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'Raised on a Diet of Broken Biscuits' (Misshapes, Pulp)

Here is the script from my Pause for Thought last Sunday on BBC Radio 2's Good Morning Sunday. It felt like a special one so wanted to share it here. What is your younger self yearning for? What could you, as the adult now, learn from your younger self?

You can listen in at 1hr 15 mins using this link -

One early morning, just like this, many years ago, I was sat by the landline ringing a radio station over and over and over again to enter a competition to see the band Pulp perform in New York. My fifteen year old self was obsessed with all things Pulp and their lead singer, Jarvis Cocker. Through Pulp’s deep, embodied, humorous lyrics she learnt to sing, dance and express the strangeness of the

teenage years, love, bodies and and the Taken at Castlefield Bowl, R.Robyn, 4.7.23

awkwardness of it all.

Somewhere and someplace over the past few years I lost this fifteen year old. Instead of dancing, another part of me took over - looking over my shoulder at who was watching and judging. Instead of singing I watched what I was eating - measuring, counting, weighing. Instead of letting myself obsess over realising my dreams, I told myself I was not good enough. I didn’t allow myself to hear the whispers of the lyrics that had enthralled me years before. I chose to be small, to live in scarcity. Lost, dreams trampled by grief and the harshness of this world - dark moments.

Yet, over the years my fifteen year old self showed herself - just glimpses but she was there - still dancing and loving life. And this week, at the Castlefield Bowl in Manchester, at Pulp’s concert, she was fully present. Because, of course, the soundtrack was woven like a thread through the years - always there, reminding me just to follow - to remember - to lean in. Reunited that night - me, the adult now, with her - so much to teach each other - but holding hands, singing - still hoping Jarvis Cocker will wave back! A moment of feeling whole.

Perhaps this is the essence of what the Psalms also capture. This collection of music and poetry speaks to the calm within the storm - the still, small voice waiting to be heard, the constant - ‘above the thunder of the mighty waters, more majestic than the breakers of the sea..’ [Psalm 93:4], ‘though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness, I fear no harm, for You are with me’ [Psalm 23:4]. Circumstances change and I too change, but lost, alone? Never. So, let’s lean in and sing.

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