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Same again, love? or What’s wrong with this picture?

So there I am looking like some blousey old broad on the TV. Yes that’s me. Unfortunately my 3-minute debut as a mini-media star with Yorkshire Television didn’t give me time to lose weight, get a new hair-do or even to get the make-up just right.

When Barnardos asked me to be part of their Black History month on-line exhibition back in July, it seemed like a good idea in principle as I know that without the support of Barnardos as a child, my life might have taken a very different turn, and not for the better. I also, if I’m honest, thought I might get a chance, in a natural sort of way, to just mention my writing and the book that feels as if it’s fallen like a stone into dark water.

Obviously in three minutes of TV time, that didn’t happen, but having taken my daughter, as tag-along to the studio, photo opportunities happened which I did not plan. I wish I could say that I came out of it looking like the terrifically poised and capable woman I envision myself to be, but the pictures tell a different story. I look like the frowsy barmaid at the Dog and Duck. You know the one who nods and listens sympathetically to all your troubles as you neck a pint of wallop. A mother-confessor with mighty bosoms packed into a leopard-print top. Yes, I know love. It’s shocking. But it’ll come right. You’ll see. Same again, love?

Once again I was struck by the amazing disconnect between how we imagine ourselves to be and how we really are. It seems (to me at least) that even when we look in the mirror we are more often than not informed by this idealised sense of self, that doesn’t match up with reality. It’s just that most of the time we don’t get such a jarring reality check as seeing ourselves looking overblown and unpolished on a wide TV screen.

While waiting in the green room, I met Kadeena Cox, local girl and 2 times gold medallists at the Rio Paralympics. Now there was a young woman who had really achieved something and had a success story to tell. Said she had spent most of the last month doing media interviews, so I hope it all gets her more recognition both nationally and internationally. I didn’t get a chance to see her interview but I’m pretty sure that on-screen she looked every bit as fabulous as she does in person. Hey ho. ‘Youth is full of sports, Age’s breath is short’ as the bard would say. Or ‘Age, I do abhor thee, Youth, I do adore thee’…

Meanwhile I’m thinking about investing in some plunging necklines and learning how to pull a pint while looking deeply concerned as the punters tell their tales of woe..