Thursday, 10 September 2009

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Hair has been an important thing in our house. Last week alone I had to fork out £92 to have a man come and unblock the plughole because someone who'll remain nameless sheds hair like it's going out of fashion, and washes it down the sink. I'm off to Robert Dyas to buy one of those things you put over the whole to stop rubbish going down. This could be the best £3.50 I've ever invested.

Fortunately, the boy can afford to lose some locks because he has a fabulous mane, courtesy of his mother. Although peculiarly he's blessed with Grandma in Cyprus' eyebrows. Eyebrow. Looking after his hair seems to provide an endless challenge and fascination (I assume fascination is why he can't pass a mirror without a glance to the side, and a gentle fiddling with his hair for a few minutes thereafter). His concern for its well being is undoubtedly why we have half the world's stocks of hair gels, mouses, sprays, clays and putty spread around various rooms.

Here's a Christmas present from one of his school friends. Were they making a point?

His hair grows at a rate of knots, and it seems no sooner has it been cut then it's back longer and messier than it was before. Getting it cut is an expense that makes the mortgage look cheap. Once upon a time, when we went into the hair cutters (are they hairdressers or barbers these days?), he would say what he wanted to the barber, whilst I stood behind and indicated whet was actually needed. That used to get me into a lot of trouble, so I've stopped doing it. Sometimes though that means his direction doesn't always translate into the right end result. And the last cut left him with a long tail. Which he wasn't happy about. But failed to persuade the barber to resolve. So I have been brought in to sort it out. With my scissors. I don't want any comments about living in Essex must mean I'm a hairdresser. In the Sassoon stakes I'm more Siegfried than Vidal. Nonetheless, with a rusty, blunt pair of Ikea scissors, I have now chopped and hacked.

He's pleased, I'm pleased but I'm still wondering if the cuttings should have been shoved down the plug hole?

Monday, 7 September 2009

50 not out

Today is the last day of the boy's summer holiday. All nine weeks of it. I know it's been nine weeks because his maths teacher told me on Saturday night after I danced with his wife. The maths teacher is looking forward to going back to school, I think the boy is too. He's spending his last day with his girlfriend. No doubt they'll take the dog for a walk in the Forest, and I hope Fido doesn't run away and get lost if his walkers are distracted.

We were at at 50th birthday party on Saturday night. This was not just any 50th party. This was an Essex 50th party. For the 110 guests, the champagne flowed all night. The marquee was large and luxurious. It did have a disco ball hanging from the centre. The waitresses kept us topped up with food and bubbly. The garden around was adorned with 750 sculptural lights which illuminated a 4' bronze sculpture of a running hare which had been specially commissioned for the celebrations. The talk was generally about life in the City, and a toast was given to 'the most important man in my life. The man who has made all this possible. Mr JP Morgan.'

The boy had been invited as a guest of the daughter who he's at school with, I was invited as a friend of the birthday girl. We were given a lift by the father of the boy's best mate, and he kindly collected us too. Whilst it made me feel young to be ferried around by a parent, it felt equally very uncomfortable too. As indeed did being the only singleton at the party, and having to respond to questions about where my partner was. The explanation that I didn't have one was met with astonishment, and I hung my head in shame. Next time I'll rent.

Not so long ago, I went to the 50th birthday parties of the parents of my friends, and it's taken the wind out of my sails a bit to discover that having gone through the engagement party stage, the wedding party stage, the house warming stage, the christening stage, the divorce party stage, I'm now at the half centenary party stage. Next it'll be the wake stage. And Grandma in Cyprus hasn't helpd by ringing to mention that it's Big Brother's fiftieth this year. I'd like to pretend there's a decade and more between us, but that would be a Big Fib. We count the difference in our ages in months, not years.

So Monday is not looking good - social pariah for not having a wife, and heading to my grave as a lonely old sod. I'm going back to bed and staying there. Or maybe it's time for fake tan,hair dye and a facelift. After all I do live in Essex.