Styling: Holly Elgeti. Make-up: Nicky Weir using Hourglass. Hair: Alex Szabo at Carol Hayes using T3

Holly Elgeti. Makeup: Nicky Weir, Hourglass. Hair: Alex Szabo, Carol Hayes, using T3

Like many people, I’ve been able to measure my life using Adele songs. I was 19 when Adele released her debut album. I was a Sunday newspaper staff feature writer. Every year, our editors would compile a list of people destined to ‘make it big’ over the next 12 months and we journalists were sent to interview them. Being sent to ask flattering questions of talented youngsters as an ageing journalist who had never been touted as ‘one to watch’ was, I must confess, one of the most dispiriting parts of my career.

Adele was part our 2008 cohort. I wasn’t the one lucky enough to interview her, but I do remember seeing her in the corridor at the photoshoot and being struck by how completely normal she seemed. This is a compliment. She was warm, down-to earth, and looked just like the North London girl that she was. All of this is to say that she was un-starry. Although her voice would soon be ranked among the world’s top divas, there was nothing else diva-ish about her.

I was close to turning 30 and felt a bit lost professionally. I was surrounded with more experienced writers, whose work often showed a ferocious intellect. A lot of the celebrity interviews were penned as acerbic deconstructions, as though the most important thing was the journalist’s own opinion rather than a revealing insight into who the interviewee actually was.

I felt out of place often and was often teased for being too nice. ‘You always like everyone you interview,’ a colleague once told me, as if this were a bad thing.

The fact is, most people will have interesting answers if you ask the right question. And in moments like this, I would think of Adele and of how nice she’d seemed that day and of how she hadn’t tried to be anything she wasn’t. She didn’t seem to lose this quality even as she became more successful. We responded to her authenticity and voice.

21 was her second album. It was released just as my first marriage was in disarray. I went through the first rounds of unsuccessful fertility treatment to the soundtrack of songs such as ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and although Adele wasn’t specifically singing about my predicament, her melodies made me feel less alone. Her 25th album was released after my first marriage ended. After a difficult separation and divorce, I flew to Los Angeles for a while to try to rebuild my life. When I heard the lyrics to ‘Hello’ (‘I’m in California dreaming about who we used to be…’) they appeared, once again, to speak directly to me.

Singing along with 25 was the beginning of my healing.  

I vividly recall, after a day at Sunset Boulevard in November with Tess and my friend, driving back to Sunset Boulevard as the sun was setting. We were playing the Adele album at maximum volume, singing along, and pretending we could hit the exact same notes as her. This memory was the beginning of my healing, as I look back.

And now, Adele’s back. 30 will be released this month. It was inspired by her own divorce. The first single, ‘Easy On Me’, has been saturating TikTok videos and radio airwaves. It is worth listening to.

I felt that my divorce from my husband had made me unwittingly on the trend. I know that I regret having to go through the pain my ex-husband and myself went through. But – I found myself thinking only half-jokingly – at least going through it meant I could properly connect with the lyrics, not like all the other try-hard Adele fakers.

Although she might be a global superstar and millionaire who graces Vogue’s cover, Adele will always be my girl in the corridor. Despite her extraordinary talent, she will always be the most relatable woman. She deserves my gratitude.


This week I’m…

Washing This plant-powered cleanser washes my face. It makes my skin feel re-energized within 60 seconds. £18,

 WearingThis is the first ever biodegradable range in sleepwear and underwear. This body is incredibly soft. £60,

 GiftingThis charming, circus-themed advent calendar is perfect for the children in my family. From £45,