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just a jaded fool [userpic]

Hair Today

April 22nd, 2007 (05:30 pm)

Last week I was bleaching bits of my daughter's hair in preparation for dying them vivid pink afterwards. She was in a playful mood so asked to put some through my hair. I was tired, so I let her. I was having it all chopped off a few days later anyhow, so didn't really care. 

Well... oh my, instead of the couple of strands I was expecting, my hair looked quite a bit lighter. I was surprised, but it didn't actually look bad, despite the comment from a family member, who said I should've let her know and she'd have done it "properly". She's been watching them at the college where she has her hair done, and now thinks she knows how to do foils. (I've watched All Creatures Great and Small, but that doesn't mean I'd attempt to deliver a calf.)

So... the day comes and off I go in trepidation to the salon. Men seem to think we enjoy getting our hair done, I don't know why; it's nerve wracking. Off you schlepp to a salon full of people who are younger, thinner and better looking, or at least a million times more groomed than you, which makes you feel like a bug under a microscope from the moment you walk in the door and one of the beautiful people eyes you with blatant suspicion and asks if they can help (they're being polite, they don't mean it. They're hoping you wandered in by mistake looking for the opticians next door.) Then there are the all important questions, are they any good? Do they know what they're doing? When you say "only an inch off please!" will you be giving them an inch so they can take a mile? Will they outright WRECK YOUR HAIR?!

o.... I went in and for once I'd worked out exactly what I wanted, so that when asked what we're having done today I could say something intelligible instead of just muttering vague phrases like "chin level" and "sort out the layers". I told her. She did it. It looked great. I felt like the proverbial million dollars. The childrens' headteacher said it looked gorgeous and even MIL paid me a compliment. She said she wouldn't have recognised me. Therefore, by my reckoning I must have looked like someone-else-entirely, so that HAS to be a compliment.

Now... I said before that I was going grey. DD had lightened my hair. After I'd had it chopped it was still lighter than I expected. But I decided to go mad and dye it darkest brown. Darkest, darkest brown. So dark it's almost black brown. The
colour has always suited me and it's not THAT much darker than my natural hair colour to be honest. So I went for it. And now.... now my previously fantastic hairdo makes me look like a cross between Kat Slater and a middle aged emo. My skin tone has changed as I've got older and it really does not suit me anymore.

Perfect example of less being more. :(

just a jaded fool [userpic]

A bit less time goes by...

April 16th, 2007 (07:38 am)

Five years ago today I was laying in a hospital bed feeling dazed and.... if this story sounds familliar it should do but bear with me. No. 1 son and no. 3 son were born eleven years and two days apart. And their births were very memorable (and somewhat traumatic) for very different reasons.

This time I start with my waters breaking as I get up in the morning to go to the bathroom . And when I say waters, what I mean is Niagara Falls. There seems to be gallons of the stuff and it just will not stop coming! I wake Mr Jaded up and he takes my younger son to his Mum's (there are only the three of us here at the time) whilst I wait for my waters to stop leaking so I can get dressed to go to the hospital. Only it won't stop. Eventually I try standing in the bath but it gets too slippery and I have to get out. I stand over a pile of towels instead. 

Here's a little known thing - amniotic fluid seems to have some kind of bleaching properties. Weird eh?! I know this because I ruined Mr Jaded's favourite Welsh flag towel that morning. ;)

So there I am, standing in the bathroom waiting for the leaking to stop, alone in the house, when suddenly at about 5.40 a.m. I have an enormously strong contraction. That's not supposed to happen, I think, they're supposed to start off slow and weak...  I know instinctively that waiting is not going to be a good idea and devise a kind of huge nappy from a towel. I stagger across the landing to the bedroom to find some old clothes, then the second contraction comes. The gap in between is not very long, only a couple of minutes. Oh my God! I quite feel as though I'd like some gas and air. Better get dressed. Somehow I crawl into some clothes and then Mr J appears; I've never been so pleased to see him.

Contractions are coming fast now. Between them I manage to shuffle downstairs with my hospital bag. Another one. I grab Mr J's fleece and lean my head on him. I wonder why he keeps backing away from me, doesn't he know I need him the bastard?! Where is he GOING?! I don't know until five days later when he eventually shows me the five livid bruises that I've actually grabbed hold of his chest in a vice-like grip and he hasn't even whimpered. The mad fool, he should've screamed, but he says he figured I was still in more pain than he was.

It's time to negotiate the front steps down to the car. I make it that far then I have an almighty contraction that just won't stop. Every time I try to bend down to get in the door I think I'm going to die. Instead I stand in the street grunting and biting rabidly on the rubber seal of the car door. A man rides down the street on a bike, on his way to work. As he draws level with us I scream and he wobbles with surprise and almost falls off. "Come on, get in," says Mr J. "I CAN'T!!" I screech. Two or three times we repeat this conversation. Another thing I don't find out till later.. it was a slightly frosty morning and Mr J thought I couldn't get in the car because my mouth was frozen to it! He had planned on getting some water to throw over me, until I stood up and spoke to him without part of the car between my teeth.

"I can't get in, call an ambulance, we'll have to go back inside!" Mr J has a look of horror spreading over his face as he realises all is not going to plan, but gets his mobile out and calls 999. The emergency operator says they will put him through, and it rings. And rings, and rings and rings and rings. The operator comes back and says I'm very sorry, I'll try them again. Again it rings and rings and rings. I realise that if we go back in the house, no-one will be coming and we'll end up delivering this baby ourselves. The thought spurs me on to get in the car and somehow I manage it.

So now I'm in the back of the car, kneeling, facing backwards, clawing at the back of the seat and screaming with my face pressed up against the rear windscreen. I vaguely hope that nobody following us thinks I'm being abducted and calls the police because I think I might try to kill anyone who attempts to stop us. It's three miles to the hospital and it seems like 300. We have to drive all the way round to the back of the site where we stop right outside the maternity block. "We're here!!" himself happily announces. It's 6.20 a.m. I just about got in the car, there's no way in the world I can get out unaided, so I tell him to go and get someone. He looks slightly confused but does it. I am alone again, but soon I see two midwives running towards
me. They open the door and I am surprised to hear one of them say to the other that I am pushing. Am I?! Oh, yes, so I am. This is the first time I actually know it's nearly over already! They tell me they need to have a quick look. Lucky I put a skirt on! They do, and announce that they can see the baby's head, so one of them sprints for a wheelchair.

Do I have to sit in that thing?! Yes, they expect me to! I try to kneel in it but they shake their heads. Oh God. I'm being raced through the reception where startled mothers and fathers to be and reception staff stare as we whizz past. Don't push, say the midwives, breathe it away! I want to hit them. Into the delivery room and I struggle up onto the bed, on hands and knees. I can't turn over, so I think sod this and give a big push, then another one, and the baby is out! It's 6.24 a.m. -  4 minutes since we pulled up outside. I'm still dressed, I still have my coat on! The whole thing has taken 45 minutes. I was a couple of minutes away from having this baby in the car. Talking of which, the back of the car is trashed and Mr J has to fork out to get it cleaned and dried and the upholstery I've ripped out with my bare hands repaired. His head is spinning because his first baby's birth was everything he'd been told only happens on the telly and he was prepared for hours of mopping my brow and holding my hand.

So that was Lewis' birth. He's still in a hurry to get everywhere, five years later.

just a jaded fool [userpic]

Goodbye to you my trusted friends.

April 15th, 2007 (01:07 pm)

I need to have a book cull.

The idea is pretty much anathema to me, but I've been forcing myself recently to become a little more Zen about it. It's all very well reading how letting go of old things allows new things to come into your life, but if you don't put it into practise then it's just more useless information, and I am already a mine of that. Apart from that, when you live in a small house with 7 other people and their assorted junk, there are only so many places to bung things. I have no more room for freestanding bookshelves and precious little wallspace left for mounted ones, so it's either stop buying books or get rid of some of the old ones. That is not a difficult decision.

What is more than a little bit harder is deciding which ones to let go. Everyone has something that they LOVE with a passion, they probably couldn't explain why, but they do. I have several. I laughingly call them my fetishes. I have one for cushions (how girly of me!) I have one for stationery. I have one, bizarrely, for chemists shops. But if I had to say which was my oldest and most abiding love affair, it would, without a doubt, be the one I've been having for most of my life with books. One of my very early memories is of sitting on my mother's lap being read a book. It was my third birthday and the book a Ladybird called Piggly Plays Truant. I loved the story. I still love stories, I adore information, the contents of books. But let's be clear; it's not just the words inside the books that I have a passion for, it's the actual books themselves. 

Let me spend an afternoon in Waterstones (withough kids) or a library and I'm in heaven. I could spend blissful hours just looking at the things. I love the different bindings, the glossiness of a new paperback, the potential for the magic that might be inside, the SMELL.  But don't let me in a bookshop if you're in a hurry, I resent being hustled out of those places and that happens a LOT. Five minutes in a bookshop to me is
like being offered something very tempting only to have it snatched away just as you reach out for it; I'd rather never have had it dangled invitingly before me at all. A new book is a fantastic treat, like a delicious secret to be hugged to yourself, and anticpated with barely concealed lust.

So... bearing this in mind, apart from probably thinking by now that I'm slightly peculiar, you should be able to see why a book cull is an extraordinarily difficult thing to me. So far I've only managed to plump for getting rid of seven books - a cookery book I'm never going to make anything out of since it's full of 80's inspired weirdery, a sociology title I've no real interest in, a volume on the relation between politics and religion in the origins of Christianity, a Soviet testimony of life in a Russian gulag and
a couple of aga sagas -  and I'm having second thoughts about some of those.

I don't think I'm really going to miss The Exploits of Moominpappa though.

I have to get rid of more, either that or banish them to the loft where they're worse than useless because nobody can read them and they'll just be taking up space and gathering dust and spiders. I'll have to do better than this.

just a jaded fool [userpic]

As time goes by

April 14th, 2007 (09:27 am)

current mood: contemplative

Sixteen years ago today I was laying in a hospital bed feeling dazed and wondering why my new baby wouldn't go to sleep. After all, everyone knows newborns need a lot of sleep, don't they? Only it seemed someone had forgotten to tell mine.

I should've known he'd be an awkward one following the manner of his arrival into the world. 30 hours of labour. After 24 of them I was having contractions every 3 minutes lasting a minute but had almost no progress to show for it. It'll be a loooong time yet, they told me, but they could speed things up if they broke my waters, so I let them. Then I really knew the meaning of the word

In fact soon I was delerious with the pain. I gulped Entonox as though it were oxygen and I was suffocating, pressing the mask against my nose so hard I had a bruise across the bridge for weeks. People came and went but they seemed a long way away and I didn't know or care who they were. I heard someone screaming and gradually realised it was me. I watched, amazed as a cupboard on the wall pulsated and grew bigger and smaller. I stared intently up at a spot on the ceiling and prayed, perhaps vaguely thinking that if there was a God, He was Up There, somewhere. "Please, if you're Up There just take me, right now!" I begged. I no longer cared what happened to me, but If He was there He was studiously ignoring me. 

Someone must have suggested an epidural and I must have agreed. Eventually an anaesthetist came and set it up, with me hunched over a pillow trying desperately to keep still so it went in the right place. I never felt a thing when he put the needle into my back, and then it started to work. The pain vanished completely and the relief was indescribable; it was then that I began to cry. The midwife said, "You were so distressed!" and gently stroked my hair. I quickly fell asleep after twenty six hours of being awake.

Four hours later I woke up. I was examined and, to their surprise I was ready to have my baby. They got me sitting up a bit and told me when to push, because I was still totally numb from the waist down. I pushed as hard as I could, and the baby's heart beat slowed to almost nothing. I stopped pushing. It didn't change. I watched, detatched, as the midwife pressed a red button on the wall and doctors came running. Shortly afterwards they dragged the baby out using forceps. I stared, bemused, at his vaguely outraged expression and his little button nose and I thought the ordeal was over.

Eventually, stitched and washed I was wheeled up to a ward with my baby. I wanted nothing more than to sleep for about a year, but I had a baby to look after, and he had other ideas! He wouldn't settle. I think I had somehow imagined I would automatically know what to do, having been around babies all my life, but I didn't. I had to learn how to feed and care for him. It was hard work. I was battered and sore, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.

That evening my baby had a bit of a rash. I took him down to SCBU for them to have a look at
him. I sat in a little side room and cuddled him, waiting for a paediatrician to come and check him over. Someone came and asked me if I wanted a cup of coffee, but all I wanted in the whole world was a huge drink of water. That should've been my first clue. I wasn't even keen on water on it's own, but I drained it like I was dying of thirst, and then another. Someone came, looked at my baby's rash and proclaimed they didn't know what it was but they didn't believe it was anything to worry about. 

I went back to the ward and for the first time he settled to sleep for a bit. By this time it was late. As I climbed into my bed the first of a wave of shivvers came over me. I lay there in the dark, thinking how stupid it was that they only give you one thin blanket. Later I realised that maternity hospitals are always tropical in temperature, to keep the babies warm; most of the time you don't even need that blanket. There was something wrong. 

I slept fitfully, feeling cold when I was awake. I suppose I must have fed the baby at some point. In the morning when the ward came to life I lay there, feeling too miserable to move, my breakfast untouched. Then, obs began. They took my temperature, and it was fantastically high. I was ill. Probably the most ill I have ever felt in my life; I had what they used to call childbed fever. I was moved into a side room, on my own and soon was attatched to a drip, with fans blowing on me left and right. Later that day my baby was taken away, down to SCBU as his rash was worse and they needed to give him IV antibiotics in case he had the same as me. They would phone the ward when he wanted feeding and I'd have to go down three floors in the lift and walk ever so slowly down a long corridor to feed him. It felt like a slap in the face a fortnight later when my milk just dried up and I was forced to give him a bottle.

Ten days later I was allowed to take him home. I'd love to say it has all been plain sailing and life has been perfectly idyllic since then, but then life is never that straightforward! We've had our ups and downs, but if I had to go through that all again to have him in my life, I would, in a heartbeat.  No-one has the power to break your heart like your children, but no-one has such
power to make you happy either. He's a lovely young man, handsome, strong and charismatic. I'm so proud of him, but I can hardly believe he's that tiny newborn I used to hold on one arm.

Happy Birthday Matt! You may be taller than me, but you'll always be my baby.

just a jaded fool [userpic]

Come again?

April 13th, 2007 (12:20 pm)

current mood: amused


Since the law changed a couple of years ago meaning that sperm donors could no longer remain anonymous there's been a severe shortage. The National Gamete Donation Trust has been forced into campaigning for sperm donors to come forward in much the same way as they always have done every so often for egg donors.

The thing is that they have a website. And it's URL is....
www.giveatoss.com!  =oD

Maybe I'm just easily amused.

just a jaded fool [userpic]

What are you doing here?!

April 13th, 2007 (01:57 am)

current mood: amused

People have been reporting Near Death Experiences for years but this is a new one on me!

"People having near-death experiences are greeted by someone - usually someone they deeply love or the so-called Being of Light. When Elvis Presley died, it seemed like the whole world mourned. He was truly loved by many people the world over. Since then, many people have reported having Elvis sightings where the spirit of Elvis appears as an apparition to people much in the same way that Jesus appeared to people after his death. Not only this, many near-death experiencers find themselves greeted, not by a Being of Light, but by Elvis Presley. According to Dr. Melvin Morse in his book on near-death experiences entitled Transformed by the Light, a 45-year old Mid-western teacher saw Elvis Presley in an intense light during her near-death experience. The woman had met Elvis when she was a child. The following is her near-death account:

"I entered into a dark tunnel and suddenly I was in a place filled up with love and a beautiful, bright light. The place seemed holy. My father, who had died two years earlier, was there, as were my grandparents. Everyone was happy to see me, but my father told me it was not my time and I would be going back. Just as I turned to go, I caught sight of Elvis! He was standing in this place of intense bright light. He just came over to me, took my hand and said, "Hi, Bev, do you remember me?" (Mauro,1992)

Dr. Raymond Moody wrote an entire book on Elvis sightings, including near-death experiences, entitled Elvis After Life."

Who would you like to be met by in the afterlife?!  If  we were all going to greeted by a sleb that we once met then it looks as though I may well meet the ignominious end of being escorted through to the other side by Corrie's Kevin Webster or Lady Tara off Emmerdale. Assuming they die before me that is.

I think I'd rather have my Grandad when all is said and done.

just a jaded fool [userpic]

What is it good for?

April 11th, 2007 (09:41 am)

It's official, diets don't work.

That means there is no known reason for celery to exist and it should therefore just feck off.

Also... hair. What is that good for? I spend half my life removing it or fiddling with it. Last night I washed it but went straight to bed. This morning I woke up with an afro. Seriously, I looked in the bathroom mirror and I looked like Darnail from My Name Is Earl, only white. To add insult to injury, it's going grey. So now I have to decide whether to ignore it and grow old gracefully (it'd be the first thing I've ever done gracefully) or start dyeing it, but not for the hell of it. Dyeing it doesn't seem such an attractive option when it's a necessity.

The only thing hair is good for is keeping your head warm, but then I could get a hat. They're less high maintenence. After all, I can't just throw my hair in the washing machine once a week, more's the pity.

just a jaded fool [userpic]


April 10th, 2007 (11:38 pm)

It seems my daughter has been going out with Dr Who.

No, really.

His name is Tom. That was news to me. He dresses like Dr Who and to all intents and purposes thinks he IS Dr Who. He has a stalker who calls herself Rose, has dyed her hair blonde and wears a demin jacket all the time. It seems that on Sunday my son got the Doctor to walk around hand in hand with another of their (male) friends with their t-shirts off, upon which Rose appeared from nowhere and shouted, "Doctor, are you gay??!"

Nothing normal ever happens in this family.

She went out with him because she'd already turned down several people in the three days or so that she was single, and she got "tired of saying no". When I pointed out that this was hardly a sound basis for a relationship of any kind she just shrugged and said she dumped him today anyway. I said that was good, at least he wouldn't be too gutted after only going out with her for a day and a half, but apparently he'd sat looking at her from the window of the cathedral and crying. 

At least I never had to meet this one. It's been challenging meeting her boyfriends to say the least. There was Monobrow Dan, who looked straight through you when you spoke to him - his eyes were definitely too close together. Then there was Carl... what can I say about Carl? He reminded me of nothing quite so much as the sensitive guy from Bedazzled. Except he'd obviously had sand kicked in his face once too often and gone pumping iron crazy, so that he'd turned into a curious mixture of half sensitive guy, half meathead. He'd give her a soppy nancy boy poem he'd written and then start being a controlling freakazoid in the next breath, laying the law down and telling her what to do. Then there was John, who turned up to pick her up one day wearing a purple skirt.

I wonder what the hell she's going to hook up with next.

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