Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Sunday, 13 November 2011


In preparation for my holiday next week I went to the salon today for waxing. It's more than a year since I was last there and my pain threshold has seemingly decreased in that time. When I was a regular I could almost fall asleep during the process but not today. I normally find shin fronts and ankles are the worst and backs of my legs the easiest. Bikini line is obviously pretty hair-raising too (Geddit? Hair-raising!) as are the armpits. Today was just a world of pain from beginning to end. This evening my underarms are burning and feel raw and as for the bikini line....well, best we don't even go there. All I will say is I'm walking like John Wayne. I salute any woman who can tolerate a Brazilian because I had to bite back a small scream when the beautician was splatting the hot wax around my nether regions and ripping hair out by the roots. There can't be many men who could bear it is all I can say.
It doesn't help that I'm....shall we say, on the hairy side. I'm not saying I'm
Frida Kahlo but pale skin and dark, strong hair (don't be fooled by the hair on my head - that hasn't been my real colour since I was 12) is a recipe for hirsuteness. I'm taking comfort from the fact that as you get older you get less hairy - the elderly lady residents I help care for are without exception hairless on their bodies. Not so on their upper lip and chin though....some of them need to be shaved as often as our men.

Talking about bikini waxing made me think of vajazzling (must stress I'm not planning any, just in case you get a little bit sick in your mouth at the idea) and in the interests of research I had a quick look at According to the website, 'vajazzling isn't that much different from other forms of bikini area decoration'. I must be a bit of a style numpty because I assumed, in my innocence, that the only form of bikini area decoration available was a pair of bikini bottoms. Red had explained to me quite a while ago what vajazzling is so I was surprised to see that not only can you be vajazzled on your back, arms or chest but that men can be vajazzled as well. Presumably a man very secure with his own sexuality. Or a groom-to-be's rite of passage on his stag night, much like having one eyebrow shaved off. Or a step up from a back, sac and crack wax for Red Nose Day (back to waxing again - sorry, I can't help it, my armpits are really sore!).
I don't see the point of it to be honest - the little stick on stones look cheap and nasty and really, if you think it looks a bit boring down below you could always use one of those Bazooka Joe transfers to cheer the 'bikini area' up. Or a tattoo. My dad went to sea with a man who had 'A Present For A Good Girl' with an arrow pointing downwards tattooed on his lower belly. And Babcia told me a story she'd heard about a trawlerman who used to go into the pub she worked in before she met my dad. Seems he had a couple of huntsmen tattooed on each buttock and a fox's tail disappearing into that place 'where the sun don't shine', as we say in polite society.

Now that's pain.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Hallowe'en Letdowns.....:(

Well, what a letdown was Hallowe'en this year. For the first time in ages we didn't have a single trick-or-treater at the door. We don't usually have many because we live on a main road and we are the only family house for maybe six blocks but there is a little estate fairly close; there are flats with children opposite; and we had the decorations outside before school closing time so passing kids could see we were 'ready and willing'! But no, not a sniff of a wee witch, ghost or ghoulie. I'd bought plenty of sweeties and they were in a skull bowl by the door so to save myself from temptation (there were Swizzels lollies....I ♥ Swizzels lollies!!!) I emptied them all into a bag and sent Carb Addict back to his placement with them. They are having a Hallowe'en/Bonfire party there on Thursday night so the sweets will be welcome. Before that I have to snag a black and white t-shirt and some black trousers I can cut down for him because this year he is dressing up as Pugsley Addams.

Carb Addict doesn't know yet and would care even less but we have a
long tradition of dressing up in this family so he has to comply!

I like Hallowe'en but I know plenty of people who don't. I was brought up in Dublin and, because they don't 'do' Bonfire Night there Hallowe'en was, and is very popular. I had heard of it when I lived in England, probably from watching Scooby Doo or The Osmonds cartoon show, maybe even The Addams Family but in a malignant Northern city in the early 70s there was next to no chance of finding a pumpkin, let alone making a Jack-o-Lantern. I do remember nattering Babcia for a pumpkin to carve and her giving me a turnip and a spoon. She's always been a joker.
Anyway, I do know that there are more spiritual meanings to All Hallows Eve but it's a fun holiday too. When I got back to England and had my own children I started trying to make something of it. I remember the first time I threw a party - Red was maybe a scrawny ten and Mr Charming a clueless eight and they both invited friends. Everyone was dressed up to one degree or another.....I had laboured over Red's Wonder Woman outfit for days - a boned corset top, satin knickers, boots and even the famous Lasso of Truth. I seem to remember Mr Charming was wearing his trusty Robin Hood outfit (also made by me for school book day - the tunic was made from snooker table baize), quite amenably* but Red was very grumpy, asking repeatedly 'but who IS Wonder Woman? I wanted to be a cat!'
The night in question was very cold and drizzly as I led fifteen children up and down the nearest residential road to us. Not one single person gave them anything and most wouldn't open their doors, or if they did were very ungracious. What a washout!
You'd think I'd learned my lesson really, wouldn't you but I was up for it again the following year. Sadly the children weren't and locked themselves in their rooms from October 15 until November 2.
Overall Red has had the most outfits made for her but they don't usually go down too well. She really liked the Medieval Queen outfit I made, the only time I used a pattern, complete with draped crown using fruit gums for jewels. She won first prize for that at a school she didn't go to, to the barely supressed fury of the other mothers. She tolerated the Cruella deVille outfit for World Book Day (the same day Mr Charming wore his Lincoln Green-o!)

They both liked their Hallowe'en Morticia and devil outfits which were made from a thrifted woman's dress each. Mr Charming's even had a hood and a cape that you can't really see. This was a competition too and in a complete and utter travesty, neither of them won anything!!!

She didn't mind the Polish traditional costume (which was only borrowed so no fear of having to say Mum made it).

But she hated the Carmen Miranda get-up, complete with fruity head ('who is she? Who is she? Nobody's ever heard of her but you!!') and the Ice Queen ensemble ('everybody could see my underwear!')...she just said that yesterday evening in fact when we were talking about costumes. A bit of an over-reaction.

Mr Charming favours this kind of outfit these days...

I would love, love LOVE to be invited to a fancy dress party but I never have been. I would have the best costume ever....not sure what it'd be but it'd be the best! In fact I'm going to start thinking about it right now....!

My other Hallowe'en letdown was at work. None of the staff but me made any effort, despite me trimming the lounge up with decorations; making a lovely ghost cake; and carving two pumpkins to go outside once it got dark (well, Red came over and carved one of them whilst at a loose end). I even went back to work after I'd finished with two candles for the Jack-o-Lanterns that I'd forgotten to take with me in the morning.
This morning when I got to work the pumpkins were still sitting on the table, obviously unused. Was I cross?! I asked my (currently not-so lovely) colleague Staś why they didn't put the pumpkins out and he started saying 'oh, it's all American crap, it's all commercial, you're not American, English people don't have Hallowe'en' and other carrying on. I was pretty hacked off because it doesn't matter what he was for the residents' benefit not his. We had to put the pumpkins out tonight instead, like gobshites who don't know what day it it.
He'd better watch it. His card's been marked, and not particularly by me.......

*having been dressed in a leotard to hop across the stage of the Southampton Guildhall, then as a blackberry (we got an awful lot of use out of that costume, which was made for Red's appearance in a gymnastics display) for something or other, Mr Charming welcomed any form of dressing up where he could keep his strides on. Even if they were Red's lime green leggings...