Heather, like the inspiration for her name, was wild, beautiful and deceptively tough. Principled and determined, she preferred to channel her considerable intelligence into projects that reflected and reinforced her firmly-held beliefs, as she had done throughout her meteoric acting career.
In truth, the hue of her political affiliation had hardly been in doubt, almost from birth. She came from a family of old-fashioned socialist intellectuals. The Morning Star was the only reading matter available at the breakfast table in her school days and most of her childhood weekends were punctuated with some form of progressive activism; a demonstration here or a festival there. Firmly eschewing such trivia as mainstream television programmes and current popular music, her parents raised her on a rich cultural diet of left-wing texts and classical music.
As a younger child, she’d found this lifestyle of itinerant visitors and like-minded community gatherings a rather intoxicating cocktail of possibility and independence. As she progressed towards adolescence, she realised her life was unlike anyone else’s among her circle of school friends and, like most teenagers, she came to crave the sense of belonging and conformity within her peer group. Unsurprisingly, she found herself becoming increasingly rebellious towards her parents’ lifestyle as it was increasingly liable to result in her as being branded different…unusual…weird.
In order to achieve her metamorphosis, she found she could successfully adopt the guise of the rest of the girls whose acceptance she sought by studiously and clandestinely researching the topics that obsessed them: music, certain TV programmes, celebrity culture and fashion. Predictably, her new interests would not be well-regarded at home. As much as Heather could take pains to hide her growing collection of celebrity magazines and costume jewellery, other aspects of her Pygmalion-like transformation had proven more difficult to conceal. In particular, it had become impossible for her to falsify her affinity to certain TV shows without actually watching them. In a household where there was only one television, inevitably, her cover was soon blown. What happened next would shape her life thereafter.