My new boyfriend, who I have been seeing for six months, says I am delightful in every way but one: my hair colour. It turns out he has always been keen on redheads, and he is pressing me to colour my long, fair hair auburn. He says it's a small thing to ask, but I feel strangely reluctant. What do you think?

Lucy, Clapham

UNCLE ONY: It is indeed a small thing. If a simple matter of an afternoon at the hairdressers can turn you into the feisty, statuesque, flame-tressed Nicole Kidman of his dreams, why not do it? It's not as if he's asking you to have your bosom enlarged or your nose bobbed! A little pandering to one's partner's fantasies adds spice to a relationship. You can always grow it out if it turns out not to suit you at all.

AUNTIE AG: Ony, if a simple hairdye could turn one into a feisty, statuesque Nicole Kidman type, we'd all be queuing up. Chloe, darling, I can't help feeling a little uneasy. Could your boyfriend be labouring under the same illusion as Ony: that changing your hair will change something else about you? (I know he says you are delightful in every way, but frankly, angel, if he wasn't saying that after a mere six months you would have extreme cause to worry.) I would hang on for a few more weeks at least, and see how he takes it - if he is obviously upset out of all proportion by your failure to turn carrot-top, I would take that as a danger signal. But if he accepts quite calmly that you want to stay blonde, then you might want to consider a wash-in, wash-our copper tint just to see how it feels. Remember, though, sweetheart, blondes have more fun, and gentlemen prefer them, too.


I am in my thirties and I am an extremely successful stockbroker. I drive a Porsche and live in a penthouse flat overlooking the Thames. All my suits are handmade and I've never made anything but coffee in my kitchen because I always eat out. I was quite content with all this until I met my girlfriend, who works in the voluntary sector and is quite unmaterialistic (it's so sweet). Up to now, we have always gone back to her place by tube, but she is increasingly keen to see where I live and I am terribly worried she will go off me when she realises how rich I really am. She wants to come and spend the next weekend with me. Help.

Mark, Chelsea

UNCLE ONY: Being rich should be no more of an impediment to any union than being poor. After all, you would still in essence be the same person, whether you were dressed by Savile Row or the local thrift shop, fed at Bluebird or the local greasy spoon, driving a Porsche or hitchiking. Point this out to her! If she holds your fabulous wealth against you, she isn't worth bothering with.

AUNTIE AG: If, as you say, she is truly not at all materialistic, she won't even notice the little details like the rugs being genuine Afghan, the Philippe Stark toothbrush, etc: she will just assume it's all from Ikea. But in any case, don't worry, darling. I have never heard anyone complain their boyfriend was too rich (though I've heard plenty complain the opposite). Just make sure you scatter around a few donation forms for various charities, so you look as though you are casting at least a few crumbs of your bread on the waters, angel.


I am seven months pregnant , and, far from blooming, I am exhausted. I feel as big as a house, constantly tired, and have a dreadful backache. The only consolation is that people keep telling me I look very well, but I don't feel it and in fact, I am feeling thoroughly discouraged at the very thought of the next eight weeks.

Rosa, Brixton

UNCLE ONY: But it will all be worth it, Rosa, when those eight weeks are over! Nothing worthwhile is achieved without some effort, and just you think, you are the vessel of a new life! Perhaps your partner could burn some scented candles and give you an aromatherapy massage. It may not do much good, but it can't do any harm, and you pregnant ladies must take care of yourselves!

AUNTIE AG: Look on the bright side, angel, at least while the baby is still on the inside you know it's not filling the washing machine with carrots/drinking the bleach from under the sink/posting bananas into the video recorder. Probably once it's out and mobile you will be wishing it safely back within. Frankly, angel, I wouldn't waste any time feeling discouraged at this stage; the worst is yet to come.


The other day at work, one of my colleagues called my name and I absentmindedly answered "Yes, kittyfluff?" which is what I call my wife at home. Now everybody teases me constantly and when I come into the office they all start mewing at me.

Roger, Stoke-on-Trent

UNCLE ONY: How very small-minded. Many a relationship starts to go awry when overt displays of affection (such as calling one's partner "kittyfluff") go by the wayside. Console yourself with the thought that your male colleagues' wives probably despair of their ugly machismo, while you and your lady are likely to reach your golden wedding anniversary still blissfully content in each other's company.

AUNTIE AG: Well, angel, if they are smaller than you, you could try punching them in the mouth. Failing that, I'm afraid this is the kind of moment that is never forgotten. They will all get tired of it in a few years. Or you could start looking for another job.