A day in the life of 20-year-old Caitlin Moran

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Work/Life is Stylist’s regular column about the professional routines of successful women. Here, drunken lady-writer and sex-pirate Caitlin Moran talks us through her one-day diary, from morning menthol to 4am lights out.

The year is 1995, and Caitlin Moran, 20, is a Times columnist and presenter of the terrible late-night Channel 4 rock show Naked City. She lives in London with her dog.

My alarm goes off… 

Around 1pm. I reach across for the pack of Silk Cut Menthol – the sophisticated cigarette; it both delivers nicotine and freshens the breath! – and light one. I do this because I have seen River Phoenix (RIP) do it in films and it makes him look edgy, and hot. Sometimes I take a swig of vodka from a bottle, too. Both are, frankly, disgusting. I hope that, soon, I’ll stop doing things for an invisible audience that only exists in my head. 

Uh oh, We’re in trouble, Caitlin’s interviewing Shampoo…

I’m responsible for…

Nothing, dude, except being totally badass and awesome! And looking after my dog. I offer her exemplary care: every night, I order a meatball pizza, then give her the meatballs. I am Dr Doolittle.

I also write around 2,000 words a day for various publications, but that’s easy, because although nominally talented, I am also incredibly slapdash, and don’t believe facts really exist. Or, if they do, that they’re… malleable.

I once wrote a whole feature on the band ELO, referring repeatedly to their hit song Bruce. They don’t have a hit song called Bruce. Don’t Let Me Down has a chorus where they appear to be singing the word “Bruce”, so that’s probably what I meant [actually the title is Don’t BRING Me Down. Still a bit slapdash there, Caitlin]. 

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I got the job…

By not realising how unlikely it was to get the job. I wrote a couple of demo columns, faxed them to The Times from the newsagents near my house. They rang the same day and offered me a column. It took me 10 years to realise this isn’t how people usually get a job.

My typical day…

Goes like this: wake at 1pm, smoke cigarette, go to the cafe round the corner to get take-away spaghetti bolognese for breakfast, write from 3pm-7pm while eating a whole roast chicken from the deli round the corner with my hands, augmented with crisps, pub, gig, aftershow, home at 4am.

My most memorable work moment…

Was being invited to Courtney Love’s house, at the end of an interview in Seattle. “Meet Kurt! He’d love to meet you!” I was a bit tired, so I demurred. ‘Plenty of time to meet Kurt Cobain!’ I thought. He shot himself three months later. Moral: always go and meet Kurt Cobain, if asked. Always.

The worst part of my job…

Is dealing with “ironic sexism”, which has just been invented. You have to find a way to deal with being called “an up-for-it boiler” to your face. Mine is to laugh, then go home and cry, then write a novel about those c*nts 20 years later.

The best part of my job…

Is getting to go to eg Paris with Shampoo, where they trashed a hotel room, leaving a £2,000 bill and me with stickers on my face. And a hangover. Don’t worry about the dog – I’ve left a pile of pizzas and the back door wedged open, so she may toilet in the garden. 

That can only mean a £2,000 bill

After work…

I “have” to go to aftershow parties, and you “have” to drink at them – in order to cope with the ironic sexism. And, also, because getting drunk at 20 is fun. There will be vom when you get home. Nothing extreme – it’s not a pan-filler. Just a small, discreet lady-yak to settle the stomach, and offload those last four retrospectively unwise Jack Daniel’s and Cokes, before the peaceful sleep of a hardworking lady-pirate and her dog.

My Plan B: Religious Icon

I have a strong hunch that, if the writing thing fell through, I would be awesome at forming a new religion. I’d make super-sure that my Bible was totally non-misinterpretable – it’s sole rule would be “Don’t be a dick” – and everyone would get a Church of CatMo Thermos flask, so they could take hot tea with them at all times. That is a genuine spiritual comfort. 

Photography: Tom Sheehan

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