I myself do not have real style, any more than I have any real cool. But the other day I saw somebody who reminded me strongly of someone I used to know a good while back, and she had style – and cool – in spades. This is, I suppose, a coda to my July 2013 post about interesting people I’ve met.


I met this person back in the early 90s. She was the chief colourist at the hairdressers I then used, so it was hard to predict what her hair would look like on any particular visit I made. She had some wild and wonderful styles and colours in her barnet.

I’m not a big fan of tattoos, and she had a load of them. Bear in mind they may be mainstream now, but back then that was far from the case. Ditto piercings. I’m not exactly mad about them either, though they too have now become commonplace, but then they weren’t very often seen and she had enough metalwork in her face and ears to make it hard to get through airport scanners. As for the rest of her, goodness only knows. She did have a tongue stud though, so draw your own conclusions.

Her name was Ruth. I say ‘was’ advisedly. Nobody ever called her that (bit of a shame, it’s one of my favourite women’s names), she was Rooty Toot to the world. Deciding to surf the zeitgeist a bit, she decided to change her name by deed poll, and the official documentation came back and was pinned on the wall in the salon, clearly showing that she was now officially RootyToot, one word*. That was her name. No surname, just RootyToot. That’s both stylish and cool.

Her being her, though, she got a bit restless. The RootyToot cognomen fell by the wayside, and she became Compton. Just that. I’ve no idea of the provenance of the change, but it might have been her original surname, or possibly that of her girlfriend. If the latter, that’s really stylish too, because back then there wasn’t quite the acceptance of lesbians that there is now.

*If it was good enough for Lemmy, it’s good enough for her, eh?