Pilot interview with Emma, 17, White British, middle class, no religion. Women, Risk & AIDS Project, London, 1988. Anonymised version including field notes. (Ref: LJH01)
Anonymised transcript of first interview with Emma, who would like to work in social work or social policy. She was originally at an all girls' school, and is now at a mixed sixth form. Sex education at Emma's school was typically basic and biological, though her mum works at a sexual health organisation and has filled in the gaps. She is very worried about AIDS in general - so are her female friends, but her male friends seem a bit more relaxed about it. Emma is happily single at the moment and would like five children in the future. She has some interesting conversation on sexual reputation and identity, as well as on feminism and her time at an all girls' school.
1988-12-21 00:00:00
Janet Holland
Reanimating Data Project
Temporal Coverage
Spatial Coverage
CC BY-NC 4.0
extracted text
Pilot interview
LJH01 First interview 21.12.88
A. So what sort of project is this?
Q. Well it's really trying to find out about how young women feeling about sex. Ultimately hoping
to be helpful around the area of AIDS A. Oh really? (interested)
Q. - to help with the health education programmes. Because there is not a massive amount of
information about how young women really feel about these things.. .. First of all, can I ask you
about your living arrangements, who you live with?
A. Mum, dad, brother. Basically, nice and simple, I'm leaving - I finish my A levels in June and I'm
working for [VOLUNTEER ORGANISATION] from September onwards for a year, and I'm going
on to further education, so I am leaving hopefully July, September.
Q. Where are you going to go for further education?
A. I've applied to universities and polys, all over the country. I really don't mind as long as I get
into one.
Q. What did you do for your A levels?
A. I'm doing history, English and politics.
Q. And what do you plan to go on to do?
A. Social Administration, Social Policy, and maybe CQSW, but I think I'll leave that until I have
done my first degree, then take that as a sub-option.
Q. So you are pretty clear about what you are going to do?
A. Yeah.
Q. How long have you known that?
A. Not really for very long. I have had to make various decisions when we wrote the UCCA form,
obviously to apply to a certain course, and originally, I wanted to do History and English. But then
I realised that I wasn't really very interested in doing one subject, one straight subject anyway,
and I realised that it would be better for me to do a subject in which you could have lots of little
option groups, a very general way and you could then specify in the last couple of years. And I
thought about what area I wanted to work in and thought - however cliched it is - that I really
wanted to work with people, so I thought Social Admin fitted in quite well.
Q. Yes, and it's a fairly generalisable thing.
A. Yes, and you also have a chance to do various projects, dissertations on various topics, and it
looks quite interesting, certainly the courses I've picked looked interesting.
Q. Did you get much advice about that at school?
A. Not really. We've got various books at school, but you can imagine one UCCA book among
600 sixth formers doesn't go a long way. So we had to buy quite a few and then dad helped me
because he is in higher education - he helped me quite a lot. It's just a matter of thinking it
through yourself really, what area you want to go into.
Q. I always admire young people when they can think about what they are going to do, so often
you just can't imagine, you can't put yourself into A. Well it's too soon apart from anything else, it comes up on you so quickly - you know, I've
really got to think about what I'm going to do, especially since it is a year and a half away.
Q. What does your dad do [in higher education]?
A. My dad's [HEAD OF DEPARTMENT] so I suppose that's going to look pretty awful when I
write that down - like father like daughter - he was quite useful writing PECAS (?) and UCCA
forms because he knew what he wanted to see on it.
Q. Probably knows [REDACTED].
A. Is he? Oh, I'll ask him. {some interjection about the cat pulling the Christmas tree apart}
A. He must know him, I'll ask, [REDACTED].
Q. [REDACTED]. There's all sorts of interconnectedness. Which school are you at?
A. NAME OF SIXTH FORM. It's alright, I want to get out, I don't think anywhere else will be any
better quite frankly, because I think it is at the point where you just don't want to go to school, you

want to do everything else but. But it's only six months, so I'll stick it out. Be a shame to leave
Q. Well, it would be silly really, when you are nearly there ... and you've got your clear plans laid
out for the future. Do many of your friends feel like that about school?
A. Most of them do, yeah, virtually all of my peer group I would say want to get out, and certainly
it has become a lot more obvious in the sense that we are now in the second year of A levels and
after the first year when we came back this term there was about a third of the original people
that were still there. It was amazing how many people had dropped out. Some of these people
would have been doing one year courses so would have left anyway, but a lot of people had left
A level groups, which was quite disheartening in a way, because you felt that you were exposed
now. And you are the only ones who are going to stick it out
Q. Is that usual, is this an unusual group in dropping out?
A. No I don't think it is at all. Because I was talking to someone who goes to Islington sixth form
and she said a lot of people had left there as well. I think it is different if you go to a college rather
than a sixth form college in that sense, like you go to Kingsway Princeton.
Q. What, you think people are more committed if they go there?
A. I think so, sometimes people have left a long time ago and are going back to those places
anyway. There's also a wider range of things to do, whereas at my sixth form college you can
either do A levels, retake O levels, CPVE, hardly any vocational courses at all.
Q. Did you have any sex education at school?
A. We had - we didn't have any in the first year, we had none in the second year, and I think we
may have had a term out of three terms in a year in the third year. We didn't have any in the
fourth or fifth year. We had one discussion session where people were asked to write on
anonymous strips of paper and hand them in at the front their questions about getting pregnant.
And that revealed quite a lot. But apart from that we had virtually nothing, absolutely nothing at
all. We had one discussion on contraception and that sort of thing in RE. We had no straight
lesson called - they do it now after my year, they do health and social lessons, I don't know what
it is called, but we didn't get that.
Q. What was it mainly around?
A. It was mainly periods, contraception, nothing on abortion, and little leaflets. And that was it
really, it was mainly around periods, there was not really much on anything else. Most people
knew about that anyway, we'd done that in biology, biology they sort of put sex education in with
that, but there was hardly anything.
Q. So where would you say that you have learned about..
A. Mum and dad. Well mum works at [SEXUAL HEALTH ORGANISATION], so. Thrust down my
throat the whole time, yeah
Q. So you are pretty well informed about that. What do you think about AIDS, what do you know
about that?
A. Well I like to think that I know quite a lot, where it comes from, how you get it, what to do about
preventing it. It does frighten me, it really does frighten me because, well, really, we are the group
that are going to be growing up with this hanging over them. We're going to have to have kids
through this. It does frighten me quite a lot. It also frightens me that I have quite a lot of male gay
friends who really don't seem at all bothered by it. One friend particularly is rather sort of free and
easy and certainly goes for one-night stands, and certainly if not AIDS he is going to come down
with something else, because he just doesn't care. And certainly, when people are irresponsible
like that it frightens me. It frightens me anyway, there is not enough education going round, the
government are not putting enough money into it.
Q. When you found out about it, where would you say was the main source of information that
you had about it?
A. I think television, I think I watched things like First Aids. And a couple of minor documentaries,
but things that are aimed at my age group I watched. I don't think we have talked about it at
school really. Talked about it at home, talked about it among my friends quite a lot. But I think
television has been, specifically AIDS programmes, not adverts or anything.
Q. What did you think of those ads?
A. They were useless, totally, totally useless.

Q. I noticed they have changed their style a little bit?
A. They've changed them now, with the laser and heart, have you seen those?
Q. No.
A. That's sort of drugs as well.
Q. Yeah, I suppose they are working on it. The first ones I don't know what people were
supposed to make of them at all, the don't die of ignorance ones.
A. The condom ones were good, the ones about Mates, they just don't put them on often enough
Q. You say that your friends are concerned about it as well?
A. Certainly my close group of friends. A lot of my friends have changed their attitude towards it.
Some of them started off at the beginning being extremely, almost (hesitant)- almost right-wing in
their attitude towards it, saying it is a gay plague. And we used to have absolutely furious
arguments over it, saying it's not a gay plague, it affects everyone, everyone is at risk from this.
But we do talk about it quite a lot and certainly all my friends are well aware of the risks and well
aware that they need to take precautions.
Q. Do you think that they do, take the precautions?
A. Most of them aren't in a position that they need to, but I think they would if they were, yeah.
Q. What about you?
A. I'm not in the position, but I would, oh definitely, no question. That's just- lessening the
chances has got to be a priority. Before anything else.
Q. What kind of context do you think you'd feel... I don't know how to put the question really - do
you feel that you would be able to use whatever method you would plan to use, do you think that
if you were in a relationship you would feel confident enough to be able to tell them that that's
what you wanted?
A. Yeah, well if I wouldn't then I wouldn't be in a relationship with them, I wouldn't, if they couldn't
accept that. If they were not equally aware of the risks and prepared to lessen them then I
wouldn't even be in that position with them. They've got to be, I think one has to be, it's just
mindless not to be now.
Q. What about other, are people concerned about other sexually transmitted diseases do you
A. No, that seems to really have gone out the window now, and even pregnancy has sort of, gone
in its fear. Now it's condoms, now as I see it condoms are directly related to AIDS now, they're
not at all related to, well they are, obviously they are, but they are not in publicity and advertising
eyes. Whereas for pregnancy, you use the pill for pregnancy and then use the condom for AIDS.
Q. Which method do you think you would use?
A. Pill. Maybe, I'm not sure. I think there's a lot of risks in that as well, I think the condom, that's
probably safest, certainly because you can get all in one in that sense.
Q. Or belt and braces approach, somebody was telling me the other day that they used the
diaphragm and the condom on some occasions.
A. Certainly a friend of mine, she was on the pill and she used a condom and then she used one
of those spray foamy things as well, I can't remember what it was called. But then she was
absolutely terrified because it broke, the sheath broke, but she knew she was on the pill, but I
think if you do have more protection then you can't really go so wrong.
Q. So you are pretty well informed about the different kinds of contraception it seems.
A. I think so, I think I know what the choices are.
Q. And you think that your friends are as well informed as you are?
A. Certainly my female friends. I think my male friends tend to be a bit pig-headed in some of
those areas.
Q. Yeah? Not open to persuasion probably.
A. No, some of them tend to be a bit blasé, which is rather irritating, but I think they are OK really.
Q. Do you talk about these sorts of issues with your male friends - you sound as if you must do?
A. Sometimes you do. I have really quite a few really close male friends with whom I do talk about
those things and then I have a wider group of sort pals who I don't talk about it with much. But
with my closer male friends we do.

Q. What sort of things do you do - you have these two categories, close male friends and the
others, what sort of things do you do with each of these groups of people?
A. Well the more distant ones I tend to be at school with and we go out. There's usually a big
group of us, male and female. In fact, they are my very close female friends. My very close male
friends tend to be outside of school. In that group we tend to go out, have lunch together, do
those sorts of things. And my very close group of friends I tend to meet a hell of a lot more often
and go out and talk more deeply about things. A relationship which is one step further.
Q. What sort of other things do you do, what kinds of activities?
A. Parties, going to see bands, cinema, going to lunch, that sort of thing, having lessons together.
Those sort of usual things.
Q. Which is your favourite band?
A. I've got loads of favourite bands. Bands I go to see the most are [COUNTRY SINGER]. My
favourite bands are American and they don't come over here.
Q. Yeah. Which sort of films do you like?
A. I go and see most of the ones that are out really, me and friends tend to say we fancy going
out this weekend, there's no really good parties on, there's not really anything on tele, so let's go
and see a film. Then we look up and if there's something we haven't seen before and we think we
might as well go and see that. We've seen, I suppose, the top ten of what are out at the moment.
We don't go out particularly to see a film. We usually end up going to see something entirely
different anyway.
Q. I usually have a list of films I want to see and keep having to knock them off the bottom, or top,
but never actually get to see them. Finish up watching them on video. You sound like a very
sensible, together person, would you say that you take risks in any area of your life?
A. Um, yeah. I wouldn't say that they were horrendous risks. Yeah, I would say that I take some
risks. Certainly, I've taken some risks, I mean, it may not sound like a risk, but I have taken
various risks in my education. Things like, well I did bunk off a hell of a lot in the lower sixth. That
was pretty risky really, and it didn't pay off because I did really screw up that year. Yeah, I take a
few risks, I mean, I drink quite heavily, that sort of thing. Usually. Those are becoming risks as
awareness grows about these things.
Q. Mm.
A. I wouldn't say I was terribly risky, not really. But most of my friends aren't, we don't do that sort
of thing.
Q. It's mainly the influence of your friends, I mean not so much the influence, but you do what the
group A. Yeah, certainly, I mean I've got a very, very close friend, STEPH, and we do virtually
everything together, absolutely everything together, so really. I mean we can't stop smoking if one
stops smoking. We've tried before. I stopped and she didn't, and I had to start again. Because we
spend so much time together it's impossible, so we are both going to stop on New Year. Not
going to smoke again. Tend to be influenced by each other in that sense, we lean quite heavily
on each other for support as well.
Q. What do your parents think about the smoking and drinking for example?
A. Well, they say how much are you smoking a day, so I lie. They say, do you think you are
drinking too heavily, and I say no. And they leave at that really. I think I am fairly good really
about how much I drink and smoke. And since I am going to stop smoking because I am aware of
the risks of that. I can't afford to get drunk every week, so I don't get drunk every week. But they
don't mind, I think they leave it quite a lot up to me, they leave it sort of - they might say 'we're
disappointed' or 'we're unhappy', these sorts of things, but they don't terribly influence what I do.
Not anymore.
Q. They did?
A. Yeah. I've been smoking since I was thirteen and I didn't tell them until about two months ago.
But they did, they used to frighten me quite a lot about these sorts of things. I would be frightened
to tell them. But now I think, well, it's not really got terribly much to do with them now. If I can't tell
them then it's probably not worth doing. Because they don't terribly mind.
Q. So what sort of relationship do you think you have with them now?

A. Fairly liberal. They have got more liberal this year with me. They weren't so liberal last year,
but that's because I was really screwing up at school and I needed a firm hand, to restrict me
going out, that sort of thing. But this year I have been working harder and I think they've sort of
thought, give justice where due, so they have been more liberal. And it has worked really,
because I'm happier and I think they're happier. We know where we stand with each other now,
which is quite good.
Q. How did you, I mean, what circumstances led you to start bunking off?
A. Oh, it was after being in the fifth year, after being in the first to fifth year, where you have to go
to school every day, whereas in the sixth form you don't actually have to be there. You are not
under any obligation apart from to yourself and to the teachers to be there, you legally could be
anywhere else. But also everyone else did it, everyone thought it was a really hard thing to do, to
bunk off a few lessons a week, and it built up to a point where if I didn't feel like going to a lesson
I wouldn't. And then - I only did that for a few months - and then after a bit I realised, God I'm not
going to pass if I do this. So, I did go back. And I was frightened that my parents would find out
Q. They didn't know that that was happening?
A. No they didn't really, but they probably suspected.
Q. What were you doing when you were bunking off?
A. It was only one lesson at a time, it wasn't sort of whole days. But because my school was on
[LOCAL PARK] we used to go and sit [REDACTED] in the sun, it was nice. We didn't go off to
any wild places, just used to sit out a lesson basically. It was easy to do as well. They knew you
were doing it. I think the lower sixth is renowned for bunking off.
Q. What kind of influence do you think the school has on you?
A. A lot. Certainly politically it has had a wide influence on me, being really very militant in its NUT
action and its teacher action, we have quite a few militant staff teachers and certainly been out on
demonstrations, that sort of things, but becoming very aware of the situation has helped to
increase my knowledge. They've influenced me also in the way you relate to other people. I mean
I was lucky, I found a group of friends round about the second year, we were all so totally alike
that we managed to quite easily drift our way through the five years of secondary school which is
quite nice, so they influenced us quite a lot in making friends. Politically, I think they've had a
major influence. Not educationally.
Q. It sounded as if that was a minor aspect.
A. I wouldn't say that school was particularly brilliant education-wise, certainly didn't give me
great O levels.
Q. But you feel fairly confident about A levelsA. I know I can probably do well enough. I need 3 C's to go to university. I need less than that to
go to poly, and I think if I can do that then I'm alright. I also think that if I don't get them and
because I want to work in the voluntary sector - my parents would never agree to this but if I am
18 there is nothing they can do - to working for the next four or five years in the voluntary sector
and then applying as a mature student when you don't need the A levels, so they say. But I think
that is probably risky, I think I probably would have to take them again.
Q. If you put your energy into working on them a bit, you've got six months..
A. Six months, yeah
Q. Shouldn't be too wearing. Or do you think you are liable to be led astray by your friends(Phone interrupts)
A. Only got ten days for Christmas.
Q. I can tell when it's the vacation because all the students disappear, and usually all the staff
too. I'm the last lone person left.
(Discussion about an old [PET] who appears in the garden)
A. Dad keeps dropping rather large hints, like isn't that [PET] getting rather old now, EMMA. I
don't know what he wants me to do.
Q. Can we talk about relationships a bit more again. What kind of relationship or relationships do
you envisage having in the future?
A. Well, I want to keep my close friends for ever and ever, but personal-wise I suppose I want - I
don't want anything at the moment, I couldn't fit it in now, I just haven't got the time. But maybe
when I go to university, maybe in my year off, maybe later I would like certainly a fairly steady

longstanding relationship - because I want kids, I want loads of kids, I've decided that, I want
loads of kids. But I don't want anything for a good few years, I'm not ready, I haven't really found
out enough about myself yet, I don't really think I can get involved with someone before I know
myself quite deeply, and I don't think I do, so. I do want a good, strong relationship within the next
ten years. Definitely.
Q. How many children do you want?
A. 5.
Q. (shock) Five!
A. Yeah, I decided I like them.
Q. How old is your brother?
A. 14.
Q. How old are you in fact?
A. 17.
Q. I can never tell. So, there is nobody that you are thinking, from amongst your friends for
example who might be appropriate for a relationship, or anything like that?
A. Not really, there used to be. The guy who just rang up is a very close friend of mine now,
outside school who I met in SOCIAL ACTIVITY actually, who was a rather whacky CARIBBEAN
sort of cutie (QT??), funny sort of person. I met him, he must have been about twelve, and I was
thirteen and we were really good friends, we really got on well together, and since then we've
grown and grown and grown and he's about 16. And there was a moment when we thought that it
was getting a bit too heavy, so we talked about it and we decided that we didn't want to have that,
we just wanted to be friends. Because I didn't want to ruin the friendship really, because I loved
the friendship as it was, and I just knew I would never be able to go back to that if I went out with
him or anything. So, we do go out, but it is purely friendship, and it's really good, I really, really
like that, because I know exactly where I stand, there's no sex or anything. But he's the only one
out of that group really. The others are just nerds [JH laughs], yeah.
Q. What do your other friends think about the males in the group?
A. Much the same. We all get on extremely well, we are all at the same level. A couple of us have
been out with a couple of the boys but it didn’t seem to make any difference to the group
structure, they were still friends and you could still hug anyone even if they were going out with
your best friend, it didn't matter. And that was really nice.
Q. Mm.
A. Occasionally you had someone who had a passion for someone, and that passion was not
returned and that was very sad, and you have to sort of calm them down a bit. But never anything
serious, it's usually always blown over.
Q. It sounds like a good group. Do you think there is anything, like, double standards going on
between - different set of rules for girls than for boys?
A. I don't think so, certainly my close girlfriends don't treat the boys any different than they expect
to be treated themselves. I mean, I treat my male friends almost identically as I treat less close
female friends. And I think they do to us as well, it's pretty sort of asexual in that sense, everyone
is sort of virtually the same, it's quite good. I don't think there are double standards, no.
Q. Would you say that many of your friends are sexually active at the moment?
A. Certainly not my close friends, no, not at all. Not the close ones, maybe a couple outside. But
only really two or three.
Q. Would you say that's general, or are they exceptional in that?
A. No, I think that's really quite general. Well, obviously, there are those, well you hear these
enormous long stories about them and you think god almighty what am I doing wrong, why am I
not like that. Well, really, they have these enormous images to keep up and it must be such a
strain. Certainly, girls in my year, you hear about them getting off with so and so at this party,
going out with so-and-so, and it's all they're known for, they're not known for anything else. It's
really sad, so I don't think we are an exception to the rule
Q. There's just a few who have, what would you say, that they've got a reputation or something?
A. Yeah, I suppose that's what they have.
Q. And how do people feel about them?

A. Well it's funny. Some people sort of respect them, some people are pretty in awe of this. Other
people don't really care, I mean, I don't care. Other people are completely frightened of them,
won't go near them at all, but that's the sort of timid, non-person. I think most people ...don't really
Q. Do you think this sort of reputation thing is based on reality, I mean do you think - you talked
about image just now, do you think an image builds up of a person - what they do?
A. Yeah, I think it definitely does and it gets sort of, yeah it does, and the sort of person that
person is gets extremely distorted along the way. I mean, there's a certain amount of truth in it but
if you expect her to be getting off with three boys at one party then you will hear that she gets off
with three boys at one party, whether she actually did or didn't.
Q. Do you think it has an effect on them, the person?
A. Doesn't seem to, no not at all. They get a little cliquey group around them who sort of admire,
then it will boost their ego massively.
Q. Quite interesting really.
A. Yeah it is, you can actually see the groups. Our sixth form is incredibly cliquey, thousands and
thousands of little groups. Those sort of girls tend to know each other, and those sort boys tend ..
Q. Do those girls know those boys, are they in the same group?
A. Tend to be. I mean there's also going with people outside of school. Well that's a really hard
thing to do because nobody knows them, and you don't know anything about this person. But
they do tend to interlink, because they all go to the same sort of parties and that sort of thing.
Q. And what is the attitude amongst your friend towards A. Oh, we just think they are a bunch of posers. They are not worth bothering - some of them are
very nice as well, but when they get in their groups and when they go to parties they are
absolutely awful, they really are. Basically they are just posers, sort of society, they use people to
get their position in the sixth form, you're only friends with someone if you think they can get you
into the next party sort of thing, and we don't like that.
Q. Doesn't sound terribly appealing. That sounds as if it's edging on towards 'style', is there much
around the kind of things you wear, and the sort of places you go A. Definitely the sort of things you wear, you have to wear, certainly, you have to wear certain
things and you will be recognised as being a member of that sixth form. But again, the clothes
differ from group to group. I mean there are like hippies, trendies, punks, non-people, sort of fairly
middle-class trendy people, I suppose we're a member of that sort of one. All are fairly trendy, but
some are more stylish than others, and some have more expensive clothes than others. But there
are certain clothes that everyone must own.
Q. Yeah, what?
A. 501s, converse boots, DMs, quite a lot of black. Preferably the boys, quite a lot of the boys
have long curly-ish hair, doesn't matter for the girls really, lot of silver jewelry, all of which I own I
suppose, yeah.
Q. Laughs. She runs through her wardrobe
A. Yeah, it's my wardrobe, this is true. But it is also the way you wear it, I mean I probably own,
most of my wardrobe is probably identical to a boy living in Hampstead, but certainly he could
look a hell of a lot different than I do. I think you own them, but you don't - as long as everyone is
well aware that somebody owns those items then it's alright.
Q. I was wondering how you decide, is this one of the occasions when I wear boots and black tshirt.
A. Yeah, sometimes you do. I used to do that a lot more but now I don't really do that, I dress for
me, I don't dress to be in with the in crowd and it just happens that a lot of my clothes are sort of
OK to get in with. Some of them they stare at and think, "weirdo". But I think that matters a lot
more in the Lower sixth, in the Upper sixth it doesn't matter so much, you're your own person a
lot more, definitely. In the lower sixth it was so important to wear, I remember actually picking
things out to wear the next day, washing them, thinking, god, will people be worried about what
I'm actually wearing, and thinking “how can I turn up in this, no I mustn't, I must wear something
else” but now it doesn't bother me at all, I wear what I want now, it's much easier.
Q. Laughs. And do you think that's general as well, were all your friends terribly tense about what
they were wearing?

A. Yeah, definitely, but now as I say for most people it doesn't matter. There are some people to
who it still matters quite a lot, but certainly in my group it doesn't matter much at all.
Q. Sounds like an interesting sociological study in itself, come and identify all the groups... How
do you relate to the teachers?
A. I relate very differently to them than I did when I was at O level stage which really freaked me
out quite a bit, because they are a lot more lax at the sixth form stage and they do treat you much
more as your own person, and the areas of responsibility that sort of goes with, that is quite
frightening. Because you're in charge of your folder, and you're in charge of your work and you
don't get much work on essays, you get an essay title and you have to produce an essay, but you
don't actually get much work to do in that essay. So the relationship has grown up quite a lot with
teachers, it's grown up visibly over the sixth form year as well. I mean, I remember being quite
frightened of a few teachers, but now you do actually talk to the teachers on quite a one to one
basis. I can go in, certainly with my politics teacher and have a cup of tea with him and talk about
my progress, that sort of thing, it's really nice, it's very relaxed, and there's not really any superior
role being taken by him there at all. So I think the relationship's quite good.
Q. Is there any difference - you mention him, being a man - is there any difference between your
relationship with your women teachers and your men teachers?
A. I've only got one woman teacher out of six teachers, which is very surprising. I'm very fond of
that teacher anyway because I've had her throughout my time at secondary school, and I really
get on with her very well, but there doesn't actually seem to be much difference at all, no.
Q. And not with particular subjects, sometimes you get on better with people who teach your
favourite subject?
A. No not really. Because [NAME OF SCHOOL] is a very old school, boys school, a very old boys
network, and [NAME OF SCHOOL 2] is a rather militant comprehensive, the male teachers in
[NAME OF SCHOOL] I think are extremely biased towards the boys who went to [NAME OF
SCHOOL] and I think probably the [NAME OF SCHOOL 2] women teachers are biased towards
[NAME OF SCHOOL 2] girls, sort of positive discrimination in that sense. I hate [NAME OF
SCHOOL], I hate it such a lot. To walk up and down the corridors with all the boys screaming at
you I really hate that.
Q. Do they? What do they A. Oh I don't know, general abuse at every girl that walks down, mindless first year comments.
It's not very nice walking down the corridors at all, I don't really like it.
Q. So when you have your lessons it’s mixed groups?
A. Yeah, the sixth form is completely mixed, and [NAME OF SCHOOL] as well.
Q. So what was it up to the fifth formA. Up to the fifth form in [NAME OF SCHOOL 2] it was all girls.
Q. How did you like the change, how did being taught with just girls compare with being taught
with A. Well I thought when I left [NAME OF SCHOOL 2] and I was going into the sixth form that
summer before I was really frightened, I wasn't sure how I could first of all speak in a lesson with
boys there, let alone even go to lessons with boys. I knew I'd be freaked out, I mean that was
since primary school that I'd been in a classroom with boys, but from what I could see when we
went in the boys were just as frightened as we were, so really it sort of balanced itself out quite
quickly. There were dominant people as there are in any class I think, but they weren't boys, or
they weren't girls, they were fairly sort of mixed. It took quite a long time for me to get used to
being with boys, as I say a lot of the sixth form was made up of people who'd been to single sex
schools anyway, so you weren't on your own in that sense, everyone was adjusting. And there
was certainly a mad panic when everyone went in, "Have to go out with somebody, have to go
out with somebody" because you were thrown in with all these boys, but that soon died down as
Q. You say when you go into [NAME OF SCHOOL] the boys are abusive, were the boys in the
sixth form, those you were actually being taught withA. They weren't abusive. It's just the younger ones, definitely, just the first, second, third years.
No, certainly in [NAME OF SCHOOL], in the sixth form those boys are, not a lot more polite,
they're just like any other person really, they're alright.

Q. Sometimes people have quite bad experiences of sexual harassment.
A. No we didn't experience any sexual harassment at school, no, not really. Let me think, no, not
really. Things like teachers sort of frighten you a bit in the lower school, I had teachers winking at
me in the lower school, which frightens you quite a bit when you're a twelve year old, but not in
the sixth form.
Q. It sounds as if they are treating you differently, as more adult when you get into the sixthA. They are, all round adults rather than educationally as well.
Q. Some people think it’s better to have single sex for girls because your mind isn't taken up withA. That's what my parents thought, that's why they sent me to a girls' school for secondary. I think
it made a difference for the first year, second and third, but by the time it had got to the fourth
year - has that stopped?
[We turn the tape over]
A. What was I saying, oh about going to a girls’ secondary school. It did affect me for the first,
second and third year because I certainly had much more confidence, and probably more
intelligent, in the sense that I was contributing and working harder and thinking a lot more for
myself without the threat of 'boys', I mean that was certainly primary school, there used to be that.
But after the third year when we took our O level option courses for the fourth and fifth year, I
don't think it would have made such a difference to have boys there. I don't think it really matters
because everyone, well not everyone, but most people had developed their own personality to a
certain extent by that time, so by having boys there I don't think it would have made very much
difference at all
Q. It sounded a bit dramatic, when you say when you started off in the sixth form everyone
immediately responded to that fact that the other sex was there.
A. They did, yeah, well all those people who had been - there were people in the sixth form as
well who had been to mixed schools, so they didn't really care. But I certainly think that quite a lot
people, I mean not personally and not any of my group either, but some of the girls it was almost
like being released, like being released from a cage and whoom, the boys and the girls running
together almost. But that died down after about a month. I mean, I saw that this year when the
lower sixth came in and you have sixth form parties, and you can see them, it's just like a cattle
ground. They just go in there, and they see who they want. And there are all these stories that
you hear, “so and so’s going out with so and so” and “now she's going out with so and so” and
“now he's dumped her”, it's mad for about the first month of the sixth form.
Q. You can see how the work must be affected as well.
A. Definitely, definitely it did.
Q. But things calm down?
A. They calm down pretty quickly. You get down to work pretty soon, you have exams after the
first term, most people do badly in those, then you have a shock.
Q. And start knuckling down.
A. Yeah, then it relaxes again and then the same thing, you go through it the whole time. I think
the lower sixth form is one big doss anyway, looking back on it now. Most people didn't do any
work in the lower sixth, certainly not to their full potential.
Q. What do you think is the reason for that?
A. Just the fact that you are not at school, you only have to be there maximum 16 or 20 hours a
week, you have a lot of free periods. You think you can do your work in those free periods, and
you don't do your work in those free periods and then you have all the parties to go to, to meet all
these new people, work gets really shoved aside at that time. I know it did for me. Going out with
new friends and meeting new people and going to new places. Work is just a sideline.
Q. This group of friends, your close-knit circle, is that where you mainly started getting that
together orA. No. Because I went to a sixth form in the same place a lot of my friends were there, four or five
girls who were very close friends, we stuck together throughout the first term. And then we met
up with three boys. We all got together. That lasted for about two terms, very, very, very good
friends, do everything together. Then that group was completely split, completely split up and it

ended up with two of those girls staying with the boys and four of us meeting another group of
friends who we are now with and get on much better with. But now also we've become good
friends back with those three boys that we were once friends with. So, this group that I'm friends
with now has really sort of accumulated throughout the year and a half. Finally got together and
it's a fairly solid group now, I can't really see anyone breaking away. But it has taken quite a long
time to get to that point. I didn't know a lot of the people I know now at the beginning of the sixth
Q. What blew that first group apart?
A. Well, two of the girls used to fight incessantly the whole time, I mean not physically but
verbally, and then one of the girls started going out with one of the boys, and everyone became
jealous. Then another girl started going out with another boy, then they broke up. And then the
boy's dad died, and he was absolutely broken. Not sort of visibly, you couldn't see him cracking
up, but you could see him changing to a different person. And he became actually a lot nicer.
After that the two girls had a massive row and it ended with us almost resenting the fact that they
were friends with another group, but this girl, who is quite a nasty bit of work anyway, had almost
bullied the boys into being friends with them. I think the boys turned up a bit, and they left this
term, they left them and now those girls are on their own, completely on their own, with actually
not any friends apart from each other, which is bad. We've become friends with the boys again
who are a lot nicer now they are on their own. Which is good I think, we've come round in a circle
again. I like it.
Q. And you said you wanted to keep your closest friends forever, do you think you will?
A. Not all of them, no. I think maximum out of the sixth form three or four. ..And the majority of
those will be girls, they won't be the boys. I can see that happening.
Q. I was trying to think if I still have friends from school. I think we sort of grew apart, went
separate ways. They got married, had thousands of children, this sort of thing. Do you expect to
marry to have these children or is that not a necessary partA. It's not a necessary part. I want someone around, I'd quite like a bloke around, but I, not
necessary to have them all by the same dad.
Q. No?
A. No, I don't really care, I just want five kids.
Q. How do you imagine your life would be with these five kids?
A. I don't know. From all I can see it's not gonna work. I don't want to be rich, I don't want to have
a lot of money, but I want to have enough money to be comfortable. I'd have to have some years
off work, definitely, I'd have to take a few years off work. Have them quite close together, then go
back to work. I don't see how that's going to work at all actually, it's pie in the sky.
Q. Where do you think this desire for the children has come from?
A. I love black babies, I've got a real thing about black babies, and I don't know, I just decided I
want them. I get on quite well with kids quite a lot of the time, I've worked with them quite a lot. I
just think I'd like lots around me.
Q. What kind of work have you done with kids?
A. Work, well I baby sit quite a lot, and I've also worked - run a few playgroups, that sort of thing.
And I've also worked at the [YOUTH ORGANISATION] on the junior summer programme in the
summer where you have the kids coming in for about a month and doing various activities and I
was deputy manager of that. And I really, really enjoyed that. It was quite middle-class, but there
were also quite a lot of socially disturbed kids there as well. Once you got through to them it was
so interesting how they react to you, because I thought they'd tear my guts out, being a white,
middle-class, fairly well spoken girl, and these are little black ragamuffins from Tottenham and
Brixton, I though oh, I'm never going to be able to do this. But they were really nice kids and I
really enjoyed working with them. I hope I'll be doing it again this year.
Q. How old were they?
A. Well the junior programme is meant to be from 8-16, but actually they were from about 5 to 13.
These particular kids were about 11,12,13.
Q. How did you get into that?
A. I'm a member of the [DRAMA GROUP] which is based at [YOUTH ORGANISATION] and we
did a show called 'Wicked' which was directed by, at that time, the management of activities,

NAME and she left. I do another drama group as well with a group of mentally handicapped kids.
And she offered the job to me and STEPH, but STEPH was going to COUNTRY, and I really
wanted that job. I also needed the experience to write down on my UCCA form. So I did that two
weeks out of the month, I got paid for that as well, really well paid. I really, really enjoyed and I
hope I can do it again this year for the whole month.
Q. That sounds fascinating. Do you do any other sorts of paid work?
A. No, not anymore. I used to work in [NAME OF SHOP]. I used to do quite a lot. No, I don't do
any other paid work. I used to do quite a lot. I'd like to, I need the money, but I haven't got time
Q. Too busy with the other activities.
A. Yeah, quite a lot of other activities, but they are all unpaid.
Q. You said something about SOCIAL ACTIVITY.
A. Yeah, I used to be a member of the REDACTED. And I do a lot for my Duke of Edinburgh
Award as well, my gold, passing that hopefully this June.
Q. What do you have to do for that?
A. There's three stages, there's bronze, silver and gold. Each stage takes you about two or three
years, but it hasn't taken me that long, I'm running through it quite quickly. And in each thing, you
have to do expedition planning, expedition training. You usually do three training sessions, then
you do your expedition, it's fifteen miles for bronze, thirty miles for silver and fifty miles for gold.
And then you have to do physical fitness, hobbies, community service and something else, I can't
remember what. And you have to get a certain number of points for a certain amount of time, like
you have to do community service for three months, six months, a year. And it goes up as you go
up the stages, and I've got my bronze, I've got my silver and I'm on my gold now. I really enjoy
Q. What expedition are you planning?
A. Well we've done one, we did our first gold which actually went disastrously wrong in Exmore,
and we've got our final in Scotland in the Isle of Skye in July. It's going to be hard, fifty miles in
four days, it’s just not funny. Four stone rucksack on your back as well.
Q. Could be nice, I've never been to the Isle of Skye.
A. I've never been to Scotland at all.
Q. I've seen some of the islands ...one of my friends comes from, which one is it that NAME is on,
Shetlands, that's it. Pretty far north, cold. I quite fancy living in Scotland, but I think the cold would
get to me. You do lots and lots of different activities.
A. Yeah, I do do quite a lot. They'll all stop once I've left home of course.
Q. Yeah.
A. I do a drama group with young people with learning difficulties, mentally handicapped, young
adults of about 16 to 25. But I want to carry that on, because hopefully I'll work with that sort of
group with [VOLUNTARY ORGANISATION]. I really enjoy that. That's the thing I most enjoy at
the moment.
Q. I worked for [VOLUNTARY ORGANISATION] years ago, centuries ago, as a shorthand typist.
A. They are so good to us really, I can't believe how nice they all are. I keep getting letters saying
'hang on, hang on, you'll have your interview in June and then you can start straight away’. I want
to get in and do it now, and you know, 'hang on, hang on'.
Q. When are you going to leave home then?
A. I'll leave home when I start with [VOLUNTARY ORGANISATION] because I've asked to be
placed out of London. Definitely.
Q. Why are you so keen to move away from home?
A. I think it's time. I've got it cushy here, it is cushy living at home you get all your washing and
cleaning done. I do my cleaning. It's going to be quite hard I think, managing, but I think it's also
time to get out and experience other ways of living. I also do have home to fall back on, because I
do have a year out. But going to university, and living away from home as well, I think it's quite a
good preparation for that. I wouldn't like to leave school in June and go to university in October,
and not have any experience of being away from home for that long. I'd quite like a sort of
preparation period.
Q. Sounds sensible. I left school and worked for three years as a shorthand typist then went

A. Yeah, I think it's a good idea, having time away.
Q. It was quite handy, because you then counted as a mature student, even though I was only
about 22 or something, so you got an extra grant which enabled you to live away from home.
A. That's good.
Q. Though these days the grantsA. The grants are nothing anyway.
Q. That's a great problem, even when you are middle-class because the parents can't make it up
A. I think my parents have coveted money away already, especially for SCOTT. Except I don't
think SCOTT will go to university.
Q. No, why not?
A. He's not very academic, more arty. He may go to art college or something like that.
Nonetheless it will need money. But I don't think he'll go to university.
Q. Do you think your parents have influenced you in the direction you are going with all these
voluntary activities and so on?
A. I don't think they've influenced me in the way I do voluntary activities. They've always
encouraged us to do activities outside of school, you must have activities, they've always said.
But they've certainly, it must be purely them, I do want to as well, but I mean, I've been
conditioned to go to secondary school, to go to sixth form, take A levels, go to university, and that
has been the line which has been set out for me since the year dot. In the sense that, because I
want to do Social Admin - that was my choice, that was nobody(?) choice purely my own - I need
experience so I've got to do voluntary work. So, it's wafted through that it is their influence but it's
only the general which is their influence, the specific is my own.
Q. I was thinking about the drama and art, are they into that kind of area?
A. No, not at all, they are not at all arty. They can't play an instrument and me and SCOTT can,
they can't really draw, and me and SCOTT can. I don't know where we got that from.
(Long silence)
Q. I've got some friends whose kids are very bright and everything, and the guy is a kind of
mathematical and scientific genius but wanted to go to film school, so he's going to film school,
that's his driving ambition.
A. It's interesting when people change from something to something so different.
Q. I think he was always interested, his parents were disappointed that he didn't pursue a career
as a scientist, but that was what he wanted to do.
A. As long as they support you that's good. I know my parents wouldn't really mind what I did at
university as long as I went.
Q. Can you think of anything else you'd like to tell me about?
A. I think I must have covered most of my life.
Q. Totally fascinating.
A. Not really.
Q. I thought of asking you a question, if you had to describe yourself, how would you describe
yourself, what's your image of yourself?
A. That's funny because I was thinking about this, how I would describe myself, thinking of
interviewing techniques at universities and how would I see myself going in there. I really don't
know, I've no idea. Whatever you say it sounds almost pretentious. It mustn't be pretentious
because you are talking about yourself, and you've got to have confidence in yourself. I certainly
don't think I am confident in interview technique. To describe myself would be so hard. I think
people find often because I am fairly tall and fairly big people find that a really big threat. So what
I tend to do, I put myself down quite a lot, when I meet people for the first time, so they are not
under awe of this sort of massive person. I know I do that quite a lot and my friends say I do that
quite a lot. "You know you never show people what you're like, you always pretend you are this
nothing person" and I say, "Well that's because they are frightened of me, and I don't want them
to be frightened of me". So, I think I probably put myself down quite a lot when I meet people,
certain people, some of the time. I think I might seem, on first appearance I would seem, fairly
innocent and small. But I don't think I am. I think probably on reflection I'm not at all.
Q. Is that the impression that you think you create, or you want to create?

A. Sometimes I want to create that. It never usually works, because people can see straight
through me. A lot of the time I don't really mind how I appear to people, if they can take the time
to get to know you I think you needn't be worried about trying to impress them because they are
nice already. There's only a few people who judge you immediately by what you look like, you
stand immediately on guard. I don't really bother to try to impress people like that anyway, I think
that's wrong. You can't judge people by what they look like. I've given up worrying.
Q. Yeah, you are what you are. Well I think that...thank you very much.
A. Oh, no it's my pleasure, quite interesting as well, especially for myself, I don't often talk about
things, a lot of the time. Thinking about things you don't really think about, you take for granted.
Q. I think I would like to come around and look at these groups.
A. Yeah, you could go on forever, my dad was interested in that as well. He was thinking, god this
is really fascinating, all these little groups. And I thought, god, you wouldn't really like to meet
them, they are awful creeps. It is quite interesting the way it all divides up, it divided up so quickly,
as soon as you went to sixth form, sort of where, and everyone sort of got round a circle into tiny,
little groups, with just a few straggly people wandering round in the middle of it. It is interesting.
Q. I was at a single sex school as well all the way through, which I did think made a dramatic
difference, because if I hadn't been I wouldn't have gone along the academic line that I did, even
though I did a variation upon it. I had the impression that it made a big difference. And, also, just
seeing women doing, it was all women teachers, so the women were teaching all the subjects, so
you didn't get that split into.
A. We didn't have all women teachers, we had both. It was a girls’ school but it wasn't particularly
feminist, I'm not saying it should have been, but they didn't actually tell you the merits of being a
woman and doing what you want to do, it was always... It wasn't do what you want to do because
you are a woman and you are equal, it was do what a man can do, not a woman, it was always
on a level comparable to the male level which I didn't like that. It didn't forward you as a person in
your own right, it forwarded you as a person next to a man. Some of the teachers didn't do that, a
lot of them were very good. We had a very good, STEPH might tell you about her as well, we had
a very good maths teacher who I suspect was probably gay, though I'm not sure, who was very
militant, very masculine looking and was lovely. We used to meet her outside school, she was so
nice, one of the nicest people. She was actually one of the few teachers who did support you
whatever you did for your own worth. A lot of the teachers didn't really bother. I don't think they
treated you differently because it was a girls' school. It certainly made a difference to me in the
first and second year, I wouldn't have had half the confidence had I gone to a mixed school.
Q. What about feminism, you mentioned it briefly, how do you relate to that?
A. I do, I mean I wouldn't consider myself a strident feminist, I mean I believe all the way in equal
rights in any context whatsoever. But I do go on demonstrations, not on very many women's
demonstrations, I've been on things like the anti-Gillick demonstration, pro-abortion rights I've
been on. I think I'm probably rather a selfish feminist in that sense, I tend to sort of look at things
in relation to me. I don't think that's unusual, I think that probably a lot of people do that. I read
Spare Rib, my mum gets it, and I'll always argue in an argument in favour of women's freedom
and lib and everything, but I'm not a through and through, stand up and fight feminist I don't think.
Q. I like your title, the selfish feministA. I think I actuallyQ. Is your mum a feminist, would she describe herself A. I don't know, I think she'd probably say she was a feminist, I think she practices feminism
better than I do. She runs her own business with a partner, they do quite a lot of about
themselves, and also working for SEXUAL HEALTH ORGANISATION.
Q. What's her own business?
A. She runs a company [DETAILS REDACTED] and it’s assertiveness training and
communication skills, that sort of thing, and they manage a number of counsellors who get hired
out by various companies to teach their employees various skills like that. I would say she
probably was a feminist, but I also… She doesn't really talk about feminism much, but again she
will always side with the feminist view. She balances out the household fairly equally. That is a
result from her own feminism. My dad isn't a feminist I don't think, if men can be, I think they

probably can be feminist. But he always groans whenever we talk about it, and my brother, but I
think he probably supports women's lib as well. To a certain degree.
Q. You sometimes hear stuff about post-feminism, like we've done that.
A. Yeah, I know, exactly, we haven't really got there, we haven't really got anywhere really. I think
it's probably a male term, post-feminist.
Q. Yeah. Well, thank you very much again.
LJH01 December 1988
Interviewed in her home, no-one else was there. An attractive, large young woman. This was
mentioned to me by the person through whom I contacted her, but I often don't notice height, not
a relevant category for me unless someone towers amazingly over me. She was quite tall I
suppose, and we spoke of it when I asked her what her image of herself was - she thought
sheer size might make her intimidating, so tried to make herself small, and be non-assertive.
Although she thought she was probably not too successful in that. She was casually dressed
(we were at home) but we did discuss clothing as a marker of group membership. The previous
year she had been very into that, and listed the basic things required in the wardrobe of those 'in
with the in group' that she related to, but this year it was not such a problem for her, she did not
feel the pressure so keenly.
Very together young women, not sexually active, but clear in what her requirements would be of
a partner. Extremely aware and worried about the risks of AIDS, and contraception, but
particularly the first. Viz her quote on our BSA paper. Had a close relationship with a young
(younger even) man for some years, and had both discussed at a certain point changing it into a
sexual relationship, but she feared losing the friendship, and they had agreed not to do so.
Very interesting on peer group pressure, and indeed peer group construction. Seemed well
worked out in relation to what she wanted to do in the future as far as college was concerned.
Also wanted to have a number (5 I think) children, but not particular as to them all having the
same father. Interested in having 'black babies'. Very activity oriented, doing Duke of
Edinburgh's award, works with handicapped people, belongs to a theatre group, did belong to a
youth orchestra. Did voluntary work with young blacks summer programme of the [YOUTH
ORGANISTION] last year and hopes to do so again. Also doing a year [COMMUNITY
VOLUNTEER ROLE], (out of London so she can be away from home) next year between school
and university.
Parents, pa [HIGHER EDUCATION ROLE], and ma worker at [SEXUAL HEALTH
ORGANISATION] plus runs her own [BUSINESS] with a colleague/friend. So she was terribly
well informed about the issues around AIDS, sexuality, etc. in fact had had as she said it
crammed down her throat for ages. [Maybe she didn't say that exactly - but lots of information on
the topic instantly at hand for the asking, and a lot given without asking.] Risky behaviour
smoking and drinking (parents did not know how much on both of these. Did not know she
smoked until recently tho she had since 13 or so I think.) Also taking chances with her education
by bunking off.
Very responsive, as you'll see from the transcript I often did not get the chance to finish my
question. She thanked me for giving her the opportunity to think and talk about these issues
which she had not done so consciously before. Would be amenable to re-approach, so if we
wanted to ask for an activity diary. But probably not nec, tho I guess we could go for a reinterview next year (she'll be 18+) to see if any change on the sexual activity front, specially
since she will be living away from home.
LJH01 Second interview 21.6.1990
Q: Well, I suppose what I'm gonna ask you is what's been happening since last
time I saw you.
A: When did you last - when - hang on, it was right at the end of '88 I think,
December '88. I was in the lower sixth.
Q: No, you were still in - no, you were in the upper sixth, yeah, just before A: Just after my exams.
Q: It was shortly before - you had about six months left of school A: Yeah.
Q: - and then you were gonna go and do voluntary service.
A: That's right. I did.
Q: Yeah? Ah, well... (interruption). So - what did you do with the voluntary
A: I joined (?) [VOLUNTEER ORGANISATION] and I worked - I got A
PLACEMENT in WEST MIDLANDS looking after a disabled student. And I did
that for six months.
Q: And how was that?
A: Oh, it was brilliant. One of the best things I've ever done. Sorry it's a bit weak,
I'm not very good at making tea.
Q: Thanks.
A: And that was - it was absolutely wonderful, it was a real... ever done.
Q: What kind of things did you have to do, carry the person round all the time?
A: Well, she had - she'd got a disease of the central nervous system... quite rare.
Similar to MS, and it debilitates you by killing everywhere, and she had it since
she was six and she's now twenty-four. So it's quite far gone. She only used to
really stay... in a wheelchair, she couldn't use her hands; so literally we did
everything for her.
Q: Gosh, yeah. So what did you like about it, was it A: I really got on well with the person. We were kind of really good friends... my
co-volunteer I got on well with as well, and I just quite liked being part of student
life and not being a student. I didn't have to worry about getting essays in.
Q: Yeah.
A: But you're in the middle of this community where - I mean I was with my peers
as well, which was nice.
Q: Yeah.
A: And I found I was quite good at it, so that gave me a kick. I thought I can do it.
Good. And also it was being independent, I wasn't living at home. I just enjoyed
most - it was hard work, bloody hard work Q: Yes, I know what you mean. How did it work out with your co-volunteer, I
mean did you justA: We did shift work.
Q: The whole - just generally university time or A: Yeah. Yeah, she went home, she went home during the holidays.
Q: I was thinking in the day - you'd take her round all day, or would you A: ... you're on shift for seventy-two hours including nights... you worked every
other weekend and had every other weekend off.

Q: Yeah.
A: So Q: That must have been six months.
A: Yeah.
Q: What did you do during the time off?
A: During my time off, I just slept mainly. And some weekends I came home. It
was quite exhausting but I just dossed around all the time I wasn't working; 'cos I
have... many close friends there, so I just spent time with them really. But it was
actually quite ideal. And that finished in March. And I was due to start another
PLACEMENT... - this is what it was supposed to be - being a friend to kids who
for terms of short periods were in care, to living independently. And I went down
and it was just - I was stuck in this flat in the middle of nowhere in Ashford. And
the job outline turned out to be totally incorrect. It turned out that I would be
following the social worker around for six months. And I thought I can do that any
time Q: Yeah.
A: ... full time job or anything... so I packed it in and came home.
Q: Yeah. What did you do then?
A: Tried very hard to find work. I did voluntary work for a bit in a SHOP, I did that
for a month. That was just something do to basically, not for money, just to do;
and then I landed a job which I'm in now, which is working in an off license.
Q: Yeah? Oh, you said that on the phone, yeah. How do you find that?
A: Oh, brilliant, I love it. 'Cos it's... work, so it's quite an affluent area, so it's quite
busy a lot of the time. But it's - it's like pub work, people don't stay. You get all
sorts in Q: Yeah.
A: I like it. Bad money, bad hours, but other than that...
Q: I was thinking it must be a bit like pub work. Half my family were in pub work,
most of them have got the sack now. But my sister still works as a barmaid. And
she likes it 'cos it calls on a lot of different skills and A: It does, it really does. You meet so many people. You get your regulars and
you get the people who just come in and, you know - you get the posh people
and then you get black people from the estates over the road. You get all everything...
Q: Get to know what their favourite tipple's gonna be.
A: Mm. Have it out waiting for them when they come in, yeah... for the money
Q: What, take a break before you go to university?
A: Yeah. Yeah. I'm planning on going - me and... going to Amsterdam for a
break, and also I've applied to another charity called … which pair volunteers
with people who want to go on holiday, disabled people, and they pay for you to
go on holiday with them and look after them. ...idea. And go anywhere as well Q: Yeah. So you've been doing a lot. You were doing a lot back in...
A: ... handy 'cos I mean I can study that in the (?)community of arts.
Q: Yeah. What about other aspects of your life?
A: Nothing particular.
Q: Relationships and things like that.

A: Oh, I've... quite interesting... I think this year, my eighteenth year, I've really
done well this year... (?)time together - quite funny, I mean somebody was
saying to me today, oh it's your birthday... a month; he said oh, the best years of
my life were in my teens, and I thought, well mine weren't. Not most of them. But
this year has been good, really good. I've done such a lot. I mean, I got my Alevels and I got a place at university and I've done loads of different jobs and I've
met so many different people. ... really good. It's a shame it's over.
Q: Yeah. Well, it'll be nice being in university I suppose, won't it?
A: I don't know... I mean, I want to go, but it's rather sort of inevitable. I mean it's
like three years - it'll be three years ago by the time I go, that I sort of started
thinking about it, working for A-levels - A-levels obviously lead to university; for
me it did anyway. And I've had this place for a year... don't know...
Q: Which department was your handicapped person in?
Q: Oh, quite interesting.
A: It is. The course is really odd. We went to a few of her lectures on criminology
and that was brilliant because - it was quite funny, 'cos she's third year, and the
first lecture I went to with her was - she hadn't done the course, it was her third
year sort of choice, and he started talking about all these things that I did for
politics A-level. And I was thinking, my God! The third year undergrads doing
exactly what I did when I was seventeen, you know... interesting course...
Q: Well, I mean one of the main things I want to ask you about is what
relationships have you had A: Oh, well, '88 I think was very slow indeed wasn't it the, but - oh... festival...
Nothing until I went to Birmingham really. Last summer holidays I ... didn't go
away... very much before I went to Birmingham. In Birmingham I was thinking,
oh this is... my new life, the new me; I had great aspirations of starting myself
again and being what I wanted to be, 'cos of course if you go somewhere new,
nobody knows anything about you. You can be what you want to be, and I was
quite pleased that I could do that. And I did. But I found it quite hard to... friends
or make any sort of relationship with anybody because the hall of residence I
was living in with (?)ALICE and my co-volunteer was predominantly public
school, and I was...anyway I was very prejudiced against public school people
generally. And I was an outcast, partly 'cos of the way I looked and everything,
'cos... stuff and my hair and everything, I was like freaky compared to these
suited and tied people, so - but that gave me - because running away, I was
determined to like be different, I was, and people were quite interested in me,
which is nice. Which they hadn't been particularly before. And the first
relationship - that was with JAMES. He's a friend of ALICE’s. ... WORKS IN IT. I
thought my God, I could never ever be... anything to do with computers, I mean I
go as far away from them as I possibly can...
Q: Yeah, definitely.
A: Actually I met him before I met ALICE because she used to... on Sunday and
all her friends came down to see her new CSEs, 'cos she gets new ones every
term or every year or whatever, and so they were all quite interested. They've
seen like six other CSEs, they want to see what her two new ones are like, so
there was all these hoards of people coming down to see us, it was quite
frightening. But most of her friends are male - I don't know why but most of

ALICE’s friends are male, for some reason. I'm not quite sure how she does it
but she does. And JAMES was one of them, and I thought, oh he - ...bit of a prat
but he was alright. I didn't know anything about him, I just knew that he'd known
ALICE for some time and they'd been friends... Then I got to know ALICE and
managed to ask her about her friends - but I had to get to know ALICE... 'cos it's
important to have this sort of binding with her but you can't say "who's JAMES?"
when you don't even know who ALICE is really. So it took about a month after
that before I got to know ALICE and then JAMES. And he was just - he was - he
was an incredibly hard person to get to know because he's - he's got a real chip
on his shoulder that I didn't know about until I started going out with him, which is
that he comes from an estate in SOUTHERN ENGLAND and COMPLEX
FAMILY DETAILS, and he was like really proud of the fact that he'd got to
university. Which was fair enough and I admired him for that when I first knew
him, and it later turned into conceit, and I realised it had been conceit all the way
but I didn't see it. So I sort of - when I first knew him it was mainly talking about
him sort of... occasionally... and we'd probably been together about six - six - five
weeks - six weeks into the term - about after - on the freshers' ball. I couldn't
believe it... I think that lasted on and off until Easter really.
Q: What was it like? How did you like it?
A: Well, I liked it very much, at first, until Christmas, the end of that term. We got
on really well. And we got to know each other very very well, and I still thought
he was a nice person. Eventually I realised actually he wasn't a very nice person
at all, and he was basically conceited and selfish and he was a bigot and he was
prejudiced, and he was all the things I despise in people. So I was like sad that
he didn't turn out... but at the same time I could realise a lot of his faults weren't they were his fault, but they weren't what he wanted to be. He didn't like himself
either, he didn't like himself like that. He was quite fascinating... sorry for him for
a long time. And then we sort of drifted apart, but it was hard 'cos he lived in the
same hall of residence, he lived like the floor above, which is impossible to live in
the same sort of - see somebody dinner and breakfast every day and be
breaking up. Most of the while - most of the relationship we spent arguing, but in
a way it was quite a passionate relationship because of that, 'cos we argued all
the time but they were constructive arguments. And we used to physically fight a
lot as well.
Q: Yeah?
A: Used to - we used to beat each other up quite frequently - every other day. In
fact he used to come down looking for a fight. I wish I'd... no... it does sound
really bizarre and horrible, but it was quite enjoyable in a funny sort of way.
Q: Was it?
A: Yeah.
Q: Who used to win?
A: Nobody. We both used to call a truce before we did any real damage. I have
got bruises, I had bruises for the whole entire two terms of my (?)links with him.
Q: Did you - did you want to - I mean did you want to do that or did you want to
stop it?
A: No, I think I probably wanted - I think if I'd have wanted to stop it I would have
done. And I remember thinking "this is really strange", but I didn't - I mean I'm
not a violent person at the best of times, whatever, I never fight. Like it seemed

almost that he needed - he needed that, and in a way when he needed that I...
quite nice. Especially if I was angry.
Q: Yeah, right, ... disagreed...
A: And I think it got to the point where we just exhausted any - any sort of form of
communication. We tried both - I think I tried harder with him to sort of like make
it work. He wouldn't - he would get to the point where he would just say, "I'm not
listening to you, I'm not listening to you", almost... "I'm not listening to you"...
sad... really really... twenty-three and not... He was, he really was, and his
friends used to get angry with him, they used to say listen to him, you know,
she's trying to work... Then he came down and stayed and we spent (?)a year
here and - he went back that term, it was the last term... which was the spring
term, and it was sort of the same. You know, just sort of - we were really good
friends until quite recently, but I'll get onto that later. This was all - very, very
complicated, the whole thing.
Q: Yeah.
A: But we were very good friends afterwards, I mean he always felt free to come
here and stay here, which he did, and we used to talk, and we used to - in fact,
he used to unload quite a lot of his problems on me, which... a lot of people
tended to do that in Birmingham, I don't know why. I think they thought, ‘CSE agony aunt’, you know. But I still - I still feel quite - I don't know, sad more than
anything else 'cos he's screwed up and nobody can help him... and he's
pathetic... I mean I'm going up there next weekend ... we actually bought tickets
to see ECLECTIC MUSIC ARTIST, so we're going to see ECLECTIC MUSIC
ARTIST together next Monday, which is really nice but I mean I really just dread
the thought of going with him now.
Q: Yeah.
A: That was relationship number one. Relationship number two Q: Can I ask you about the sex in the relationship A: Well, he was the first bloke that I ever slept with as well Q: Yeah, yeah.
A: - which made it even more complicated, because he was so guilt-ridden about
that. I mean he'd only slept with one other person before me, and he - that was
his number one serious relationship before me, this girl JENNY who's actually...
but he hates her and she hates him. And JENNY was always the person he
wanted to marry, so it was very serious. But when we finally sort of... partly 'cos I
didn't know how to, 'cos I'd never been out with anybody in my entire life until
that point when I didn't know what to do at all, and like he was - I didn't realise
that his signs of affection were very different from what I thought they were. I
mean he did some ... not really what you think about, is it? (laugh) They like you
but there's Q: Yeah.
A: So on - it was that feeling, that was the person, if I'd have slept with anybody,
I'd have slept with him.
Q: And how was it - was it the way that you'd expected it to be?
A: Oh, yeah, it was wonderful. I mean it was - I was thinking, everyone says the
first time's awful. My first time, it wasn't, it was really nice and I felt really happy.
And I told him, 'cos I wanted to tell him, and he was really nice about it...
special... a bit yucky but it was quite nice to hear as well. But it was hard - it was

hard to sleep with him in the hall of residence 'cos basically... morning you've
obviously been there all night.
Q: Yeah.
A: But - I don't know...
Q: Were you taking precautions?
A: The first time, no, I didn't. I had to take the morning after pill, which I made
him come with me to get. It takes two... damn well come with me and if I'm going
to be sick you're going to be there... After that it was just condoms...
Q: How did you find those?
A: ... they're a bit revolting, I think. But worth it. And I think we slept together
maybe two times after that in Birmingham and then ...
Q: You slept together two times after that?
A: After the first time in Birmingham, then Q: Then down here.
A: ... here.
Q: Yeah.
A: But then... the last term. We both - we didn't - I think the final crunch point was
that I found out actually he was quite a malicious person. He said, "I'm now
going out with someone else"; it was like (snaps her fingers). It was really
sudden, and I thought, "you pig!". That was a really horrible thing to do.
Q: Yeah.
A: But I was so pathetic. I mean I still hate myself for doing that, but I stood for
more, I thought, you know, "he'll come back", and he did. He finished with her.
And he gets really obsessive about people, which was what I noticed as well,
that if he wants somebody, if he wants somebody, he'll get totally obsessive day and night he'll go for it, that's what he did for me, that's what he did with the
girl after me: which is what he did coming back to me. And then now, with the girl
he's going out with now, it was like completely obsessive, it's almost frightening
in a way. I mean it's a stupid example, but before we started going out he did
things for me that most people wouldn't do. Like he got his ears pierced for me
because I said I liked men with having - men with earrings Q: Yeah.
A: And he got new glasses 'cos I said I liked these glasses on him, and he dyed
his hair black... as a joke. And he did all these things which was like such a sign
of weakness really. I mean I wouldn't do that for anyone. But he did. But he's
now... he's now going out with somebody who he again... (?)She's very different
from - there's a common, a trend ... all the girls he's been out with, which is
JENNY then me then me and then HELEN, and - which was all - we're all quite
large and like sort of - we've all got stronger characters than he has. But... I
mean, that's not out of jealousy or anything but... So I'll be interested to see how
that works.
Q: Mm. He's breaking his pattern.
A: Well, let's hope so.
Q: Yeah.
A: In more ways than one.
Q: Yeah. But what about - then what happened after you broke up and you were
rather unhappy about it?
A: Yeah, well, it was even more complicated than that.

Q: Yeah?
A: Because I have - he - .. I started going out with CHRIS, who's... a party, and
at this point I was still reeling. It was - the dates are just so ridiculous. I met
CHRIS on Tuesday, … . JAMES was due to come down on New Year's Eve,
which he did, he stayed... Tuesday. Went out for the first time with CHRIS on
Wednesday. I went out with CHRIS for the whole of that term... and fine,
because I thought, well I've got CHRIS, you can go out with whoever, it doesn't
matter, 'cos he (?)don't know. And he thought he'd really hurt me, which he had,
but not quite in the same way that he thought.
Q: Yeah.
A: And at times I wanted to really hurt him by saying, actually... don't worry about
it, but I didn't until the end. But my relationship with CHRIS was basically again
very very different. He was a completely different person. Well, I met him at a
friend of a friend's party .. and he was like a real socialite, he knew everybody
and he was like the life and centre of the party. And usually you just don't like
those people like that, you think they're obnoxious and... don't want to have
anything to do with them. But he was - he was incredibly - he was absolutely
gorgeous, really really gorgeous; he was completely different from JAMES, I
mean JAMES IS dark and ... and he just somehow, I don't know why, he just
decided to take an interest in me. He like asked me what I was doing and - really
just discovered that we had the same politics, and politics are a really important
part of my life. And he had identical views, and it wasn't just that he was
agreeing... agree with somebody, but he backed up the views really in the same
way that I did. And I thought this is really interesting, it's really nice to talk to
somebody who's... the same things and also be a bloke. And sort of the party
drifted on and on and on and on. Somehow he always came back, which is really
nice, but yet again, the blind bat that I am, I couldn't see it was happening, but
everyone went home. And...(name),whose party it was, sort of said, "I'm going to
bed now," and it was just me and CHRIS. And I was still thinking, at four in the
morning, "I'll get a taxi home"... cab home. (name) being subtle, he said "I'm
going to bed now, I'm going to have the bed upstairs and you and CHRIS can
have the one down here". And I - I thought oh, thanks .., thanks very much, that
really puts me into a corner now, doesn't it? There's CHRIS sort of smiling away.
So I got into this - this sort of bed, like a mattress on a sort of platform out in the
middle of the room somewhere, sort of fully clothed lying there, terribly sort of
virginal, sort of lying there. Nothing really happened that night - well, we did but
not all the way, and I thought "I've done the one thing that I swore I would never
do", which was have a one night stand. And I don't think that does anything for
anybody, confidence or ... But he did, he phoned. He was really nice... phone
number... I play tests on people, I know I do it all the time, which is... gave him
my phone number, ... phone me. Even though... But he did, and we went out for
about four months. It worked out quite well. 'Cos he agreed that he - well, he
didn't agree, he said that he wasn't gonna... (?) argument. I said, that's fine with
me 'cos I've got JAMES, and he knew about JAMES but JAMES didn't know
about CHRIS.
Q: Yeah.
A: So it worked out quite well. 'Cos one was in Birmingham and one was in

Q: Very neat.
A: ... quite ... actually. So I used to come down to London every other weekend
and have a night with CHRIS and then... down in London. Write occasionally...
He - unlike JAMES, I didn't know him. I knew him physically very well, 'cos I slept
with him... and I think that was quite an important part of most of his
relationships, 'cos he was quite a promiscuous person. He did have a lot of
girlfriends, and I think that frightened me a bit and I think I... determined to keep
up with that sort of image. I did. I mean, it sounds - that makes it sound like I was
forced, but I wasn't forced, I wanted to.
Q: What was the sex like with CHRIS?
A: Oh, it was better than JAMES. Much more variable as well. Which was partly I don't know... But no, it was much better. He was more - he was far more
practiced apart from anything else. He'd been out with people since he was
fifteen and like JAMES was twenty-three and only slept with three people.
Q: So did you think that you'd found... sex...?
A: Well,... I found out about myself.
Q: What did you like particularly?...
A: Oh, it made me feel - it just made me feel really good, that somebody wanted
me... And it takes two, and that - that they need you to be there at that point, that
they want you to be there at that point... to be there the next morning.
Q: How do you feel about that?
A: What?
Q: Just wanting you there.
A: Oh, that made me feel really good, that was such an ego-booster and it gave
me such confidence. It still does, to think about it, but - that you were wanted,
you were desired. And also by people that I really wanted to be desired by. They
weren't just people - anybody. They weren't people that... Hi, dad.
Q: Hello. (interruption) Would you say you were - in the relationships, who was it
who made the decision that it become a sexual relationship? I mean, with CHRIS
it was like, you know, it was made for you A: It was, wasn't it. Well Q: And with JAMES you were a bit pissed... But then each of the times you were
making love, do you think it was you who decided or they who decided or A: I don't know, it's really weird. Both times with both people I think it was almost
- it was ... it was almost assumed. I assumed so they assumed. It was quite nice,
rather than nothing happening, 'cos for me - I don't know, sex was always
something that I wanted to try and never got the chance to, and it was always - it
was much, much more important that it happened for me. And a lot of it was an
anti-climax when it did happen, but it was rather a means to an end. With CHRIS
the relationship was actually completely sexual. I mean, I was going out with him
for four months, I never once saw him in daylight. Seriously, you know, I never
saw him in daylight. We used to have a little routine which we did every time,
which was - regardless of whether I was in London anyway... he used to be - he
used to go to an Irish pub up at the Angel and I used to meet him there, and he
used to... three hours, and then we used to come back here... and then he'd go
home. And every time was exactly the same. And in retrospect it looks extremely
boring, but at the time it was what I wanted and he'd be... and we didn't need to
say anything really. I suppose in a way we were using each other because, even

though he agreed not to be monogamous, he didn't actually sleep with anybody
else at the time, for the time I was with him. Not sure that's trying but Q: But it worked out that way.
A: It worked out that way, yeah. I wasn't monogamous because I slept with
JAMES, and that made me feel quite good. Even though I would hate to have
that happen to me, I would absolutely feel awful, but it gave me such a feeling of
power. ...
Q: You didn't. I mean what about - it seemed okay. I mean, you felt okay about it.
A: Yeah. Because all my friends - I told my friends, most of my close friends
anyway, about - we all tell each other about sex... you know, talk about it, and
most of them agreed that, oh, why not? Why not have them both? They don't
know. If CHRIS doesn't want to be monogamous, then fine. That's his decision.
That was - he'd already said that. And JAMES was so self-centred that he even
said to me - this was the thing that got me and what made me determined to
like..., he said - he once asked me, "are you going out with anyone else?", and I
said, "I don't need to tell you that". And he said, "yes, you do", and I said, "no,
because it's enough for me to be with you now, at this point - moment in time, it
should be enough that I'm here with you; there's nobody else I would rather be
with because I'm with you.". And he said, "oh, well, you couldn't anyway". And it
wasn't even "you wouldn't", "you couldn't". And I thought...
Q: So what happened in the relationship with CHRIS?
A: Oh Q: That came to an end?
A: Yeah... it became so much routine. He was - he was saving up to go to
And a week before he went to COUNTRY I came back and he ... He was gonna
come in, I was gonna say to him, "look...", 'cos it was inevitable it was going to
end anyway, if he was going to COUNTRY. But I thought, well, why not? ... week
ago. And then he just said - he came out with this pathetic line, which was "I
can't give you as much as I want to give you so we might as well end it now",
and I sort of... eventually. So okay, fair enough... And he went away. I spoke to
him the day before he went and wished him a happy time. It was fine. And he's
out there now. I'll probably go to see him. It sounds quite nasty. I don't feel bitter
about that at all, because he played straight really, and I played straight. None of
us... permanence. We didn't know each other, but it was nice.
Q: Yeah.
A: It was easy.
Q: And mainly for the sex.
A: Yeah, the sex was very nice.
Q: Yeah.
A: But it was uncomplicated. It wasn't anything sort of - I suppose, 'cos we didn't
know each other really that well, that you just don't talk about things, and so if
you don't talk about things you don't find problems with things. As simple as that.
Q: What sort of things did you do sexually? I mean, what kind of things did you
enjoy about the sex?
A: Yeah.
Q: Things that you did.

A: Well, he was - JAMES was... quite (?)aggressive, and it was always him. It
was for him. It wasn't really for me. He - he used to, you know, just get on with it
really and it was almost like - like you're there. I didn't like that. If I'm there... you
know... (?)I don't undress in front of anybody really... trust Q: Yeah, yeah.
A: But you have to accept that. But CHRIS is far more respectful - I mean I don't
mean like he said... but he was - the sex was far more adventurous with him, far,
far more adventurous than I could ever imagine. But I didn't feel almost - I felt a
bit embarrassed... JAMES... anyway, but with CHRIS it was a far more natural
thing to do. I don't know if that's partly because he's so good, that he made you
feel like that. But - he just used to say nice things, and then he was always like, if
you wanted to try something different, then that was like - he'd say, "look, let's do
it" and that was fine. I was very happy to do basically anything. And it was never
- it was never really a problem. It was just enjoyable, it was just nice, it was like
sort of playing. Do you mind if I smoke?
Q: No, go on.
A: Do you want one?
Q: I don't smoke.
A: Is it alright if I do?
Q: Yeah, yeah, sure. So after he went to COUNTRY A: After he went to COUNTRY - I did feel bad for the week he was in London (interruption) Q: So you were unhappy that week.
A: Yeah.
Q: ...
A: I just felt bad, because I think, even though it was inevitable that he was
going, I knew he was going and that was fine, we'd talked about him going and he wanted me to be far more (?)relaxed about it than I was. He said when - that
month before he was going, he said, "I got my ticket today", and I felt really
proud of him because it was something that he'd worked for and he'd got and
that was what he wanted, and I felt really good for him. 'Cos it was getting him
out of an awful situation and it was something he wanted to do. And I felt proud
for him and glad for him, but I was quite silent when he told me. And he sort of
said, "what's wrong?", and I said "well, I'm glad that you're going, but don't
expect me to be happy, you know, in myself". And so he got quite upset and
said, "I didn't want this, I didn't want this", 'cos mostly - all his relationships were
quite simple, he... So I did know he was going, but I wanted - I thought he'd go
and like it would end 'cos he would go, not end like the week before with some
bollocks line. And I did feel - my (?)steam went, I thought... And then he went,
and it was almost good when he went, 'cos there was no excuse. For that week I
was always tempted to phone up, say..., whatever... And he went to COUNTRY,
and then the following week I... (laugh). ... such a... That was - that was very even more difficult situation, which was on Easter Sunday. My parents were
having a dinner party, or a lunch party, and they had all their friends round here.
I thought I might as well go... and some old friends of my parents were coming,
or the mother, the wife, the husband and auntie... and they've got a son called
MILES who I hadn't met since I was fifteen, he's three years older than me; and
JULIE, my... you know, he's home and... I thought, oh, I haven't met MILES

since I was fifteen, and he was eighteen and he wasn't anything special then; but
he came and - it was quite interesting, 'cos he'd grown up a lot. He was a
UNIVERSITY STUDENT. And so he was quite interested that I was going to
university, 'cos... and amidst all these people, like sitting round eating, me and
MILES just like started talking. And there was another bloke that I knew from like
since I've grown up really... my age ... a real (?)burke. So me and MILES and
(?)MIKE were all talking and we went upstairs, and we had about five bottles of
wine. It was a really nice afternoon, we talked and talked and talked, just talked
and talked; and I started to realise the fact it was eight o'clock at night. And MIKE
said he had to go - all the parents, everyone had gone... didn't know the time or
anything. And MILES said, "oh, is it alright if I hang around for a bit?". I said,
"yes. Fine’’. You know, 'cos I was actually thinking, "he's nice, I really like him. I
like what he's talking about and I quite like the way he looks", but that wasn't as
important as what he was saying. Which is strange because all the other ones
like, sort of appearance was what... first. Which wasn't right, 'cos I don't think
that should be important but - and so he stayed. He stayed until about eleven
o'clock at night. And we just sort of decided that we didn't want to sort of be apart
that night, so I went back to his house, and I stayed the night there and
everything. It was, I suppose... looking back on it. And then he came back here
on Monday and stayed here until Tuesday, and then he went back to CITY ON
SOUTH COAST. 'Cos it was stupid timing, 'cos he had his finals two weeks after
that. It was crazy. So he was absolutely up in the air at that point. Really tense.
He said, "Oh, you'll have to wait, if you want, you know. I really really like you
and I've never met anybody like you in my entire life, and you're so together, and
I think I'd like to have a relationship with you, but you'd have to wait till my finals
finish...". Mug. Mug. I waited till his finals finished, I went up for a weekend... It
was a month for his finals, I went up two weeks after that... to stay with him...
And then I basically haven't seen him since. He was due to come down two
weeks ago - he was in London - well, he did come down, he did come down to
London... didn't (?)say anything. And I just feel very resentful about that. I think
well maybe I was... that relationship. 'Cos I waited... I believed him and I waited.
And he let me down. He really badly let me down. And I knew him even less than
I knew CHRIS, and, because I didn't know him, I didn't know that all this was the
way he behaved with every girl he went out with, whether it was just me. And I'll
never know now, because I'm determined I'll never speak to him again. But I just
wish I knew him better to know how he behaves. 'Cos I don't, and I don't know
how he behaves. I rang him on that Sunday after waiting in all Saturday and all
Saturday night for him to phone, 'cos he said "wait in for me", so I did. Had this
weekend off work, which... stupid really. Mum and dad were away, you know...
Q: Yeah.
A: And I thought, well, Sunday afternoon, sod you, I'm gonna phone. You're
gonna come here and explain. And his dad just like said, "sorry, he's gone back
to CITY ON SOUTH COAST". And I thought... he said phone him that evening...
And I really - I was so angry about it that I just almost want to get it off my chest
and just like spit it all out and just say, "you bastard. You really are a shit-head."
You know, "that's a really horrible thing to do to somebody". 'Cos not only had he
screwed up that relationship, which I was like really looking forward to, but
you've screwed it up for the next person that says to me, "wait". 'Cos I'm not

going to. I'm not gonna take that line from anybody unless they're really dead
certain, or I'm dead certain. I'm not gonna do that ever again.
Q: It's difficult really, isn't it.
A: Mm. So Q: Is it complicated being one of your parents' friends? - I suppose you needn't
necessarily see him again. Accidentally.
A: I'll see his parents again. No, because I don't think I'm - I don't think I should
be the one who should be embarrassed; because as far as I'm concerned, I
haven't done anything wrong and I haven't done anything to be ashamed about.
And I wasn't the one who did the dirty on someone else. He's the one who
should be incredibly embarrassed. I don't think his parents should be
embarrassed, but if anyone should be, they should be. I mean his dad was really
embarrassed when he'd done it, which was awful. I thought how, you know, how
dare MILES make - make him sound so like sorry for me?
Q: Yeah.
A: I ... (tape change)
Q: No, I just thought if you saw him you would feel bad.
A: If I ever see him again, I know I will feel incredibly shaken.
Q: Yeah.
A: And he lives really near as well, and I know he's coming back to London to
live... work... He's got a job (?) down that road. And he's coming back to London.
Q: Very - I mean, it's likely that you might run into him again.
A: It's likely but I go to Hull in September Q: That's true. Yeah.
A: And - but ... something... future. And if I'm feeling confident about myself at
that time then... too bad about it. But I mean these things get easier with time
anyway. But I still feel that I really want to just like chat to him and tell him,
because I don't want him to do it to somebody else, I don't want him to like - he
could be doing it to everybody all the time, I don't know.
Q: Yeah.
A: He could be a real real bastard but I don't know. I just don't know. And I
suppose I still in a way hold that hope that he'll phone up and say, "I'm really
really sorry". You know, I know he won't but still... I did like him. And I thought he
was a really nice bloke, and I thought there was a future in it. And I trusted him.
And it just didn't work.
Q: Why do you think you trusted him? - I mean, if you didn't know him terribly
well. Was it those long conversations, that you thought you did know him?
A: Yeah. I mean, I got to know him in a short space of - I didn't know him very
well, but I got to know him as well as you can know somebody in that short
space of time. I mean, I knew what - I knew sort of material... I knew what he'd
done, what he was doing, that he was... I knew... not everything but - and I
thought I knew what he thought about me, because he was quite open. And he
said, you know, almost straight off, "I really like you", which is like a really nice
thing to hear from somebody. If somebody gives me that sort of (?)being nice,
somebody that I like as well, then I sort of reveal things about myself that I
wouldn't normally reveal to people. I mean, I told him things about - I don't know,
sort of stupid things, but things that are sort of quite confidential in a way, things
like contraception and abortion and things like that, which aren't normal topics of

conversation really, especially not with someone of the opposite sex. That's what
I find anyway.
Q: Mm. What contraception were you using with him? A condom...
A: Yeah. Except I didn't sleep with him... But he used condoms anyway... I did
feel that I trusted him, because I trusted him with like saying to him, "I really like
you". I don't say that to anybody. And I said to him, look, I do personally feel very
strongly towards you, and I will wait for you 'cos I think it's worth it. And we both
agreed and - and - I just feel betrayed really. More betrayed than I did, even
when JAMES said "...split up now". Because it was coming to a close anyway.
But as far as I was concerned, everything was fine, and it was just like... and I
was good friends - when I went down there I became quite good friends with his
landlady, who was really nice, and I rang her up to talk to a couple of times. And
she said, "oh, MILES hasn't got anybody down here, he hasn't got anybody
down here, it's okay, he's just busy", you know, making excuses for him. And
then just left me. And I haven't even heard - I mean, I almost feel like I deserve
an explanation Q: Mm, yeah.
A: - or just something. Even if he just says, "look, I'm sorry, it was all bollocks, I
just led you up the garden path", I would even prefer that to just nothing. And it's
three weeks - four weeks since I've spoken to him, and two months or so since
I've seen him. It's just not a very satisfying end Q: Yeah.
A: - really, it's just sort of tapered off...
Q: Yeah. There's always a possibility you continue to contact him, to give it a
more definitive end, if end it should be. Or do you feel that it's up to him?
A: Well, I want it to be up to him. I really want him to phone. And be wonderful
and say - or ... college, to phone up and say, "look, you really shat on me. I really
hate you for that actually" and stuff and - well done, ten out of ten for bollocksing
up something well and truly. But I don't have the courage to do that, and I know I
don't. Because I picked up the phone and dialled his number and he answered
and I put the phone down.
Q: Yeah?
A: Which is a horrible thing to do, I know, but at the last minute I thought "I can't".
Q: Yeah.
A: And put the phone down. But I just - I do feel incredibly - I don't feel selfpitying really, but I do feel hard done by. How dare he do that. And also I feel
angry with myself, because I do trust people. I mean, having said I don't trust
anybody, when I do trust somebody I trust them quite quickly, and it's there for a
long time. And they can do quite a lot before they lose that trust. And I just think
he's abused that really. I never really saw it in him to do that. He didn't know
anything about any of my other relationships, so he didn't know my sort of
pattern of behaviour in those situations. But I just didn't think it was a terribly nice
thing to do to anybody; and to do it to me was even worse, but Q: Yeah, yeah, sure.
A: - but anybody.
Q: Had you felt that you trusted JAMES?
A: Yeah. I mean I still do with JAMES, even though things have happened that that make me slightly... He came down at Easter, which is a week before I broke

up with CHRIS and two weeks before I met MILES - he came down because he
had an interview in London for a job, and he came down. He was interviewed on
Monday. And I said, "oh, come down on Sunday and we'll go out...", 'cos we're
really into films, we used to go to a lot of films together. ...this particular film... I
thought "I'll take him to it". So, "come down on the Sunday and - and you can go
on Monday to your interview". Fine, you know. He came down and, although at
that time I'd prepared myself that we weren't going to sleep together, and that
part of the relationship was over, and I think we should just concentrate now on
being friends and nothing more than that, and okay, we can hug each other and
kiss each other, but beyond that point, no, because I hug and kiss all my friends,
male or female. It's not a problem for me. But - and he was also in a really
obsessive stage with this girl, so he was going on and on about her the whole
time, which was ... you know. That's fine, I've got CHRIS, you've got so-and-so.
It's not - sex isn't gonna come into it; it's about as far away from that as it ever
was. And ... and I'd made the spare bed up..., and he said, "oh, EMMA, I haven't
slept in -" - he was staying at his gran's - and he said, "oh, I haven't slept in a
proper bed for so long, can I sleep in your bed?". I said, "fine, well, I'll sleep on
the spare bed. Fine. You sleep there’’. So he did what he usually does, which is
like incredibly blatant, but he just gets undressed basically and gets into bed.
Fine, yes, I've seen you millions of times... turn me on particularly. He said,
"oh,...". I said fair enough, fine... and (?)he was really completely the wrong way;
and at the time I thought I was being raped. And looking back on it, almost that's
what it was. And I've never felt so disgusting and so incredibly repelled towards
somebody as I did that night. And it was - it was almost as if he was really
desperate. And I know he hadn't slept with anybody since the following
Christmas, with me. But he was almost like a madman, and he wasn't like
anybody I'd ever known. And he especially wasn't like the JAMES I know. And Q: You couldn't stop him, you A: No. I really couldn't stop him. And - it sounds pathetic and wimpish to say that
you couldn't, but - and I'm a strong person, I mean I'm bigger than him, the same
height but I'm bigger than him, but he was like somebody possessed, he really
was. And it wasn't violent, it wasn't incredibly forced, but it was so clear that he
wanted that and he was going to get that. That if I stopped him I was in danger. I
don't mean violent or ... completely. And it wasn't that I did it because I wanted to
hang onto him as a friend, because, almost as a result of that, I've now lost him
as a friend. But at the time it seemed that - almost an impossible situation to get
out of. And I said to him afterwards, you know, when I went up to Birmingham well, the following morning it was like we were both quite embarrassed, and we
didn't talk about it at all...; then I got a letter from him saying, "oh, I feel really
guilty about what-" - no, what did he say? - it wasn't guilt, because he never
admits to guilt; "I feel very concerned - I feel very concerned about what
happened the other night", he said, "it makes me feel that we" - "we" - "can't
control the way we feel". And I thought, well, I can control the way I feel. So I
went up to Birmingham to see (name) and I saw him as well. I hadn't seen him
for four weeks, five weeks. And I went up to find him specifically. And apart
from... now from going out with this girl... everything, I said to him, "I think
actually I'd like an apology". And he said, "what are you talking about?". I said,
"because I've never felt so humiliated and so used and tampered with as I did

that night", and I said, "I couldn't sleep that night and I've had several sleepless
nights since then". And also it was unprotected, and it was an incredibly stupid
thing to do, and it was a very stupid thing to do to somebody you should care
about. And I said, "I know you care about me", because I know he does; he gets
worried about me and I get worried about him. I said, "I just think I deserve some
sort of explanation and an apology". He just stormed out on me, and I haven't
seen him since. It was really horrible, and I feel really angry and upset that - that
in some ways that relationship is ruined, because I think I'll probably hold that
against him. But I've got - I'm seeing him next weekend. I'm going to ... concert. I
don't really know how to handle it but at the same time - I thought about selling
my ticket, but I thought no, I want to go. And I have the right to go. So I'm gonna
go. But - I don't know. It's - it's like a combination of that happening with JAMES
and then being with MILES... just makes you feel really wary now, about sort of
people I choose to trust. And I feel really resentful to those two people, that
they've screwed that for me.
Q: Yeah.
A: 'Cos I think it's really good to be trustful. Not all the time but - I think it's quite
an important thing to have trust in people, and faith in people. And they haven't
ruined it totally, but they've certainly taken away...
Q: Made you much more wary about sort of... future.
A: Yeah. It makes me feel very wary about sort of men in general as well. I
mean, I hope to have a relationship sooner or later with somebody else, I hold
out hope that I will do... can't tell, but hopefully - but I just think I'm gonna be far
less easy to accept people as I see them, ever again, really. Because - because
they did that - and I mean... let myself, certain parts of me, not think it's my fault,
because I've never admitted to it being my fault at all, but parts of me really do
push people into situations where they do act like that. I don't know. But it makes
me worried for myself that sort of relationships that I myself have formed...
future; maybe I'll meet somebody who'll ... me because it's like written on my
face that they're gonna do this to me, and how am I going to like discriminate
between a bastard and a non-bastard the next time around?
Q: Yeah.
A: ... frightened I'll repeat the pattern of screwing relationships up again. That
makes me wary of like entering into them.
Q: Mm. It's not really - it's not that you screwed them up. I mean, unless you
think that there is a pattern to that, that you...
A: I think there's a pattern to - I think there's a pattern to all of them, which I do
screw up to a certain extent, which is that I become quite sort of possessive. I
don't mean possessive like "tell me where you're going" and "tell me...", but I
think really I deserve to be phoned, and I deserve to be...
Q: Yeah.
A: And also part of - I don't know, my sort of self-esteem, is that I need to be told
that I'm liked, that I'm likable, and they like me, all the time. And I know that's
quite demanding in anyone. I mean, I find it demanding. But I do it none the less.
I think that pushes people away to a certain extent. So that makes me... am I
gonna do it yet again?
Q: Yeah.

A: And I can see myself doing it. But I know definitely that I will try very very
much harder next time, not to be so...
Q: You need more practice.
A: Yeah, that's what I need, yeah.
Q: And I guess it gets easier as well... (laugh)...
A: I don't know, I find it easier to break up with somebody - I mean I didn't - in a
way I didn't count JAMES as my first break-up because we remained friends;
with CHRIS, I counted that as my first break-up, and I went through all the thing
of playing all the songs that we played together, and there's still certain records
that I can't touch. And in a way I respect that. That's him, that's fine, that's over
there. And MILES, it was still - it was easier still in a way. I mean, I felt angry but
- I don't know, I found... quite powerful. I didn't come away feeling so low and
bad about myself as with CHRIS. And I think I probably got over MILES quicker
than CHRIS. I think I was still mourning CHRIS when I was going out with
Q: Mm. Well, there was that kind of carry on of each one into the others sort of
A: Yeah. But it's - it's hard, because all the relationships I've had so far, all the
three, the three relationships I've had so far, have been so quick into the next
one. You know, I was even... JAMES... going out with CHRIS, and then a week
after CHRIS there was MILES. And it was so quick that I didn't even have time to
sort of take breath. In fact I think that probably these past couple of weeks has
been the longest in the past - since October, that I've been sort of single. It's not
too bad... (?)The grief...
Q: So already it's waning.
A: Yeah. Yeah. And I'm not even looking for anyone either at the moment, really.
I mean it would be nice if it happened. I didn't look for them but it just happened.
Not consciously, you know. But no... not really doing anything to attract
Q: What do you do when you want to attract somebody?
A: I don't know actually. I don't know. I mean, apart from obviously like dressing
up, whatever, but I find that I dress up for me anyway, not for - I don't - I don't
think - I don't think I'd know what to do if somebody said, dress up in a way that
you think would be attractive to a man. I mean I couldn't even begin to wear
heels and a short skirt and a low-cut top anyway. I just - I mean, I think my way
of being attractive to somebody is to try to act like myself... Which is partly why I
get so amazed if somebody does show they're interested, because I don't think
I'm particularly attractive or I'm doing anything that's particularly seductive. And
yet somehow these men decide that you are. And that's nice. But I never - I don't
think I'll ever understand that at all, ever.
Q: Do you feel - I mean the way that you've been saying it a bit, it sounds like
you respond to them; but at what point does your desire for them start? Is it after
they've expressed an interest in you A: Yeah.
Q: Yeah.
A: And then it's - then it's - that's it. Once I've expressed that, then they're
hooked. Or they're not, but I think they are, if you see what I mean. I've got my
claws into them.

Q: Yeah.
A: ... But I will never ever make the first move. I'll never... well, I have never
made the first sort of... sexual... sexual...
Q: Not even in the context of the relationship? - or you were saying A: No. I mean it hasn't - made the first, first move.
Q: Yeah; no, in the context of the relationship, it just happens A: In the context of the relationship it usually just happens anyway, even sort of it's almost assumed. I think I did once with JAMES. It was just once. He got
really angry because he said - this is when he was in London, for New Year, and
that was about the best time... relationship; it was on my territory, it was in my
house, so it was by my rules. And we spent virtually like seventy-two hours,
whatever, ...the whole time. It was really nice. And at one point he got really
upset, and he said, "you never ever show any public sort of display of affection",
and I thought, "I don't, do I, and that's really sad.". And so I took the initiative and
he really liked that, but since then... I get really embarrassed really. No, I've
never made the first move. And that is partly because I really can't believe it's
happening to me until it is. I mean, with MILES, it took hours, absolute hours. It
wasn't till he like grabbed my hand and then kissed me that I was just like, "oh,
he likes me". But I was still thinking, "you're gonna go home soon".
Q: ... sort of... It's interesting really, isn't it, that you can't - well, as you say, you
can't believe that it is really gonna happen.
A: No. I just - it - it's not that I don't want to believe it, 'cos I do, I'd love to believe
it. But I can't at the moment... can't. I can't flatter myself enough to believe that
what's happening is happening. And I think that lack of belief is partly why I
demand such a high level of sort of attentiveness. They've got to tell me all the
time, otherwise I don't believe it. And I still don't believe it when they do tell me
Q: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I know the syndrome. Mm. 'Cos it's saying something
about how you feel about yourself as well, isn't it.
A: Oh, yeah. I know it is, and I know what it's saying as well, that - I'm getting
better, I know I'm getting better. I mean, I feel good about myself most of the
time now, rather than... And I know that if I've done it before I can do it again,
which is nice. Whereas if you've never done it then you don't know that you can,
if you see what I mean. It's - it does definitely... about the way I feel about
Q: What about sort of other things you were thinking about, I mean like the
future? You were saying that you'd like to have children A: Oh, I still want to have loads of children. But recently it's been... thought I was
pregnant. And it was only till Tuesday,... Wednesday, that I found I wasn't, and
I've been going through like sheer hell since March basically, partly because - as
a result of like JAMES's attack, and then one failure with MILES when the
condom came off and I was thinking - so that was sort of - that really threw it
down to me, sort of thinking about kids. 'Cos it - before I was in the situation
where I could be pregnant, and I was thinking if I was pregnant, I'd have it, I'd go
through with it - which is probably quite romantic... And as soon as I actually got
in a situation where I could quite possibly be pregnant, and that's not even
convincing proof that I'm not now, but... But I was determined that I wouldn't go
through with it.

Q: Yeah.
A: But my views on children haven't changed, I still want them. I want five.
Q: That's what you said before.
A: Yeah.
Q: I remember my response was slightly surprised.
A: (laugh). Yeah. No. Still want lots of children. I still want some sort of partner
but not necessarily each one's father. My future I think is probably still much the
same, I think that's one thing that hasn't changed. I think that's probably
something that's quite strong in my life, is that I do, you know, know what I want
to do... That hasn't changed in a year, which is quite comforting, sort of... which
is if anything goes wrong, okay, I know what I still want to do and I will do it.
Q: Direction...
A: Yeah.
Q: What about relationships with your women friends with all this travelling
around, how have they been going?
A: Fine, most of the time. ...more in a minute. But my other friends - yeah,
schoolfriends I don't see any more really apart from PATRICIA. They've sort of
drifted in and out, and I've written to the occasionally and - I think probably me
and them... sort of fairly obvious signs that that was in the past. And I found that
quite hard to begin with, that - how can you care about somebody for like seven
years and then not want to know? But then I realised it wasn't just them doing it,
it was me, actually it was me doing it to them as well, and in a way it's inevitable,
that you can't remain friends with thirty people for the rest of your life.
Q: Yeah, yeah.
A: And they're not the same people, and I'm not the same person that I was in
September. I'm not actually the same person I was in January, you know, and I
think for them to cope with that would be quite hard, as it is for me to cope with
them. It's easier not to bother. Because I've made so many new friends since
then... But I've still got a core of good female friends, that are always there for
me and hopefully will always be there. My two solid girlfriends, I think, are
probably PATRICIA and LUCY, and LUCY's in AFRICA at the moment. She's
been there for a couple of months now. I miss her terribly, I really do. 'Cos... not
a sort of... I've picked up the phone to dial the number and she's not there. I
want to tell her - the same way that I do it with PATRICIA. So - but I mean...
relationship ... flourished because there's more to talk about. It's not just "what
did you do at school today?"... exams...
Q: Yeah.
A: We're all doing different things. And that's nice. I've made new female friends
as well... The main one is... and we've become quite reliant on each other as
friends... confidante. Partly I mean it didn't need to be that good a friendship sort
of for the partnership to work, 'cos it is really only a physical partnership, you're
just doing physical things for her and with her; but we did become - we are good
friends, and we're quite alike in lots of ways. She's older than me, she's twentyfour. But we get on really well. I love her very much, she's very, very important to
me. I don't know whether it's just the fact that she's not gonna be around for very
long really... important, but she is - I mean, we became very very close. I miss
her. And PATRICIA, me and PATRICIA are still solid... It's hard to sort of keep
old relationships going when you're getting so excited about new ones. And in a

way you feel quite selfish, that you ought to spend time... you could be quite lazy
about the old friends. You know they'll still be there. But I've lost a couple of
relationships that way, old girlfriends. 'Cos they're not there for me. You have to
work at them. And that's quite a pressure... people who like... I don't know, we
always come back down together... She's going away soon I think...
Q: Yeah? What, for long?
A: No, not for long but long enough. (laugh)... selfish again, I want her to be here
for me. No, she's - just a summer job...
Q: What about...?
A: (laugh)... No. I found, when I went to Birmingham, it was my first time away
from home for any length of time... two weeks, and I was incredibly homesick.
(Interruption - father). ...parents. Well, as I say, I missed them terribly when I was
in Birmingham, and it was very easy to romanticise home. Which I did, and it
was wonderful while I wasn't there. And it was nice coming home; I mean the
first time I came home it was like I waited until I couldn't bear it any longer, and it
was my dad's birthday that weekend, and I rang up the day before and I said,
"I'm coming home", and it was wonderful. Really nice. We got on really well...
and it was good. And then I came home... partly to see CHRIS, which didn't go
down terribly well 'cos I used to come in and go out and then come in and go out
again, you know; but they used to write a lot. 'Cos they were worried that I'd be
quite isolated from sort of family life. There was a lot of things that went on while
I wasn't here that I still don't know about, and it's only through my brother really
that - he's told me, sort of. Very major events that he told me about. So it's quite
- I did feel a bit isolated. Although they tried, I think it was quite hard anyway
'cos... And I came home for the first five days of Christmas, and that was four
weeks, and after about the first - the first... that was nice, and then after that we
were at each other's throats, you know, and, you know, "No, you can't go out
and have JAMES to stay..." and that didn't go down very well... having CHRIS to
stay, and that went down even less well. And, "I think you'd better pull your
socks up, my girl..."... quite handy. And I think I came down less that term.
Q: Were they disapproving, then, or worried?
A: No, they just didn't understand. 'Cos they'd had eighteen years of me not
having any male - I had male friends but not boyfriends; and I hadn't talked
about being interested in boys and, you know, I think it was incredibly hard. It
was harder for my dad. My mum... she used to work with people in my age
group and girls specifically and she understood, but my dad still finds it very hard
to talk about anything like that with me. And I mean, my mum... but my dad. So so the second term sort of left... got used to it fairly quickly, and then I came
back for what I thought was only a month... project. That was quite nice, so I
could enjoy being at home 'cos I wasn't doing anything they'd disapprove of.
'Cos I went away on a Tuesday and I came back. And I was then - I just then
rocketed basically into a severe depression, because I'd guaranteed - I'd almost
guaranteed the next six months on this job, … , and it didn't work out, and I
thought, what am I gonna do now? I'd got six months, and I hadn't got any
money 'cos I'd spent all of my money, relying on my wage coming from …, I'd
got no money and then I broke up with CHRIS. And life was just like awful, like
the worst you could possibly get. And all my friends were going abroad, and I
was just left in London, and I just thought this is awful, this is really bad. Couldn't

find a job. But then I got a job; and now everything is sort of settled into a sort of
routine, much like it was I suppose when I was at school. I never rest now 'cos I
do nights as well, so - ...quite often I see people sort of in the day, and in the
Q: How about the relationship with..., how's that?
A: It's still sort of strange really. He's - he's grown up a lot. He finished his
GCSEs. He's just got a job as well. We go through - we know - we go through
periods of just hating each other and not talking, and just basically being
incredibly rude to each other which is always... to everybody else. I think we're
allowed to do if we're brother and sister, I think it's natural. But it annoys
everyone else, and - in a way sort of when we're fighting... I think it's important.
At the same time we go through long periods of like extreme closeness and we
tell each other things, and he tells me that he could never tell mum and dad, you
know... anyway. You know, things about his relationships or things that he does.
And I even told him... told mum. Sort of fairly happy go lucky sort of chap who
takes it all in his stride. So it's a sort of - not a particularly close relationship but
it's fairly steady. But I think I can see us growing up and growing apart and never
seeing each other...
Q: ...?
A: Oh, it depends, like I mean I still don't know. I still haven't asked... They didn't
want to tell me... wasn't meant to know. Or they didn't want to tell me to protect
me, and for me to know and... not to tell me would probably be embarrassing for
them as well. But I think things like... basically, my dad was very ill at one point
and had to have an operation, and I didn't know anything about it, and...
absolutely... And I felt quite hurt that he didn't tell me. I mean, I know why he
didn't tell me, because it was a very personal thing and he didn't want to worry
me... Birmingham because he knew if I knew I'd come home. And I would. But I
still felt that - and other things like my mum's relationship with her mother and...
She was getting quite upset about that. And just - just things like that, fairly sort
of - not major, major, but quite important family things, ...talk about... ...sort of
wrote occasionally... But most of my letters... happy... So they saw like the best
and the worst, they didn't see the normal me. And it took them a while to adjust
to me being home, sort of to see the normal me. Hard for them, I think, to realise
that I was coming home for six months. I think they'd relied on me being away.
Q: ...rent out your room (laugh). Couldn't you have got another job, I mean
couldn't they have put you into another placement?
A: Yeah. They did ask but I decided no. That I'd done - not that I'd done my bit,
because it's something that I really enjoy and it's something that I never feel
obliged to do, something that I always want to do and I always would want to do
it and... Shelter, work with them at whatever; I don't know.
Q: It must have been a bit of a disappointment really, the one that didn't work
A: It was. It was incredibly... I was sort of - it was very different from the first
project, I mean I wanted it to be as different as it possibly could, I didn't want ...
one to one. One to one care, you know, is incredibly different from group care.
I'd done a bit of group therapy before with kids with learning difficulties... these
were adults anyway, they weren't kids, and - it just - maybe if I'd have stuck it out

it might have worked, but I - I don't know, I go quite a lot on instinct anyway... as
well, sort of click on and click off immediately.
Q: Yeah.
A: And I clicked off and once I think I made that unconscious decision, ...
conscious decision, there was no way I could have done it. I think even if I go
back now I probably won't be able to do it because I made that decision. They
were good - they were good about it. ADAM was most supportive actually at that
time, because I went up on the weekend, my parents were away; and PATRICIA
was away, and ADAM was the only person here, and MILES was in CITY ON
SOUTH COAST, and I think we spent the entire two days on the phone... ADAM,
crying, you know... But, no, my parents were good. They got a real shock. I think
I surprised them ... enthusiastic ...things that I'd applied to do. For once I didn't.
Which maybe I think they probably thought was strength of character. I didn't, I
thought I was being incredibly weak. Even though it was something that I knew I
should do.
Q: Well, I think - I mean,... if you realise it's not the right thing, then it is quite
brave to pull out.
A: It was one of the hardest phone calls I've ever made... That was hard. I really
did have my heart in my mouth then. How do you tell somebody that... But I did
justify myself and I did write - I wrote a very very long letter explaining my
reasons for going, and explaining reasons that - things that I thought... for the
next .., 'cos they were going to put somebody else in. It wasn't fair to just leave
and not tell why. But I haven't heard anything since.
Q: Do you - your dad was joking about you becoming a professional interviewee
or something A: Yeah.
Q: Do you think the interview last year has made any difference to anything?
A: Oh, I enjoyed it. I mean I enjoy talking about myself.
Q: Yeah.
A: Yeah, really - it always makes me think, because even though I say things
that I mean, I don't think about them that often. I know what I think but I don't you know, I don't think about sort of "this is how I view my relationships; this is
how I view my...". I just assume that I know what I think and Q: Yeah.
A: But no, what he means is that I was filmed - we were all filmed in Birmingham,
...volunteers... and then (?)last year... manager of... complete bastard. I was
telling him how wonderful it was to be on the pill and not be pregnant, and at the
time I was thinking "oh, my God", you know, "actually, actually in fact you're
probably pregnant".
Q: And you weren't on the pill?
A: No (laugh). No, I wasn't. But I had been at one point in my life, but not even
for contraceptive purposes, that was like for painful periods or whatever. But I
was speaking mainly about my friends... speaking about myself but it was about
my friends really...
Q: What about the AIDS thing, is there any change in your views on that? I
mean, do you think it's gone a bit off the boil? There hasn't been so much
publicity about it, or do you think there has?

A: Oh, I think there's definitely... But it's - it's - I don't know; I mean, I'm interested
in it anyway. I mean, that's what I'd quite like to do, when I've finished ... perhaps
get into therapy or something to do with AIDS. I know that's a field that I'm really
interested in anyway, and it's important to me, partly because it can affect
anybody and everybody and I think it's always interesting, something which
crosses sexually. I think ... got a lot to answer for. I think people are still thinking
about it but they're not being forced to think about it. They should be made to...,
to think about it. I mean, I've always thought about it, for me because personally
my - the danger in my life of getting AIDS really is through sex. It's not through
intravenous drug use and it's not through blood transfusions or anything like that.
And so that is my sort of keyhole to it. I - I personally need knowledge about it,
about myself.
Q: Yeah.
A: That's partly why I've always used a condom.
Q: Yeah.
A: I mean, I've always thought of pregnancy and AIDS in the same thought. And
when I was with CHRIS I was very worried about it 'cos he was so promiscuous,
although actually he was the person who, out of all three of them, was the most
determined to always use a condom. He always had them (?)in the room. I do
now as well.
Q: Yeah.
A: But he was always the most Q: Were you - would you ask a guy who wasn't, I mean did you ask him or A: Yeah. I asked JAMES. JAMES was already... relaxed about it. He always
said, you know, you can get the morning after pill or, you know - 'cos that's - that
was a shame in a way, 'cos the first time we slept together I did. But that was
partly because it was such heat of the moment, and had I - had it been a
conscious sort of - it was a conscious decision, but had it been a more thoughtout decision, I would have bought condoms. I did buy them for the weekend he
came down; he was actually really shocked, 'cos I'd been to Boots and I'd
bought a packet.
Q: Yeah.
A: That's the first time I'd ever done that. And I've never bought any since, I've
Q: Yeah.
A: And he sort of said, "oh, you planned to seduce me". You know, "you've got
these in deliberately 'cos you knew I was going to sleep with you", and I said,
"no, I didn't know, but I did actually rather guess, going on past behaviour, and I
want to be prepared even if you're not". And I said, "well, did you bring any?".
And he said "no". I said, "precisely"... Somebody has to do it really, it's not even
something that you can joke about.
Q: Yeah, right... (tape change) Yeah, he hated them.
A: Oh, he hated them, he was always really embarrassed about them. He didn't
ask like me to put it on. It was always like he would turn away, and, I mean, I
don't like putting it on but I don't - I mean, if it's a means to an end, I will do it. If
they don't then I will. Life or death, for Christ's sake, somebody's going to.
Q: Yeah.

A: And he never liked them. And he always felt quite embarrassed about them. I
mean, I think he was - as far as he was concerned, it was far more (?) worried
about taking precautions - he didn't think of AIDS, he always thought of
pregnancy. AIDS was never really... for him, which is stupid. ... CHRIS was
always like incredibly relaxed about it, it was always - he would do that even
without thinking. It was just that time when he... put one on or I put one on him
or... But with MILES it was... I don't know, I think they are... little things,
condoms... I always feel much - I mean, I always feel fine. I mean, I always go
through a little period afterwards of thinking, "oh, did it break?" sort of Q: Yeah.
A: ... worried about it...
Q: Yeah. What about the difference with feeling? I mean one of the reasons why
people don't like them is because they think it feels different.
A: Well, I don't think it does. I haven't really noticed it. I don't know, because - it's
funny but the only person I've slept with without using a condom is JAMES, but
I've slept with him when he's used one and when he hasn't, and I didn't notice
the difference with him. With CHRIS, I've only slept with him using a condom, so
I don't know.
Q: You don't know, do you. Yeah.
A: I think if you start off one way, then you probably get used to it, and if you
change then obviously you notice the difference. But I think you have to... start
off using a condom, you don't know what these things...
Q: Yeah. Do you feel that, though, that you may be missing - well, not if it's not
the same - if you didn't A: ... no.
Q: Yeah.
A: I would prefer to have like relaxed sex and not worry about being pregnant or
if I'll get AIDS and - be relaxed into it that way, rather than be thinking "oh, my
God! Something could be going into me which could be very dangerous".
Q: Yeah.
A: So I prefer to look at it that way. ... relaxed...
Q: Did you try - you said CHRIS was quite adventurous; did you try other sorts of
things like oral sex and anal sex and things like that?
A: Not anal, no. ... wouldn't have anything to do with that.
Q: Yeah?
A: No. Not (?)he didn't want to... fine. JAMES was the only one who like - that
was basically - he would always - they would always ask whether you're (?)like
nice sensual places, and by then I would know, so that was okay. ... Like JAMES
basically... anyone was there, and I said, "well, how do you know?", you know,
"have you - has anybody - nobody ever done that to you?", so he didn't - he
didn't know. So I think it was pretty stupid. But no, with JAMES it was always
straight, always incredibly straight sort of... It was just - it was just perfectly Q: Straightforward (laugh).
A: Yeah. He would - I would - I would say to him - when I was with him I was
always - both times it was - they were my first few times anyway, so I was
basically getting used to that, let alone anything else, so that was alright. And
then after I slept with CHRIS - see, JAMES noticed that I was behaving
differently in bed after I'd been with CHRIS, he kept saying "you're very different,

very different, you're far more confident"; and I said "no, no, no, I'm just relaxed
with you now", you know, "this is how it should be". And I tried to say to him to
like do different things or like have different things done to him, like oral sex,
whatever, and he was perfectly happy to like do things for me, but he was really
unwilling to let anything be done to him. And he used to say - it was an excuse, I
knew it was an excuse 'cos he always used to say, was that, "oh, I get more
satisfaction out of pleasuring somebody else". And I said, "oh, how about if I feel
the same way?" - "no, no, no, no, no, it can only be one way"... So it was quite
limited with him. He was always - he always laughed at the wrong time or got
embarrassed, so that ruined that. With CHRIS it was like every which way
possible. That was fine by me. ...bit embarrassing, 'cos I get quite conscious
about being like naked or whatever; but after a while, what the hell, you know.
Q: Yeah.
A: ...
Q: Did you like the oral sex, for example?
A: I liked it with - I liked it with CHRIS, and I liked it with MILES, but I didn't like it
with JAMES. He didn't know what he was doing, I mean (laugh). You know, I
thought he did and then he didn't and sort of that realisation I think almost turned
me off. And that's a really horrible thing to say because you should be like willing
to teach or to learn or to, you know, be receptive anyway and give him a chance,
poor bloke, but I think by that point I'd gone off him anyway so I wasn't really
giving him any sort of chance... But no, I like most things that people do to me or
- I think if I didn't like something I would say no. I'd try it; if I didn't like it, I'd say
Q: What about you doing oral sex for them, how do you feel about that?
A: I don't mind doing that. I think they just think it's so wonderful anyway... out of
their heads. It's quite funny, you've got this sort of power, you know. Wonderful.
No, I'm not - I take that - I think that's quite funny. 'Cos I mean I don't enjoy it,
adore it, I don't like get a real buzz out of it, but I do - I enjoy more than anything
else, you know, seeing somebody else happy, I think that's really nice. As I say,
with JAMES, JAMES never - it always got to the point with JAMES where he
would like get so embarrassed that you'd just have to stop, and I'd just like
collapse in hysterics. Ruined. And get really angry. With CHRIS it was just - he
was the first person I'd like had oral sex with anyway, and - I remember being - I
was shocked the first time, 'cos the first time was at the party. We didn't actually
sleep together at the party because we didn't have any - he didn't - that was the
one time he didn't have any condoms with him, and... refused to give him any.
He said, "I have got some but I'm not going to tell you where they are"... But
CHRIS - I remember CHRIS saying, "oh, there are plenty of other things you can
do", and I knew what he meant but I didn't want to, not... And the first time we
actually did sleep together, I think it was just natural really. I hadn't really thought
about - I think afterwards I thought, "I've never done that before"; "that - that's
happened and -" - that was my first time... At the time it was just part of what was
happening anyway. It wasn't a particularly sort of pointed event. And then after
then it became so sort of par for the course that it wasn't anything sort of special.
MILES... 'cos - I - I - I don't know; I mean I didn't - we only had like proper
intercourse once, and all the other times we were just like anything else but. And
I think ... it was a bit odd actually, 'cos he - I always knew that he was really, he

was my sensual... and he used to get really turned on by almost anything. He
used to - he was really - I quite like that in a man actually, I've decided (laugh).
He was quite sensual and he used to get sort of quite excited about everything.
That was nice. He used to get - he used to be really impressed if he did
something that he knew you liked.
Q: ...
A: ... different things... they were all fine.
Q: Would you say that you enjoy sex?
A: Yeah, I do. I know I do and - yeah, I do, definitely. If it's with somebody I like. I
mean I haven't... had sex with somebody I thought I liked and then... I don't
know. I think it's important. It's an important part of the relationships that I've
(?)formed myself anyway. I'd be interested to see if I could have a relationship
where sex wasn't number one, because there's a pattern in all my relationships
where it's like sex first and then you - you try and get to know them later, and so
far that hasn't worked. So I think next time maybe I should try and get to know
them and that might work.
Q: ... try...
A: Exactly.
Q: It's strange that, isn't it, knowing which way round to do it.
A: Yeah.
Q: They've both got their drawbacks.
A: Yeah, well, exactly, 'cos you might be waiting forever to get to know them.
Q: Yeah.
A: And (?)they might want to.
Q: Yeah.
A: But at the same time, past experience has shown that I think I just probably
wouldn't end up being... used really... I don't know. But at the same time I don't
know if it matters. I mean, CHRIS - I didn't know him that well when I slept with
him... I still came out feeling (?)not too bad.
Q: Okay, yeah, yeah. So you feel - I mean, it sounds as if, although when you
started out, when you were talking about MILES, it sounded as if you were still
very depressed, as you've gone along it sounds a little bit as if...
A: Oh, yeah, I think I'm better than I was. Definitely. I mean, I still - as I say, I
think this anger I will probably carry for the rest of my life, because it hasn't been
justified to me, and until it is, then I will always feel resentful of him, and about
that time spent with him, even though I know that it was gorgeous, like the three
days were brilliant. I still feel - maybe they weren't brilliant, maybe I was just
taken for a ride. Until I've (?)disproved... I don't know. 'Cos I haven't really - in
any relationships I've had before, I haven't had time to get over them Q: Yeah, 'cos you A: I've just gone right into the next one.
Q: Yeah.
A: And sort of my mind's completely - I shut off from CHRIS. Immediately. Within
a week, I was with MILES. And so then I was feeling good about myself with
MILES, so I could then feel good about CHRIS. But those - those days of
depression were really... quite short. My friends helped me through that quite a
lot, sort of said, you know, "..." whatever, and "don't feel bad about yourself" and
"somebody else will come along", and of course I could never ever believe...

Q: Yeah, yeah.
A: But I'm beginning to believe it more now. I don't feel so desperate. I think for
once I'm not almost as desperate as I was before - not to sleep with somebody,
but like, you know, be in a relationship with somebody. I mean, I'm quite
prepared to wait now until whenever.
Q: So it wasn't - but before - I mean, some people have been suggesting that
they really wanted to kind of get rid of their virginity somehow, like they had to do
A: Oh, it was definitely a part of that.
Q: Yeah.
A: I mean, it was always - I think probably - I don't know; I would imagine that for
most people, it's something that, you know, you know's going to have to - you
want it to happen now. And also sex is made out to be such a wonderful thing
that everybody should want and everybody should have and it should be good,
and you just want to know what they're talking about. You want to know what
you're missing. You know, you've seen them on the telly... you want to know
what it's like, you really just want to know.
Q: Yeah.
A: Whereas now you might laugh at it, it's sod all like that on telly or whatever,
but - I remember - it was always in the back of my mind, always, I was
wondering when it was gonna finally happen. And I remember thinking, when I
was with JAMES and - we didn't jump into bed like immediately, we just basically, we were both very drunk, and we bought a bottle of... earlier on that
afternoon... And he asked me to dance, and I refused, I said "no, 'cos you're just
making me look like, you know - you're just trying to make JENNY jealous", 'cos
it was only like a month, three months, he'd split up with JENY. So he was
saying, "no, I really am not, you've got to believe me"; and - I don't know, we just
got into a back room and it sort of led on from there. And then he said, "I'm really
tired now, I want to go to bed", and he said, "but my door is always open and feel
free to come up". I thought, "well, this is an invitation if ever I heard one". Really,
you know. And I thought, "well, why not?". So I remember thinking, "this is the
first time". I remember thinking, "should I tell him?". Because, you know, you
read about it, saying, you know, "she told him it was her first time and it was
wonderful, and he respected her...". But I don't know, it just felt important to me
that I should tell him, because it was something that I thought he should know,
and also I wanted him to know. (Interruption)
Q: ... (laugh)... capable of feeding himself.
A: No, he's just working really hard at the moment, he's got to be in work at sixthirty in the morning... (laugh).
Q: Yeah. So you thought it was important to let him know.
A: Yeah.
Q: And was his response what you would have hoped for?
A: Not immediately. He said - he said to me once - one of the times, he said to
me at one point, "have you done this before?" and I remember saying - thinking,
then saying "no"; and then he sort of - I could feel him stiffening, you know, just
literally just... not enormously, but I could feel the tension Q: Yeah.

A: And I said - I remember saying, "why, is that a problem?". And then he said
"no". And I said - I remember saying to him, "I wanted to tell you because - it's
not because it's so important to me, but it's important to me that you know. The
act itself is obviously important but I did want you to know.". And I remember him
then saying something really nice, which was - I'll always like hold really dear,
which was that he said, "oh, I'm really honoured. I'm really really honoured.". And
I said, "yes, well, you should be". (Laugh). "You should be...", you know. He said,
"yes, yes, I am very honoured. I think that's really wonderful. And if you (?)give
me something really special-" - and that's something that he's always thrown
back at me since then. I remember all my friends asking me, "do you - do you
really resent-" - 'cos they know the hassles I've had with him since then and
they've all been through the ups and downs with him and me; I remember they
asked me, "do you resent him being the first one?". And oh, I go through times
when I think, "oh, it was such an enormous mistake". But I also think, at that time
in the place and the thing that was going on, I knew that was the only thing that
could possibly happen. If I'd have gone to bed that night, I think I would - I don't
know what would have happened. I knew that was such a perfect thing to
happen, that it was right, and I don't really resent that. I mean, he could have
been a nicer person, but he wasn't, but at the time he was. At the time he was
just... he was perfect. But I did think it was a hurdle I had to get over really. I
mean I felt chuffed when it had happened... (laugh); everybody should know, you
know. And actually as it happened most people did know, because LUKE went
around and told everyone. And all these people kept on coming up to me saying,
"we're really surprised, we're really surprised, you haven't slept with anybody
before", you know, ... think, my God, is this an initiation ceremony? Why does
everybody need to know? But as everybody seemed so chuffed that - that I - that
I told him that - it wasn't that he had made an enormous conquest, but he was
really touched that I'd given, you know, that I had done this thing with him... But
he told me... I think I was still embarrassed.
Q: Yeah. Mm.
A: I just keep wondering... slept with...
Q: Mm. Well, if she was different from the others, perhaps... changing his pattern
or something like that.
A: Maybe he is. She is definitely very different... She's my age but she's straight
from school and she never - she... in the same way that I ... with him. But... They
weren't friends before or anything... together...
Q: You do sort of sound concerned, concerned about both of them.
A: I'm concerned about him, probably because I know - I know what sort of
dickhead he is. And I know he ruins situations for himself, he does it all the time;
partly out of his obsession with one thing. He finds it really hard to like get the
thing he wants and at the same time like keep relationships going. It's like he's
lost a lot of male friends, a lot of his really good friends, good friends of mine as
well, but friends that have always been really solid to him, and people that he
can always rely on for anything and everything, you know: money, love, support,
anything, he kicks in the teeth. And although they bounce back and they're good
people and they will always be there for him, he doesn't know that any more, and
they don't know how to show him because he's become so different. So I do feel
sorry for him. I do feel concerned about him. But at the same time, he does it to

himself. And I've tried to show him otherwise but he just doesn't listen. And after
a certain point you just give up. And I just accept it now, for what he is.
Q: So you think you will - well, I mean, there's a certain amount of ambivalence
in the way you feel about him, isn't there?
A: Yeah. Oh, definitely. There always has been really. Apart from like the sort of
wonderful four weeks afterwards when he was blissful, you know, it was
wonderful. And then you get like... worse, and you see him properly, you see him
as he is. But since... two years... Yeah... But... really. I mean, I've been from the
best to the worst. I've been through more than a lot of people have with him; I
mean, I know I have, he told me. And that's partly why it hangs on, it's that he
knows he's my friend. But he does annoy he intensely, he really does a lot of the
Q: Well, it's got a lot of mileage in it, this relationship, I think, you know.
A: I think it has. I think, yeah, we've had a long time apart now. That's why I'm
interested to see what he'll be like when I go up next weekend. I'll be interested
to see what he's like when I'm on my own with him... (?)hard for him. He knows...
but I'm not gonna let it go. I really am not. I'm gonna say to him, look, you
screwed up three months of my life really. I want him to know that.
Q: Do you think you'd have - I mean, do you feel that you'd have sexual desire
for him again or anything like that? (?)Finished it.
A: Well, I don't know. I've always thought I - that, because our relationship has
always been really passionate - I don't mean passionate in just like sex, I mean
passionate in every - we argue really strongly and we talk really passionately to
each other, and we talk about things that are really important to us, and - our
relationship was always very fast and very hurried and much more passionate
than most relationships that I've had. Quite intense. And for a long time that was
always mixed with a sexual thing. I mean, a lot of the time - you know I said we
used to fight a lot Q: Mm.
A: - and - and then it used to turn into sex, very quickly, very suddenly; and that
surprised me at first, and then I realised actually that wasn't working. And he - he
had a real problem with that. And he said to me once that he was very, very
worried - this made me laugh at the time, but it's not funny - I absolutely
collapsed in hysterics - he said that he was very very worried about us because it was a bit like a (?)letter; but we've got this chemistry between us and we really
cannot control the way we feel, and it's very very very physical and very sexual
and very strong. And he kept on saying, "we're going to meet in twenty years'
time, and I'm going to be married and you're going to be married, and we're
going to meet on a train and we won't be able to control ourselves, and we'll end
up sleeping together in - in - in the loo or something". He said, "I think we have to
go and get some help, I think we should go and get a psychoanalyst or
something.". And I just laughed. Quite frankly, I thought it was ridiculous - aged
eighteen and twenty-four, you cannot predict at all. But it did make me think that
a lot of what he said was true in the sense that it wasn't - it wasn't even really
that conscious a decision a lot of the time to stick together, that it was almost - it
was taken for granted. It was always quite - it was always quite good. I don't
mean good as in good sex, but it was always quite enjoyable, quite nice. But it
was partly 'cos like we know each other's bodies really well anyway. And I

always thought I would hold like some little corner - it sounds corny but, you
know, some space that would always be attractive to him. And I can look at him
and I think, actually - I mean, I'm not... I think, "I do see what I saw in you". But I
find it really hard now - it's only since being away... to overcome these barriers.
Not just like the last time we slept together, which was horrible, but what I know
about him. I think now perhaps - maybe I've just grown up more, but I think now
there's - those are gonna form such strong barriers, that unless - unless he
changes basically, I don't think I will want to sleep with him again. It's strange,
'cos I always thought that. But maybe that's just him making me think that, I don't
know: that we would always have this thing and ...
Q. But did you experience it like that? I mean, you say it made you laugh but that
- when you were talking about it before, it sounded as if you didn't - you
A: No, I mean that's probably not true. I mean, at the time I (?)don't think I could.
It was - it was very very passionate. It was nice because of that.
Q: Yeah.
A: Particularly the fighting. I don't think - I mean, I was quite innocent when we
were fighting. We used to fight in that - in a room with like loads of people, and
they all thought we were absolutely off our heads, you know. He used to come in
and say, "I really wanna scrap, I wanna scrap, I wanna fight", and I used to "piss off. I'm tired. I've been working all day," you know. And he used to like
punch me, and if somebody punches me I will like punch them back, it's as
simple as that. And it used to go on and on and on. And the one - it only
happened really once that it turned into like sex afterwards. I mean, he used to
kiss me and then like sit up in horror and then like we'd look at each other and
we'd like talk, to sort of avoid any - any sort of further contact. And then I said,
well - after the time it did happen, I said, "that's - why did that happen?", you
know. I wasn't asking him why but, you know, to try and work it out... and he
said, "I've always felt like that when we've fought". And I said, "I really didn't
realise that. I was seriously - I seriously thought that we were just fighting and it
wasn't anything else". And he said, "no, I always feel really turned on". He said,
"whenever you hit me or whenever like -" - 'cos he used to - there was this
horrible thing, which was like he used to sit - this was part of the torture - he
used to sit with his knees on my shoulders and then - you have this thing called
waterworks... boys' thing I think, I don't know. And basically your arm muscles
hurt so much, and they pull your arms back, and it's like excruciating pain
because your - your shoulder socket stays there but your... so painful. But I can
see that it is such a position of power, I mean they are on top of you, so it's
almost sexual except that they're much higher up. And I remember being really
shocked. And he said, "every time I hit you, every time I - like we're in these sort
of circumstances, I always feel really turned on". ...didn't fight after that. I think
possibly because he told me. If he hadn't told me, we probably would have done.
Q: Yeah.
A: But once I knew, he wasn't gonna get away with it anymore. So yeah, it was there was... which was that it was quite - almost, not out of control, it wasn't
uncontrollable, but that it was quite spontaneous. But I don't think - I don't think
that spontaneity will come back. I can't see - I can't see a time it will. I don't
know, maybe I just know him too well now. It's not really - he can't really surprise

me anymore, 'cos he's done everything that he can really do to somebody, the
good and the bad. ... to him.
Q: I was gonna say, what about you doing things to him.
A: Yeah. It was a bit of a smack in the mouth when I told him about CHRIS. 'Cos
it was - that was - I didn't actually want to tell him but it sort of got to the point
where it was - it was ... and that was when CHRIS was at his really lowest ebb.
And I said, look, come up for the weekend... come up on the train... You know, it
was almost - it was out of friendship, it wasn't out of desire to see him. I knew he
was really low and I thought it would be really nice... party, it would make him
feel good. And he said, "yeah, I'd like to". As it turned out he went away with
some male friends, which was probably better for him, I don't know. But - and so
I thought, Christ, he could turn up on Friday, and nobody's gonna know anything
about him. I didn't tell anybody; I told one person, HANNAH, my roommate. I
didn't even tell (?)DANIEL. 'Cos they all know JAMES. And ... and I remember
telling everybody there may be a friend of mine coming up. So it all came out;
and I said to JAMES, "I think - I think you'll really like him"... (laugh). I remember
look - thinking desperately for like an intro to talk to him about CHRIS. And he
said, "why? Who is he?". And I said "oh, he's somebody I've been going out with
for a long time". And although he never knew that we were actually going out at
the same point as I was going out with him - he didn't know that actually I met
CHRIS before and we spent a year together, he became very cold and very
distant and he's never talked about it since. And I even told him about MILES the
last time I went up. He just didn't want to know. He said - it was so stupid, he
asked me up to his room to like tell me about what had been going on in my life,
which is really nice - ... be friends and... and after this gap of like weeks of not
talking. And he spent the whole time telling me about EVE. And I said, okay, I'll
tell you about MILES. He said, "no, I don't want to know". And I said, "you asked
me here to tell me about my life - tell you about my life; this is something that's
really important to me and something that's really good in my life at that moment,
and I want to talk to you about him. And - 'cos he's a really nice person, and I
want to tell you because you're a friend...". And he said, "no. No. I don't want to
know what's going on in your life, I'm not interested.". And he did this whole thing
of... So I said, "you can just f-off," and I walked out. That was it. But he's never
really talked to me about other men in my life apart from him. Which is
sad. ...many an hour of other women in his life - many an hour, a week, weeks of
Q: ... can't take it.
A: No, not yet. I think he will do one day. ...realise. I hope he will realise, I want
him to realise. At the moment... ...complicated... Does it sound complicated to
you, 'cos everybody I've tried to explain it to, they just find it really hard to work
Q: Well, it's been a pretty - pretty busy year really.
A: Yeah, it has, this year has been - this year has just been so amazingly
packed, with everything. I mean, I wouldn't miss it. It's been horrible in parts as
well. I've grown up such a lot in myself this year, and I know more about myself
now than I did before. And I mean I've gained more confidence, and I think partly through like going out with men... I mean, I think that's got a lot to answer
for, me, personally. I don't know, it's like - I've learnt about things that I'm good at

and that I enjoy doing, things - I mean, things I always thought I enjoyed doing
but weren't ever really (?)proved, but now have been. That's good. And I just met
lots of new people this year and - and done lots of new things, things that I
wouldn't do again probably but still good.
Q: ... Thanks for telling me about it...
A: ...
Q: ... Next year as well, we're doing A: Yeah, roll on. Yeah, I'll see you any year - every year (laugh).
Q: (laugh) A bit like a sort of (?)speedy seminar... year.
A: Yeah, well, next year I'll have been at university for Q: That's right, yeah.
A: That will be interesting, yeah, 'cos you can tell me what I said this time.
Q: ... keep the tape recorder going... successful.

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