After the deliciously perfect excuse of ‘It’s Christmas’ is now out of the way, one can no longer utter the immortal phrase ‘i’ll start after Christmas’ until the next November comes trundling round.
In my opinion, there are two types of delivery driver.
Unfortunately for the people populating the glamorous world of delivering parcels, they seem to be at entirely opposite ends of the Delivery Driver Spectrum. (This is of course a perfectly acceptable term for measuring delivery drivers, ask anyone you know).
The first type is a real treat, but is generally few and far between (as all the best treats seem to be)…Think winning anything more than a tenner on the lottery, or finding a fiver and a book of stamps in an old purse. Or gleefully discovering an old twix (other yummy chocolate is available) stuffed down next to the crusty old box of boring cereal that is only there for when The Parent comes to stay, then finding out it’s still in date and only slightly crushed and mangled!
What is this real treat? Well, of course it’s a delivery man so good looking that it’s positively criminal to keep him locked up in a van entertaining only the motorways of Britain for the majority of his day. A guy who’s courteous and smiles when he hands over your parcel, and says thank you when you’ve signed. A guy who has to scrabble about in a dusty, grubby van hauling boxes about yet still manages to look artfully dishevelled and pulls off that perfect amount of ‘griminess’ before he reaches downright scruffbuckets dirtbag status where you wouldn’t touch him with a bargepole! Mmmmm, a real licky-neck type of guy!
Now I was lucky enough to know one such specimen in my old job…We had a beautiful man pop in every week or so and bestow upon us said smiles in joyful abundance. He even used to place the boxes exactly where we asked for them…..This is hugely rare, I can assure you-they would normally get dumped in the doorway creating a HealthAndSafetyNightmare! (Quel Horreur) We even knew his name, which again is a big thing in the delivery man game, as it means that they’ve managed not to piss off the shop owners enough to have polite chats and receive a christmas card every, er, well…Christmas!
So yes, we loved Dave muchly. (Names have been changed just in case he ever randomly and entirely manages to side-step all known laws of probability and read this post….I wouldn’t want him to be embarrassed if he found himself having to deliver anything to me again!)
What was even more spiffing is that I got to keep Dave when I started working from home! He would knock on my door at silly-o-clock (early for me…I’d rather start at 10am and go on to 6pm. I had to clarify this as all of The Friends would be in uproar if they thought I was telling you all that I was up and working by 7.30!)
Anyway, he’d knock on my door at 7.45 and I’d clumsily stumble down the stairs in random mismatched pjs and ‘bed head’ so fierce any innocent passer-by would think I’d just been tasered. I’d then proceed to mumble through the usual greetings: ‘Hi, how are you?’ Fine thanks, you?’ (By the way, this might just be the most pointless thing to ever utter out loud….No one listens, and if you ever stray from the accepted script with something like ’Actually I’m a bit ropey and my bunion is throbbing like a mo fo’ then the other person looks as though they’ve just been slapped in the face with a stinky haddock, and proceed to scurry off in the other direction whilst trying not to catch anything!)
I digress. Dave. (Bless him!) Anyway, I felt sorry for Dave having to be consistently subjected to my only-just-awake gorgeousness all the time, so I began anticipating which days he would deliver me my sparkly goodies. Cue me bounding down the stairs in full regalia having gone to bed early at what The Parent calls ‘A Reasonable Time’ the night before!
I even managed to make sure I didn’t have last night’s smudged mascara doing warpaint impressions, and spent the last five minutes before he rang the door bell chattering to myself so I could avoid that ‘I haven’t spoken today yet’ lurchy throat groan that always managed to rear its ugly head in the most inopportune of moments!
So Dave’s one of the extremely rare good ones. He has, in the last few months stopped delivering stuff to me, and I miss him! Yes, I know it is very silly of me to get attached to a man I barely know, but he cheered up my day with his alluring grubbiness and cheeky smile!
And so to the other sort. Of which I have had the dubious pleasure of experiencing this very week. This grouchy monosyllabic fiend can be found worldwide, and grows even when you don’t leave him in direct sunlight. He is a weed and impossible to work with. And as that’s probably one gardening metaphor too many I’ll stop there.
I ask you to picture the scene: It’s tipping it down. I’ve just got back home from a jewellery party and I do my usual trick of trampling dribbly footprints all over the post. When I’ve picked it up and discarded all of the rubbish that gets shoved through my door, I come to a ‘Sorry I’ve missed you’ parcel card:
All this pathetic excuse for a human being could be bothered to write was ‘By gate’. I then proceed to grumble about in the rain checking ‘by the gate’ for a parcel. Nothing. Nada. By this point I’m getting soggy hair and the flip flops I’d stupidly shoved on whilst still wearing socks (I know, it’s a hot look!) were doing wonderful yet cold impressions of surf boards in high tide waves. (I’m not even exaggerating-it was that day this week when the heavens opened and we all wished we had Steve Carell playing Evan Almighty as our benevolent, ark-building uncle)
Anyway, to cut a long story not very much shorter, the stupid oaf had flung, yes FLUNG my parcel OVER the gate and into my back garden where it landed with an unceremonious thud on some paving slabs. In the rain.
To make matters worse, it was a glass photo frame I’d ordered with one of my birthday vouchers. Yey, glass! The substance that positively yearns to be manhandled and used as a basketball in a fence-post slam dunk.
To quote The Grandparent: We are NOT amused!
Cue a strongly worded email that will no doubt never be answered and a tense phone call to replace the would-be gorgeous sparkly frame….
After all, I need it to go on my ‘feature wall’ (Lawrence Lewellyn-Bowen eat your heart out!)
(I don’t have a bunion, in case you were wondering!)
Fatty Blob Head
Ever hidden last night’s washing up in the oven?
No? Well done. This means you are a sensible, well-rounded individual who clearly has a sane grip on time-keeping and general life skills.
I, on the other hand, have at least one of the above qualities…Yet being referred to as ‘well rounded’ is not necessarily a good thing in my book!
So as usual, I can almost hear you shouting ‘Why on earth did you put your washing up in the oven, you crazy fool?’ Well it makes perfect sense to me, and I now shall proceed to explain myself in what is most probably a misguided effort to claw back some semblance of regard from you all!
I have only put my washing up in the oven twice. The first one was months ago, and I pulled off the manoeuver without a hitch. The second time was at 8.57am yesterday morning, and let’s just say I wasn’t quite so lucky!
Being self-employed and working from home has its pros and cons:
Pros-working from home.
- Having a full day at the office working in fluffy pink slippers and a dressing gown.
- Taking your lunch break when ever you like.
- Getting too hot and stripping off to a grotty vest top I wouldn’t be seen dead in outside.
- Sneaking the tv on in the background to watch Team GB do wonderful things at the Olympics!
However, one of the cons most definitely has to be clients popping round to choose and commission jewellery. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely having visitors, and it’s easily the best way as the jewellery needs to be handled, tried on and generally flapped about a bit to get a good impression of just how gorgeous it is! (All modesty flies out the window when I’m in business mode!)
This is where yesterday morning comes in to the situation. I woke up and checked my emails. I had one from a client who wanted to pop over to commission a full set to go with a particular top. Hurrrah! This is exactly how I like my day to start…..But not when I find out that she wanted to come at 9am, and suddenly I’m sorely regretting my rash decision to leave the night before’s culinary efforts lying around the kitchen waiting to be washed up!
There’s also a fair amount of dusting and hoooooovering to be done, all in the very small window of half an hour….Arrgh! Of course being me, I am hopelessly useless at staying on top of the housework. Couple that with the fact that I hosted a fairly messy 30th birthday party at the weekend ( I know. I’m 30. It’s still shocking me!) and I’m still finding sticky patches of unidentifiable alcohol and birthday cake (mmmmm, cake!) artfully strewn in the most random of places….
So there I am: Running about my kitchen and lounge in a bit of a flap, wearing the aforementioned grotty vest top and a very past it pair of pj bottoms.
Task one: Fling open curtains to let in some light! Task two: Hastily close said curtains in an effort to relieve both the poor woman innocently walking her dog-type-creature and myself from any further crushing embarrassment. No one should ever be subjected to an outfit that can only be good for the incinerator….(Let’s just say the vest openly showcases some ghastly wings as if every highly annoying bingo advert on tv got together and had little bingo babies who then proceeded to populate bingo world and they all lived happily ever after, just south of my shoulders!)
Task three: Jump in the bath. Unfortunately the boiler had chosen this very morning to have a strop for the first time since we moved in over three years ago. It’s always provided us with beautifully hot water every time we asked for it, so I have no idea why this morning should have been any different! (Ask The Brother: he washed his (currently massive) mop-head of hair in freezing cold water and has proceeded to be slightly disgruntled all day as a direct result!)
So I abandoned the bath idea for 15 minutes whilst the water heated up. Cue lots of frantic slapdash tidying: Flinging random items everywhere….Such as a pile of birthday presents into the drinks cabinet and an orange squash bottle into my handbag! (I’m vaguely ashamed that my handbag is big enough to comfortably fit a squash bottle in it, but let’s gloss over that reasonably quickly….)
Back to the bath: The next bath I draw is far, far too bubbly…In my haste I’ve added enough bubbles for five baths and now the bath and its bubbles seem to be taking over. I dunk myself in and out whilst trying to keep my head above water in a bubble free zone, only to clamber out looking like a soggy disgruntled version of the Michelin man….Have you ever tried to get a ridiculously large number of bubbles off you in a hurry? Thank god no-one was witnessing this particular one-woman foam party!
Next came what was supposed to be a cursory nod to a bit of make up. What it actually ended up being, was far far, far too much concealer; leading to me looking like the half-crazed yet supremely un-scary Ghost of Makeup Past! Add hairspray liberally applied to both armpits instead of deodorant ( I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried), and I was ‘ready’ to tackle the kitchen!
Time is a cruel, cruel mistress and waits for no man…. (Or makeup ghost!). With roughly 2.7 minutes to spare, I still had an unsightly mound of washing up leering at me from the kitchen sink. There was nothing for it than to go with my previously successful plan of action: Bundle it all into the oven and cover up the glass front with an artfully placed tea-towel! Hurrah! As plans go, it was fairly brainy, and I distinctly remember feeling rather smug as I relaxed and helped my client choose the best necklace, bracelet and earrings for her style!
Alas, ‘smug’ was the last emotion I was feeling that evening as I came to put the tea in the oven. The preheated oven. With a lot of washing up stuffed in it. With the plastic sieve which had unhelpfully melted itself to my favourite saucepan whilst the spoons and forks looked on in glee….
The moral of the story? It probably should be: Keep a whole cupboard free and empty ready for washing up hiding emergencies (preferably one that doesn’t heat up and melt poor unsuspecting kitchen items to each other)
Yet I rather think The Parent would say something along the lines of ‘Wouldn’t it just be easier to do the washing up as you went along?’
Yes. I rather think it would. That, or get that butler I’ve been promising myself…..
Fatty Blob Head
It occurred to me as I was carrying around one of The Friend’s husbands new packet of pants, that in general, blokes get the easy deal out of living.
Now I’m fairly certain that any male reading this will immediately start to bristle, huff and puff whilst coming up with a list of arguments in his head. Indeed, if I were to wait an hour then I could have the benefit of The Brother’s point of view too.
Seeing as I don’t have any of those things (Even the pants; I presented them to him with a flourish once we came back from buying them! He duly thanked me for them, even if it was with a slightly bemused grin on his face!) then I will proceed to list my own views here and now, with no interruptions!
We girlies understand the importance of not scaring people with our unmade faces when we walk outside our front doors. Men however, can quite happily waltz off to work without even looking in the mirror! One of The Friends and I spent a happy 15 minutes in a well-known retailer this afternoon…(I’d love it for someone to tell me why Boots is called Boots? It sells virtually everything except boots!)…and I bought my favourite makeup and a mascara I most definitely didn’t need.
Now, men don’t have this problem; I have never heard of any instances when men have over-spent on unnecessary make up items! (And all the sickeningly gorgeous women out there who don’t need or use makeup, I am of course ignoring you!)
Whatever shirt and trousers combo he decides to go with, he’ll always get to wear flat shoes. Whatever outfit I decide upon, I have a decision to make. Heels (which make me vie for attention with the Empire State Building) or flats. Now, I do occasionally miss wearing heels, so much so that I sometimes think that it’s a darned fine idea popping them on for the eve. Off I toddle to wherever I’m going, only to regret the searing pain in the balls of my feet that signify I should have ‘practiced’ wearing them round the house for a few nights beforehand.
I’ve even been known to be what I consider to be extremely smart and clever (although I did get some funny looks so maybe it just looked nutjobbish!) and wore flip-flops initially to walk the long, painful distance into town. As soon as I was settled in the bar area I swapped them for glam heels. Now, here’s the clever bit: Not wanting to carry around a flappy pair of flip-flops in my impossibly tiny and slightly useless handbag, I had come prepared with a large squiffy bag with my name and address on it!
Off I scampered to the nearest post box to post my shoes home whilst a cluster of The Friends looked on in puzzlement, not sure whether to congratulate me on a genius idea or declare I was a loopy weirdo who was past all available help!
This would all have ended very smugly for me if I hadn’t received a parcel in the post a few days later, and thinking it was something exciting made a big fuss of opening it in front of The Minions…..When my scruffy, dodgy sandals flip-flopped their way onto the table, I couldn’t really blame them for looking at me as though I had lost the plot!
Cooking Babies In Our Tummies
Now I’ve not yet been lucky enough to have any little chiefs of my own, but I’m fairly certain that the male portion of this endeavour is pretty simple and doesn’t involve pushing a watermelon through a curtain ring. Enough said on that one!
He doesn’t have to contend with ‘The Monthly Visitor’. Oh, wait, yes he does, just on the receiving end, which is entirely and most definitely NOWHERE NEAR AS BAD!!! (he he!)
This is I think, the only one where the lines blur slightly! I don’t think all of them care about their hair, but some spend longer than others on their barnets. The Brother, for instance has very similar hair to me (just once I wish he’d grow it so I could see how ridiculously mahoosive it would be!)
For all their gelling, styling and preening, the blokes of this world still don’t have to put up with the fun and games we girls do on a daily basis. Firstly, no one told me that I’d need a couple of years training just to have impressive enough muscles to cope with washing my hair…I’m sure my arms get a better workout working shampoo through my unruly tresses than ever going to any gyms.
Then there’s drying it. One of The Friends has had massive amounts of fun this week as she’s been staying in a different hotel each day with her job. Not having enough room to pack a hairdryer and a laptop in her tiny case, she made the startling sacrifice of her super dooper all singing all dancing bells and whistles entirely snazzbuckets hairdryer from home! I think it’s safe to say she’s regretted this decision, as the hotels have provided her with a succession of ever increasingly naff excuses for barnet-blowers, and her life has suffered immeasurably!
Straightening, curling, cutting, washing, conditioning, partying, holidaying, straightening again, central heating, air conditioning, dyeing, back-combing and a tad bit more straightening….Our hair puts up with a lot, and we put up with our hair!
So now I’ve finished sounding like a shampoo advert, I’m off to prod The Brother in the side of the head with a wooden spoon and tell him he’s lucky. I’ll probably get a kick in response, but again he’s assured me this is entirely affectionate and any pain I might experience is my own fault for trying to defend myself!
Fatty Blob Head
I’ve just seen a man with plastic knees walk down the road.
Straight after that I saw another one with a line of dribble disgustingly dangling off his beardy chin. This delightful droopish glob was longer than the sauce-laden baguette he was wolfing down.
Now I’m the first to admit that I often don’t look my best; today for example, my hair needs a wash and I bodged the eyeliner in the car on the way to work and haven’t fixed it all day…
Yet these gentlemen really took the biscuit! Why attach what looked like squares of sticky-backed plastic to the knees of your trousers? And the other one? Well that gorgeous specimen of a man almost made me throw up!
I am of the firm belief that ‘But I’m a man’ is not an excuse. Men still should attack their monobrows regularly, and if that is beyond them then get a woman to pounce on them brandishing a pair of tweezers!
It is only fair to the rest of us after all, as we are the ones that have to look at them. I often find myself breaking eye contact and gazing into the hair-stuffed expanses of the lower forehead, until I remember that it’s rather rude and recover my manners!
I know The Brother’s view on male grooming is that extra hair is manly and must be encouraged, but having a couple of days worth of stubble is a bit different to a full-on hairy beard that could easily be mistaken for a sleeping Shetland pony attached to the chin….
I’m not saying the female side of the population is entirely without fault, either. My appearance can be somewhat sketchy at times, and in my youth I’ve worn some shocking outfits…
The one that sticks out in my mind would definitely be; denim dungarees with a denim undershirt, thick black tights with white ankle socks over the top and black shoes. Now, where in that description could anyone identify a single item that is at all acceptable, that’s even before you throw them together to create that particular 90′s fashion masterpiece! Ugggh!! I shudder at the memories!
Of course every single person has the right to dress and manage hair as they wish. It is indeed a free country! And who gets to say that plastic knees on your trousers isn’t the way forward? Maybe I’ll wander about the town tomorrow and find out there’s a waterproof-kneeling frenzy, and without further ado attach a couple of empty crisp packets to my legs just so I can be down with the kids!
Whilst I’m at it I could go the whole hog and do the rest of the outfit to be really fashion-forward….Yoghurt pots on the jacket elbows, perhaps tape a tea-tray to the seat of my jeans? (good for snow-sledging I expect!)
Before we know it designer dribble will be on the catwalk as the next big thing, although thinking about that I can spot a few health and safety issues that would need to be addressed…Can’t have the models slipping over mid-strut!
Obviously I have the perfect physique for a model. Well, I’m the right height at least! I might fare better as the caretaker mopping up the catwalk dribble, but at least I’m not a loopy deluded person…I know where my strengths lie! (Yep, I can beat a ten-year old girl in an arm wrestle. Just!)
So would I prefer a man with a more groomed outlook on life? Yes I would! Do I think there’s any hope for all the rest, including Plastic Knees and Slobber Beard? Probably not!
I really hope I can have a day or two where it’s one big parade of gorgeous, greek god-like creatures as a reward for enduring the daily spectacle in the street that is the other end of the rainbow..
Red and Yellow and Pink and Green, Beardy and Grubby and Crude….I can spy a Monobrow, spy a Monobrow, let me pluck it, Dude!
(Ha! Sorry! I like the odd bit of rhyming cheese now and then!)
And don’t even get me started on hairy ears!
Fatty Blob Head
‘I’m not offended by the dumb-blonde jokes because I know that I’m not dumb. I also know that I am not blonde’ Dolly Parton
Let’s just say, in my life I’ve had some giant corkers in the bad hairstyles stakes.
There was the time when I asked The Brother (older than me by 19 months and should have known better) to cut my fringe. We were about 6 years old and it wasn’t either of our finest hours. Clumps of my Barnet fell in dramatic little piles all around us! The Brother got a whack on the leg and a severe talking to, and I got an extremely short boy cut that I did not enjoy having to grow out of! Moral of the story? Dont hand a small boy a massive pair of scissors saying the six-year-old version of ‘short back and sides please’ and expect a good result!
Crimping. Boy oh boy did I crimp my hair! The key to crimping is to have a totally inappropriate hairstyle to start with, and by this stage I was sporting a cracking little twenties style short bob. Add to that the joy that is the crimping irons (burns ear lobes, sides of heads, eyebrows….actually, it’s pretty indiscriminating as to which unfortunate part of your head it used to burn, including the hair!). For those of you who are boys or just weren’t born in the right decade to have claimed the Crimping Queen title, it’s very hard to explain the sheer joy when you’ve crimped every last strand into a rigid waved mass of totally unnatural looking hair:
There was strutting up and down the room, turning at the end and glaring model-like into a mirror, noting the alien phenomenon of said hair not moving an inch even with the massive flip of the head that extended all the way to the shoulders. Oh how cool we were, with our random burnt patches and channelling Worzel Gummidge!
Then there was my exam year at school when layering was making it big in England.
Whether the hairdresser girl was practicing her brand new skills on me or whether she was always that rubbish we’ll sadly never know, but what I came out of the salon with that day was a shaggy brownish head of hair very reminiscent of a mop. A beautifully conditioned and subtly highlighted mop, but a mop nonetheless!
From then on my new nickname was ‘Friendly Lion’, and boy did I live up to that name. I soon came to work out that what the useless hairdresser had achieved was something close to a miracle of taming hairdo ability in comparison to how badly I myself could control this mane.
I’m sure I fully alarmed people when walking down the streets with this giant faux pas of a hair do. I now understand all these years on that the hairdresser was trying to achieve the most requested hairstyle of all time ‘The Rachel’. My ‘Rachel’ was more of a Raquel, or the hairstyle version of a cankle!
Then I was blonde for ten years. How I loved my blonde locks! Granted, over 67% of the time I looked somewhat chav-tastic due to the disastrous and ever-present root growth. I have never bought into the feeling that roots are cool and trendy. To me they simply scream ‘Hey look at the top of my head I have a badger attached to it!’ But being blonde was fun, and I’d never felt so confident and snazzy!
Then came the eventual point when my hair simply took its life into its own hands as if to say ‘If you don’t stop dyeing the pants off me I’m going to retaliate the only way I know how: Demon Split Ends’
My split ends were magnificent. My split ends had their own split ends. And those had some baby split ends of their own until I had whole family trees going on around my ears making it really rather foresty.
So here I am in the present day with a colour that can only be described as Boredom in Brown. That’s the Dulux name for it obviously. The hair dye packet will be something along the lines of ‘Chocolate on a summer Tuesday morning’ or ‘Molten Mocha Midnight’ or something equally as daft!
I’ll be doing something with it very soon…Answers on a postcard as to what please….Maybe ginger curlz? (See what I did there with the z? I’m down with the kids! Actually I hate all that rubbish but more on that another day)
Maybe Jet black? Mohican? We shall see! All I hope for in life right now though, is to never see a comeback of the Clumps, The Crimping or the Cankle! This would be a very sad day for mankind indeed.
Fatty Blob Head