Monday, 29 December 2008


There is nothing that makes me feel less like a woman than getting my hair cut.

I try to do it as infrequently as I possibly can but today the wild tresses were shorn.

Here are the myriad reasons why I hate it so:

  1. As soon as I walk in my appearance is being judged by the kinds of girls who used to cause me acute misery by doing exactly the same when I was at school.
  2. I am then handed one of the magazines I avoid every other day of the year because they contain hundereds of pictures of women I will never be like.
  3. While I am waiting I am forced to eavesdrop on conversations between hairdressers and clients which flow easily and are relaxed and imply that the client is having a good time. I am painfully aware of the contrast that is about to unfold when it is my turn.
  4. Next the stylist comes over, stands behind me at the mirror and begins to finger my limp hair which has not been cut for 1 to 2 years, and asks me about my usual 'routine'. I blush and stutter as I try to find an answer other than "I just get out of bed and leave it. I don't even own a hairdryer and I don't care if I can't find my brush."
  5. Having got over this hurdle and endured my sense of feminity shrinking to the size of a pea with every second that her judging, girly eye fixes mine, with her shiny hair and her makeup and her pretty little shoes and her stupid bra that is not an industrial one like mine and her knowledge of fashion and boys, she asks me the dreaded question; "And what can I do for you today?"
  6. I have an image in my mind of myself as a foxy, funky woman with a daring style that suits my face, that I am able to maintain with skillful manipulation of dryer and 'product'. But I must have been absent during that life skills class where they teach you the language to describe such things. Believe me, I have tried many times, with many different hair dressers to ask for what I want, but somewhere along the line it always seems to translate in their ears as one of the following:
  • Make me look like my mother please.
  • Make me look like my grandmother please.
  • Make me look like my father please.
  • Make me look like my hamster please.
  • Make me look like I am going to an 80s party please.
  • Make me look like I am going to a 70s party please.
  • Make me look like I am going to a halloween party please.

Or on this particular occasion:

  • Make me look like Long Distance Clara from Pigeon Street please.

7. Next I have my hair shampooed and am led back in front of the mirror. Readers, very few of you will have ever seem me with wet, brushed hair and there is a reason for that. I have an inordinately large forehead and very thin hair so I look like an egg. A blushing, insecure egg in a room full of girly girls who have perfect hair and can see me. And I am sitting in front of a mirror.

8. My next crippling inadequacy to be exposed is my complete inability to engage in small talk. I was also absent from that life skills class. No, I am not going anywhere nice on my holidays, and if I was, I would not know how to answer that question in a way that did not end after the first, dull sentence. I can't comment on the magazine I am reading because I don't understand it. I can't comment on what you are doing because, as has already been painfully established, I don't have the vocabulary. I can't think of anything to say because there is a loud voice in my head saying; "You don't belong here! All the women are laughing at you and your split ends! Your stylist has never met anyone with less oestrogen! She also thinks you are fat and a bad dancer! She can tell just by looking at you that you don't know how to walk in high heels! She has the power to change your appearance in a completely unpredictable way and there is nothing you can do about it! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!" Would you be able to talk about the weather with all that going on?

9. I am now forced to watch as my dignity is removed hair by hair. It is too late. She is doing things with instruments and hair products that cost more than my mortgage, that I know I will never be able to replicate (and so does she).

10. The haircut is finished. I hate it and I hate myself. She shows me what it looks like from the back. Even worse. She asks me if I like it. "Yes, it's great! Thanks so much Donna!" I pay £43 for the priveledge of a sinking heart, a sticky mess on my head and feeling like Madonna would feel if she went to a National Chastity Convention.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Rootbabe Quotes #1

Rootbabe is my friend. She is strange. Not in the contrived way that some people are ("I'm mad I am!") but in a completely effortless, delightful way.

Here are two pieces of evidence:

Me: I'm feeling pretty sad today. It's possible that I might cry for no reason.
Rootbabe: OK. Today I watched a TV programme where thousands of children died of a disease.

Me: Do you know what my first pet was?
Rootbabe:...I want to say whale...

10 Ways God Has Changed My Life in 10 Years

This list was given to me as a Born Again Birthday gift from Anna, who led me to Christ 10 years ago on the 31st of October 1998 (The following posts are also ones that Anna has helped me to compile, knowing that I love lists so, especially when they are about me).

  1. He has taken me from death to live. I was His enemy, now I am His child.
  2. He has changed who I am as a person - I am more joyful and peaceful than I was then ("I in my Saviour am happy and blessed").
  3. I have improved in my ability to relate to people (she means that I was socially retarded when I was 19).
  4. My relationships with my family have been transformed.
  5. My relationships with men have been transformed.
  6. I have learned to be content, even in pain.
  7. I've become an evangelist (she says, since the first day of my conversion).
  8. I have found my niche as a counsellor.
  9. I am still me (strange, really funny, and radical) but I am more me (Ephesians 4).
  10. I really know and have experienced, that God's ways are best.

A List

Things I hate (as observed by Anna).

  • Stickers

  • Posh, mysogynist men

  • Social ettiquette - RSVPs, small talk etc.

  • Nauseating couples

  • Sport

  • Having to talk to children in front of thier parents

  • Logistical arrangements

  • Tidying up

  • Michael Winner

  • Smugness

  • Standing at conference stalls

  • Boring people

  • BMW & Mercedes drivers

Why I Am Strange

One day after church, Bell and I were discussing the people we knew who were strange. I was suggesting people, and she kept saying "No, he's not strange, he's weird." Or, "No, she's not strange, she's clinically insane." We struggled to define the word strange until Bell said; "Well, you're strange." I was delighted! I asked her to justify it. What follows are her observances, and then Anna's, on the same worthy subject.

Observed by Bell:

  • I wear lots of bright colours all at the same time.
  • I love presents but hate opening them.
  • I love offal.
  • I have strange toilet fetishes [see here]
  • I always have an old cabbage in the fridge (it's true, I do! A different one each time she looks!)
  • I'm a deep thinker but I love things like Big Brother and have Jesus' on Wheels.
  • I am innately childish.
  • I am good at singing but I'm too embarrassed to sing.
  • I give people names from Jesus (Croissant, ShoeKeeper, Tiny Dancer, Melon Raider etc.)
  • I like stones being thrown at my bottom.
  • I've got a music degree but I can't sing and clap at the same time.
  • All of my shoes are really badly broken and stored on a hat rack which is on the floor.
  • I own enough pants to wear one a day for 3 months without washing them.
  • I hate hot weather but live in a flat which is like a sauna.
  • I have a very strange phobia.
  • I do utterly inaccurate impersonations of people.
  • Being called strange causes me inexpressible delight.

Observed by Anna:

  • I have a friend called Croissant.
  • I find single words out of context funny (eg. Paper. Hahahah!)
  • I think my cuddly toys are real.
  • I am simultaneously very introvert and very extrovert.
  • I am actually obsessed with flatulence.
  • I am very messy indeed, but my CD collection is perfectly alphabetised and each disc has the title at perfect right angles to the edge of the case, and all my knickers are folded perfectly in a special way.
  • I carry around a book in which to write lists (like this one, the previous post and the one after this one).
  • I say words funny (see following post).
  • I laugh much longer than anyone else if I find something funny. This often means that I will still be laughing when the subject matter in the conversation has moved on to much more somber things.
  • If a car horn beeps I go 'excuse me' as if it was my bum, and think I am being funny and original every time.
  • I can never remember what I have just done, or what I am supposed to be doing next.
  • I suddenly make loud, isolated, completely random sounds.
  • Sometimes I sway.

Of Limited Interest to Others...

Words that Witsy and I always have to say in a certain accent:

Fanny - 1940s English (Feyaneya)
Fancy - 1040s English (Feyanseya)
I appreciate that - Australian (Oi aprayshayayt thit)
I did not know that - American (I diyad nat know thayat)
Cushion - Brian Sewel (Cusssyon) See also Efficient, Tissue, Delicious.
Juice - Gruff Northern (Jowse)
Twenty - Some sort of Northern with dropped Ts (Twe'-e)
Purse - Scottish with rolled Rs, but very clipped (Purrrs)
Dirty - As above (Durrrti)
Photocopyer - Geordie (For'door'cob'ear)
Local - Geordie (Lor'-el)

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

A Horrifying Discovery

Just in case anyone didn't believe that the story in [this post] was actually true, check out this email that I just received from Witsy:

Barney - I was trying to kill a bit of time at work and was reading through your blog and chuckling about the crazy blue-haired woman in Belle and Herbs. I clicked on the link to remind myself of the embarrassment. To my horror, there is a video on the website and WE'RE ON IT!!!!!!!!!

Go to 'Portfolio' and then click 'Cold Coffee'. The video is just over 3 mins long. WATCH IT ALL and look out for our cringing faces!!!


Disappointingly, it doesn't show the mortifying special performance that we had at our own table, but it does show our combination of looking at the unbelievable freak show, and trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. It also shows numerous other people trying their best to ignore the performances. It even has an excerpt from the 'Fred Had a Muffin' song.

See, I DON'T make this stuff up.