The restorative power of a new haircut
I have still been struggling with the holidays, pinging from contentment to despair. My spirits have been raised by a rather wonderful new haircut. It's a bob. Forty years old and I am enjoying my first bob, my first fringe. I love it. I feel like an aging, Mackem Louise Brooks. I had been growing my hair, you see. And to complement my more earthy, natural longer locks I had bought a new wardrobe of maxi dresses and peasant blouses. None of which will work with a chic, 1920s bob. Sigh. Now I am craving simple cashmere sweaters and pencil skirts. But, until Aldi or Poundstretcher launches a range of cashmere I shall have to live without.
I have also had to buy new reading glasses. When I discovered how much they cost I wondered if X-Ray vision came fitted as standard. Don't I look intellectual? Don't I look like I should be running an chic, intimate Parisian second-hand book store? I look very 'left bank'. Left bank of the River Wear, of course.
A dolt from the blue
Suddenly and unexpectedly Rochester has been flitting in and out of my inbox. It's nice to have him back, albeit only over the interweb. He does make me smile. You may recall his literary Nom de Plume is 'The 60 Second Poet'. I wonder if he has adopted the '60 second' approach to all aspects of life. I think he may have. He only ever writes me one line.
This week he reported that his colleagues have started to call him 'Don', a reference to Mad Men's alpha-male character Don Draper. I pointed out that, in reality, Rochester is more of a Roger Stirling type. Rochester lacks the tortured, existential angst to be Don. Don agonises over his life, his fanny ratting, his career, his place in the world. Cynical, louche, dog-with-two-dicks Roger is much more Rochester. He is a care-free, conscience-free cad. I don't think the swarthy one liked that.
I have been accused of a few things in my time, but lacking in existential angst is not one of them. My raison d'etre is in constant conflict with my joy de vivre.
I was amazed to hear that Rochester did not enjoy the Gainsbourg film. He went to see it on my recommendation but walked out after an hour. I thought it would be just Rochester's cup of brewn ale. But, on reflection, maybe it made the rogue uncomfortable. Maybe Rochester was intimidated watching a Premier league fanny rat at work. Maybe Rochester realised he will only ever be a Conference league lothario.
A visit to Aunty Margaret
I do feel very much an orphan. Well, I am an orphan, no mother, no father, estranged from my brothers. The only member of my family who I am close to is my feisty 90 year old Aunty Margaret. I have blogged about her before here.
Aunty Margaret has a turn of phrase that is 50% Alan Bennett, 50% Dorothy Parker. We chatted about her nutty sister-in-law, my terribly selfish and self-absorbed Aunty Doris.
Well. As for her. She wouldn't help a lame dog over a stile.
We moved on to discuss Uncle Stan. Recently widowed and of the generation of men that simply cannot cope without a woman (he has lived on jam and bread for the last 18 months), he has set his flat-cap at a devout 84 year old Christian lady called Mabel. Aunty Margaret is not impressed.
I'm telling you, Elizabeth. Mabel has had two breasts off, a hip replaced and wears an eye-patch. The last thing that she needs is to be putting up with the likes of him.
I love this picture of Aunty Margaret. She looks like she should be knitting under a guillotine somewhere!
I told Aunty Margaret about Rochester's re-appearance.
Me: A couple of months ago he wanted to meet me for a drink at half past nine.
Aunty M: HALF PAST NINE! What kind of a filthy beast is he? What kind of lady goes out to meet a man at half past nine!
Me: I turned him down Aunty Margaret. So he rang up and offered to come over. This was at half past 11.
Aunty M: (frothing at the mouth) HALF PAST ELEVEN!!!! What kind of heathen visits a lady at half past 11!!! You know what he was after, don't you? I wouldn't trust that man with a bonny dog.
Me: I didn't let him come over, Aunty Margaret. (pause). Apparently, he has a good job now. He has made his fortune selling pegs door to door.
Aunty M: Ha! Don't believe a word of it! He's a liar! No better than that brother of his. He's just trying to impress you. You mark my words, he'll be propping up bars and chatting up hussies all day. Work is a four-letter word to the likes of him.
I love how Aunty Margaret can be so opinionated about someone she has never met. The thing is, I have never said anything remotely unkind about Rochester to Aunty Margaret (or anyone). But, she is a bit of a pit bull. He broke my heart, and she can't forgive that. She wants to sink her false teeth into his ankle.
Rochester, there is at least one lady on this planet that your silken Geordie charms have failed to seduce. Tell me, you proclaim yourself to be a 'demi god' amongst salesmen, do you think you could sell any pegs to Aunty Margaret?
(The wonderful title to this blog is a line from the Leonard Cohen song Field Commander Cohen.)