When I was younger I wished that I could have brown hair, be called Sarah, and have a father who drove a Ford rather than a series of flash cars that made everyone look at us.
I also wished that one day all my freckles would join up so that I would, hope against hope, get a tan like my friends did.
‘How long would it take for it to happen?’ I’d ask mum. ‘If I spent a week on the beach? Or a month? Or a whole summer?’
‘Marianne, it doesn’t work like that. And anyway, we’re in Ireland. We’ll be doing well to get an hour of sunshine,’ she’d say, while we sat on Ballybunion beach in the wind and rain, eating sandy egg sandwiches.
‘But what if we moved to Australia?’ I’d beg. ‘Could it happen then? And would my hair go blonde? If I used lots of lemon juice? And could I change my name to Melanie, or Sarah?’ Continue reading