It’s the nature of writing that every heroine I have conjured up, from Penny Dreadful to Rachel Riley has a little of me in her. In the case of Rachel, pretty much all of me. So much so, that when I started writing about the freakishly tall and misfortune-prone Buttercup Jones, who desperately wishes her life and looks weren’t quite so, well, weird, I really believed that, like Frankenstein, I had invented a whole new person. Until I began to take stock of my own, Buttercuppish moments:
- When I was fifteen I looked like a man in a permed wig. I am NOT EVEN JOKING. Google Robert Plant and you can see for yourself.
- The following year I tap danced on stage to New York New York in a peach lycra body con dress with 32DD breasts and a very unsupportive bra.
And I’m still doing them, although more in a kind of Lola Jones i.e. Buttercup’s mum) way now:
- The first time I was supposed to meet the Prime Minister, I got banned and had to hide in the toilets because I was wearing combat trousers, a see-through top and a silver puffa jacket (I know, war crime outfit, but it was 1998).
- The first time I did meet the Prime Minister I curtsied. YES, actually factually curtsied. Although at least my top wasn’t see through.
- Last year I did the shopping in a gold lame ballgown under my parka, because I could not be bothered to get changed.
- I am still so short that my daughter asked me if she “will grow up to be a midget too?”
See? Buttercup. But life’s kind of more interesting that way. And I hope it stays like that.