Lethargy

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Hairdressers I have known

People ask me “stegzy How do you get your hair to look so fine and bountiful?”

“Easy” I reply “I leave it the fuck alone”

Some people are shocked by such a response and end up moving away muttering to themselves under their breath but others quiz me further until I move away muttering to myself. I’m a firm believer in letting nature take it’s course. Nothing goes on my hair other than water, the occasional bit of shampoo, air and a bit of finger grease. I wash it when it feels mucky. I tend not to brush it vigorously and I never apply any gels, oils, creams or poultices. I leave it the fuck alone.

The same goes for having it cut. For really special occasions and that I’ll have it cut if it is required. So I go for the natural look. Nothing artificial goes on it, plain and simple. Though it hasn’t always been that way. Indeed, there was a time when I used to frequent hair dressers or barbers on a regular timetable. I’d happily part with my £5 for 20 minutes under the scissors of (an often) camp chap while they gave me a short back and sides a la my dad in the 1950’s. Of course I didn’t know any better. Easy money for no work at all imho. (Apologies to any hairdressers that read this)

Initial Visits – Norman

I can’t remember my first excursion to a hair technician. I imagine it was probably what used to be called Norman’s. Owned, surprisingly, by a chap called Norman, Norman’s was a traditional barbers shop. As far as I can remember it has occupied the same little shop at the Grange Lane crossroads in Gateacre in Liverpool. It could be that a barber has occupied that shop since it was built. I have no idea, but I do know that I’ve only ever known it as a barbers shop. The shop may have had a red and white barbers pole on the outside and it may have had a horrid interior. It was so long ago I can’t remember.

Norman was a typical scouse bloke. He was always cheery but he had a reputation as being a bit “close to the scalp”. Indeed, such was his reputation as a scalper my friend at the time Guy would often relate to me stories about how Norman had decapitated a man during a Number One all over.
Such stories were unfounded as Guy frequented Tuzios in Hunts Cross and Tuzio had a reputation of bumming little boys in the back room (again unfounded).

What I do remember of the shops interior was that the barber’s chair was an awful cranky uppie thing upon which Norman would place a plank of wood for small boys to sit on. Upon the walls there were black and white photographs of men with various stylish hair styles. None of which I actually saw being achieved by or asked of Norman. The pictures had you wanting to be stylish and they had you wanting to be swarve because the guys in the pictures were obviously swarve and stylish. They probably drove fast cars, wore white socks with their black brothel creepers and generally lounged about looking cool. Though they were probably not.

Norman continued to be the barbers of choice for several years of my childhood. Ceasing to be such by the time I was in my early teens and my eldest brother decided that the side parted mummy’s boy geeky look was probably not doing me any favours.

Millionhairs – Corny 80’s hair

My eldest brother used to insist that shellsuits were the dogs knob of fashion and that the brighter the colours the better. Indeed he also advocated the vogue of spiky Bros like flat tops and copious amounts of styling gel. My eldest brother was also insistent that a VIC 20 was far superior to a Spectrum 48k and that XR3i’s were better than Capris. In effect my eldest brother was a victim of the 80’s in a big and embarrassing way. He lapped up the latest trends like a dog laps water after a very long walk.

So it comes as no surprise that as a susceptible teen I was taken by him to a stylish hairdresser rather than a God awful barber like Norman. He whisked me off to the clichéd Millionhairs in some dirty back street of St Helens in Lancashire (near where he lived). The hair dresser, whose name I forget now, was as camp as Butlins, Pontins and Stalag Luft 44 all merged together and sprinkled with a bit of Xray and baked in an Auschwitz case.

The exterior was nothing special. No barbers pole this time. The inside of the shop was like something out of an 80’s cop show. All pampas grass, plush leather couches and the like. I was given a diet coke(!). I had my hair washed (first time at a hairdressers ever). I had it styled, sculpted and preened. I felt great. In fact when I got home my mum looked so pleased to see her new style boy with his turquoise track suit and gelled Bros hair cut.

But try as I might, even with all the Brylcreme in the world I could not make my hair go like it did that day. It would flop, go too crusty or make my head itch. Furthermore, this new look did me no favours and in fact the taunts got worse. Bollocks to that.

Herberts of Liverpool

My brother moved from St Helens to the newly growing new town of Runcorn. What an awful place that was too. As a consequence of him being away from the town of St Helens it meant that having my hair cut again at Millionhairs would prove to be tricky. Instead my dad encouraged me to try Herberts in Liverpool. What a fucking travesty that was. I had my hair cut by a trainee. I looked a right sight.

The more observant of you will probably know Herbert as being a bit of an E-list celebrity. He had a TV show in the 80s/90’s and has a reputation as being the best hairstylist in Liverpool. Pity about his trainees really. I think my experience there was so bad I’ve blocked it from my mind entirely. In fact whenever I see Herbert on the telly I start rocking back and forth, humming to myself while foaming at the mouth. I think I even went back to Normans a couple of times.

Boy’s and Curls

Dear God. It gets worse. The Eldest brother (do you see a pattern here?) moved once more, this time to Belle Vale in Liverpool. Being nearer to the family home meant that his choice of hairdresser was the choice we all had to make. So it was Boy’s and Curls.

Boy’s and Curls was originally a barbers shop. It was were all the Netherley scrotes and Lee Park Scallies went to get their nit infested heads shaved. Worried about the reputation of being a nit shop, Boy’s and Curls reinvented themselves as a stylish boutique with black and white checkered flooring, bright lights and mirrors but held onto that “Come ‘ere lad while I chop some of your girly hair off” feel. But trapped like a rat in a corner I would reluctantly attend the shop at the bequest of my mother. “Goangetyeraircut” she would screech at me.

Old habits die hard – His and Hairs, Sheffield

Then I became a student in Sheffield. As my 20’s are now mostly a fuss of misshapen memory I will relate what I can remember of my one and only hair cut in Sheffield.

I’d been away from home about a month when my mum said to me that I must remember to get my hair cut. I mulled over this for weeks until one day I’m doing my laundry and I noticed that the shop next to the laundrette was a Unisex Salon.

Having made a foolish mistake in the past of going into a Unisex Salon and expecting the people there to cut my hair only to be told “We don’t do men” I thought what harm would it do to nip in and ask while I waited for my crusty bedsheets to finish their wash.

“Do you cut men’s hair?” I asked and was answered by a fit of giggles and a rather jovial Jamaican woman hairdresser. I had my head pulled from side to side, the ends of the scissors stabbed into my scalp and I’m bloody lucky to still have ears I can tell you.

Fortunately the last I heard about that shop was that it had caught fire. Bloody good job I say.

The present day – From Tony & Guy to Highlights

So as you can guess, my experience with hairdressers and barbers has been one of chaos and discomfort. In the early 90’s when I’d returned to Liverpool I met Min. Who told me that he hadn’t had a hair cut for years. I idolised Min, he was the youth I wanted to be. Carefree, pot smoking, rocker type. His hair was so long it put Rapunzel to shame. Using my new found confidence I put my foot down and refused to get my hair cut.

Of course refusal is often fraught with times when you just give in to protests of “Get your hair cut”. So in order to maintain a quality head of hair I only allow highly qualified stylists near my bonse, meaning I have to go to Toni & Guy’s. Indeed, I had to have a couple of knots cut out before then and a visit to Highlights in Grimethorpe was called for on the recommendation of Mrs Gnomepants. But I resent paying large sums of money for hardly any work. I find it obscene that some people (mainly women) will gladly fritter away upwards of £50 for less than an hour under the scissors. Indeed, if such people would like to save half that money, come to Brierley and I’ll cut your hair for you.

And so drawing this post to a close (thank God I hear you cry) I’d like to thank Carole for the excellent trim she gave me a couple of months ago. She did a damn fine job. For free. And in less than 20 minutes.


This post originally appeared on Livejournal in 2008

The secret of losing weight

1. Go to the beach, out onto the moors or up a mountain somewhere.
2. Pick up 6 rocks or pebbles.
3. At various times through the week accidentally leave one somewhere ie on the bus, in the shop, walking down the street, at the zoo etc.
4. Repeat until you have none left
5. Hey presto you’ve lost 6 stone! 😀
6. Gargle
7. Swill
8. Rinse
9. Spit
10. Repeat.

Someone

I called my mum and dad this evening. My mum seems to think I’m destined to have a stroke any time soon. It seems this is her new thing. A while back any ache or pain and it was naturally the start of Cancer or down to the fact that you may have smoked. Now she applies the same to strokes it seems.

For example:

stegzy – Yes I had this weird twinge in my jaw that lasted three days.
Mum – It’s probably the start of a stroke

stegzy – I have this peculiar runny nose
Mum – Stroke

stegzy – I’ve been staying up dead late recently and I’m dead tired all day
Mum – Oh might be a stroke.

Throwing

stegzy – I think this Tshirt has shrunk in the wash
Wife – I don’t. I think its because you have grown a belly
stegzyRemembering the previous weeks of takeaways Hmmm you may have a point.

I have become rotund. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration. I’ve put on a bit of weight over the past month. I put this down to my propensity for salt and pepper spare ribs and to the fact I’m frequently not arsed to cook lately. I love cooking but lately I just can’t be arsed. Recent trips to the shops, mostly the supermarket (yeah yeah I know) as I am being too lazy to trawl the market, have been uninspiring. This week, with finances looking like a steaming pile of plop, my meals have mostly consisted of what lucybutler and aladdin_saneUncle Monty might call “Caravan Food”. Last night I had left over salad (salad made with the brown slightly on the turn salad vegetables in the fridge), the night before I had cold roasted sausage and frozen left over home made curry. These culinary morsels have been complimented with apples and the occasional morish orange. So my diet is a bit cack. I’m wondering if the belly is actually the first sign of malnutrition. Probably not though.

I’ve been thinking about the weekend and what activity I might get involved in. Money is tight (I really could do with a job) so voyages to the bottom of the county are not an option. Trips to the local surroundings are. Saturday is RMerry’s birthday. She is having a party at Elsecar heritage centre. Yes that’s right. Elsecar heritage centre. Which has a minor selection of heritage activities to participate in. Unless you count a giant kiddies fun factory type thing as heritage. So I might take the opportunity to sneak off and do a bit of geocaching.

Gimble

I predicted this
Edited to add another link – Farmers Weekly

Last night we had a fire. It was a nice fire. I went and asked G the Human Dog to take his washing in as I was about to have a fire. He thanked me for asking and hinted that other people (the Good Life at the end of the lane with no name) don’t usually ask. So I set fire to a huge pile of confidential waste and felt good that I’d contributed to global warming.

While chucking stuff into the flames of hell, I came across some magazines. I mused on how magazines are, in fact, a huge waste of money. I mean what do you do with them once you’ve read them? You chuck them out don’t you? I used to keep my magazines. I have a huge box filled with issues of failed mens magazine Later, copies of Mad Magazine from the 80’s and the abruptly cancelled horror magazine Fear. I don’t really want to get rid of them but I’ve not looked at them in years. I tried re reading Mad but the humour was weak and very dated. I might just “donate” them to the recycling people. Later has some good recipes and man tips. Fear is a curious time capsule of reviews of straight to video movies. I’ll keep them I think.

I also developed a curious discomfort in my jaw. Kind of like when you eat something really sour and the back of your jaw goes all icky. Well I’ve got that. It’s not going.

Later last evening I caught up with Heroes. I was a bit miffed that the BBC in their wisdom had put Ashes to Ashes up against it. Sorry Aunty Beeb, the last series of Ashes to Ashes sucked monkey balls, besides which I’ve invested a lot of time into Heroes.

Bath – A wife free post

So I’m feeling a bit poo today. My head hurts in a weird way (like round the sides in front of my ears, not like on the forehead), I’ve been weeweeing like one of them tacky little white cherub water fountains you see in garden centres and I feel run down and poo. Not very pleasant.

Continue reading “Bath – A wife free post”

Realisation

I realised something today.

One of the main reasons why I have been “off track” of late is because I took my eyes off the prize. The prize being a fucking good degree and a spectacular “more than I could ever have dreamed of” career. Most of this has been down to silly self wallowing and day to day drudgery.

With my eyes back on the prize, hopefully not too late, I now have new found gusto. However I find that I do still lack the confidence to actually put this gusto into use. Confidence is not something they sell down the shops really.

However, recently I saw an advertisement for sanitary towels saying they make you feel confident.

So I’m wearing one now.

I don’t think they work.

Foot

My foot hurts.

On Tuesday I stupidly thought it would be a good idea to walk from Barnsley to Brierley. This thought only became reality because I had £2.30 and I needed £2.60 to get the bus. As a poor Student I was reluctant to withdraw more money from the bank because I now need to learn to live within my means.

So I set forth.

BAD MISTAKE. The journey was good to begin with. I followed the bus route until I got to a cross roads where I thought going over the hill rather than around it would be a more direct route. By the time I had reached Cundy Cross and Lundwood my feet were killing me. But I soldiered on into Cudworth and by the time I had reached my sister-in-law’s house my feet hurt really bad.

“It will pass!” I thought.

Wrong again. My left foot hurts really bad. So then I think about possible causes. Had I strained it? Had I sprained it? Had I broken the bone? Was it gout? Was it galloping knob rot? Syphilis? Beri-beri? Rickets? Then I hear my doctors voice.

“You are very young. I went on holiday and I saw ancient friezes. But you are very young. You have a goutous disposition”

So, out of boredom, I checked on the internet for a bit of healthy self-diagnosis. Indeed the ache I am experiencing does sound similar to that described by the Gout Club and it is in one of the indicator areas of the foot. I have had fair bit of meat recently and I did over indulge myself at the weekend with jimrock and others. Then I see the list of foods to avoid, which curiously features foods I have previously been told were beneficial for people with cardiac problems (oily fish, cherries, lard, red wine etc). This leaves me thinking “Well fuck it then. Wheres the belly pork?”

Today is Thursday. My foot still hurts. To distract myself my thoughts turn to going to the pub and I’m also thinking about forthcoming events such as the Wakefield Beer Festival, The Barnsley Beer festival, The wife’s birthday minibash and my fourth wedding anniversary.

Oww my foot. 😦