This is, of course, not wildly unusual; with many a small boy yearning to grow up to be a racing driver or a train driver (I think it’s the membership of the Transport and General Workers Union that particularly appeals to the five year old train driver to be).
I, however, was different.
At the tender age of five, I knew that modelling was the career for me. But by then I had already realised I had the lop-sided face of an irascible pug licking mustard off a nettle, so general modelling was clearly out. But what could I do, what could I do? That was it – hand modelling!
As you will all, of course, know; hand modelling is a very specific type modelling where only your hands are in shot (the name kind of gives it away). You know the sort of photograph – the manly hand in the advert that clutches the can of foaming beer, the hand and wrist that shows off the trendy cufflinks. Yep! That was the career for me.
My early research showed that hand modelling was a cut-throat, dog-eat-dog (sorry Neville) industry and that I would have to be something special to get ahead. So I worked hard, got a clutch of GCSEs and bunch of A levels in difficult subjects (I had a bias towards to the arts, but don’t hold that against me). I then studied through arduously long days and nights to get a degree in law. All the while I slathered my hands in expensive creams, lotions and tonics; avoided manual labour and kept my nails beautifully manicured.
So far, so good. But I still didn’t feel I was ready to become the hand model I’d always dreamt of being. So I took a temporary McJob as a specialist in Internet-based intellectual property – something we’ve all done in times of need – to tide myself over in the meantime.
Seven long years elapsed and on 6th December 2005 I finally felt ready to resign from my job to at last become a hand model. But the very next day disaster struck and I was diagnosed with Type One diabetes.
Almost immediately I started testing my blood glucose six, seven or even eight times a day and before long I had developed the “pepper pot” fingers that are the internationally recognised badge of diabetes. No reputable agency would employ a hand model whose finger tips were covered in the tiny black spots inherent in ;