I wasn’t always a bombshell, in fact the description could be stretching it a bit, although I am blonde (with a little help) and my life has been somewhat explosive at times and my mum always said my room was a bomb-site.
I was told I was a pretty child, tiny, with Rapunzel-length hair and big blue eyes. My young, working mum made many of my clothes and the silky ribbons in my hair lasted at least until I arrived at school! The long hair, while the delight of grandmas and aunties, was the bane of my life at school as everyone wanted to braid it, play with it or brush it, like I was some kind of life-sized doll. I would scrape it back in a scruffy ponytail to keep it out of the way of touchy-feely hands.
Despite my cute girlie exterior, inside was a rough and tumble tomboy, itching to get out of the pretty clothes and into scruffy jeans and trainers. Instead of spending time doing feminine things with my mum, I would beg to help my dad with DIY tasks, or to stay up and watch the big boxing fights on the TV. My best friend was the boy across the road, we would spend our days building shelters for all the stray animals in the neighbourhood, racing around on our bikes or polishing his dad’s racing car.
I was born the year England won the world cup so it was inevitable that I would grow up loving football. I fell in love with the beautiful game after watching my first FA cup final on TV, I struggled to work out which side was which on the black and white set but decided that Manchester United would be my team.
As I began high school and my girlfriends were developing into young women and noticing the boys, I remained a flat-chested, boyish teenager more interested in hanging out with my horse at the stables or racing the hockey boys at the ice rink than trying out make-up and clothes.
One day, when I was about 15, in the chair of a nervous hairdresser, the long hair went, in one hit, from bum-length to a short, what was known as a ‘wedge cut’ a bit like cutting your hair around a lopsided bowl. Believe me, it was all the rage! My mum cried for days and the long thick plait, cruelly detached from my head, hung around in a drawer for months.
I did start to show a vague interest in boys towards the end of my school days (usually the strange moody ones with black eye liner) and could never understand why they overlooked me in favour of my long-haired, bustier friends… maybe it was the wedge cut, or more likely the faint aroma of horse manure lingering after a weekend at the stables.
Either way, back then I was a very long way from being a bombshell!