Wednesday, 30 April 2008

A humph and a haircut

For the past couple of days I have been feeling Grognonne, not I hasten to add Madame Grognonne, which would be a totally different thing all together. Nope I have had, as the say here a touch of the cockroaches.., a fit of the glums and I am royally peed off because chaps that just ain't me.

I put it down to the book I am reading, forced upon me by a friend who said , the gleam of a zealot in her eye, "oh you must read this"OK, looks promising thinks I , well "One woman's search for everything across Italy India and Indonesia" certainly sounds as if it might be a rollicking read n'est pas? I like travel logs. Ha!! Travel log my arse!!

It is one of those of those terribly worthy American tomes on the road to enlightenment, written to do you good and help you grow. It is the introspective examination, by the female author ,of her own fluff filled belly button in search of a better understanding of what lies therein and why. I am not given to navel contemplation.

Naval contemplation is another matter of course. I have happily, in my time spent an hour or so of harmless contemplation of the worlds various and numerous matelots in their jolly attire, or not as the case may be. I 0once went out with a Brazilian sailor .He had a wonderful uniform complete with a sort of woolly bobble on his hat Ah me those were the days .

I digress. The book in question is entitled, beguilingly, "eat pray love".. and is by Marybeth something or other, no I tell a lie its by someone called Elizabeth Gilbert, see ,its so wonderful I cant even remember the writers name . I should have seen the signs when she commenced with " An introduction or How this book works or the 109th bead" and given up then. Time (note not the THE Times) described it as "An engaging intelligent and highly entertaining memoir". I hate to think what they were comparing it to, possible the San Francisco telephone directory.

Well regardless of whether or not she is a "Readable Funny writer", which the Washington Post assures me she is, she depressed me no end so I decided a boost to the old ego was needed. A spot of pandering to the feminine side, a little bit of self indulgence warranted , thus, this morning after doing two lots of school runs and various chores at double quick time I trotted off, eyes a glow and armed with a sense of purpose, to have my hair done.

I don't do the makeup, hair "oohh pretty shoes must have now "thingy so this is a red letter day. I visit hair dressers under duress or in dire emergencies . Those of you old enough and sad enough to remember one of my first blogs concerning my argument with the village hairdresser regarding whether or not my hair is naturally curly will sigh sagely and know any trip made by me to the hairdresser is an act of hope over experience. I do not do hairdressers well. It is long established that I missed that gene along with the shopping one . My sister got them. This is grossly unfair as she also got the tall slim blond genes as well.

En route to Hairdresser I note my mind is wandering badly, off dans la lune . I get to the hairdresser to find the one man in world who understands my hair is occupied, but oh happy day, not so occupied that he can not spare a minute to explain, complete with handsignals, to his assistant ,that my hair needs this ,this and definitely that done to it so that is OK. Now problem is assistant is about 10 months pregnant . I notice this as she has great difficult getting close enough to the chair to reach me her bump being in the way. Ive been there had three little dears and know all about braincells going AWOL add to the equation then that with my brain going AWOL too and we find ourselves drifting in dangerous waters without a pilot. Our combined lack of attention on this fine morning inevitably comes to the not so pretty pass .

She snips my hair abstractedly for about 15 minutes I stare out of the window and wonder when it will stop raining. I snap back into reality about the same time as she does and we both stare at my head in horrid stifled shocked sort of way at the sudden realisation that both of us thought the other was concentrating on the hair cut where as she was probably mentally choosing bay names and I was contemplating whether I really needed to go food shopping afterwards or not..

Result was that ,alas too late ,we both realise I have very short hair. Actually, very very, short hair. Of the sort of style revolting french peasants used to give to suspected collaborators in world war 2. On close inspection I suspect they trained her. We both looked at my hair in silence. The only man understands my hair looks up from the perming rods he is inserting in an old woman's hair and lets out an audible eek sound. The Salon is so quiet you could hear a curl drop..if I had any left to drop.

I am wondering whether I had all those furrows etched into my forehead before I started practising eyebrow raising techniques earlier in the week and she wondering how woman underneath her scissors has magically been transformed into a saggy faced ancient tortoise, her head sticking out of the leaded apron as if it were a carapace. On a side note ,why is it hairdressers now stick lead weighted rubber mats about ones neck when they cut ones hair ? Is there something radio active in the hair gel they use? Matters were made worse by her liberal application of a wax thingy which is meant to make one's natural curls bounce and glimmer but made mine curl up their toes into tiny fetal lumps like terrified baby hedgehogs.

Then the daft bint sprayed it.

So today my poor hair has been washed with toxic shampoo, conditioned to within an inch of its life, layered and cut , gunked and sprayed. It is not happy. Neither am I. I tip her because I can't stand to be rude and spend next hour standing lost in a space in aisle nine of the supermarche staring blankly at magazines. I think its the radio active gel working its way into my brain. Eventually I go home.

After about an hour Husband, who has been looking quizzically at me from odd angles asks if I have had my hair cut. "Yes" I say "OH" he says..and that about sums it up. I am wondering if I can sue the "witty Compulsively readable Ms Gilbert" for her part in my decline and fall and what words Eldest (who is so well endowed with shopping ,hair ,and makeup genes that she is unable to pass a shoes shop without clapping her hands in glee and jumping up and down like an excited puppy) will find to describe my hair.

If she says "oh" too I am going right out buy a large paper bag to wear.
The photograph is of a Giant Galapagos Tortoise, imagine it with a tightly curled mop on the very top of its head and that is roughly what my new hair cut looks is also the nearest you are ever going to get to seeing a photograph of me.



Well I can Sally so there
( comment that is!)

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Oh Un Peu - you made me laugh - even though I am sure you want to cry.

I loved your well written descriptive blog and then the wonderful flat line . . .Then the daft bint sprayed it.

How about a scarf Un Peu worn lwith panache like Captain Jack Sparrow until your hair grows a bit. You know by tomorrow it may not be as bad as you think. And for goodness sake throw that berludy book away and please do not suggest it for the purple book club.

This comment has been removed by the author.
jackofall said...

Well that's one book I won't be chasing you up to finish so I can read it, then!

And the hair is not as bad as all that, readers - it just takes her some getting used to. And Eldest said more than "Oh,", too - she liked it.

Very good and funny blog, too.

Milla said...

It does sound truly disastrous, Un Peu whatever J and Eldest say. They are lying. You know they are. You are a tortoise in despair and will remain one a sadly long time. Meanwhile the rest of us get a good laugh and the bint gets her tip. Something is awry with your guardian angel, I suggest you fling that book at him.

Faith said...

Oh dear how awful for you - what can anyone say? Your hair will grow and I like tortoises and want one but horrible husband says it will eat all the plants.

Never mind, hide away for three months and make lovely doves.

Pipany said...

Oh UPL, you poor thing. You did write it so beautifully though - I'm almost crying with laughter now and feeling very guilty for doing so. I would want to kill the hairdresser and can only say how well I remember the time I had my rigidly straight hair permed in what was loosely called a 'shaggy dog' style supposed to make me look sexily bedraggled - I actually resembled a lion on speed who had got its claws caught in an electric socket!!!!

Much sympathy coming ypour way dear xxx

Wizzard said...

you should go the whole hog and spray paint it purple. (the hair not the tortoise!)


lampworkbeader said...

Sympathy, sympathy, sympathy from someone who has, on many occasions, run from expensive hairdressers straight into the shower at home to wash off all that horrid gunk and spray.

Grouse said...

Elizabeth Gilbert.UGH. They serialised one of hers on R4 last year...not sure what was worse, the book or the horrible droning psuedo-american that read it.

Very large hat in post as we speak.

Frances said...

Bon jour, dear UPL.

Getting a bad haircut is a real shock. I know this well, because my hair is also very difficult to handle, and I can count on the fingers of one hand the stylists who have been so skilled.

Now. Throw that book away, or if you know any neighborly goats who might like a munch, well then. Humor them.

I expect that the very short hair style will grow quickly into something that can be restyled, and that your eek-ing usual stylist might just have to do that re-style for free.

(Now, humor me. Do I not remember a hair cutting episode from the Chronicles? A daughter who needed to hide out for a while?)

Please do not hide out, just use a chic straw hat for a week or so. You will be fine.

Finally, as always your words are beautifully collected. Lots of smiles here, but expressed with compassion.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

just been on a similar jaunt...supposed to be wash, cut and blow dry...more like abject torture ears will never be the same again. Deepest sympathy. Where did you find a decent bag?

Exmoorjane said...

Sue the mad bints, both of them! I hate hairdressers too at the moment as the previously sainted Barry did EXACTLY what I asked him not to and I now have two haircuts jostlign for supremacy on my head.
Really really hate nasty 'what you wnat to do' books as well (mainly because, I suspect, have had to write a few of them myself....the shame!. Ah, the heck of it - sue me too! WOuld make life a bit interesting......
See, I'm in a grognonne as well.

Himalayan Blue said...

Hairdressers are a form of torture and I have always thought so! Would also like to apologise for laughing at you in your time of need! Hope the hair grows soon and throw away the book. Life is too short to finish reading books your are not enjoying!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Ouch, how horrible for you. I know it's small consolation, but at least it grows...

Pondside said...

Oh dear, oh dear. Big sympathy from me - was in the chair when my hairdresser's brother was taken to hospital in an ambulance....very bad cut; in the chair again when she got a call from the tax people - another disaster; I like her, so was in the chair yet again when the debit payment machine went on the blink - and you can imagine the cut I got. You'd think I'd learn. She cut my hair short two weeks ago, and when I picked up my sister to go out her only comment was 'It's short. Are YOU happy with it?' Hmmmmmmmmm


Oh come, come, Un Peu, methinks you are being too harsh on yourself!

Actually, I don't, I once had a very swanky hairdresser in swanky Notting Hill before he was actually famous (and his to-die-for country wedding to glamourous Vouge editor's P.A - with long blond hair, I might add - was splashed all over the pages of, um, Vogue.) He was in the habit of cutting my hair short. And very well he did it too. But one day I turned up in biking leathers and no make-up and the years had been ticking by and he went mad. Afterwards I was in Boots in Kensington High Street and caught sight of myself in the mirror - quelle horreur! There was my brother staring back at me. It was ghastly. I'd only paid for a hair cut - not a bloomin sex change!

Anyway, if I know you, you'll be off down the local market next to buy the shoes to match the haircut...something comfortable and black with nice rubber soles and perhaps a lace or two.

And hey, GUESS WHAT, a friend of mine sent me that ruddy book too!! I gushed at her generosity, but have never read it. Don't think I'll bother now. You've done it for me!

Woozle1967 said...

I bet you look like Audrey Hepburn really - the things you make up to tell a good story (raises eyes heavenwards)!x

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