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The one lesson I’ve learned from life: Carol Kirkwood says scaredy-cat habits can hold you back 

The one lesson I’ve learned from life: Carol Kirkwood says scaredy-cat habits can hold you back

  • Carol Kirkwood, who lives in Berkshire, is a weather forecaster on BBC Breakfast
  • 59-year-old recounts being a scaredy-cat before splitting from her ex-husband
  • Advises others not to allow pride or fear of looking foolish to hold you back 

Carol Kirkwood, 59, is best known as the weather forecaster on BBC Breakfast, a job she has held for over 20 years. She’s just published her first novel. Divorced, she lives with her boyfriend in Bray, Berkshire.

Life is good and it’s there to be enjoyed, even allowing for the challenges of the last 18 months.

I had a happy upbringing in Inverness-shire. Because there were so many of us (I’m number six of seven) I learnt to share at an early age, a useful lesson for life. It made me realise how lucky I now am with what I have and what I do — and particularly so since my divorce.

I used to be a scaredy-cat. I wouldn’t have gone hang-gliding or flown with the Red Arrows, both of which I did after splitting from my ex-husband.

Carol Kirkwood, 59, (pictured) who lives in Berkshire, admits to having previously been a scaredy-cat

Now, my attitude is why not? What’s holding you back? Pride. You’re frightened of making a fool of yourself. Get over it.

I was brought up to believe in kindness, good manners and not speaking until spoken to. People say I have a positive outlook on life and I think it springs from my parents’ example.

My dad, Callum, was a hotelier in Morar, Scotland. He’d started out as a shoe-shine boy in the hotel and ended up buying it.

My mum’s sister, Mary, was the kindest person you could ever hope to meet. She’d give you the coat off her back. If somebody ever said something mean to me, I’d tell Auntie Mary. Invariably, she’d say: ‘But you don’t know what’s going on in their lives, dear. They might be really worried about something or a member of their family might be ill.’ So all this positivity was coming at me.

I’m passionate about my job, I have lots of friends, I’ve just written my first novel. I love getting home and sharing my day with my other half. I know how privileged all of this makes me. So, do I want to be miserable or do I want to be positive? It’s a no-brainer.

When I was young, we were like the von Trapps. My mother played the organ in church; at Christmas, my sisters and I would play on our guitars and we’d all sing. With a blueprint like that, I couldn’t go far wrong in life, could I?

Under A Greek Moon by Carol Kirkwood (HarperCollins) is out now 

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