My first……

Patrick Gale was my first. I remember the tweet asking if I was free to cut his hair prior to his ‘A Place Called Winter’ launch party. I did a little Twitter *fist pump* and shouted a yay then calmly replied that I would be honoured to snip his hair.

I have to admit that I was a tad nervous despite having been a hairdresser for 20 odd years and probably able to cut hair with my eyes closed, although that wouldn’t be a sensible thing to do I know.

He is, afterall author royalty, having written 17 novels. His latest A Place Called Winter was published in March of this year with the paperback being published in September.



I love it A LOT!

The assistants that I work with, who are aged between 17-20 couldn’t quite understand my excitement at meeting him and having him sit in my chair for a whole hour to talk to.

The only way they understood was when I likened it to one of them meeting Kim Kardashian…..then they understood. I’m fairly sure that Mr Gale has never had this comparison before……

Because Patrick was on a massive book tour I compiled some questions in case he wanted to talk about something else:


Although I wasn’t sure how I would talk about TOWIE as I’ve never watched it…….

It was such a pleasure to spend time with Patrick. We chatted about A Place Called Winter, Cornwall, books, book tours, and First Great Western rail services.

He is a truly delightful man and has FANTASTIC hair!!!

So here is the hairdressing chat…..

Where are you going on holiday?

This year I’m too busy with bookpluggery to take a proper holiday. This particularly irritates as I’m having to miss our annual trip to the Wexford Opera Festival in November. As compensation I’ve been awarding us some serious opera treats. We just had a lovely long weekend in Sussex so as to take in Die Entführing Auf Dem Serail and Poliuto at Glyndebourne. And last night I cracked and booked us a naughty night away in the very glam St David’s Hotel and Spa on Cardiff Bay so as to see Welsh National Opera’s new production of I Puritani, the only opera (I believe) set in Plymouth. I am an opera nut, as you probably guessed. It’s why I normally economise on haircuts!

How many books for a week away?

At least two. I always pack an extra in case of sudden disaffection with the one I’m reading.

What shampoo do you use?

I alternate between Touch of Silver (highly effective but Aidan says it smells worryingly of old ladies because of the lavender in it) and Happy Hair’s delicious Pomegranate and Mint Moisturising Shampoo.

Are you doing anything nice at the weekend?

I’m speaking at the Winchester Festival which is actually a bit of an honour as it’s where I grew up, and also a great pleasure as it means I can see my mother and sister, who live there still.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I’ve almost finished Paul McVeigh’s funny-ouch The Good Son and am about to start Tara Guha’s debut novel, Untouchable Things (any novel with a charismatic hero called Seth and the words tangled and secrets in the blurb immediately has my attention…)

If anyone alive or dead could tweet  about your book who would you like it to be?

Well a tweet from George Eliot or E M Forster would be life-changing but I’d be pretty damned thrilled to be praised by Mary Beard or Jackie Kay.

* Haha. I got the shampoo wrong! It’s Happy Hair Days Pomegranate and Ginger
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My first……

18 thoughts on “My first……

  1. rosie canning says:

    Well done Nina. I love the blog title Notes from the Chair. My favourite Patrick Gale book is ‘Notes from an Exhibition’, full of artistry and colour.


  2. A fun and enjoyable post, Nina. Looking forward to reading some more. I think I would’ve been too nervous to cut his hair! I’ve never read Patrick’s novels but I will be sure to now. Thanks so much for writing about him.


    1. Thanks Julie. Must say I was nervous and hands were a little shaky….! You must read A Place Called Winter, it’s a beautiful story and the history behind it is very interesting. Out in paperback in September.


  3. Just heard about your blog in a tweet from Patrick Gale. Keep up the good work. I’ve just finished reading A Town Called Winter which I loved – although Notes from an Exhibition is my all time favourite too. I was beside myself when the man himself replied to my tweet on Saturday!


  4. I have just bought Kansas in August after reading this post. Thank you for the introduction to a whole new list of books for my Kindle. I enjoyed your blog post, and looking at the photos of (both of) your beautiful shiny hair. Gawd, I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a weirdo…..*wanders off*


    1. Ooh I’ve not read that one so will add to my wishlist. Highly recommend A Place Called Winter. The back story is really interesting so worth a look on Patrick’s website if you fancy a little read. His hair is very shiny!


  5. Gilly says:

    Hi, Nina,
    Love the blog. I am honoured to be a hairdressing client and the receiver of your wisdom about books.
    I also loved A Place Called Winter and, funnily enough, went to see the Glyndebourne production of the Seraglio at the Proms last Friday!
    Will definitely be watching out for your next blog


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