something positive from it. And I think that's what I've learnt about my children and all children, is that they have this unbelievable ability to find and see the good in everything.
And we're in a pandemic. How do we protect our families? Have we got enough food, enough loo roll? I did not stockpile. By the way, can I just say. But, yeah, just all of the worries that we have as adults, I think the kids somehow found the joy in being at home. And a couple of weeks in, I just said, we're here. We've got nothing else to do. We have to find the joy in being together.
That's all we have right now. So we have to enjoy it. And today is actually the first day I'm at home completely by myself and my husband's working from home. But it's the first day we're alone at home and I really miss them. And although I'm really scared because they are in school in the middle of a pandemic. And as for social distancing, they say it's in place. But goodness me, it's just not going to happen with kids who haven't seen each other for six months.
It just isn't. And I'm sad. I can hear them like sometimes I can hear my son walking in the house or my daughter calling it because it's just been our lives for six months. They've been amazing. I've got to see the children. They are going to be one wonderful generation of adults. They are. They really are.
You mentioned that. You don't. Shy away from talking about death in your family, which I applaud, but I was going to ask you a really simple question about whether you're a workaholic, but I wonder if I can make it a little more detailed and ask whether your awareness that you have only so much time on this planet drives into the fact that you, Nadya, want to do the most that you possibly can.
Yeah, I'm a workaholic. I'm just going to say I am I love working. I love being busy. So the last six months has been really difficult for me because like many people, I've worried about my job. My job comes with being accessible, being relevant. And I think all of that worries me. It worries me. It's like I'm 36 this year and I'm like, oh, I'm just getting old now. That's it.
That's it. Nadia, I've interviewed you twice before in person and you look about 18. Your skin is a phenomenon. It's like one of the Seven Wonders of the world. Anyway, carry on.
Sorry I interrupted. Yeah, I just I worry like everybody else. We all worry and I think it makes me work hard. But I think my workaholic nature has come from my parents because they're really hard workers. If there's a point in their life when they're not actually physically working in a job, they never stop. They're always, always making the most of what they have. And if it's gardening or like they don't buy any vegetables, all their vegetables are grown in their garden.
I mean, you cannot get better than that. Like, even though they work full time jobs, they also look after this garden and they provide vegetables for themselves and for us. So I think the workaholic part of me comes from my parents because they are hard workers. And I suppose I could see in their face and in their nature and how they were when we were younger was that nothing was given to them for free. You know, they had to work hard for everything that they've got and they had to work ten times harder than everyone else because my mom doesn't speak English very well.
You know, they're immigrants. So they work ten times harder, doing difficult jobs that paid a lot less than other people's jobs. So, you know, I think that workaholic nature comes from that. But that being said, you know, I am a firm believer in talking about death. Like, we must talk about it. I try not to worry about getting old because I literally saw one tiny where I've been frowning for the last six months.
I saw a wrinkle on my forehead and I said to my husband, that just means that as much as I hate that little line on my face, that just means that I've lived one extra year and, you know, we don't know what's guaranteed to us. We have to make the most of it. And so I have to know when I go to bed at night that we've made the most of our day. And I always ask my kids, what's the best thing you did today and do you think you made the most of your day to day?
And there was look, we always have these chats never at bedtime because they're a little bit morbid. But when they get back from school, we always talk about have you made the most of your day? And my son will say, no, you know what? I need to go and play with my buddy upstairs who's got a bug in his bedroom. And he's like, no, I will have made the most of my day when I've given him some time, or my little girl will say, you know what, today, mommy, I'm going to do the dishes for you.
That will make the most of my day. And it's those little things that gets them thinking. And I think it's really important because I always tell them tomorrow isn't guaranteed. And if you're not here tomorrow, what would you have done today? And they always think of something really cool to do. I think we should be more honest for sure.
It's so beautiful. I'd love to hear just before we get onto your failures, a little bit more about your parents and your grandmother. I read in a recent interview that you gave that your mother still works six days a week, but she's reticent about you talking about her job. So tell us about that.
About three years ago, she used to work in a school. You know, when you go to M.A., you go to the supermarket and you have fruit chopped up in these little plastic pots with forks. Yes. When my mom was one of those women who would chop up the fancy fruit and the tropical fruit and she would chop it up and put it into little bowls and they would go on the conveyor belt. When my mom was one of those for the last couple of years, she's been working at a hospital linen factory.
So they clean all the linen that comes out of hospitals. And you can imagine the last six months how busy she's been. She's been working six days, sometimes seven days a week, 12 hour shifts, really hot with a mask and PPE.
And she absolutely hates it when I talk about her job. And I do what all good daughters do is I don't listen to her. She just says, please don't talk about my job. And I say, what is what, mom? What is your problem? What do you hate about me talking about your job? And she just said, will you do this amazing job? I don't want you to be embarrassed by the job that I do. And I just could not.
And I was like, Mom, my ears are bleeding. What are you seeing? I am so proud of you. She's one of the people who have kept this country running for the last six months. And I am so proud of that because she has not stopped one day, not one day she stopped. Yet she has time to cook for us. She's always dropping stuff off and dropping off food. And she just she doesn't ever stop literally never, ever stops.
And she says that I must talk about her job. And I said, Mom, that's just not going to happen because you're amazing. You, your colleagues, amongst all the other amazing people who work for the NHS have kept this country going. And I'm not shy about that. And so I talk about it as much as I can, wherever I can, wherever is possible.
I find that unbelievably moving. I really do. And what's her name? Her name's asthma, asthma, thank you so much. You're such a hero. What an incredible woman.
And tell us about your grandmother, because one of the first times we met, I asked about how many members of your family read your books and what they think of you and whether they're proud. And you said that your grandmother can't read any of your books even though she taught you so much about cooking.
Yeah, my grandma, she's in her 90s and she's getting very old now. I mean, I say that now because literally a few years ago, she was not old. She just wasn't. And she just getting she's getting a little bit weathered, a little bit worn, a bit tired now. So my mom's really scared because she's away in Bangladesh now and she's like, well, she's really worried that she won't be able to see her mom, but she is literally the backbone of our family.
She was the one just like many grandparents, was the one that took over when my brother and sister were sick and in and out of hospital grandparents. That's something they just do things without question. They just do stuff. There was a time where I could just drop my children off to my mom and she wouldn't question it. If you drop everything, they wouldn't question it. And that my grandma was that woman. She would look after us for weeks, months at a time, and she doesn't read or write.
You know, I've been able to write some amazing cookbooks and have been able to write my memoir, and none of which she can ever read and none of which you will ever understand, which makes me really sad. But I think in some ways she's been able to live her life as joyfully as possible because she didn't really understand what was happening around her a lot of the time. So in some ways, she's become oblivious to what really happens. And I'm kind of pleased that she's at this age where she doesn't really understand what the pandemic is because she'll go happy knowing that life was as full as it could be.
I mean, it could have been full. I wish she could read or write, but we did used to it was I say we. But that's because I feel really guilty, because if I say I'm the only one incriminating myself, I literally sort of prank her all the time was terrible. The only thing that she would ever can was beans. So one day I removed the label off her cans and then I took them off and then I replaced them with cat food.
Oh, my gosh, that's so naughty. I know.
And I was like, definitely it wasn't even preteen. It was definitely like teen. And I don't know why I did that. She's so nice. She's always been really nice to me. And I could go to our house for sleepovers and she would cook for me and she would bring me breakfast in bed like nobody ever does that. And my mom never did that. She was like, get your sorry backside downstairs and clean up and then make breakfast.
Not my nanny would make me breakfast and bring it upstairs. And I replace the cans of beans for cat food. But then I put the bean label back on. Yeah. So she thought it was, she opened it and I thought she'd freak out or through the Kaname but she just said, oh come have a look at this. And I went over obviously tried desperately not to give it away and she just said, I think the beans have gone off.
Well she shouldn't eat it.
So that's it's like I was so mean. But I do love her. But we did I did take advantage of the fact that she couldn't read or write. It doesn't make it any less special. She's pretty special.
Let's get onto your failures. You have written them so beautifully to me that I'm kind of tempted just to read them out, but that would negate the point in the podcast.
So your first failure is your failure to enjoy life and it's related to your mental health. So tell us what you mean by that.
I do like this podcast because I think we're often not very good at talking about we don't talk about our failures often enough. I think it's good to address them because I think it's a really good way of understanding how we work and and how we can change things, because I spent so much time on making sure, especially where work is concerned, making sure that I've got I've met the deadlines, I've made sure the kids clothes and made sure all of that.
And if I don't get those things done, I feel like I failed. That, for me has definitely been the biggest struggle. And actually what I failed to do was actually enjoy the little things in life. And that could be rather than worrying about the ironing being done, you know, I fail to enjoy the little things, which is we turn on the music and we do the ironing together in bits and we laugh about ironing underpants. It's those things.
It's hard to talk about your failures because when you first sent me that email and I responded, it's like, Wow is really hard to talk about it because we almost don't want to address what we're failing at. And often when you think about failures, it's about not meeting that deadline or setting yourself a goal and not meeting that goal. I think often it's those failures.
Well, I think you're so right, because I think that if you live with anxiety, there is a sense that your thoughts are so powerful that I mean, this is my experience, that you become fearful that just by thinking it, it's going to come true.
So there's a sense that I don't want to dwell on my failures.
I don't want to dwell on the things that I am doing wrong in case I magically tempt the universe into teaching me a lesson. And then you get to the point. Again, at least I do, where you worry about your worry, sir, and I'm worrying so much, I'm I'm not concentrating on enjoying the little things. And so then you're anxious about your own anxiety. Is that your experience?
Yeah. I worry so much about the big things that I fail to remind myself that, you know, you know, those moments where you catch yourself smiling or laughing.
That's when I realized that my anxiety is so all consuming sometimes that I fail to really enjoy the little things. I find myself constantly just reminding myself of my failures. I was like, you've not done this or you've not met that deadline or you've not finished this. And you'd normally have all the ironing done on a Friday or you haven't done this, filled out this form for the children. Is all of those things. We're constantly telling ourselves that we failed.
But actually, if I step back, I'm failing to enjoy life. Yeah, I'm feeling because of my anxiety, because I put so much on myself, I am failing to enjoy the little things. I get these moments and I don't know if it's the same for you, but I get these moments where I'm laughing like barely laughing last night trying to get my daughter to bed. Normally it's like I look at the times that it's nearly seven thirty.
You need to be asleep. And I look at the time and it's like seven thirty five. Yesterday it was like eight thirty and we were barely laughing in bed. And it took me just that moment. Just say, you know what, that was worth it for her to go to bed one hour just to look at that moment, just step away from it. Be in the moment. Just step away from from a moment and realize that I can do that.
Like, I can laugh. I can enjoy that moment. Even though it's an hour she's still not in bed. I still haven't met the deadline, but it doesn't matter. I fail to enjoy the little things. And I think that's one of my biggest failures, is that I forget about the lists and the deadlines so much and not disappointing publishers or producers. I'm a teacher's pet. I want to get everything done. I don't want anyone to ever say Nadya doesn't get her stuff in on time because I don't want anyone to see that I fail to really enjoy the stuff around me.
And, you know, what I found in the last six months is I can meet those deadlines and enjoy life at the same time.
Is there a tactic that you use? I mean, I know people talk a lot about sort of mindfulness and flexing the muscle of trying to be in the present and yoga. And actually, again, I think that when people are in the grip of anxiety, doing those things can also feel overwhelming. So it's another stick to beat yourself with. But do you have any kind of practical strategies for bringing yourself back to the present?
One thing I learn, and it's really helped me with my anxiety over the last six months, I really did struggle at the beginning. I found myself struggling to get out of bed. But I think that everyone I think anyone was getting out of bed. I think we were all just in bed a lot. Honestly, I'm struggling with the whole waking up and wearing actual clothes.
So, I mean, leggings and a hoodie as we speak. Yes, exactly. I've worn jeans and luckily they fix I was like, oh, my goodness, I didn't realize I was going to get into them. I didn't feel like I was. But one thing I've realized with my anxiety is that so often I put so much pressure on myself to rid myself of the panic. So I exhaust all of my emotions on trying to hide it or to get rid of it.
And what I found over the last year and a half, two years is that I learned that actually what you have to do is allow it to happen, because so much of my time is spent worrying that it's going to happen and worrying where it's going to happen and worrying who's going to see it happen, whether it's at home, whether it's around my kids, whether it's outside, when I'm out in town or if I'm at the supermarket, I always worry that I'm going to have a panic attack and someone's going to see me.
When I did my documentary Anxiety in Me, I met with the therapist and one of the things I took back from him was that I actually saw what like what happens if somebody sees you? What if somebody sees you have a panic attack? What happens? What's the worst that's going to happen? And I think knowing that actually doesn't matter if someone sees you has been life changing for me because, you know, what's the worst that's going to happen if my kids see me have a panic attack?
Because that's my biggest worry, is that my kids will see me and they have seen me have a panic attack now. And, you know, it's not the end of the world. And what's happened is it's like remove the shame from it. So often I feel really shameful of the fact that as a thirty five year old can't handle emotions well enough, that I have to have panic attacks. But that's the teenager in me that speaking the things I say to myself, I would never say to my children, so why do I see them to myself?
So I find myself allowing it to happen. Now, I don't I don't try and get back to the present. I don't try to remove myself anymore. I let it happen. And one thing we did over lockdown was that we got some plants and we named all of the plants. So each one has a name and it's named after each person in our house. And the children have a job and their job is to look after and nurture their plant.
It's like a physical representation of themselves.
So please don't kill the plant, which is what we don't want to do. We want to we will try and keep it alive. OK, we're going to. Try our very best. So I got them plants that they can really, really just will not, like, die. So that's good. But yeah, so, you know, they've got these lovely plants and it's really bizarre because from the moment I got those plants, when they wake up in the morning, they'll tidy their beds and they're right by their beds and they just say, I better water him, they'll check the leaves and they'll make sure.
And I was like, you know how you nurture that plant. You've got to nurture you as well. You've got to look after you. So you've got to ask yourself when you water that plant or you're pruning the leaves or you're picking the roses off it. Are you doing the same for yourself? Is this like a metaphorical representation of themselves, which is really helped in my plant is thriving just like this.
Can we talk a bit about where your anxiety came from or when you first started feeling it? Because again, I can't recommend your memoir Finding My Voice highly enough because you do talk about your childhood and certain incidents in your childhood that might have triggered how you now feel. So can you tell us a bit about being bullied at school and also the illness in the household that you as a child felt very anxious about?
I'll get asked quite often what you can remember when you had anxiety, and I can't really pinpoint it, but for as long as I can remember, I've always had it so I can think back as far as five. And I know I remember just always feeling this feeling, whatever this is or whoever I am, it's always been the same for me. I've always felt worried and I remember parents evenings. They would say she's worries too much about everything.
And I think we have to stop saying that. That's something I've learnt myself with my own children. You don't just stick a label on their heads and say they're just a worrier. No, why are they worrying? Why are they afraid? Why are they scared? What's bothering them so much? So they can't actually physically or do any work. So we have to question those things. But, you know, growing up as a child, I think back now and I think, my goodness, you know, there I was one of six.
And I think that's why I always stopped having three children in my head. I wanted a massive family. And I kind of just said to myself, I think, how am I supposed to divide my time between three children? It's hard enough as it is only have two hands where I love my daughter. If I hold the boy's hands, she'll grab on to anything else. So growing up in a family of six kids, the attention gets divided in in different ways.
And I think one of the six, when there's two that are really sick, a lot of that attention goes to them. And I don't think people really ask, even though they are suffering, which I never want to take away from that. And I think even now I struggle to do it, because even now I can't even say it because they were important for them. Often it was life or death, especially with my sister. So how can my problems be bigger than life or death?
And I think as a six, seven year old, I had to learn perspective and my other siblings, we had to learn perspective really early. And I think as a six or seven year old, if you're being bullied or if somebody is smashing your fingers in between door hinges just to punish you for being brown, they matter. Those problems are real. Regardless of the fact that you've got a brother or sister who's sick, those problems are still real.
And I think as an adult, as a parent, I see that now. And I tell myself that it was OK to have those problems. You know, I should have said something to someone. But I think when you've got ill siblings being bullied seems like nothing when it's life or death. And I think because we had to learn perspective very early, I think all of these things were contributing factors to my anxiety and my mental health. And, of course, being bullied from, goodness knows, really young, like really young, same boys from seven all the way up to about sixteen.
And it was the same two faces. So it was really tough. It was really, really tough.
I think that's such an insightful retrospective way of understanding, because that thing about a child having to learn perspective at that age, at that age, most children rightly think that the world revolves around them.
That's the sort of appropriate stage of their evolution. And so to have to kind of deal with all of this, my heart breaks for you as a small child.
And that is a lot to have on your plate. And I know that you talk in your memoir not just about the bullying, but also about an episode of sexual assault.
Yeah. When you were five. And it's interesting to me that that's the same age at which you remember feeling anxious.
How difficult was that to open up about that particular incident?
It was that particular bit of writing that I really struggled with because I would write it in, then I would write it out, then I would write in and then I would write out and I did that, gosh, I don't know, dozens of times I just write and write it out. And I said to my husband, I'm writing now. I said to him, nope, nope, nope, I'm writing it out. I'm not putting in I'm not putting it in.
And he said, you know, why are you taking it out? So I kind of. Explain that it's embarrassing and I don't want to talk about it and I don't want to put my parents through anything, like I don't want it to be difficult for my family. And he said, yeah, but who are you writing this book for? I think that's what I had to really think about, who I was writing this book for. And I wrote the book and I wrote it and I read it back and I read it back again and again.
And the more I read it, the more I realized this was much more than just my book. You know, this was about voices. It wasn't just about my voice. It's about the people who read the book. And I know growing up, I didn't necessarily pick up a book where I looked at the face of the author and thought I can relate to her face or the way she dresses or her name or being able to pronounce my name.
I never picked up a book like that. Never. And to see that makes me really sad as a lover of books. It makes me so sad that as a child, I never picked up one book that I could relate to. So I asked myself, who am I writing this book for? And this book was not written for me. This book was not about just finding my own voice. It's about everybody finding theirs. And for those people who don't have a voice to find their voice, in my words, in the hope that it helps them to find their own voice.
So when I think about the sexual abuse, which was I still really struggle even now to talk about it, I find it really difficult. And I find myself sweating and getting anxious and not being able to put the words together because it was a horrible memory that will stay with me forever. And if I could erase of all the memories, that would be one that I would completely men in black erase, zap my brain. But I can't. And I know that sexual abuse is something that we do not talk about enough.
And it is something that happens within my community and it is hidden and it is completely masked over. People don't talk about it and it happens within families. It happens all the time. And I'm telling you this as a member of a community, I've experienced it myself as a teenager of the group of five or six friends. It happened to every single one of us. There is a problem and that needs to be addressed. And I know naturally, I think when you are a part of a community, you become that voice.
You become the spokesperson. And I asked to become the spokesperson. I just happen to be a part of this community and there is a big problem. And so every time I wrote it, I wrote it. Eventually when I wrote it back in, I said, no, this is something that we have to talk about, because for far too long, people have just ignored it and allowed it to happen. And it cannot happen anymore. I hope that in writing about it, it's allowed other people to realize that it's a problem that needs to be addressed and we need to keep talking about it.
I'm sure it has. And thank you so much for talking about it again today. And I'm sorry to have asked you about it, because I imagine that talking about it is incredibly traumatizing and you're so brave for doing it and it's such an important thing to do. So thank you. Your second failure, we're now fast forwarding a bit so after school, your failure to finish university.
So to begin with, you weren't allowed to go to university, is that right? Yeah.
So I got into university, which was the plan. It was the plan all along. And see what I mean about not planning things because they don't always work out. So I think that was one of the biggest things. I think my life turned so dramatically in a different direction at that point where I completely gave up on plans. I didn't believe in them. I didn't enjoy them. And to me, plans equaled failure, plans equaled just disappointment.
So when I did eventually get into university four weeks away from going three weeks away from going, two weeks away from going and then like just before I had like a week and a half to go ready to pack up and go. My mom just said, no, you're not going to university. It's just not going to happen. What was the reasoning?
I don't think I understood at the time why she was absolutely hell bent on me not going to university. In an ideal world, she would have want me to go to university in Luton, close to home, still living at home. I think now I look back years and years later, and now I do want to start. I think I've forgiven her now, like I'm over it. At the time, I was very angry, upset, but not vocal about it.
It was just a case of you are not going. It was simple as that. I didn't have a choice. It was just you are not going to university. And so I said, fine, I can talk, but I couldn't fight them, which lots of people can relate to. My life has been a series of. No, no, you can't. No, you won't be able to know you're a girl. No, that's not appropriate.
No, that's not the dumb thing. And so at this point, this was the biggest no. I was ever going to get. And I think I'd lost the fight. I just think I thought, you know what? I'm not fighting this fight anymore. I think at this point I've completely given up. And I just said, OK, and I just didn't fight. And I think that's the reaction my mum wasn't expecting. So I didn't go.
I worked three jobs at times, just. Completely on being at work and avoiding the fact that I was upset with my mom and, you know, even like Dad, please just tell her, please just tell her that I want to go. And he's like, no, your mom said it. You can't go. So, you know, I tried every avenue brother in laws, you name it. I was like, please, somebody talked to her and didn't work.
And so I just kind of distracted myself by going to work a lot, spending a lot of time very tired, spending a lot of time doing night shifts and just working all the time. And that's where I learned that if you work really hard, you can earn loads of money. So I just kind of enjoyed working and I did enjoy that. And then it was like kind of I got to about 19, 20, and it was just like that's the kind of age the whole marriage talk starts happening.
Time to get married, tend to get married. As I wasn't going to university, I kind of didn't care. I was like, yeah, fine. Whatever it was then that I started talking to my husband and we spoke for about six months. And then I said to my mom and dad, look, what do you think? And we met through our dads and we spoke to each other for six months. And then my dad was like, yep, let's just get you married.
And so the second time I'd ever seen my husband was the day we got married. Yes. The first time I ever met him was when we got engaged. And he did a weird thing. He didn't buy me a ring because he didn't know my ring size. So he bought me a bracelet, which was hideous. It was just hideous. It was like a Baracas type thing. And I like, oh, that's ugly. So, I mean, literally, the next day I went to the gold shop and I was like, melted down, melted down, got the money back.
Yeah. I mean, I guess that's my Nardizzi.
That's the woman I admire.
I was like, it was really Baracas honestly as team stuff and just as a horrible got rid of it, got the money. I never got a replacement ring. And so five years ago he bought me a proper ring because like, no, no, no, I'm going to get your ring. You actually like now that I actually know you and quite like you, you're a keeper. Let's get you a ring. We got married and then I eventually went to university.
I did half my degree while I was pregnant with my little girl until she was about three. And then as soon as I went on to bake off, I didn't finish the other half. So that's the only thing I've never really finished. I finished everything except for that which I will finish one day.
You explained it so well how you just felt like you'd lost the fight. You'd been ground down by being told no so many times that you just accepted it.
But do you think that there was a lot of anger there that had to be repressed? And if so, how have you dealt with that anger?
I'm generally not like an angry person. If you shake me, shake, shake, shake me, I will blow eventually. I'm generally like, I'm not I don't drip feed anger generally. I'm not an angry person. I used to be as a kid in the last six, seven years. I flow now and I think as a teenager I was quite angsty, quite angry, quite argumentative. I think that was a shock to my dad because he would just stop asking me questions.
Just stop. I don't have the answers for you. I can't tell you. And I really struggled with that because I always wanted answers. I wanted to know about my grandparents. I wanted to know how they felt. And I wanted stories. I wanted to talk and their parents, their talkers, but they didn't sit down and give me those answers. And I think naturally that made me quite angry. And I think at the point where I was going to university, I just gave up.
And I think by getting married and moving away very far, which like my parents were like, no, he lives too far away. And I was like, you know, up, I want to move far away. And I made the active choice. I chose my husband based on the fact that he was one hundred and sixty five miles away from my family. Yeah. Because for me, I think I needed to if not spread my wings, at least ruffled feathers a little bit.
And I think at that point I was just kind of like, no, I'm going to do exactly what you didn't want me to do, but I'm going to do it the way you want me to do it, because it's more acceptable within society for me to be married and move away. So I was like, OK, yes, I was like, well, I'll just do that.
And I was miserable. I was absolutely miserable because I miss them so much. And I was like, this is not fun. Why doesn't anything ever just work out? And is by far the best thing I ever did because without that I wouldn't have my husband. But it took me years to build up the courage to want to even do a degree, because it just reminded me of the fact that there I was pregnant with my third child when I should have been having the time of my life for eighteen, enjoying my independence and enjoying being at university, enjoying learning, which is the thing that I love to do the most is to learn.
I love just learning new things. And I remember feeling anger up to that point, even to the point where I was pregnant and I've just given birth ten days ago. And then I did my first exam and I did it my breast pump. And it was just like it was all very messy. But I did it and I was revising while I was in labor what we respon breast pump.
She took a breast pump to your exam? Yes, I did take one with me just in case I wanted to take her in with me. My husband was literally sat outside with her. So in case you needed feeding, they would allow me to go and feed her. And so I kind of look back at those things and I think, you know. They should have been sort of young and detached, enjoying my independence and learning and getting my degree and doing what everybody around me was doing and I was doing the opposite.
And now, as a 35 year, I look back and I think it was just life's plan. I can't plan anything like planned this for me. And so now I get to be a 35 year old woman who is still very much active. I have a 14 year old who is bigger than I am, who, if he wants to remove me from a room, just throws me over his shoulder and just takes me to the next room, says, Mom, you stay in here, OK?
And OK, I could have just walked. But he loves the fact that he can lift me up. I get to be a 35 year old with teenagers and I feel really grateful for that. So, yeah, I feel really lucky. So I have to see, even though that was one of my life's failures, I suppose in some ways not planning has meant that life's failure has become one of my successes.
That is so Ambron for this podcast. It's almost like I planted that sentence. But it also sounds to me and this is where the title of your memoir comes in Finding My Voice, when you mentioned earlier that thing about being in your flow, it feels to me as if you stopped being angry at around the time that you found your voice and started being listened to.
Yeah, if I think back to my anxiety and my struggles and I look back at some of the things that made me really angry, even after moving away, you know, being a stay at home mom, you know, financially, we couldn't afford for me to go to work because going to work meant sending the children to nursery, earning enough money to send them to nursery, then my husband to have to top it up because I couldn't earn as much as him.
So for me, it's those little things that lack of control. And I found the lack of control that I had before I got married was no different to the one after. It was no different after I got married because I was then a stay at home mom, which can I just say is definitely the best job I've ever done in my life. And it's so rewarding knowing that. And I feel like now it's now I look back, it was a privilege to be able to stay at home with my children.
But, you know, we suffered for it because we didn't eat very much. We had to literally save every penny. We had to look at the gas meter and question whether we could boil potatoes. So as a family, we were always just on the edge, you know, paying off our debts, you know, buying a house. And it was hard. It wasn't always easy. You know, we made the choice to buy a house.
We had to make financial decisions, which meant that we had to struggle at the same time. So I don't even know what you are. So I went so off on a tangent.
I know you have answered it. I suppose it was about the power of being heard. But actually, you've been talking about the power of being in control again. And for a long time you weren't in control.
Yeah, I thought that when I got married, I'd have this control and then the control that I didn't have before I got married. And then I realized after I got married that it felt like I was at the mercy of my own decisions. Then it was like I've had children and they need me. And I struggled because I think back now I was twenty years old. I did not even know myself. I didn't even know my own voice. And then I was expected to raise children and give them a voice or teach them.
And I was just I did not feel qualified for that job at all. I was so afraid after I had my boys, I just thought, oh my goodness, they are real people like real human beings. Everything I say and do affects them. And the enormity of the responsibility really weighed heavy on me. And I really struggled with that. And then I felt more out of control than ever and choosing to stay at home with the kids or not financially needing to stay at home with the kids.
It was really hard. I didn't have financial independence. You know, I had two very young children. And by the time I had my daughter, I had three kids under the age of four. So so it was hard. And there was moments where I kind of only ever saw myself as a wife and a mother and a daughter and a daughter in law and a sister that was I was only ever those things. And I suppose because everyone has a stage in their life where they really work out who they are.
And chronologically, it should be when you go off to university, when you leave home, when you start mixing with who are going to be probably your forever friends, because I miss that chunk of my life. I think part of me always longed for it and waited to see what am I going to find my voice, when am I going to find out who I am? And doing Bekoff was so much more than a baking competition for me, because for me up to that point, nobody believed in me enough to say, you can do this on your own.
And that goes back to university because my parents, they were scared. They're immigrants. I was the first girl and first person in my family to make it to university. For them. It was like sending me to the moon. Yeah. And if my son said he wanted to go to the moon, I'd be scared. I'd want to say no to him. So my parents did the only thing they knew how was to say no because they were scared.
Of course, if my son says he wants to go to the moon, I can't say no to him. I can't say no to him. I have to believe that he knows that he's doing what's best for him and I think for me. In that moment when Abdul said, you need to stop doing everything for us, you need to do something for you. It was the first time in my life, my whole life with one person believed that I could be just me without being his wife, without being a daughter in law, without being a daughter, without being a mom.
He just said, I just think you've lost something. You need to go find it. We you need to do it without us. And that's why I did back off. And so it will always be more than a baking competition to me.
Listen, he might have rubbish taste in bracelets, but your husband definitely has other qualities.
What an incredible thing. And he was so right. And it's been so beautiful being part of your blossoming. In a way.
We've spoken about how you felt sort of worried about raising boys. But when you had your daughter, how do you think you're raising your daughter differently than you were raised?
If you are? I mean, what are the similarities and what are the differences?
I mean, there are some similarities, but it's weird how they naturally just take she just naturally makes her bed and she naturally just comes down and does the dishwasher.
And I saw this child at seven thirty as well, something that I was having a conversation because we don't have a cleaner. And I said to my daughter, I said I was talking to somebody a couple of days ago and I said, I really I feel like I'm at a point in my life where maybe I should get cleaner, maybe just once a month. And she looked at me and she said, well, why didn't you clean up?
And I said, No, no, no. I didn't say I was getting one. I said I was thinking about it, which I've been thinking about for years, and I still haven't done it.
And she said, Well, well, that means we're just lazy then. And I said, no, people who don't have cleaners aren't lazy. I just would like a bit of extra help. She goes, well, why are we here for we can do it? And I was like, OK, because every Sunday we clean the house. We spend three hours on a Sunday, which probably is not. I mean, I know by the look on their face every Sunday morning, they know that they have to do the cleaning and the look on the face is really sad, is really sad.
I can see it. They just don't want to clean. They just want to be sat on the couch and vegetate and eat crisps. I know that's what they want to do, but we've made it a thing where they have to get up and clean on a Sunday. We dust everything top to bottom, skirting boards, light switches. Everybody cleans a bathroom so the boys can now clean their bathroom, which is great. It's taken me a lot longer than it has with my daughter because she just seems to naturally want to do it.
That's what I've tried to step away from, is the fact that just because it feels natural to her to I don't know why I haven't raised them any differently, but I don't know why she naturally is more domesticated than they are. And I don't know why that's happened, because I've taught them all to do the same thing. And so what I try not to do is fall into that because I was raised to learn to cook, to clean the toilets and always be very domesticated.
When my brothers were not, they were completely like work, college, education, school, whatever. But don't you know, you don't have to clean up around yourself. You know, food will be brought to you, food will be taken away, you know, like really like just there's a hierarchy in there definitely high up. I've tried really hard to raise them exactly the same, but she's naturally, weirdly more domesticated than they are or wants to do more stuff around the house.
But I'm definitely raising them exactly the same way, but very different to the way I was raised. There's no she has to do this job and you have to do that job. They wake up every morning. Everybody has to get on with a dishwasher every night before they go to bed. They have to over the kitchen floor and mop it. They have to make sure the cat litter trays cleaned out. They collectively, I say, who does the job?
It just needs to get done. So just do it. And I don't argue. I'm like, no, just get it done. It needs to be done. I say, this is our house. We live in it. And that's why we never I mean, I have nothing against anyone who was a cleaner. I just nature has given me some cleaners, which I don't have to pay for. So they do it. I think you should do a parenting book next.
I mean, they are very inspiring.
I love talking to you so much and I know that I am going over time. So let's get onto your third failure, which is your failure to keep talking ironically.
Tell us why you put it that way.
Five years ago, I used to often get these questions about politics or about being raised in an immigrant household or being brown, being a Muslim woman. All of these questions, when really what I wanted to do was bake and cook and share my recipes. I remember at the very beginning I really struggled with that because I kind of just wanted to talk about what I love to do and everything else just be incidental.
We don't need to talk about everything else. You know, I'm a talker. We're going over time. We always go over time. We done. Yeah, I've battled with myself so much growing up. Talking wasn't the done thing. Like girls didn't have opinions. Girls don't talk. You kind of do as you're told. You're not head of the house. And so that was always kind of suppressed. And, you know, when you are then a wife and a mom and a daughter in law, there's a hierarchy and there's a way of doing things.
And I find myself often quite suppressed in that situation. As well, and now I get to do this job where firstly, a job that I never imagined in a million years I would be doing, I never saw myself in this. You know, there was no grand plan to do this job. And since doing it, one of the first things that were highlighted was like my race, my religion, color, my skin, you know, like my background being first generation British.
And I didn't want to talk about all of that. And I was quite happy a few years in not to talk about that at all. And then they understood it took me a few years to realize why am I being asked these questions? And often I would get really hit up. I'd get really kind of like I'd really put my back up when you'd ask questions about, so why are you doing a Cornish pasty? Where did you meet a Cornish pasty?
Well, I've never had a Cornish pasty from Cornwall. I haven't because I never used to go to Cornwall. We lived in Luton. We stayed in Luton. That was it. We didn't go anywhere else. We didn't go on holidays. We went on holiday to Bangladesh, but we never went anywhere away, anywhere. But that doesn't mean that I can't make a Cornish pasty. So is that constant questioning I really struggled with where I just kind of shut it down.
I said, I'm not talking about that. So I found myself suppressing myself again. It's like where I wanted to speak. I kind of found myself and it became natural to me to just constantly suppress my feelings, my emotions, the things that I wanted to talk about and to talk about the things that were important to me. Fast forward a few years and here I am and I wish I'd started talking from the very beginning. My failure to speak has been my biggest downfall.
My failure to not speak up and to talk about the things that are important to me have been my downfall, because that's the reason why I didn't go to university. That's the reason why I suffer even more so with my anxiety is because I suppress. I don't talk, I don't say I don't talk about the things that are important to me. And so five years later, you know, I realise the importance of doing the job that I do now.
I am a 35 year old woman of color who is a Muslim first generation British woman who works in publishing, who works in television. And I know that I would never have seen somebody like me on television or in literature or part of the narrative would never have seen myself. And so every time I tell myself, don't say anything, suppress it, don't talk about it, I find myself and pushing myself and saying, remember, remember what happened when you didn't speak?
Remember when what happened? Remember how you felt when you suppress that? And so every time I say that to myself, I think about the feelings that I felt when I didn't say something or the effect it had by not saying something. So I find it's really important to talk about the things that I think I shouldn't talk about, because often that some of the most important subjects.
So well put. I wanted to ask you about that initial reticence when you were being asked, I imagine, by lots of journalists like me, questions that might be well intentioned.
Yeah, but does it also feel a bit like I've got to be really careful of how I express this?
Okay. But does it also feel a bit like in an attempt to ask you about race and background, the attempt itself is a bit racist. It's a bit patronising. It's a bit like, oh, tell us how you live. Was that that kind of discomfort to it? I suppose it's difficult because we need to talk about these issues and people need to understand. And the only way you can understand and empathize and show compassion is to ask questions.
But you have to be so careful with other phrased, I think.
Yeah, I think now what I've done is I just don't let them ask the questions. I just answer it before they can even ask them. Nobody's uncomfortable anymore because one of the questions I get asked all the time is what's your most extravagant purchase since you've won Bekoff? Which I find it's like asking me what council tax bracket I'm in. Like, why would you ask why? Because, like, why would you ask that question? Because there's this image that I've come from nothing.
And I've suddenly made loads of money and I'm just buying houses and I'm buying a house and a car and and people forget, you know, I have a husband that does a really good job and they're like, does he even work or does he work anymore? It's like, OK, so it's really interesting. Some of these questions. I laugh a little bit on the inside and he's very much his own man. He has this job and he does his thing.
But this idea that I've come from nothing and now I have lots of money and I'm blowing it on Jacuzzis and hot tubs and swimming pools is not the case. And I'm really open about the fact that I really, really like my mindset hasn't changed very much. I'm very much about that. I don't do lavish or extravagant. I shop, you know, on a Sunday at three thirty yellow stickers and get all my veg at three thirty on a Sunday because I pay a lot less for them at that time of the day.
And so I think that's why I find it easier just to answer the questions before they're even asked, because I don't want to make people uncomfortable. And sometimes some of the questions I can't fully understand, what what do they get from asking that question? Because I put it out there like, does Nigella ask those questions? Does Mary get asked those questions? Like, what's the most extravagant purchase? Because I. I think there's this shock factor, because I've come from supposedly nothing that when I buy a nice car or if I put an extension on my house, that's like, oh, she's rags to riches story.
But would they ask me that question? Would they ask Gordon Ramsay? And I'm not for a second saying, I mean, any of their leagues, but we work in the same place. You know, we basically work our jobs are very similar. So I kind of put them under the same sort of would anybody ask me that question or Nigella or Mary or Gordon, would they ask Nigel Slater? Would they ask them those questions? No, they'd be too uncomfortable to ask them.
But it's easier to ask me because it's easier to get the rags to riches story. I have not come from a rich background. We are very much working class. And that is why I get to do my job and love every second of it and know that when I go home to my mum and dad and I can just go into their house and do their dishes and I can hoover their floor because it needs doing and I can just be me.
And I think that's why I love doing my job, because I am just me. And you're not going to get a different version of me is just as it is. So, yes, sometimes I find those questions really difficult, especially as a British Bangladeshi woman. I think I work in an industry that is very much dominated by middle aged Caucasian men. And to be doing this job, I often find that that space was never created for someone like me.
And I'm trying to fit into a world that was never meant for me. And that's always really hard. As somebody who's creative and loves the job she does, I'm always second guessing myself. I mean, my book has only been out a week and I'm already really worried about what people will think and if people will hate it. And it rips me to shreds because it just I worry about all of that because there's only one of me. And I'm scared that the pressure of being here in this industry is so difficult sometimes because I know that I have to stay here.
I have to be here because if I don't create space for myself, how will I create space for others? And that's why my voice, more than anything, is important to me right now. And so failure to speak is not an option.
Oh, Nadia, I know you're not going to, but I just want you to be prime minister.
I know your politics, but gosh, no. Gosh, no. I still have a soul. Please. What would be a waste before? And by the way, I absolutely love your book. It's so wonderful.
And every single page on Nadia Beeks, I want to make myself and the way that you are so able to take different elements of different cuisine and mash them up into something that sounds delicious, like a sick kebab toad in the hole is just second to none.
You're the only person who does that, and I love it. Can I end on a different question that I'm not going to ask you?
What the most extravagant purchase you've ever made that wasn't on the list, but you just you just strike that one out as I. No, she's not going to go for that one.
But it's more about whether you're hopeful for a given everything that you've experienced, the good and the bad, the positive and the negative, the fame, the people you meet in the signing queue and the trolling you sometimes get on Twitter and on social media, all of that together in the melting pot that is Britain. Are you hopeful for our future as a country? That's a big question.
That one in three words or less a you know, I can't do that. We've already overrun. That means we'll make this to our podcast. Let's just make this to ours. I think we could keep going. I don't know about you, but I reckon we can go all day with you.
Honestly, I love listening to you. All we need is some cake. And we could just do this. Couldn't we get a pass and do you whip something up?
Oh, always. Always. We'll do it one day in person. OK, do I feel hopeful? I think in the last six months we've experienced something that we have never as a country or a world really experienced or didn't think we would experience again, or certainly not in our lifetime. And it's definitely, I think, allowed us some time to think about who we are and what we provide to our families and why the world. The responsibility is weighed heavy on me, I think is weighed heavy on all of us because we had I'm sure every single person in this country is ask themselves, what am I doing to help?
Because our initial reaction is to protect ourselves. It's like, what am I doing to help? And I think especially over the last few months where people have been, I know there are loads of people who have been breaking rules and kind of meeting up and not worried about the rules and what the government guidelines are. And I'm scared because I think a lot of us have lost hope in the government. And so we're all kind of I feel like we're now making it up as we go along.
Yeah, I think a lot of us are just making it up as we go along, as we send our children back to school, as we go back to work, I think is a lot of let's just make it up as we go along. Do I have hope for us with the Black Lives Matter movement and everything that's happened over the last six months? My faith in. Humanity in some ways has been restored and broken all at the same time, because sometimes when you feel like you're in it together, you realize that we're so far apart and something has to change.
And it's something my son said. My son said, it's your generation that's destroying it for my generation. That made me really sad. It dawned on me that actually they have no hope in us. They don't have faith in us. Not anymore. They just don't. So how can we have faith in us? But in seeing that and not being quite sad, I realized that we have to keep going. We have to keep trying. We have to keep speaking and we have to keep speaking out.
And that's really important. And that's if that is as little as we can do, that is what we have to contribute. And I know given that job that I do, I have a massive responsibility to people who relate to me, people from my community, women, people of color, Muslims, all of that. But you know what? We have a responsibility to each other. And I think if we can just start there, then there is hope.
If we believe that we are responsible for each other and we have to look after each other. I think there is hope. I think there is room for a bigger, better world and a happier world. So, yeah, I am I'm hopeful. I'm always hopeful. If I wasn't hopeful, I just talk about death all day. And I am hopeful. And I am I am hopeful that we can change the world, if not for us than for our children.
Are you saying that is the best way to end this interview? And also, I've just got a text from a publicist asking me to wrap up because I was waiting. OK, I'm so sorry to have overrun, but you also are just the most phenomenal woman and I could talk to you for weeks on end. Thank you so, so much. Thank you.
On How to fail. If you enjoyed this episode of How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, I would so appreciate it if you could rate review and subscribe. Apparently it helps other people know that we exist.