Hello and welcome to The Staunch Podcast with Eleanor Wood. I am a writer and my new memoir STAUNCH is about what we can learn from the older generation, based in part on my experiences travelling in India with my grandmother and great-aunts, and how looking at life from their perspective has helped me. In this podcast mini-series, I talk to interesting people, who are older and wiser than me, about their stories and life advice.
In this episode, I travel to Bath to meet William, a writer and memoirist who is in his seventies and also now co-runs a second-hand bookshop (background bookshop life can be heard in this interview!). William is a great-grandson of Charles Darwin, and we talked about the impact that family and upbringing has on us all, as well as his fascinating life at the centre of 60s counterculture, which he has written about in his memoir ‘Survival of the Coolest’. We chatted about drugs, mysticism, music, writing and romance (among many other things - the conversation is edited as it was lengthy!). I hope you find William as exciting and inspirational as I did.
In this episode, I visit Saltaire in Yorkshire to meet Ilga. Ilga is in her eighties and came to the UK from Latvia during the Second World War. We talk about her life being married to the artist Laimonis Mieriņš, the secrets to a 60-year marriage, and also about how she unexpectedly found love again late in life after her husband passed away.
In this episode, I travel to Leeds to stay with Sadie, a former model and artist’s muse now in her eighties, in her beautiful house with an amazing art collection. We talk about her life, the interesting people she has met along the way, and how being able to see herself with an artist’s eye helped her to feel more accepting of her own body.
In this episode, I chat to the original inspiration for all things STAUNCH: my grandmother, over a drink in her dining room, as she shares her words of wisdom, hilarious stories and timeless advice. We talk about her moving to the UK from India as a teenager, her long career working in the NHS, positivity around getting older, and always seeing the bright side of life.