Emily Critchley

‘Ten things I’d like my readers to know about me’ was published on Female First, August 2018.


1. I wanted to write a humorous novel about the absurdity of ordinary suburban lives. I decided to write from the perspective of a unique thirteen year-old girl called Lou. I set Notes on My Family in Essex, in the town where I grew up. The museum in one of the final scenes of the book, when Lou goes to rescue her brother Mikey, really exists. As far as I’m aware there is still a stuffed Russian bear and a living honey bee hive

2. I once worked in the curtain and blind department in Debenhams. I’m terrible at maths and kept ordering curtains in the wrong sizes. One pair, supposed to be full length, turned up ready to fit a Wendy house. I didn’t have the job for very long.

3. When I was a teenager I had a yellow budgie called Pip who lived in my bedroom. I begged my parents for an African grey parrot because I’d read about one in a novel. Pip was a compromise. He lived for ten years which is pretty old in budgie years. He once had a narrow escape with the neighbours cat.

4. Growing up, my Dad would take me and my sister for cost effective days out in London which consisted of walking along the Southbank eating our own sandwiches, or peering through the crack in the doors of The Globe and looking at all the red seats.

5. I own a mini trampoline that I like to bounce on, mostly to music. I have a special bouncing playlist on Spotify. It’s supposed to be a more effective form of exercise than running. I like it because I don’t have to leave my flat and can do it in my pyjamas.

6. I was actually caught smoking behind the bike sheds at school. I dropped the cigarette into my pocket as the teacher turned the corner and it burnt a small round hole in my blazer.

7. I spent ten days in an ashram in India in 2012. It took me ten days to learn how to fold the meditation blanket correctly

8. When I was ten I won third prize in the pumpkin growing competition at school. We were each given a seed and I planted mine in my dad’s vegetable patch. My pumpkin wasn’t the biggest but it was the most orange. I was very happy with third prize. It’s a known fact in psychology that bronze medal winners are happier than silver.

9. When I was sixteen we had mice in our house. One got inside my textile GCSE project, an advent calendar curtain with many pockets my mum was helping me make. I had to shake the mouse out of number twenty-four. Another mouse made a nest in my left roller blade.

10. When I was fourteen I had to do a school music project about a band or group. Most people went for Slipknot, Linkin Park, Gorillaz, Manic Street Preachers or Radiohead. For some reason I chose ABBA.