CATHY CARROW
November 1st 1951 - October 31st 2001

I found Cathy - her body at any rate. It wasn't the best experience of my life by any stretch of the imagination. I don't want to talk about that.

I'd rather talk about the real Cathy - the not dead one. I first got to talk to her in 1985 at the Clustcwyr end of year do. I last saw her in 1997 when she was the maid of honour at my wedding. Between those two dates I lived with her in a cottage overlooking Cardigan Bay.

She was like the big sister I never had, and I'm more than glad of those twelve invaluable and unforgettable years. I won't bore you with all the tedious anecdotes I have to tell, because I know they will sound very mundane. I will just say this:

When I first met Cathy she was living in a caravan in Fishguard. She'd just recorded the most moving album I think I've ever heard - The Kitchen Floor, with Dafydd Morgan. I was awe struck when I met her - I'd bought all the Cookie Crumb records when I was little; always wanted to be a Cookie Crumb. That was my ambition. I'd not expected seeing her, and had gone dressed in my Cookie Crumb outfit - orange mini-dress and ribbons... So when I did see her I felt really very embarrassed and stupid.

She came over to me. She wasn't very drunk - I think Dafydd had been spoon-feeding her coffee in case she did anything embarrassing in front of the local press. She hugged me and very nearly crushed me. I don't think I've ever been hugged quite that tightly before or since.

She asked me why I was dressed as Lowri.

Well at the time I had no idea who Lowri was, so I just said "Lowri?"

She waved this off and I told her I'd been a big fan since I was a kid, and always wanted to be a Cookie Crumb. She laughed.

"You're a Margaret".

"That's right." I replied.

"That's as good as a Cookie Crumb. Better I'd've thought."

I smiled.

"I thought you wanted to be in Helena's Box?"

This impressed me. That song was a B-side.

"You wear a Cookie Crumb dress, Cathy Carrow's going to take notice." she enigmatically added.

I was speechless.

"Come over here and have some wine..."

I did. And that was how I met Cathy Carrow.

We sat down and she drew a ribbon and some scissors out of her handbag and cut some hair off her head. Then she platted it into mine with the ribbon.

"May I?" she asked, brandishing the scissors by my own hair.

I let her snip some off and then she pulled out one of the other ribbons I was wearing before letting me platt the two items into her own hair.

"There. Now you're a Cookie Crumb. Technically speaking you have to do some stuff in the sea and say some magic words, but we'll leave that. It's not too important".

I was overcome and began to cry. So did she, and she dragged me outside to get away from the party for a minute.

There we talked all night on the back steps of the studios, drinking copious amounts of expensive red wine.

And that was how I met Cathy Davies.

Julie Gower,
Clustcwyr Studios,
January 2002.