Well... they are scientists, details such as it not actually being Christmas are not important, and anyway it's very nice to go to a "do" in the middle of January.
So I booked a hair appointment. "Lucky you" said ED, "having a day off. I have to do 9 til 6 tomorrow at Uni." Never mind ED. One day you too will be a "desperately seeking to be a desperate housewife" and you too will get the odd day off to do little more than have your hair cut.
Hubby always groans when I go to the hairdresser. "Just why do you pay them to do exactly what you don't want" he says. "I need them to cut it." I reply. "But you always hate it." He says. "Why do you keep going back?" "I like the cuts" I say. "And the colour? And the styling?" "You just don't understand" I always retort.
He is right of course. Just why I spend money at these places is beyond me. That said, I do need my hair cutting properly and the wash in rinses did leave my hair in a dreadful state last year and grey streaks are just not my thing at the moment. Yet. Will never be.
Roll forward, to today...
Half way through having my hair done, my hairdresser says to me, "Sally would you mind if Jodie finishes off your hair, only I have another client waiting, and you are easier to ask than her.." "Of course," I said.
Jodie took charge. "So, do you want it straightened?"
"No thank you" I say. I have views on very straight hair. They come from having naturally dull drab and straight hair. "I am going to my husband's office formal tomorrow night. Do you think that you could make it bouncy please?" She starts to dry it. All seems to be going well. "Shall I make it spirally with the GHDs?" She says. I do now know of course that GHDs can make good curling tools, and so I accepted gratefully.
When she got to the bit where I thought that she was going to use a comb to put it into some sort of style I sat back and relaxed. Instead though, she said "I won't use a comb, I'll just get the spray and that can hold it in place for you if you don't comb it between now and then." I half smiled. I looked at myself. I looked like some sort of cross between a King Charles Spaniel and a poodle. The top was flat and the sides looked as if my hair hair been curled with corkscrews, horizontally from the ears. She sprayed it.
"Thank you." I smiled.
"Ooh, very glam." Said the owner of the salon. I had been there ages. I needed to get home. Please don't anyone see me, I thought. Please don't let anyone see me. I walked home quickly, averting all gazes from oncoming cars so as to avoid seeing someone that I knew. Got inside, took a photo with my mobile phone, confirmed that I did indeed look like a corkscrew head and then went upstairs to adjust the damage. The back was beautiful and the curls can definitely be used tomorrow night and once I had changed the appearance somewhat, I was after all quite happy.
I went to check my emails. There was a message from ASOS saying that my order for shoes had been dispatched and that my niece and nephew would be receiving them by next day delivery tomorrow, just in time for the ball.
The only problem is that they are in Bedfordshire and I am in Gloucestershire and they are for me, not my niece and certainly not my nephew.
It seems that the last item I ordered was dispatched to their address, being a Christmas present and, as such that for some reason has become my regular address... even though the billing address is my address.
I am currently waiting for a call from the Customer Services Department.
Before I knew it, Sensible had created a profile for me, put my picture on and brought me firmly into the 21st Century.
"We'll get some friends for you." She said.
"I thought I already had friends."
"On Facebook," she explained patiently.
She then contacted all the people in my hotmail address people who haveFacebooks asking them to join. That was fine.
Then... She clicked on all the people who didn't haveFacebook, asking them to get one too. "What have you done?" I exclaimed. Do you realise who is on there?
"People you email." She said.
Oh Sensible, what have you done? Who did you contact?
Well... apart from the Managing Director of a company I no longer work for, who for various reasons should possibly not be invited to join my personal friends on Facebook, the tax office, every bank and building society that I am in email contact with, Next Directory, any insurance company that I have had a discussion with over the years, somebody who we have been in legal dispute with........ well nobody really......
I cringed with embarrassment as I thought of various people that possibly I would prefer to communicate with only on a professional basis ..... But it was too late. They were all invited. You too I expect.
Not all accepted the invitation to be my friend. ED was reluctant to accept me at first, but has now become my best instant messaging friend. Her reluctance was possibly due to her not wanting me around her personal life which is fair enough really. What she won't know until she read this however is that due to a blip in the system, I discovered by accident that I was able to click on her profile, but not leave messages on her wall, prior to becoming a friend. She had always assured me that no-one can enter another's site without permission. Not so ED. Look again. If anyone sends you a message, and you respond, it seems you can in fact see their "wall".
So there you go....I'm not such a dinosaur after all......
and.... Facebook is great. You should all get one.
And so, after a very busy Christmas, where night and day and sleep and waking seemed to merge continuously into one long blur of chocolate, wine and turkeys, on 28th December we managed to get ourselves out early enough to drive over to Bedford for a 24 hour "family do" with one of my brothers and his family.
Bravely they had invited all nine of us. My parents not wanting to spoil their nice relaxed Christmas memories of the 2008 Christmas, decided not suffer the chaos that the Lomax family brings in its wake and escaped back to East Grinstead before we arrived...
Of course, "all of us" also means bringing the dog...So technically there were ten of us. She is however a reluctant traveller and so it took a while to gather her up and get her into the bus. Bus for once was the true definition of our mode of transport. Needing to transport nine of us, plus the dog, we had hired said bus from the local garage. They didn't have a 12 seat one available though, so the 15 seater it was. Much to the kids delight....Children never cease to amaze me when it comes to what is and isn't acceptable in the form of transport. Somehow, ordinary space buses that seat seven are loser cruisers. And yet to have us all rattling around and being shaken from here to Bedford is just fine... "Cool" in fact. "Although possibly it is a bit of a loser cruiser anyway, but a cool one all the same," said Sensible.
As we arrived, the bitches looked at each other. A faint growl escaped. Then, without further warning it was a full scale fight, collars, ears, fur and all. Lucy was put outside and both were seriously told off. This was not a good start to the day.
We had arrived with plenty of Christmas goodies, but we sort of have this arrangement in the family where we don't buy actual Christmas presents for the adult children. Or maybe we do. Or maybe we don't...... Needless to say, when ED opened her very nice present, and our two Afghan boys also opened theirs..... I realised that I should have bought an actual present for my niece and nephew who are now 18 and 20. I cringed with embarrassment. It had been a bit of a rush, as with two new residents arriving just before Christmas, present buying had happened very late. In fact it had really happened in earnest when we had a Father Christmas type delivery of money, in the form of some pay for the boys, just a few days before Christmas. We then found that we could actually buy things at normal prices with normal paying methods. This was a new experience for the Lomax family as previously, everything including barter with the dog biscuits was a normal form of tender. But sadly communication between my brother and me had failed somewhere....
We sat down to dinner. My sister in law had cooked a gorgeous Nigella style mutton stew. At least, it was gorgeous until her foot slipped as she was getting it out of the oven and the beautiful ceramic pot landed on the floor. We ate fantastically well non the less and we all pretended to those who had less command of the English language that the words that came from the kitchen were some sort of English pre new year ritual.... or something like that... Actually in true British style we all pretended that we hadn't heard anything.
All was forgotten however as we all tunelessly ploughed our way through their Karaoke DVD, Tinkerbell Mushroom and Gymnast taking leading roles, and my niece actually singing in tune. Our Afghan boys looked on with what looked like a mixture of amusement and horror. Coming from an entirely different culture just a few weeks back, they must wonder about this very strange family that they have landed with.
I went to bed very late. It was imperative that my sister in law and I put the world to rights before heading upstairs. So we did, and went to bed feeling very pleased with ourselves, as you do on family Christmas get togethers.
It was a bit of a shame though to find on arriving downstairs the next morning, my brother, cleaning the carpet...... Mad Dog Lucy, traumatised by car journey, other mad dog and lack of any available adult on hand to let her into strange garden had disgraced herself. My poor brother, who recently lost his job, whose computer and telly had both broken in the course of the previous few weeks, and whose daughter had decided to leave her university course just before Christmas was wondering by now what it was that he done so badly in a previous life. Was there anything else that could go wrong for him?
We really were by this time the guests from Hell.
Our profuse apologies to bro were interrupted though by strains of a sort of singing. Karaoke is tricky of course....Even when you more or less know the tune... For those who have not been brought up with any exposure to Western music at all though, it is a very different experience. It was a bit like the bit in the second Bridget Jones movie where Like a Virgin is sung by the girls in the Bangkok prison........ This was Hey Jude... with a tune like you have never heard before.
My sister in law then went to turn up the heating. At that moment they realised that the boiler had gone wrong too....
Thankfully Hubby did manage to fix their flame lookalike fire for them. That having gone wrong just before we had arrived. So we did have some use as guests, but they did look as if they were smiling with quite some relief we drove our massive vehicle back down their drive.
And they really had made us all so welcome too.....