beauty, eyebrows, lifestyle, Uncategorized

This Slice of Me

You know those little hairs? The tiny, tiny black ones that all of a sudden appear, like a flock of nits on your brow bone?  They are driving me mad.  I’ve never been one for eyebrows; I don’t get them shaped, or waxed, or semi-permanently tattooed on, but at the same time, I’m not a fan of the mono-brow.  I like to look – how should I say it… polished. I’m not after fashionable, or God forbid, young; I’m just after polished.  You know, refined? As if I take care of myself.

It’s all an illusion of course, but that’s okay with me.  So, back to the flock of nits – I mean the tiny hairs.  Each nit is the minute end of a big wiry black eyebrow hair taunting me with its presence and the presence of its friends.  It’s too damn tiny to be plucked, but too damn big to be ignored.  My only hope is to wear my fringe floppy until they are long enough to be plucked.

How is it that they come all at once? They work in packs.  They’re nowhere to be seen one day, and the next day they practically knock me out when I look in the mirror in the morning.

Mind you, I have my dad’s wiry eyebrows.  Thanks dad.  Each one is is like a steel girder that appears to be welded into my skin.  Tweezers are great, but they need to be heavy duty, and as soon as they lose their… tweeziness, they have to go.  I go through tweezers like I go through… I think the saying is knickers, but to be honest I still have knickers that I wore when I was a teenager, in fact I think I have about 60 pairs of knickers in an array of shapes, sizes, colours and degrees of elasticity.  The predominant colour is grey and, I kid you not, in a rare fumble the other day, my husband compared the feel of them to sandpaper.  What a turn on huh? I bet you can’t wait for my blog on how to seduce your husband.

The other thing about my eyebrows is that they do whatever the hell they want.  They truly do not give a shit about which way I brush them, or what oil I put on them, or what clear mascara I use to try and flatten them.  They seem to like the world – they want to rush out and meet everyone way before I do.  They stick out, they wave around, they do the macarena.  They do everything else except what I want them to do – which is to lie down, keep still and be compliant.  Mind you, who blames them – who wants to do that?

In my desire to look polished, I have plucked my eyebrows for years.  When I was young (20 plus years ago) the high arched razor thin eyebrow was the zenith of cool, so that’s what I aimed for.  It was a mistake.  I know I’m not the only one who did this. There are thousands of getting-to-be-a-bit-old-but-don’t-want-to-admit-it-women like me out there who plucked for Britain, only to be told (when they finally mastered it) that the best kind of eyebrows were the big, natural, slug-like ones.  Typical.  I had those in the eighties, but who wanted them then?

We’re a funny breed. We all have to draw our eyebrows in now, with little pencils or brushes, because there are great big bald gaps where eyebrows used to be. So here is my situation.  I have a combination of bald patches, unruly wires and flocks of nits.  It’s not very polished, I can tell you.

Holidays, lifestyle

Somerset Blues

Blue skies, endless days on the beach, ice cream on the sea front.  Dreams, just dreams. Instead, we’re holed up in our little cottage in deepest Somerset watching the rain.  The kids are stir crazy; they’ve watched every DVD, read every book, played every game. The husband has toothache and is seasonally growly. We’ve eaten the home made scones and the socket is so far away from the mirror that I cannot tong my hair.

I’m not sure why my expectations are always so high.  A holiday in the UK has to come with a health warning: rain will make you grumpy.  I know this.  I’ve lived this.  Many times.  And yet here we are again, all hopeful and optimistic that this time, yes this time, it will be sunny all week.  Daughter No.2 (only 3 years old) thinks ‘holiday’ means being at the seaside, so despite that we are on day 5, she keeps asking, ‘when are we going to holiday?’  Poor thing.  Give her an Opal Fruit.

What makes it worse is that we’ve just enjoyed the hottest June (and early July) on record.  The weather turned when we were somewhere on the M5, I’m sure of it.  It’s almost like the weather waited, actually waited, until we were on our way and then decided to wreak weather warnings all along the south west.  The weather back home in the Midlands?  Don’t ask.  You know the answer.

The journey down began well.  We did our annual Cliff sing-song, “we’re all goin’ on a summer holiday,” as we pulled away from the house, and the tablets were fully charged and fully loaded with films and games to last the journey.

I should have known it was going to go awry when daughter No.1 asked started singing along to the soundtrack of CATs The Musical.  Singing without headphones is touch and go, but with headphones is hellish.  The moment when she belted out, in full Elaine Paige style, ‘TU-HUCH MEEE” was the moment when I could take no more.  We endured a few minutes of screaming and tantrumming and then settled with an Opal Fruit, or Starburst or whatever they’re called.

Our cottage is idyllic.  Proper chocolate-box, thatched-roof perfection.  The decor, the fittings and fixtures, the linen – it’s all great. The welcome hamper? Fabulous.  The gardens? To die for.  The resident dog? Friendly.  Even the toilet roll is quality here.

Problem is, we want it to be a base, not a bolt-hole.  A luxury base, yes, but one that we use infrequently as we take in the sights and sands of the two coastlines that are both less than an hour away.

Maybe next year, we bite the bullet and take the kids abroad.  I’m just reluctant to inflict my children on unsuspecting holiday makers in a confined space.  My children on an aeroplane really does seem like a nightmare.  My children are adorable, but their preferences for jumping, running, screaming, singing songs from musicals and wetting themselves when they laugh make even a short flight seem risky.  Chewy sweets, no matter what they’re called, just won’t cut it.



“I need to go to the sea!” I say.

“But the sea is too far away,” he replies.

“I need to go to the city!” I cry.

“But the city is much too loud,” he lies.

“Right, okay, but the mountains are fine?”

“No, they’re not,” he decides, “not this time,”


I can’t get to the sea; distance gives me no choice

I can’t get to the city; I will be drowned there by noise.

I can’t get to the mountains, today’s not the day.

but I can get to those hills and I’ll get there my way.