Flotsam and Jetsam

‘I couldn’t half do with a sit-down,’ says my hairdresser, . Not quite the words I long to hear when she has my hair in one hand and a pair of scissors in the other, but I’m sure it will be fine. It’s like a youth club in the salon today with the amount of school kids on work experience before going off to college in September. The trouble is they keep floating back to ask what to do before being sent off to arrange the shampoos or tidy the magazines. More worrying is that every time one of them hovers, my hair is in danger. As another child is sent away on a mission I have a fleeting sense that something strange has happened, but by the time everything’s been blow-dried and straightened, I’m lulled into a false sense of security... until I wash my hair. The ‘something strange’ is that several layers have appeared, especially in my fringe, and I’m now channelling Suzi Quatro. ‘It’s fine,’ says Tom, ‘exactly the same as usual.’ Little does he realise how dangerously he is living.

Meanwhile the boat is standing in the mud of the estuary. Fortunately the epic volume of rain beating down on the Cardigan coast has kept us apart. That, and the fact that her skipper has been mysteriously felled by some lurgy. A trip to the GP confirms he has mild shingles. I feel hugely sympathetic until he says that the weather could be good for a sail at the weekend.

On what used to be dry land the wish list of houses we might buy if anyone ever buys ours is looking a bit thin as the market starts to pick up. We’re not unduly worried as we’ve been quite lucky with houses in the past. Our first house was a Victorian end-terrace which people were turning their nose up at, but where Tom, the girls and I were very happy for seven years. We then took on an unattractive semi with huge rooms, fabulous views of the Downs and a garden like a park. Unfortunately the other half of the semi was occupied by an eccentric family and their incessantly barking dog. Driven mad, Tom once threw a potato at the dog which didn’t hurt it but must have surprised the neighbours when they found a stray King Edward lying on their lawn. Today we’re off to see a cottage which we first saw four years ago. At the time we rejected it for being too small, but our shopping list has changed since then, and the cottage has just come back on the market. I’m quietly excited so we’ll see what the afternoon brings.

Talk of moving house brings out all the guilt about living so far from Ma, so I phone to ask if she’d like to come and stay. No she wouldn’t. She assures me she’s fine and goes on to tell me about her regular trip to the market. Whilst waiting in the fruit and veg queue she hears the couple in front discussing boob jobs. ‘I think I could do with one of those’ she suggests to the stall holder. ‘Don’t do it, love,’ he advises. ‘You’d be wasting yer money – yours look fine to me.’ ‘And I got some extra cherries,’Ma says happily.

And finally...
Cardiff Half Marathon Training
Runner’s World SmartCoach programme week 3: 19 miles
Weight: static.


Fennie said…
I suppose someone has to teach them "Have you had yer holidays, yet?" Then in a month or two it will be, "Are yer all ready for Christmas?" I've forgotten what it is in the Spring.

Yes, why is hair cut standing up, like a meeting of the Privy Council?
Dentists don't work standing up, though helmsmen (thinking of your pig boat), do. But why should hairdressers not have a dentist's chair in reverse? One that gently lowered itself into the floor until your head was at waist height? Then your hairdresser could sit on a seat attached to a little horse shoe rail thingy and be whizzed backwards and forwards around your head electrically, snipping and shearing as the fancy took.

Glad your Mum got extra cherries and well done on the book and the running. What do you call the woman who is fighting the tide - Canuta?
Flowerpot said…
I love the added bonus of cherries!! But working backwards, can oh so sympathise with feeling of impending doom with a weekend sail. Perhaps shingles might prevent that? Fingers crossed....
Frances said…
How I do love reading your home thoughts, Chris! I can always visualize being right in the scenes you describe, like the dog/potato scene or your mom and the cherry man.

Best wishes on the cottage viewing, and on being able to stay on dry land.

Give that hair style and week to settle in, and then, if it's still giving you hassle with styling, just have that stylist do a bit of remedial work. (Hope that the training class will be over by then.)

Edward said…
Was it deliberate, or was this blog rather more than usually full of double entendres? Or am I going stir crazy?

Good luck with the house hunting. NOT my favourite occupation.
Debs said…
I love the sound of your mother. She sounds a little like my own.

Glad you've had a reprieve from the fat-bottomed one, and daren't say I hope the skipper gets better soon, as no doubt you'll be back down sailing the seas once again.

I dread the hairdressers, and always end up with something not quite what I was hoping for.
Preseli Mags said…
My hairdresser does sit down, but then I have very heavy hair.

Sympathy to Tom for the lurgy. When you mentioned the 'pig' boat, I rather suspected he'd got swine flu.

I might try following your Ma's example and see if I get some extra cherries!
PS: Well done with the training. So organised! I haven't even entered yet. Still chicken.
Celtic Heart said…
At least you didn't see your mid~back length tresses turn into a near Sinead O'Connor in the blink of an eye due to a television in the corner of an Icelandic salon playing the American soap "Days of Our Lives". That, and the language barrier causing an obvious misinterpretation of "A good trim please"

Sorry the Skipper has shingles. Painful for him, and probably worse for you.
lampworkbeader said…
Good luck with the house hunting/selling. I loved the rest of the blog. Take care in that blasted boat
love Lampie
ChrisH said…
Fennie, that one sounds like a 'Bay City Roller' job in the making if you ask me! Yes, Ma is very resourceful! Heroine of FTT is called Harry.

FP, me or the skipper? I might throw a case of bubonic plague on the day if the weather looks bad!

Frances, thank you - and good advice on the hair cut too. It looks a bit startled at the moment so hopefully it will settle down this week!

Edward, or should I say 'Ooh Matron', I must have been in a 'Carry on Sailing' mood as I wrote this. I don't mind house hunting if there's a suitable house to hunt otherwise it's rather grim.

Debs, lets never introduce our mothers then or there'll be hell to pay. You always look great in your photos so your hairdresser must be doing something right.

Mags, you hair is gorgeous so I should imagine hairdressers treat it with great respect. And hardly surprising that you haven't entered the race yet with everything you've got to do. Forgive me though if I don't come shopping for cherries with you!

CH, I think that deserves a blog - don't be shy now! And thanks for the commiserations!

Lampie, thank you. I do intend to take care... just not quite sure what mood the dreaded boat will be in. Eeek!
Cottage Garden said…
I love reading Home Thoughts Chris, they always make me chuckle. Your mum sounds great - you can be as outspoken as you like when you get older and nobody bats an eyelid!

Are you sure Skipper of pig-boat has shingles and not swine-flu?!!

Good luck with continuing house sale/purchase. The cottage sounds lovely - any luck with that?

LittleBrownDog said…
Gosh, can Tom come over and throw some potatoes at our dog? Did it work, by the way? Even if it didn't I bet it felt oddly satisfying. Hope your hair has settled down - the first wash after a cut is always a bit unsettling, I find - everything usually reverts back to normal in a couple of days - even my Noel Edmonds moment didn't last all that long.

I do love your descriptions of the pig boat - she sounds strangely unenticing, but clearly holds some charm for Tom. Hope his lurgy isn't too debilitating (well, debilitating enough to prevent sailing, obviously, but not horrid or uncomfortable).

And fingers crossed on the house front. It will happen, it will.

PS Thank you for your very sweet commment on mine.
Pondside said…
BIG sympathy re the hair cut, Chris. For the last three cuts my hairdresser has
1. had a headache
2. had a cold
3. had a sore shoulder
I stick with her because I'm usually sure of a reasonable cut, but the last one has required a considerable recovery period.
More sympathy re the impending sailing weekend. I prefer my boats really big!
gaelikaa said…
Hope the skipper recovers soon. But your agony goes on - can't wait for the next instalment! Chris, can you please come over for a minute and see my post 'Magnificent Sevens' dated today? I have a tag to pass on to you..it'll keep your mid off the pig boat for a while....
gaelikaa said…
Sorry, I meant mind off not mid off. My kid just came in from school, got all confused...
Sally's Chateau said…
I always love popping in here Chris, I'm waiting for a new 'style' to settle myself, I think it may take time, still expect yours is just the ticket for some bracing sea air.
Captain Black said…
Hello, I've just found your blog.
Calico Kate said…
Well I think she looks jolly good to me but perhaps it is because her bottom is hidden - but then don't the best of us hide theirs? well you probably don't as it'll be very trim but I do mine!
Hope the house viewing goes well, & if the market is picking up that'll mean yours gets sold too.
Good luck
ChrisH said…
Jeanne, Ma's capacity to make mischief has gone from strength to strength! She's really got into her stride, these days! Thanks.. we loved the cottage, now have to wait to see if anyone loves our house.

LBD, Toby (the dog) was rather taken with the potato game, and seemed a bit disappointed that no more flying spuds were forthcoming. So relieved that even Noel Edmunds haircuts don't last forever (what a thought)... mind you, Noel Edmunds still has a Noel Edmunds.

Pondside, all sympathy much appreciated. Bit of a worry about the long recovery period on your last hairdo... this isn't settling down too well at the moment, but so long as it doesn't turn into a Noel Edmunds I'm winning (no, don't look if you haven't come across him over there).

Gaelikaa, thank you. I have indeed had a look at the magnificent sevens, although I don't think mine will be too magnificent! Will give it some thought.

Sally, thank you. Hmmm, I think there's only going to be one thing worse than my haircut on dry land and that's some salt air in it. Combined with a green face I suspect my gorgeosity will be severely compromised.

Captain Black, welcome! (Tapping foot) where have you been all this time then? Enjoy the writing holiday.

Kate, I can tell you're a bit of a boat girl! The next step will be for me to see how I get on with the pig boat again this weekend. And you're right - I'm a cone shape so no big bottom! Shoulders, well that's another story. Thanks for the good house wishes.
As I write in the early evening I have to wonder if you are all aboard? Gales at the coast I presume?
ChrisH said…
SBS... I got off before the gales started - for once!

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