Hairdressers and trust.

I’m not surprised that hairdressers are the fifth most trusted profession. I’ve been a hairdresser for 24 years and have lost count of the times I’ve heard ‘I trust you’ and ‘you’re the first person I’ve told’ and ‘I love coming to see you’.

The trust covers so many different things. Knowing that with my scissors and comb, or my bowl full of tint, I could potentially make or break someone. Knowing that I’ve changed someone’s life or restored their confidence because they’ve trusted what I do creatively. To get to the point in my career when I’m asked for a new haircut or colour change and to be told ‘just go ahead, I trust you’ is immensely satisfying.

I’ve a wonderful client who, when she first came to me, had recently lost her husband and was in the throes of grief. Trying to cope with a life that had been turned upside down, she felt she needed a new look. Sensing that a full-on change wasn’t actually what she wanted or needed, I made a subtle change and then, as her trust in me grew over subsequent visits, changed her hair little by little. With this, I could see her confidence grow, her self-realisation that she was an attractive woman and that it was OK for her to have hair that others noticed and commented on. I remember encouraging her that, yes, she should go and buy a leather pencil skirt like one she’d seen in a magazine and made suggestions as to where she could get one. I remember being told that that skirt was the best thing she’d bought in years and she felt confident and sexy in it. Seeing her five years later with a wonderful new man in her life and so happy, sporting amazing hair, and being thanked for helping her on a journey of transformation made us both cry.

It’s the most amazing feeling that her putting her trust in me helped her become a new person.

I’m also a keeper of secrets.

I believe the reason I’m told secrets is that I rarely know the person the secret needs to be kept from. Often an outpouring from a client is because they’ve no one else to tell and it’s safe in my chair. You take some weird self-oath as a hairdresser that you have to keep secrets. I’m sure the only person that knows more secrets than a hairdresser is the receptionist in the salon!!

I’ve been told by clients that they’re leaving their partners, about affairs, illnesses, about going to prison, about work problems. I’ve had people break down and cry in my chair because they can.

I’ve also become a vat of information that clients trust from me, from book recommendations to mascara.

It’s about learning what each individual client needs from me. I’ve a client who loves a particular TV programme which probably isn’t that cool to like, but trusted me enough to mention it in conversation, discovered I like it too, so now we have a ‘secret’ fan club.
It’s about understanding people and taking a genuine interest in a way that maybe only their partner or best friend does. Or maybe more so. It’s giving someone your undivided attention for an hour or two. It’s about listening and letting someone tell you whatever they want. It’s allowing someone into your life too. I always say hairdressing is about so much more than what I can do with my scissors and comb. Some of my dearest friends were first my clients, and I have days I jump with joy because I have 8-10 clients back to back whom I love to see and talk with.

Clients put the highest level of trust in you, such as someone flying from Geneva to Boston via London so they can have their hair done because they don’t trust anyone else.
It’s knowing a client trusts you enough to be told that they can’t have lilac hair because they’ll look like they’ve had a blue rinse and not look like an East End hipster.
It’s having to confirm your contact details every time a client comes in and ensure them you will alert them immediately should anything change.

It’s being told that you must never ever give up hairdressing or move out of the country.
It’s having someone who has not had had a haircut for two years because they couldn’t find you.

So it doesn’t surprise me at all that we, as hairdressers, are one of the most trusted professions because we’re artists and therapists and entertainers and magicians all rolled into one.

Hairdressers and trust.

My 15 Favs of 2015!

2015 has been a wonderful bookish reading year for me.  I’ve chosen 15 as my top/best/favourites.

These are those that have left a mark. They’ve lingered in my head, heart, and soul for various reasons. They’ve made me laugh, cry, rejoice, and, stop and think. They’ve made me feel astonished, angry, happy, sad, tearful, shocked , astounded, thoughtful, grateful, and hopeful. They’ve made me talk non-stop about them, recommend them, tweet the hell out of them, and shake my book cheerleading pom poms for them.

So here they are……in no particular order,  apart from how I lay them out on my floor.

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(I’ve snuck in only one that is published in 2016, I’ll be tweeting about ‘the ones that definitely shouldn’t be missed in 2016’.)

Mobile Library by David Whitehouse (Picador)

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida (Atlantic)

Letters To The Lost by Iona Grey (Simon & Schuster)

Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye (Orion)

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill (Quercus)

The Versions Of Us by Laura Barnett (W&N)

The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink (Picador)

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon (Borough Press) (Jan 2016)

The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah (Doubleday)

A Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (Faber & Faber)

All Involved by Ryan Gattis (Picador)

Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt (Scribner)

The Mountain Can Wait by Sarah Leipciger (Tinder Press)

The Ecliptic by Benjamin Wood (Scibner)

A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale (Tinder Press)


A BIG thank you to Waterstones, Dulwich Books, Foyles, and Daunts for letting me give you money for these wondrous reads!






My 15 Favs of 2015!

It wasn’t a silent hour in my chair……..

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Do you ever feel like you know someone when you meet them? As in a separated at birth moment??? Or maybe if you believe in that afterlife stuff that you knew each other in a previous life? This is a little how I felt when the very lovely Cesca Major sat in my chair. Dark hair, fringe, same sense of humour. Think we were more alike than my older sister and I! Cesca had asked through the Twittersphere whether I’d cut her hair. Obviously the answer was yes, as I LOVE having book people in my chair.

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Cesca’s debut The Silent Hours published by Corvus, is out on 5th November in paperback, for those of you that haven’t read it I highly recommend you do. I’m a huge geeky fan of wartime set novels and this is based on a true event that happened in France. The story takes place during and after the war and is told from different viewpoints. With dual timescale and varied voices this was a big thumbs up for me. It’s definitely not an easy read, and made me feel horrified and sad at times, but a book that evokes such strong emotions is a book worth reading!

Cesca has stunning hair and reiterates my theory that writing is good for the follicles! We talked books (surprise surprise). The ones we love and why? How big the TBR pile gets sometimes…….and saying which ones should be popped to the top of the pile. As Cesca was off on a holiday soonish we discussed the intricacy of picking the right books to take. We also giggled a lot when she was telling me about her books written under Rosie Blake. I even volunteered my friend Emma for research purposes as to hunting down your exes. (Yes, she did!!!!)

I had a wonderful time with her in my chair and she left with happy hair!!

Where are you going on holiday?

Well I have just come back from the most incredible holiday in the Maldives so am yet to plan the next one. I keep thinking back to it though. We saw turtles, sharks, rays… it was a stunning place.

How many books would you take for a week away?

I took 5 away and that was only just OK..! One was a 750 page Jilly Cooper too so I am a book worm. Fortunately the husband was reading the latest Jack Reacher so I stole that too.

What shampoo do you use?

Same as before..! The brunette one… I forget the name… (John Frieda)

Are you doing anything nice at the weekend?

This weekend I am working furiously on edits for THE LAST NIGHT – I went back to Devon to do some more research last month and now I am working on the ‘Historical Note’ at the back of the book. A large part of the book is based on a true story from 1952 and the details are quite harrowing.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently reading Sarra Manning’s AFTER THE LAST DANCE – very, very slowly due to editing. It is a lovely read so far.

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

I think if the lovely Mary Shaffer who co-wrote my favourite novel THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY had been able to read it I definitely would have wanted to know what she thought.

What’s the worst hair disaster you’ve had?

My friend highlighted my hair for me at home but we fell asleep and I had to go to the hairdressers the next day as I looked like a dreadful zebra. The blonde stripes had all leaked too and it cost a fortune to fix. I refused to take the hat off in the hairdresser’s chair at first. Dreadful.
It wasn’t a silent hour in my chair……..

Adventure to the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.


I consider myself an organised person and I can also read a map, yet on my journey to the Isle of Wight Literary Festival managed to miss my connecting train, and then the ferry, which when I got on went to East Cowes not Cowes and then got a little lost between the ferry and the B and B. I arrived a giggling mess!

It’s probably a good job I hadn’t booked to see any of the events on that day considering it would have been quicker to fly to Turkey.


The B and B was very quaint and the landlady was absolutely barking. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so many ‘things’ in one room! It was definite risk assessment for what could be potentially broken seeing as I’m a little clumsy. How that starfish perched on the bathroom sink the size of an iPhone remained in one piece is beyond me.

The first event I attended was the Grip Lit Crime Panel, with Colette Mcbeth author of Precious Things and The Life I Left Behind, Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go, and Rebecca Whitney, author of The Liar’s Chair. This was chaired by Fanny Blake.

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This was a great event. I find the writing process fascinating, whether plot or characters are decided upon first. How some authors just start writing, and how some have to know exactly where the story is going to go and how it will end before fingers touch keypads.

Clare told us how she walked into the Devon sea in October fully clothed as she wanted to know what it would feel like for her character! That’s hardcore!! Rebecca said how she will often write out of sequence, which was met with horrified gasps from Clare and Colette. Colette shared how she couldn’t understand why she’d been invited to a ‘psychological thriller authors’ event as she thought she’d just written a book! These were three fabulous authors to be put together and Fanny was a great chair.

My next event was Historical Fiction ‘Hearts and Minds’ with Anna Hope, author of Wake, Lucy Ribchester author of The Hourglass Factory, and Lissa Evans, author of Their Finest Hour and A Half and Crooked Heart and children’s fiction too.IMG_1285 FullSizeRender

This was once again chaired by Fanny Blake who needs to have her own tv or radio book related show as she is a great host!

This event was FAB! Lissa told us that she wrote Crooked Heart because she’d done so much research for Their Finest Hour And A Half that she had to write another book set in the same time period. Lucy was inspired by circus acrobatics and Suffragettes. Anna too was inspired by Suffragettes and women’s roles. There was a very lively debate had by these three with a lot of Woman Power in the room! I went straight to the tent after to purchase all three books which I had signed. I was so delighted to meet Anna as Wake was one of my favourite books from last year. I was further delighted when she told me The Ballroom, her second novel will be published next February. Cannot wait!

Saturday evenings event was Debut Writers Salon with Lucy Foley, author of Lost and Found. Kate Hamer, author of The Girl In The Red Coat, and Sarah Leipciger, author of The Mountain Can Wait. This was chaired by Georgina Moore.


What a great trio of authors. Lucy talked glamour and nostalgia and shared how she was keeping the memories of her Grandmother alive through her writing. Sarah told us how she met some ‘people’ online who after vetting that she wasn’t part of an anti gun organisation gave her invaluable information on guns and hunting that was relevant to her story. Kate got us all ‘oohing’ when she shared exciting news that there may be a film in the pipeline! Again another very great chair from Georgina Moore. Lots of questions from the floor too.  Excuse the poor quality of the photos here. I was tweeting and taking pics with a wad of tissue up my nostrils trying to stem a nosebleed…..all for a good cause!

Georgina had invited me to the Author’s dinner that night. Oh I was mightily chuffed and slightly starstruck to be sat with Patrick Gale, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Fanny Blake, Lucy Ribchester, Elizabeth Preston, and Jo Dawson.


I was buzzing all evening!  Mahoosive thanks to Georgina for that!

Sunday morning and my last event at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival with Rachel Joyce and Patrick Gale.  This was a packed out event.


Rachel talked about Harold Fry and Queenie Hennessy. She regaled story’s of her Father, one of them which had the audience tittering was that he’d hated the sea, couldn’t swim, didn’t like boats and yet wore yacht shoes most of his life. She told us about The Snow Garden, her collection of short stories that are all interlinked due for publication in November and that there is a novel next year! Lots of smiling faces in the audience at that news.  Rachel and Patrick were a natural pairing with such enlightening and flowing conversation.

I had such a marvellous time. It was wonderful to go to the events I’d booked. Such an array of awesome authors.  It was good to see Karen Dennise ( and meet Alison Percival ( Check out their posts of the festival too!

A massive congratulations to Fanny Blake, Georgina Moore, and Patrick Gale for brilliant chairing of their events. I see television book presenting for all of them……

It was a truly inspiring four days being amongst lovely bookish people. I shall go back next year for sure!


Adventure to the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.

Whoop whoop! Isle of Wight here I come…..


Woo hoo!!! It’s Isle of Wight day!

I’m rather excited for my little adventure.

Not only is it my first visit to the Isle of Wight itself, but it’s my first literary festival. Bonkers right!

My suitcase is packed with appropriate weather attire I hope? Biker boots, scarf, hat, knitwear…..I’m obviously under the assumption that it’s going to be chilly.

So far I’ve booked the Crime Panel ‘The Art of Grip Lit’ with Colette Mcbeth,  Rebecca Whitney, and Clare Mackintosh.

Historical Fiction Debate ‘Hearts and Minds’  with Anna Hope, Lucy Ribchester, and Lissa Evans.

And the Debut Writers Salon with Sarah Leipciger, Kate Hamer, and Lucy Foley.

I will also be hunting down Cathy Rentzenbrink,  Patrick Gale, and Georgina Moore for hugs.

I shall report back, but because I am far more comfortable with a pair of scissors and comb, there may be no instant reporting!

Whoop whoop! Isle of Wight here I come…..

Me, heartbreak, and After You.


As I wrote on Twitter I rarely cry in real life but books and films seem to tug at my heart. I’m sure some psychotherapists would have something to say about that….

I’ve had my heart broken many times, in fact I’ll rephrase that, I’ve had it smashed to smithereens.

So much so, that it feels like it’s held together with a bit of thread, Blu-Tack, and maybe some double sided sticky tape. Yet I’m still an utter romantic and believe in love. And big, like ‘in the movies love’ (I know, I know.)

I wasn’t nervous about reading After You, after all, Me Before You was an amazing book and Jojo Moyes is a fantastic writer. I personally don’t understand the whole ‘Oh, what if they do something to the character that I don’t like?’ Surely we need to place our trust in the author knowing that they wouldn’t potentially write a book if they didn’t want to, despite pressure from readers ;D

I saw the BBC News interview with Jojo Moyes where she said that so many of her fans had asked for a sequel. If there was no story for Lou then there wouldn’t have been After You.

But I, for one, am so glad there was!

After You is so wonderful. I’m feeling slightly bereft this morning that I finished it. I’m gazing at my TBR wondering what can possibly be next…

If you loved Me Before You, then you will adore After You.

If you are grieving, or have grieved, or have ever had your heart broken, then I urge you to read this book.

What I personally love so much is the absolute authenticity of modern relationships that Jojo Moyes captures.

That scariness of venturing into something new.

The ‘Moving On’ group with their dilemmas of when is ok to let go or start again.

Those same dilemmas that Lou faces that anyone who has had their heart broken will understand.

Jojo Moyes conveys this so well, with words like this……


And this……


And this…….


My faith in love ‘like in the movies’ may have been restored.

So go people, off to your bookshops to buy and read this absolute gem!

And I, am off to join Tinder, to see if I can find me a Sam.

Me, heartbreak, and After You.

Talking about books, not reviewing them………

I never had any intention of reviewing books on my blog as there are marvellous book reviewers out there already, but I still want to talk about books.

I’ve just finished Asking For It by Louise O’Neill, published by Quercus books on 3rd September. I woke this morning at 10, after having a migraine yesterday and obviously needing some extra sleep. (Never sleep that late usually!) It was still lingering in my head after reading 50 pages last night.
I haven’t moved for nearly 3 hours, apart from getting up and making a cup of coffee and popping for a wee!

I truly love a book that makes you feel like you’ve been hit with a sledgehammer, and Asking For It is one of those books.

I’m in that state now when I’m not quite sure if I can pick another book up today or even tomorrow….I might have to suffice with Marie Claire magazine or a box set.

Here are some other books that have had a similar affect on me this year, and all for various reasons.

The first is All Involved by Ryan Gattis, published by Picador. This is a sledgehammer book for me because it is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I was left reeling for days afterwards, the characters going round and round in my head. I’ve recommended this to so many people, including a 68-year-old female client of mine who was astounded that ‘this young man had written such a remarkable piece of literature’ based on true events.

Another sledgehammer book for me is The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink published by Picador. This affected me for very personal reasons and I’ve recommended it to many. It’s a book that I feel changes your outlook on life.

A couple of other sledgehammer books for me read this year are, The Versions Of Us by Laura Barnett published by W&N and, Letters To The Lost by Iona Grey published by Simon and Schuster. These, because they restored my faith in love and both made me sob! You’ve got to love a book that reduces you to a weeping mess! Ask anyone who knows me well about my dating history and you’ll know why these books affected me as they did!!!!

So coming back to Asking For It. It was a tumultuous read. It’s made me feel angry, sad, shocked, and sick at times. I have shouted out loud. It is a truly powerful read because it is so so real.
I feel like Louise O’Neill is today’s hardcore equivalent of Judy Blume, dealing with controversial adolescent issues.
Louise O’Neill is an outstanding  writer, and as with Only Ever Yours writes so clearly about today’s modern society

Talking about books, not reviewing them………

The Inspiration that is Cathy Rentzenbrink…..


I met Cathy for the first time at the Pan Macmillan Women In Fiction party in February 2015. We talked books and Twitter and I was really chuffed that she recognised me as Matinee Girl, (don’t think I’ll ever be able to get rid of my fringe.)

I’d previously read on The Bookseller website that she had written a memoir and was interested to read it. The Last Act Of Love is her story of her and her brother Mattie. He was knocked over by a car when he was 16 and left in a permanent vegetative state.


It is her story of life after the accident, of how she dealt with it , and how it affected her family.

A few months later, Cathy asked if I would cut her hair, which was obviously met with a resounding yes!

I was reading The Last Act Of Love on the tube the day she was booked in. It was an emotional read for me and I was close to tears (again) that I had to put it back in my bag. Walking from Baker Street station to the salon I had to keep telling myself to pull myself together as I had visions of her turning up for her appointment and me throwing my arms around her sobbing. Probably not a reassuring impression for a first haircut…..

I spent the most amazing 90 minutes with Cathy talking about The last Act Of Love , her life, my life, relationships, books, love, and hairdressing disasters, all whilst cutting her hair. She has ridiculously great hair to cut by the way.

I told her that her story had really resonated with me for personal reasons as I was extremely ill the same year that Mattie was knocked over. Like her family, my family had never really talked about what had happened or talked about how it had affected them. I felt encouraged to talk to my younger sister and find out how she’d actually felt throughout that whole time.

Without reading The Last Act Of Love we would never have had that conversation.

I bought copies for my Mum and sisters as a testament to how precious life is.


Cathy is an incredible woman and courageous to write and share her story. She is truly one of the most inspiring women I have met! I have the utmost respect for her. I feel that so many people will get something out of this book. It lingers with you for a long time…….

Now for the questions……

Where are you going on holiday?

I’ve just been to the South of France for a week to stay in a big farmhouse with my friend Sophie and lots of her other friends and family. It was wonderful, we played lots of games, swam in the lake and stayed up too late.

How many books for a week away?

I need more than a book a day for a holiday. I usually take an ereader full of manuscripts and then a few real books. I much prefer reading physical books but can’t manage to carry them all.

What shampoo do you use?

I change around a bit. I like anything that smells fruity. Occasionally I buy something muddy and sludgy from Lush.

Are you doing anything nice at the weekend?

I’m going to Edinburgh to do Literary Death Match – a terrifying prospect – and an event about the science of reading. My husband is coming with me so it feels a bit like a holiday. I don’t know Scotland at all well but am going there lots for the book and have fallen in love with Edinburgh – there are so many good bookshops there.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I’m a Costa Judge this year so have to be mysterious about what I’m reading. It’s causing me pain not to be be able to tweet about a good book when I find one. I’m also dipping back intoA Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara as I’m interviewing her soon. That’s a spectacular book.

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

Haha. Actually, it’s sort of happened in that Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm has written an amazing review for the New Statesman. He’s a neurosurgeon and a brilliant writer and I’m so pleased that he admires my book. I also have a huge crush on Sali Hughes and it was a great day when I woke up to see she’d tweeted about the book. She interviewed me and we went boozing afterwards and talked about everything ever.

One of the best things about writing the book is the tweets and emails I’ve had from strangers saying that the book has resonated with them and helped them to come to terms with a loss of their own. That makes it feel worthwhile.

Have you ever had a hair disaster?

So many! Even thinking of the sun-in years of the late eighties gives me the shivers. I was hairdresser phobic until I found you. I once ended up with a mullet that my mum fixed for me by cutting off more hair. For years my friend Sophie used to cut my hair when we were both drunk and it looked okay. Sometimes I tried to do it myself when inebriated with less good results. I once woke up with no fringe left…

I’ve been really fortunate to have seen Cathy at numerous book events including Damian Barr’s Literary Salon, In Conversation with Max Porter at Dulwich Books, and In Conversation with Matt Haig at Foyles.

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The Inspiration that is Cathy Rentzenbrink…..

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……


I’m a hairdresser who loves to read. Ever since I was a child I’ve always had my nose in a book, often being told by my Mum to put my book down and go outside to get some fresh air. My love for books has never abated and a few years ago I was part of a PanMacmillan/Picador readers panel and got to read some amazing books and meet some incredible authors. This fuelled my love even further.

And then I discovered Twitter and all these people on it that were shouting about their love for books and reading and I, became one of them. I shout loudly about the books that excite me and authors I admire. I adore discovering a debut as much as reading an author’s fourth novel. What I love is that authors interact! That double take when someone like Judy Blume, who was so influential in my teenage reading choices, tweets back. If I were younger I would have definitely done many a cartwheel whereas *does cartwheel* suffices plenty.

I’ve been a hairdresser for eons and I still throughly enjoy it, not only is there immense satisfaction when someone is happy with their hair but also my clients know that I read so much so I’m always being asked for book recommendations, be it as a gift for someone they know or a summer reading list. Two things I love being combined, so you can imagine my utter delight when a very lovely Communications Director asked me if I would snip the hair of a very very lovely novelist, *does cartwheel, forward roll, and backflip* A whole hour to talk, gush, ask them serious and silly questions, and they get a haircut!

This is ‘Notes from the Chair’.