Despite my best efforts to track him down, Manolo has eluded me. I accepted the mission of finding him but, unlike Tom Cruise, I have not been successful. It’s been Mission Impossible.

I certainly wasn’t about to return to the salon with the stick-insect Italian woman who turned my hair BORING BROWN, then fluffed bronzer all over my face whilst exclaiming bellissima! So I had no choice but to find a hairdresser in Testaccio who could speak a few words of English.

Actually, I was lucky. I wandered into a hair salon one day a couple of weeks ago. The only reason I entered this particular one is because it’s on the way to the supermarket from my apartment. Basically, in the next block. The chap who was blow drying and fluffing a lady’s hair spoke enough English to make an appointment.

Where angels fear to tread; in I go. I decided that there was no use in trying to tell him I like my hair red and so resolved to withstand the fact that he’d probably send my hair some hideous chocolate brown colour. After all, in about three weeks, I’ll be back home and in the arms of my NZ hairdresser!

The first thing this chap said was that my hair had some orange tone to it. What the? Stick-insect woman turned it brown so I don’t see how he thought there was orange in it. I gingerly uttered the word rosso (red) to see if he understood me. Bingo! He produced the colour chart and I pointed to the auburn colours and he seemed to understand I also wanted a few highlights, say in caramel. I don’t like one block colour as it tends to make me look like I’m wearing a helmet.

He set to work (never did get his name). Slapping on the colour and leaving it for twenty minutes. Then a quick wash (no head massage alas) and off to another area of the salon where a woman cut my hair. I told her non troppo corto (not too short). She muttered si, si and whipped out the scissors. I usually have my hair cut with razor scissors as it’s so fine and lacking in volume.

Cut away she did. Too short! And the colour? I see no rosso. I see FRIGGIN’ DEAD BORING BROWN. What is it with Italian hairdressers and brown? I must say that hair with highlights is a rarity here. The no-name hairdresser did tell me (when I asked for highlights) that it wasn’t sophisticated.

Guess I’m just an unsophisticated NZ farm girl these days ‘cos I like red hair with highlights!

Just before I went to the new hairdresser. It was too hot outside, so I was playing around with my iPhone. Ridiculous pose I know……

Just after the hairdresser – do you see any red in this hair? NOOOOOO! It’s just a fair bit shorter. I promise I’m not wearing so much bronzer – it just looks odd in the photo. The only red you can really see is on my neck area – sunburnt!