Some Background

I suppose that I’d better fill in some background about me and my family. My great-grandmother came from Jamaica. She married an Irishman recently arrived from a famine-stricken Galway. At the time, they were both representatives of the underclass, but together they forged a dynasty of industrious workers. I am an exception, and Mum loses no opportunity to remind me.

The Campbell clan varies quite a bit in appearance. Some of my cousins are very dark, Peter in particular. I am almost white, but the mirror reminds me of my Carribean origin. Those lips. But at least my hair is reasonably long and straight and I don’t spend half my life in the hairdresser, steaming out kinks, plaiting them into cornrows and threading in beads and extensions. No wonder hairdressing is a growth industry in the East End of London, my sister and several other female relations being pillars of the profession.

I don’t really like the way I look. It’s been quite comfortable at University wearing jeans and baggy sweaters and I am confident that a professional archaeologist can spend most of their life wearing just that uniform.

Suzanne keeps trying to get me into make-up and posh frocks, and perch me on shoes of unlikely height, and I have to admit that she looks really good in all the war paint and finery, but I haven’t got the patience for all the effort.

So I’m not exactly under siege from boyfriends, and I think most of my relatives of my generation think I’m retarded – half of them are married or at least in a “meaningful” relationship by my age. 22 in case you’re wondering. I’ll post a photo up here next time I’m all dressed up for a party. Till then, you’ll have to use your overactive imaginations.

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