Pipa Gordon - Broadcaster, Writer & Speaker

Introduction

This is the Cotswolds People Podcast brought to you by Alastair James Insurance Brokers.

My name’s Alastair and throughout this podcast, I’m going to be speaking with a variety of very special guests from the worlds of business, sport, music, literature, politics, and many more, all of whom have a connection to the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty.

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This week, which is actually the last in the current series, I’m joined by broadcaster, writer and speaker Pipa Gordon. Pipa by her own admission had a challenging time in her early years growing up and following this embarked on a journey through the Middle East and North Africa doing a lot of charity work on her own journey of healing and self-discovery. A family emergency forced her to return to the UK and she soon found herself embarking upon a new journey one that took her from singing in London clubs, recording in Abbey Road Studios and then working for the BBC where her broadcasting career began.

Pipa Gordon:

Probably one of my lifelong battles is knowing how to introduce myself, but my main work I suppose if I was to introduce myself from that perspective has been that I’ve always been in BBC Radio and then I jumped across to commercial TV a few years later. So I’ve always been in broadcasting but I’ve done singing and songwriting and I do lots of writing both music and otherwise. So yes, you’re right. I do have a fair few things that like I to put in the fire so to speak, irons in the fire.

Alastair:

And when we were first messaging you were saying that you weren’t quite sure whether you were a Cotswolds person so to speak. But my last guest actually was Daniel Szor, who’s the founder and CEO of the Cotswolds Distillery.

Pipa Gordon:

Oh, yes. I know them yes.

Alastair:

… yeah, quite local to you, isn’t it?

Pipa Gordon:

Yes it is.

Alastair:

So I’m guessing you are a Cotswolds person…!

Pipa Gordon:

I am. And actually I used to ride with his wife. So it’s a small world. Actually my grandfather owned the White Heart in Stow or ran the White Heart in Stow back in the sixties. I was born down in Henley-on-Thames and I grew up in East Sussex, but over the last decade have moved back to the Cotswolds back to my roots on my mother’s side. So yeah.

Alastair:

And obviously, like you said, you’ve been here about 10 years, and in preparation for this I obviously did a bit of reading and it sounds you’ve done a lot of travelling around and seeing a lot of the world. What brought you back here finally? Was that just because where your roots were?

Pipa Gordon:

Well, what brought back to the UK after I’d spent a few years overseas was the fact that my mum had a severe stroke that we thought she was going to die. So I was in the process of heading home. It just got sped up very, very quickly. And then a couple of years later, I got married to a Canadian. We lived in London for a number of years and that’s where the children were born but we parted company. So in that process of re-establishing new life and starting over I just wanted to come away from the commuter belt. I wanted to find somewhere that was much more in touch with nature. I am someone who’s always loved the outdoors. So I came up to the Cotswolds, a), because that was my mum’s roots, but also because it was the middle of the UK and my ex-husband was a musician and he was on tour and from a practical perspective I just wanted him to be able to visit the children as much as possible. So they were practical and emotional sides to that one.

Alastair:

And it sounds you’re obviously very settled here now and you love living here and all that the Cotswolds has to offer?

Pipa Gordon:

Yeah, absolutely. Oh my gosh. We’ve got so much on our doorstep. We’re really fortunate, aren’t we? It’s absolutely beautiful. Especially during lockdown, oh my God. I felt really bad. A lot of my social media posts on my beautiful walks and all these lovely surroundings that we have and then you think of people that are cooped up in towns and flats and really restricted when it has come to movement and obviously that’s all being lifted now, but at the beginning part of things I felt a little bit bad for showing how beautiful our surroundings are, but they truly are.

Alastair:

I know we’re very lucky. Yeah. I think we’re very fortunate. I know I’ve got friends that have children and live in a flat that perhaps doesn’t have a garden in London. So yeah, I am very grateful that we do have this area that literally’s right on the doorstep. How often do you commute to London? And is that for work? Is that easy? Do you do it regularly? How do you find that?

Pipa Gordon:

I tend to go up and down two or three days a week. And actually at first I struggled, it was quite a shock to the system, but now it’s a really good time just to listen to podcasts, to catch up with my sister or someone on the phone. It’s become my time, me inside the car and I actually treasure it now. So it’s up and down the M40 which is a long, old boring road actually unless you do something about it. When you’ve done it a fair few times you begin to know every nook and cranny, but yeah, it’s not a bad commute. If I was doing it every day, it would be different and I don’t tend to travel during rush hour time either. So that’s quite fortunate, I don’t sit in traffic.

Alastair:

And how has it been the last few weeks? Because I know you mentioned a lockdown. I mean, I’ve been very much in my own little bubble here in Cheltenham that I’ve not really gone far at all. So how have you found it, the last few weeks as locked down’s been eased? How did you find it going into London? Did you feel a bit anxious or…

Pipa Gordon:

I was very fortunate in as much as I go door to door. So I don’t have to use public transport at all and where we work, anyone who could work from home, went back home and that’s where they worked. So we had a much scaled down broadcasting team. Everything became a one-way system. You were literally followed with someone with an antibiotic spray and if you touched anything, it got cleaned. So it became very sterile very quickly and nobody’s been unwell all which has been amazing but I loved the quiet roads. Oh my gosh. Just driving down through Woodstock on Oxfordshire and then jumping onto the M40 and especially coming back at night time, the amount of deer that were out on the road so much more than usual, it was really quite exceptional. It was like going back to the 70s, very strange, just no traffic around at all.

Alastair:

I know. And I think it makes you wonder how long that will continue for. There are loads of people now are saying, they’re not going to do that big commute if they don’t have to and I think that can be a good thing really, can’t it?

Pipa Gordon:

Definitely. And when you look at the impact that it’s had on the environment, I think that that has been phenomenal to see. And just when you step outside and the sun’s shining the fact that everything looks so much brighter, I think has a direct impact to the fact that the air around us is cleaner. So I really hope that we do all take that step towards having a cleaner lifestyle. Although, I have seen the roads in the last week have already got really quite busy which I find sad, but it’s inevitable. We’ll see how it turns out.

Alastair:

Yeah, of course. And how have you found it in terms of what you’re doing on the QVC channel, has that been affected at all? I know obviously it’s remote a lot of what you do, but has retail and that thing, have you noticed it in terms of what you specifically do? Has there been any change in the last weeks, months in terms of people purchasing and buying habits at all?

Pipa Gordon:

Definitely got a lot busier. I think because people couldn’t go out and do things as they do ordinarily. They couldn’t go and visit the garden centers. They couldn’t go to the nice butcher or the nice deli, especially our gardening side of things, we have some lovely food shows that we do. Those got really, really busy very quickly, which was fascinating actually. You could see that people were trying to invest in their close environments, being able to have nicer things in the garden, invest in their plants and their flowers. You maybe not go out for dinner because obviously we can’t, but bring in the ingredients and do things at home together and actually for us as a family, we didn’t do it massively, but we tried to do some dress up dinner parties. So we went through this phase doing dress up or dress nice. So it was one of these things that - I’ve got two teenagers, 15 and 16 - that they were on board with though a short period of time, but they tend to get bored quite quickly. So it didn’t last long.

Alastair:

I imagine that’s a difficult age as well for lockdown because when you’re mid to late teens you’re wanting to just go out and see your friends and do stuff. So that must be quite hard having 15 and 16 at that age.

Pipa Gordon:

Yeah, definitely. My son has been very lucky. His GCSE year and they got cancelled which I think for a lot of kids was really hard and there were lots of tears and lots of disappointment. And then there was the other bunch of kids, like my son, that were jubilant at the prospect of not having to sit and do all of those exams. And he was fortunate because he had a Saturday job in the local butcher which has remained open all through lockdown. And he’s been working five days a week because they similarly to a lot of online retailers, the local food suppliers have also been that bit busier because there’s been less shops open and people have been traveling less far. So somewhere like a local butcher in the Cotswolds, of course, has been really busy. So he’s been lucky and he’s now almost saved for his car when he starts to drive in a couple of months time. But my daughter who’s 15 has really struggled like so many other girls. They’re so relational. They like to hang out together and see each other and just be and that’s been hard.

Alastair:

So social media, stuff like that - Facebook, I guess the best way of communicating with her friends or have you found yourself, you having to actively do more and say, “Look, I can make a real effort today and do something nice to keep them happy.”

Pipa Gordon:

Yeah, definitely. At first I thought that it would be really fun for them and that they all set up. I mean the weekend that was just before the schools closed, my daughter moved all of her stuff downstairs into my office and she set up school and she was really excited and made sure she had all the apps ready so they could all chat to each other. And within 48 hours, she didn’t enjoy having to communicate through the app and absolutely just cut off from all of it. And then suddenly it was very much about “mum” and she became my shadow and it was interesting because like you said earlier on I have done a lot of travelling over the years and I’ve done a lot of going off to do my own thing. And right at the beginning we were walking around the Park at Stratford upon even just walking around the RSC and we were talking about what this was going to look like. And I said to her this is an amazing opportunity for you to decide what you want to do with your education, what to do with your time, where you’re not actually being restricted by a system or a timetable. And actually if you find a different way of studying that works for you do it, let’s go for it. Let’s find our way. That’s find the way that really does work for you which has been interesting because actually she’s gone through lots of different guises of what that looked like. She put up a tent in the garden for a while and she started doing a project on the 50s because she is quite fascinated by different eras.

So we went down these little lanes of discovery to see what actually worked but now she’s obviously there’s still GCSEs coming next year. There’s still schoolwork to be done. So she’s finding that balance between finding her own way whilst still meeting the needs of the education system that she’s within. Because its hard, systems are set up all around us and we are actually quite restricted by those but yet at the same time they are necessary to get… I always say to the children, it’s playing Monopoly. It’s just getting to the next level.

Alastair:

Yeah, I mean, it’s funny when it first started it was a bit like you. So we’ve got three boys two, four and six…

Pipa Gordon:

Oh wow.

Alastair:

So it’s been fun! But at the start we were very much on it, when it’s a weekday you can wear school uniform we’ll treat it like school and it was all really exciting. And they watched Joe Wicks in the morning had a real routine. But it has been hard, I found, especially when you’re juggling work as well, then it slips and it slips and you have to make a real effort, I find, just to try and to bring it back in and try and give them a bit of structure and a bit of routine because it is very easy for it just to slip, and the day’s gone by and haven’t really done anything constructive really, it’s hard.

Pipa Gordon:

Especially with three boys. I imagine that’s like three bouncy balls!

Alastair:

It feels like it! I feel I’m a referee a lot of the time actually - “you stop hitting him, put him down, but…”

Pipa Gordon:

Yeah. Yeah. They’ll catch up though. They always do. I mean, there’s been all manner of different things over the years through our lifetimes and our parents and grandparents lifetimes and you look at other countries that don’t even start their children going to school till seven and eight. I think it will all come out in the wash eventually, it’s not without its hurdles but at the same time, it’s had so many other positives for families to be able to be at home and discover new ways of doing things.

Alastair:

Yeah, definitely. And loads of people are learning new things. I mean, have you taken up anything new or have you done something that you perhaps hadn’t done previously now you’ve done in lockdown?

Pipa Gordon:

I have to say I have been very envious of those people that I have seen showing paintings that they have done a new baking, this that, and the other, because I’ve continued to work. I’ve continued to commute up and down to London and I have been dragged back through quadratic equations and chemistry and all kinds of different GCSE things that are well over 30 years back in the recess of my memory. So I haven’t had the chance to do anything like that but I have really enjoyed just the peace around. Going for walks with my daughter a lot because obviously she’s been at my side a lot of the time and just enjoying that extra bit of peace. I guess what I have done is embraced the peace around us whilst still keeping going and being busy and looking after my mum, who now, she lived with us for a couple of years when she first came out to hospital and we re-homed her last year, but she’s just down the road and she’s actually very dependent on me to bring her food and do her shopping and she’s half paralyzed, so there’s a lot that she can’t do and she ended up in hospital right at the beginning of lockdown. She had a fall in the middle of the night. So actually there’s still been quite a lot going on but I know lots of people have taken up all kinds of wonderful things that have been brilliant to see.

Alastair:

Yeah, definitely. So and your mum now, can you include her in some of these bubbles now?

Pipa Gordon:

I can’t. I can’t because we have step-sons who we live with who are very asthmatic so we actually didn’t see them until February. So we bubbled with them first before mum was able to come and bubble with us. And I don’t know yet if I’m allowed to put her in the car we had this conversation just yesterday. I think now that we’re allowed two families as of, whenever it is, is it next week, we’re allowed two families in the house?

Alastair:

I think so yeah.

Pipa Gordon: … at one time? Yes. I might be able to add her at that stage but I haven’t yet been able to get her out of her house, no. But the time will come.

Alastair: Hopefully fingers crossed, soon. And so talking about your work that you were just saying on QVC, I get the impression you love “going live” for want of a better expression in terms of live broadcasting rather than pre-recorded; is that true to say?

Pipa Gordon:

Yes. Yeah. Oh absolutely. I’ve done some documentary making and pre-recorded things over the years and I just don’t enjoy them in the same way as, you and I just talking right now, just having connection with people in the moment is always been something that I’ve really enjoyed. And I think having cut my teeth back in radio when I first started working to then go from live radio into non-live for me particularly would have just been a really, really difficult thing to do. I watch people who create documentaries and television series where I can see that it’s been pre-recorded - the David Attenboroughs of this world - and they put so much energy into it and it’s so amazing. And I’m, I could do it once, but ask me to repeat anything for a second time and I’m absolutely stumped. It’s a whole new skill set. So yeah, I’m definitely an in the moment person.

Alastair:

Brilliant. And how did you get into it, the broadcasting, and with the radio that came first?

Pipa Gordon:

So I’ve been overseas for a number of years and I’d always seen myself going down the route of being a singer songwriter and going into theatre and that was always what I had expected. So when I came back from travelling I was in London and I was auditioning for various roles and I was doing a theatre course and I just finished doing a whole load of performing arts things to try and get myself into the industry. And I had an agent who was just sending out various different jobs of this that and the other and I saw an early morning travel broadcasting job that was being advertised. And I thought, well, that’s perfect. It’d be early morning. I could get up, do that. It was based at Police Motorway Control in Saree on the M25, I thought I could do that.

And then I could spend the rest of the day auditioning and doing all the things that I need to do to progress my career in that direction. And so I went and I auditioned and I got the job and I started broadcasting. At the end of my first week of doing my travel reports on the Friday my managing editor rang across to Police Motorway Control and he said, “Could you pop into the studios on your way home?” And at first I was really worried that I’d done something wrong and I racked my brains through the week. I can’t have done it, it’s only been five days. It’s nerve wracking as anything. But I think it must be all right. Maybe he’s going to ask me to do the radio drama because my head was so into theater at that stage.

So I got myself all excited that maybe he might ask me to read a radio drama or something like that. And I got into his office and he said to me, “It has become clear to me that you are not a reporter.” And I thought, oh, this is all going to go really wrong. He said, “You are a presenter. And I need someone to do the Saturday Breakfast Show.” Which was phenomenal because I so didn’t see that coming. And it was, it was tricky because I literally, I was fresh blood as they say and there were many people who been at the radio station for a long time and then I was just, I was thrown this show and I had no experience of broadcasting whatsoever. Suddenly I was doing a three hour, its BBC radio, so its majority talk. You were allowed to play four songs an hour and I was doing a lot of news. It was during I think it was the Kosovo War oh gosh, I can’t even remember now, was it mid 90s? But it was, there was a lot of news going on. There was that there was a lot to get my head round very, very quickly and it was a huge learning curve and I was nervous as anything forever. I remember saying to a friend, I can’t live this. I was just constantly sweaty palmed and absolutely terrified but it was just one of those things that was a sequence of events where as life often does where one thing leads to another and when you’re open and you’re willing and you’re game and you’re brave and you take those chances the next door opens when the time comes. So that’s really how I got into broadcasting. I fell into it.

Alastair:

It sounds you’re a natural from the get go.

Pipa Gordon:

A chatterbox, perhaps.

Alastair:

It helps in radio, doesn’t it?

Pipa Gordon:

It does, it really does.

Alastair:

And so how long were you doing that for that before you moved into commercial television?

Pipa Gordon:

I did that for about six years and at the same time I then started, so I was still singing. I was still doing lots of writing and I was working with a songwriter at that stage. And during that process I’d also got married and then I had started singing with a songwriter and we were doing that. We were gigging in the evening. We were given some phenomenal recording opportunities at Abbey Road Studios. And we were working some really, really long hours. So I’ve got that on one side and then I had early morning radio and at that stage with radio, I was doing shows six days a week in the morning. So I was working at the extreme ends of the day and then I got married and it was just balancing everything. And my husband was a jazz musician who was really struggling to find work, and I’d had QVC knock on my door for a while at this stage. And I didn’t want to do it. I was really enjoying BBC radio and I was really enjoying singing and performing but none of those things were earning any money. And with a jazz musician also not earning the money, one of us had to take a job that was a little bit more secure, should I say? So that’s when QVC came in actually and saved the day in many ways because we were really struggling at that point. So it was originally what I thought was probably just a six month contract but I have been there 22 years and it became the family that I never had and it became the stability that I never knew growing up. And actually it’s been a phenomenal journey in a way that I never anticipated it to be. So yeah, I’ve been very lucky.

Alastair:

Fantastic. And did you always have that? I mean, when you were doing it, it like sounds the singing and the songwriting, did you always think, “I’ll come back to that one day.” And was it always just always in the back of your mind, you thought you might always do it and perhaps didn’t, or was there a time where you just thought I’m going to have to park this now and shelve it and just stick to the BBC and the QVC side of it?

Pipa Gordon:

When the children were born - so Miles was born in 2003 and then Ophelia, my daughter, came along months later so there’s a 12 and a half month gap between the two of them - and at that stage I was recording an album. We had a studio at home at that point. So I was quite fortunate that I could put children to bed and record and work during the nights but it was absolutely exhausting and I was also working in television at the time. And I reached that crossroads where I was, I can’t do everything. I’m a very hands on parents. I’d had a really negative upbringing myself. So for me the most important aspect of my life was the family. And so I knew that I couldn’t pursue everything. I had to stay working in television that paid our bills.

I didn’t want to not be the parent that was always there for the children. And I certainly didn’t want to, and at that time you see that’s when social media there was a platform called MySpace. So it was before artists were using all of the different Twitters and Facebooks and Instagrams and things that we see these days. So MySpace was about the only thing that you had and I’d go into see record execs and things that. And they were already transitioning the way their ANR guys would follow new artists and they wouldn’t go and trawl all the clubs. They would actually check out your following that you had on MySpace and that, and then clubs in return gigging in London, you had to guarantee to them a certain amount of people to come along before that even book you and with a one year old and a two year old or a baby and a one year old even, they were even smarter at that stage, I just couldn’t, I just didn’t have the time.

So I laid it to rest at that point thinking I’ve had a good run, I’ve recorded in some amazing studios. I’ve done some great things. And I thought, actually, I’ve experienced a lot of what I wanted to experience and at that stage I thought I’d just I’ll leave it and I did. So actually it was good. It was difficult but it was a good decision that definitely was the right decision to make. Didn’t make it easy, but it was the right decision.

Alastair:

Brilliant. And you’ve, you’ve mentioned it a couple of times, a difficult start in life. How much has that shaped your future and where you’re at now?

Pipa Gordon:

I think it’s really shaped it. I started off with a physical disability, which meant I had to wear calipers like Forrest Gump for the first seven years of my life. When I first started trying to walk I would fall straight back down again. So and it turns out my ligaments weren’t, so I had hyper mobility but also my ligaments weren’t attached to my shinbones. So they had to manipulate and influence the way that my legs developed and for those first few years of starting to walk and learning to walk I had to have these metal bars up the sides of my leg both in the day and at night time. And they said to me that I probably would never be able to walk or run properly and that was something that, I had brothers and I was just a ball of energy.

So it was a really difficult time. And I think right back then was when this sense of resilience and determination began to bubble up inside me. This feistiness that was you might tell me that, but I’m not accepting it because I want to be able to run and kick a football and climb a tree and be out and about the rest of the kids were back then in the 70s. So I think that very much shaped it, at the beginning and then there was a whole journey of mental health issues within the family that caused a lot of violence that caused a lot of distress. I ended up having to go into care in my mid teens for a while. Lots of different things occurred over the years, that brought me into my early 20s where I ended up having a mental breakdown and that’s when I decided that I needed to leave the country and that’s when I started traveling.

Because I realised I’d gone through this childhood of never knowing who I was. There’d been a lot of trauma. They’d been a lot of pain. There have been a lot of abuse. And I felt that I had to make this physical distance to go and find myself. So I left and then I came back a number of years later like I said when mum had had her stroke. And I think it’s really shaped who I am today just going into broadcasting and the podcast that I do. So it’s called Inside My Wardrobe because physically that’s where I record. But it’s also a double meaning because the entire focus of the content within the podcast is marrying up the person we are on the inside with the person that we are on the outside.

And I think that journey of discovering who we are, is so vital to finding fulfillment in life to actually walking our own paths rather than following in the path of someone else and just living like the ants walking along in the line without questioning. I think my childhood and my upbringing very much formed in me this questioning and curious side of my personality that goes “Well, just because we’ve always done it that way, is it right? Is it wrong? And who am I and what do I want?”

So that’s very much the essence of the podcast and also broadcasting. It’s funny because even selling things on TV, I’ve always said I’m just there to keep you company. I’m just there to have that connection with you whilst you’re making up your mind. I don’t look at it as selling. I just look at it as being there and chatting to people and that’s actually, I think, one of the things that’s kept it going for me for so many years. It’s that connection with one another. Everyone’s got stories to tell everyone’s got their place on the planet. So yeah I think it really shaped me, hugely.

Alastair:

It amazes me sometimes you say what’s happening on the inside, how that marries up with what people see on the outside. The number of times especially with social media, Instagram and that sort of thing I’ve seen it a lot people that you think do a lot of selfies and they’re out and about and seem really happy and then you’ll see a post that they’re they’d be that for years they’ve been struggling with depression or anxiety and you just have no idea that that was the case, but we all, I guess, deal with things differently and perhaps hide things and want to give out this perception that doesn’t actually necessarily exist, does it?

Pipa Gordon:

No. And I do think there’s a balance because at the same time when we carry things that we’re battling with, you don’t want to wear those all the time either because you don’t want to wear them as your identity when you’re trying to walk through something, you’re also trying to come out the other side. And I think that was definitely part of my journey back in my late teens and going into my 20s was I didn’t want to be the victim. I didn’t want it to be something that I wore. Social media really allows people to wear a mask a lot.

And I think there’s an element of mask wearing that can help someone find themselves to get you to the point where you can then put the mask down. And I think the worry with social media is that people then think their identity is the mask as opposed to a device that at one point helped them discover who they were and even worse from there, people judge their own personal lives, warts and all, based on the masks that they see other people wearing and they don’t get to see the entire picture. And that’s something that I’ve done a lot on social media over the last few years is make sure I do IGTVs not wearing a scrap of makeup. I’m coming up to 48, I’ve got lines on my face and when I have no makeup on and there’s days that I look tired it doesn’t mean I always put makeup on you don’t have to have your face on to show the world who you are.

And I did a challenge about a year ago actually to people just to, I just said, just go naked, obviously face wise. Just go somewhere you would ordinarily go, whether it’s the supermarket, the school run, to work, don’t wear a scrap of makeup and make yourself just be that person. It’s a really vulnerable thing to do when you’re used to always wearing a mask, even on a daily basis, and the feedback that people gave, it was so amazing. So many emails and comments of people going, “oh my gosh, that was the most powerful and liberating experience”, because people start to lean on those masks. But when they start to throw them aside and realize they’ve actually got the strengths within to be who they are, it’s an incredible journey.

Alastair:

I heard you say one of your other podcast episodes that you’re quite inspired by the song by Talk, Talk, life is what you make it.

Pipa Gordon:

Yeah.

Alastair:

So you try and live your life by, I suppose?

Pipa Gordon:

It’s funny because that was daft isn’t it? That I was actually writing about it just a couple of weeks ago. It was a really pivotal moment. I looked it up, it was 1986/87 when they had that hit and I remember being at a friend’s house and the sun was shining and we were, I think we’d all been kicked out to the pub because back then pubs closed at two o’clock in the afternoon and we’d all just, it was the middle of the summer holidays going back to someone’s house. And I just remember there was eight or nine of us, just all lolloping about and someone just got everyone to be quiet and go, “Oh, I love this song. I love this song.” And it began to play and the chorus says your life is what you make it.

And I remember it’s the most bizarre moment. It’s funny how the smallest of things can be so incredibly life changing for us. It was in that lyric that I realised that I had a choice and actually because I’d come and I was in the midst of a very abusive family. A very unhappy childhood and I really wasn’t in a good place at all and I still had a number of years to keep going along that path. But in that moment, I realised I possibly could change things going forwards, and it took a while but I got there. But yeah, it was a really big moment because we do have control. It’s not about what happened in the past that matters. It’s about what happens next and how we’re going to influence that.

Alastair:

Which I think is really important at the moment, isn’t it? When people are being affected in so many ways both in terms of livelihood and businesses, but also there will be people that have lost loved ones because of Coronavirus. So it’s just trying to say, make the best you can.

Pipa Gordon:

Oh, absolutely. And there is no doubt that there has been some horrendous tragedies that have been exacerbated and in many ways so very unnecessary over the last few months. And for many people just a good friend of mine just last week suddenly got made redundant just one of thousands and thousands of people whose lives are being completely and utterly turned upside down and it is hard. There’s no denying the fact that it’s really difficult when life suddenly changes course but that is what life does. And for all of us, at some stage or another, we will come across mountains and hurdles and things that we fall down, but it’s about how we deal with them because we can choose at that point, what happens next?

Alastair:

No, it’s brilliant. And I do encourage people to listen to your podcast, Inside My Wardrobe. It’s a lot of inspiring stuff and if people perhaps want a little bit of just hearing somebody else talk about things that I think it can help a lot can’t it.

Pipa Gordon:

Thank you. Yes. I think hearing each other’s stories, I think sometimes the self help industry can be full of being told what to do but actually when you hear other people’s stories, I find those, I don’t know about you, but I find them really exhilarating, really inspirational. That’s why I love what you’re doing. You’re telling local people’s stories. And I think for all of us that’s that helps build that fabric of who we are and the story of where we live. It’s fabulous.

Alastair:

I loved hearing Pipa talk so positively there about her own experiences and turning what was clearly a difficult childhood for Pipa into a positive and how to come out stronger after suffering through a negative time, a lesson to us all.

There will be a second series of Cotswolds People later on this year. So do please make sure you subscribe so you can hear these as soon as they’re released.

This podcast was brought to you by Alastair James Insurance Brokers of Cheltenham. We provide personal insurance for high value homes and contents including fine arts, collectibles, jewelry, and watches and for commercial insurance, a variety of sectors, including commercial property liability and construction. Visit our website, ajamesinsurance.co.uk and see the link to it in our show notes or follow us on all the usual social media channels to find out how we can help with all your insurance requirements.