Many beauty routines are for the sake of the one being beautified. Mine – particularly my eyebrow topiary – are for the comfort of others. I don’t have to look at The Eyebrows. I don’t have nightmares about them growing together and then down the side of my face.

“You have the most wonderful eyebrows!” said the beautician. “You can hear them rip.” She sounded genuinely delighted.
“I’m glad I could brighten your day,” I said.
We then discussed Regency banquets and I discover now that she had a very good time with my eyebrows. They are narrower than they have ever been and look rather lost in my face.

This did not seem to bother my Macedonian taxi driver, who told me I was beautiful, and was I married? did I have a boyfriend? was I looking for one? because he knew how hard it must be to find a guy who wasn’t “a pisspot, stupid or not right” when you work until after 10pm, and promised to look for a suitable husband for me.