MFA Sunday school


Tigerlily Jacobs


15 and 3 months

Physical traits (height, weight, hair and eye colour, scars, distinguishing characteristics)

She is a very slightly built girl. Her mother calls her elfin, her father calls her waiflike, but she despises both. She is petite to an extreme, though tall at 5ft 9 with long thin legs, a straight boyish torso and thin arms. She has long ash blond hair that she tries to grow long but it stops just past her shoulder bones. It’s wispy and fine and hard to manage. She wears it down as much as she can to cover her ears, which are a little on the large side and of which she is extremely conscious. Her eyes are large, though perhaps just appear larger in her thin face. They are  a dark blue, almond shaped, watery and solemn, like deep pools of icy cold water. Her cheek bones are prominent, shapely, some would call them beautiful, in the way a gaunt model is ‘beautiful’, her lips full and rosy but without any real shape.

Basic familial relationships (are they married, have children, no siblings, two mothers?)

Tigerlily lives with both her parents and an aunt who she adores. She is an only child and would have loved a brother or sister.

Sunday: what did he/she eat for breakfast today?  Is this usual?  Unusual?  And why?

Tigerlily woke up on Sunday morning and went downstairs in the early quietness to eat her breakfast. She stands on a chair to reach the Rice Krispies on top of the fridge, as she does every morning. She gets down and pulls her favourite blue bowl from the cupboard under the kettle. It is a large bowl, too large, you would think, for such a small girl to eat from. Though she never eats a lot, and she is very fussy, cereal, particularly Rice Krispies she adores. She can eat them by the box, cramming them into huge bowls until they overflow. She pours out her usual mammoth portion, pours on the milk and takes her bowl and huge spoon through to the Sun Room where she sits in peace, shovelling her cereal into her mouth as though she hadn’t eaten in days, and watching the foxes that live at the bottom of their garden frolic and play.

Monday: what sort of relationship does he/she have with his/her parents?  Are they still alive?  Does he/she see his/her parents?  Why or why not?

Tigerlily lives with her parents but she longs for the day when she can move out. She is not very close to her mother. Her mother is rather self obsessed and never pays her any attention. Her father is quiet and kind and she loves him dearly but feels she will always be second to her mother in his eyes.Her parents often go out, they have a huge group of friends and a highly active social life. Tigerlily always felt she was an inconvenience to their lives, particularly her Mother’s, whose acting career never really recovered from her sudden, unplanned pregnancy.

Her auntie, her Father’s sister who lives with them, is the one she truly loves above both her parents. She is calm, grounded, intelligent and kind. She spoils Tigerlily with love and attention that she never gets from her mother and she looked after her more than her mother ever really did.

Tuesday: what is your character wearing at this exact moment?  Are these his/her normal clothes or are they wearing something for a special occasion?

Tigerlily wriggles, trying to get comfortable in her tight black skinny jeans. On her top she wears a beautiful nude chiffon tunic, decorated with delicately embroidered gold daisies. On her arms she has gold bangles, covering a good three inches of both wrists. Her feet are unhappily forced into some killer black patent stilettos. Her hair is gathered in a messy, fashionable bird’s nest style bun on the top of her head and she wears natural makeup, apart from black mascara that emphasises her devastatingly long eyelashes; she looks stunning. Her mother is dragging her to the theatre. She actually loves going, but she despises going with her mother. The only reason her mother wants her there is to show her off to her old friends who are in the play. They will be going back stage afterwards. These ‘friends’ always laughed at her mother for ruining her career by having a child. This was her mother’s way of saying to her friends”but look how beautiful she is, my daughter will one day be a model or actress, just like me.”

Wednesday: if your character is old enough to vote, how is she/he voting in the next election?  If your character is too young to vote, how closely do they follow political issues?

She’s still too young to vote, she doesn’t really follow politics as her parents never vote and have never really given a damn. Her Aunt has talked to her a little about the Suffragettes and how it is important to use your right. But she hasn’t really ever considered the ins and outs. That is until she developed a crush on Dean at school who, as a junior member of the Labour party, rallies people round in school and tries to educate the masses. He is running for Head of Year and he makes speeches about equality that gets everyone listening. She listens and has begun to think she should watch the news, read the papers, find out a bit about what is happening in the country. She vaguely knows that the Tories are evil and that the cuts aren’t fair, that the Lib Dems are sell outs. But these are Dean’s views and she is just beginning to take them on board.

Thursday: where would your character like to go on vacation?  Why?

Tigerlily wants to explore the UK and world in a real way. Her parents are wealthy socialites and have always dragged her, quite unwillingly, around the world to the most luxurious, exotic places. To her, all the places look the same, it never really feels like she has been to places like Egypt or Sri Lanka, or Thailand or Cambodia. The Spas all smell the same. It is always hot, or tropically muggy. She wants to go out and get dirty. See the real people. Get away from the pretence that wealth ensures. She has never been outside of London, or certainly no further than Brighton. She looks at pictures of the Lake District and the Highlands of Scotland and wonders what it must feel to be in your own country (or one within the Kingdom at least) and feel that isolation, see the sky, hear the birds.

Friday: describe where your character lives.

They live in a beautiful, huge Georgian town-house on a quiet tree lined road in Notting Hill, London. It is white with four storeys, columns on either side of the huge wooden door. The glass within and around the door stained and beautiful. The garden is immense, at least by London standards, and is surrounded by large fern hedges the height of half the house. There is a large cedar tree at the bottom of the garden that protects them from view of the houses beyond. Her bedroom is luxurious. It is large and has a four poster bed, complete with gauze drapes. Her bedding is satin, with hundreds of duck down pillows into which she sinks every night. Her favourite room in the house is the Sun Room. It is at the back of the house and is made out of glass. It is so quiet in there. Her parents rarely use it unless they are entertaining. She can look out into the garden and feel warm, even when it is cold. She loves to watch the foxes and see the birds in the cedar.

Saturday: does your character like him/herself?  What are their favourite personal traits?  What do they wish they could change about themselves?

Tigerlily is lost in her own body. She wishes she was more feminine, that she had boobs where her tiny ones are, that she had a waist instead of a straight ruler-like torso. She hates feeling so insecure and shy but she rarely feels comfortable in her skin. She has only a few close friends and it is when she is with them or with her Aunt June that she feels safe, that she cracks wickedly dry jokes that crease everyone up, that she smiles. She likes her smile and likes her eyes. She also loves her ability to read, she can read very quickly indeed. Her teachers were always amazed. She can devour several books in a day if she feels like it., and, often, happily that is what she will spend her quiet weekends doing.