Monday, 21 May 2012

Dip dying inside

So I haven't gone silent or anything.... I just dropped my laptop and as it is barely wheezing through these days, it finally gave up the ghost. So I have been avoiding typing on the iPad as I usually get it wrong and all kinds of weird predictive text things start happening and it reads like I am either A. pissed or B. have gone senile early. Or both.

Of course it is at these times that I feel the need to blog about twenty things, such as the dreary friggin' weather, why I am not that excited about the Olympics but feel a pressure to do so, and how lovely it is that I now have a wife. Husband is Daddy Daycare, housekeeper, chief cook and bottle washer all rolled into one. He hasn't quite got to grips with the laundry yet, but hey, it's all much better round these parts. If we won the lottery, (which I hope to on Wednesday) Husband would be daddy daycare all the time and I would still work. Last Thursday I came home to a tray of home baked carrot cupcakes with frosting. Amazing. The day before had been peanut cookies (not his best but edible). We have had crumble and eton mess since. Yes, reader, I fear I have married a feeder.

So apart from him still job hunting, life in our neck of the woods is actually pretty lovely. I like working and he likes cooking with a glass of wine in hand by four pm, debating whether or not Angela Hartnett has the best recipe for thai fish cakes. He occasionally mopes about a bit feeling unmasculine, but I can handle these male pmt moments when I am getting tasty cakes.

I digress, because what I want to talk about is hairdressers. Tell me, have you EVER been to one that actually listened to what you wanted???

This is what I wanted: Now I am not sure this picture will even appear... As I am technically challenged, and have no idea how to upload with this here iPad. But if you google images of Erin Wasson at New York fashion week, on a website called Pila-pala you will see Erin in all her long limbed, razor cheeked beauty, crouching down on the ground in a black outfit. Wearing the hair I want. The hair I have so far taken to show to two hairdressers. Two. Yes. I even brought the iPad to one. Is my hair like Erin's mane?

No, in a word.

Not even close. First guy I went to is here in Berkhamsted where I reside. He is camp, funny and gossipy, a perfect hairdresser. I told him that I wanted to be far removed from a middle aged home counties blonde yummy mummy as possible, as the women where I live seem to sport this swishy look and I can't bear to be their clone. He laughed. He got it. Hurrah! I had a picture pulled from a mag in my sweaty palm. So an hour and much dying later, many articles read on what I should be wearing this summer and how to juggle my life, and.... I had a brown bob with Blonde bits beneath it. Like I stuck the top of my head in a dull brown dye and forgot to do the rest. The worst bit? Two women I knew were in the salon, so I had to smile and pretend that all was well as they stared at me as if to say 'what the fuck happened to your hair???'

Of course when the hairdresser pulled me over to the light and I expected to see dark roots and then hair grading in colour as it got to the bottom, so it was at its lightest at the ends. Instead it was a muddy forgettable colour on top and a dull blonde beneath. No white tips, no dip dye. Of course I said I loved it and ran home, where Husband said 'what have you done to your hair?' And Sproglet, bless him said 'I like it.' For a week, I tied my hair back. A friend didn't notice I had had my hair done, (brilliant - worth all that money) she just said it looked 'like you need a wash.' Another said I needed my roots done, which was hilarious as that's just what I had done...

So Sunday, armed with my credit card, (as a dear friend had treated me to first hair disaster) I went to another hairdresser, this one in London in swanky Hampstead. Called Mad lillies. Fabulous. Been before, felt in safe hands. But, even though I brought the iPad and showed the nice man three different pictures of Erin and her luscious locks, and even though we talked it all through for a good ten minutes, I am as far from Erin as you could be. I am a Nordic blonde. Ice queen blonde, with some roots. Oh yes, I got the white ends, but white middle and top too. None of that grading from brown to blonde. No, just some roots and then BLONDE. Oh my god I am blonde. Someone at work said it was 'Courtney love blonde.' Great. Who in their right mind every wants to look like Courtney? Well not since '93 anyway. It looks faker than any colour I have had before. I am hoping not Essex, not mutton. I will take grunge over mutton any day. After the ultimate fear of something happening to my kids, my next fear is that I ever look mutton... You know I am at the age, where an inch of a hem here, a bit of too much lippy there and suddenly the line is crossed and you are pure mutton!!! So I have to be careful.

Anyway, I said thank you and I loved it, because god forbid we ever tell them what we really think. Why is it I can argue the toss about most things in life, confrotation is my middle name, and yet, in a salon, I feel obliged to say 'I love it!' through gritted teeth?? I simply couldn't say to either hairdresser/ butcher 'what the fuck have you done??? Have you no eyes? Were we not looking at the same photo? Did we not talk about this? Have you wax in your ears? No? Then Why the hell did you ignore every thing I flipping said???!!!!!!' But I just stand there and pay politely and then leave and avoid mirrors for months. Every time I pass a mirror I think 'god her hair is so dyed! So fake!' then I realise, oh my god. It is infact me. More Saga from The Bridge than Erin from LA.

Photo to come. until then I will keep dreaming of dip dye, ombré, and all things fabulously haired. And I will avoid all mirrors.



Friday, 11 May 2012

More than OK.

Well that was a bit hairy....

And we still aren't out of the woods yet as Husband has to get a new job. BUT things are looking up. Firstly, after a weekend of hell (my last post deleted by accident - the 'It can only get better one' as I have this new browser thing that supports my blog - and it is SHITE! And I can't seem to attach things or bold words or the like... and I delete things by accident, but anyway....) my old work rang me and offered me a 4 month contract - which is a HUGE relief. It means I have sanity again working, I get to hang out with old work buddies and I bring home some much needed bacon. I just hope Husband gets something soon or we are a tad buggered as my wages won't cover all outgoings... But let's cross those bridges when we get to them. Not there just yet.

Being back at my old job has been wonderful. I miss some folk that used to be there - but the office is a calmer place than when I went back the last time (when I was wildly pregnant). I know the job inside out - so it isn't too scary getting my old grey matter working again. I can't tell you how lovely it is to make others tea, gossip round the breakout area and catch up on other peoples' lives. I am genuinely grateful to be back - and it felt more than lovely when folk said it was good to have me there again. I had missed the place.

Then a friend from across the pond got in touch with an idea - and I have been following that up. Gawd bless Monica for being such a support in my dark old days. When someone pays it forward - helps you for no gain of their own - well, nothing shows more kindness and humanity. There is a marked difference between those that genuinely want to help - and the odd folk who just want to leech upon your unhappiness - feeding their own insecurities. And yes, those people exist! But the ones who really care - my school buddies wives, my schoolmates, a dear friend in LA, all your blog readers - well you all swell my heart. Because at your lowest ebb, all you have to share is your misery - and only true friends want to hear that!

Finally, I watched a documentary on Great Ormond Street hospital this week. It featured children with cancer. Brave little ones and their devastated, hopeful, resiliant parents. It more than humbled me. It made me as we say in Ireland 'wind my neck in.' Yes everything is relative. Yes money worries are hideous. But you are nothing without your health. As long as my family and friends are well, as long as I have food on the table - life will be ok. Things will work out in the end. The worst rarely happens. For these poor people, the worst was already happening and yet they remained so brave, so positive. Sometimes we need to look beyond ourselves to see how lucky we really are. I am trying to remember this - to not lose sight of all I have, rather than focusing on all I have not.

Thank you for all your suggestions re: my work. I am still looking in to them as in 4 months, I still need to have work of sorts. I have some time to try and sort this.

So all in all, things are more than ok. :)

Monday, 7 May 2012

Nitty Gritty

Call me a wimp. Go on. You would be correct. My hand is up, I admit it. I have a phobia of birth, cockroaches and er... nits.

It all began in the Xmas of 1982. I was playing around with an empty cardboard container that had previously held a tray of chocolates - it being a selection box and all; but having chomped through every bar already (and it was only Boxing Day) and clearly bored with whatever Santa had brought, I was reduced to filling in all the puzzles on the back. Scratch. Scratch. God my head wouldn't stop itching! I carried on playing and mentioned to my Granny that my head was itchy. Mym Mum was out at some party or other and when she returned it was late - past my bedtime. She took one look at my itchy scalp and screamed. Then she raced to my friend Mandy's house and grabbed the de-lousing stuff and then combed through my hair until my scalp bled.

Day two in the nits house. My Granny believed that the way to kill all lice and their pesky eggs that glued onto each hair - was to comb through one's hair with vinegar. Yes goold old fashioned vinegar. I was 9 years old, smelling like a chip shop. Every day my already knotty hair would be yanked and tugged, my scalp searched and scraped and my ahir washed and combed and washed and combed. It took a week to see them off. The longest week of my kid life.

Since then the mere mention of the blighters has sent a shiver down my spine. I remember in my teens a goth girl at my school claimed to have them - and said she wouldn't kill them, being a vegetarian and all. I ran straight out and bought the treatment and used it for a week - just because she shared one class with me.

Now I'm a Mum and every other week my phone beeps and I think 'great - a text, exciting, who from?' And it is the school saying there is another nit infestation, or maybe one kid in year four has them - and I love the school for their nit phobia, which is nearly as rampant as mine, but my god it terrifies me. So I bought this spray that is meant to discourage the buggers from jumping into my son's hair - and every day I spray it on like he is Samson and I am tending his locks. I also check his head every night in the bath. Crazy? You bet I am. So far - touching wood - we haven't had a visit from the head bastards. I am even grateful that my daughter has virtually no hair at 17 months - and am considering a buzz cut for her through school so she never gets them. I'm joking! Maybe....

Every time Sproglet goes to a party or on a playdate I sweat slightly when he has returned until I check his head. Husband laughs as every morning I hoist Sproglet back to the bathroom to get his 'bug spray' on. Husband shakes his head at me. A head that has never known nits - a head that has never felt the wrath of the comb, the smell of the lotions, the sting of vinegar. As I return to work tomorrow for 4 months yes, my truckload of chicken arrived - and for those that don't understand this meaning see my blog circa July 2010 to get it) - I pray that Sproglet remains nit free - even though it is Daddy Daycare for the next 3 weeks, until he (fingers crossed) starts his new job.

And for the record, I've never liked selection boxes since.