I look a lot like my mother. This is unsurprising. It seems, in fact, that through serious first-child syndrome, I have inherited most of my mother’s features, and most of my father’s and yet only have about one face. Unless I was adopted and then subjected to over-compensatory facial surgery (and lets face it, the expense alone is prohibitive) then I am pretty sure where I come from.

But this is taking it ever so slightly too far. My latest haircut, a present from fairy godmother, makes me look exactly like my mother. No jokes. It was the first thing she said about it: it was the first thing my dad said about it. Now, call me ungrateful, but my mother, for all her many charms, does not have a haircut which screams youthfulness. In fact, quite the opposite.

To misquote ‘Secrets of the Ya-Ya sisterhood’, “there are enough hurdles pushed in the way of love without a haircut which makes you look like you might have a reasonably low-rung job in property surveying, and be dating a man with an impressive golf handicap who diligently models himself in the voiceover from the BandQ adverts.”

On a less mournful and hairy note, I have just finished a bit of a marathon. Tremendously well researched, both Passion and The Taste of Sorrow, which trace respectively the lives of Byron etc, and the Brontes, are a fantastic indulgent read.

Lots of consumption, allusions to some pretty wacky sex, incest, integrity, hysteria and costumery fill the pages up with that wonderfully rompy action which only historical fiction can provide. Morgan writes in a fair range of narrative voices, and they are all pleasantly distinct from one another, if not overly sophisticated. He simultaneously respects and gently scandalises history for the reader, a combination rare elsewhere. They are delicious and filling, rather like sandwhiches bought on your lunch break when really you brought some from hme with fewer calories, but well, it is raining and you very much enjoy bacon. And being the literary equivalent of a bacon sandwich cannot be bad.

I am moving on to Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn, which he signed for me when I found him tickets for Faust. La la la, I love brushes with fame and pacts with the devil.

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