Today the sad but not unexpected announcement of Sue Townsend’s death. In recent years she was prey to a shocking list of disabilities and a testament to the old saying that health is wealth.
Sue and I grew up on the same street and went to the same school. We were never friends. She was a year older than me and lived in what my Mum sniffily referred to as The Prefabs. They were just little bungalows erected to house people while Leicester recovered from its wartime bomb damage, but they were the source of a kind of apartheid on Grange Drive. My mother could be a bit ‘bay-window’ when provoked and Sue’s enormous success with her first Adrian Mole book was the occasion for some maternal bristling in our house. My mother believed that God only handed out one publishing contract per street, per century, and that Sue had gone and pipped me to it.