I have an English degree so I am supposed to say that my favourite author is Chaucer, or Austen, or Shakespeare or Faulkner but my favourite author from age ten has been, and always will be, Susan Lillian Townsend.
I discovered an audio cassette copy of “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4” in the Bedworth library. I asked my Mum if I could rent it (what a good girl), she checked with Dad who said yes and so began my love affair with Adrian Mole. They probably should have said no as there was a lot of affairs and “thing” measuring going on but that all went over my head as I listened (and then re-listened to my pirated copy).
I remember buying “From Minor to Major” (three books in one!) when I was eleven or twelve and my Townsend collection steadily grew. I was not impressed with the casting decisions made in “The Cappuccino Years” TV show and have bored Mr Pigalina over the years with my Adrian Mole facts and quotes.
Sue Townsend has been with me for most of my life from listening to that tape in my bedroom as a child to reading her latest book, “The Woman who Went to Bed For a Year”, while on holiday for my tenth wedding anniversary. Today she died and it is surprising me that I am pretty cut up about it. But I’m English, I’ll hold it in. I only cry at work and funerals…
Sue wrote more than just “The Mole Diaries” and I have enjoyed all of her work, but it is the Mole updates I will miss the most.
Rest in peace Sue, and thanks for all the fish (wrong author).