Clover Stroud on sex, sisterhood & looking forward to menopause - THE SHIFT REVISITED

Over the Christmas period and into the new year, I'm going to be replaying some of my quiet-favourite episodes of 2022. This week is the utterly fearless Clover Stroud. This episode first aired last March.


It takes courage to lay yourself bare on the page the way today’s guest does. Journalist Clover Stroud has written three memoirs - The Wild Other, My Wild and Sleepless Nights and, now, The Red of My Blood. Each more visceral, more exposing, than the last.

But then Clover has lived no ordinary life (whatever that is). Hers features adventure, divorce, trauma, lots of sex, depression and five kids aged between 21 and 5. But before that, when Clover was 16, her mother suffered a catastrophic fall from a horse which left her permanently brain damaged. A state in which she remained until her death 22 years later. Then, two years ago her sister Nell Gifford, to whom Clover was exceptionally close, died of breast cancer, aged 46. 

The darkness that descended in the wake of Nell’s death informed The Red of My Blood - an emotional read about living with and learning from grief.

Clover joins me from her bedroom in Oxfordshire (excellent wallpaper!) to talk - extremely candidly, so please brace yourself if you’re feeling vulnerable - about grief and trauma, bearing the unbearable and how, out of loss, she’s finding a new person to be. But It’s not all sadness. We also discussed midlife sex, sobriety, looking forward to menopause and why we’re bloody lucky to be middle-aged.

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at, including The Red Of My Blood and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!

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The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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