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Monday, January 19, 2009

Blue Monday.


Pondering., originally uploaded by zombiecoterie.

Apparently today is the day when Sky Travel says we should be depressed enough to contemplate buying their products. Well, today has indeed been challenging - I was having very colourful nightmares about forthcoming surgery, then went for a lacklustre swim and then it took me more than an hour to get from Ladywell to Greenwich. Yes, I could have walked it quicker and not been an hour and a half late to work but there was something interesting on Woman's Hour so I waited it out, not realising the whole world was gridlocked after an accident in the Blackwall Tunnel.

So, I got into work a bit later than planned, then decided I should start to take some of the lieu time I'm owed and came home at lunchtime. I think this was the right thing to do.

The weekend's been a giggle; we've been getting quotes for the new place to be done up and they vary from tiny (but with much sucking of teeth at possible complications) to comical, so we're still sorting all that out but decided to go and get a bit of pampering on Saturday, so we went to a grooming salon in Chiswick. It was lovely, dark wood panelling, nice big mirrors, comfy sofa where you could watch only slightly de-tuned tv news while you waited. I got my hair cut, which went something like this:

"Do you know what you want done?
"Not really, I just want a haircut."
"Should I give it a bit of texture so you can style it?"
"Not really, I don't ever bother to do anything with my hair."
"Oh, right. What product do you use on your hair?"
"Erm. Water and my fingers, usually."
"No, I mean which wax or gel?"
"..."
"Right. I see. Short back and sides?"
"Thank you."
"Would you like a shave?"
"No, I look like a little old lady if I don't have a beard."
"Short back and sides!"

I guess I'm not really the kind of customer they want - I don't like people touching my hair, I don't like putting product in my hair and it's so thick half the time it breaks the clippers they use to cut it. At least that's one measure where I can say they surpassed Mister Toppers - he didn't plough into my hair with the clippers until they jam or slice off the mole the size of a raisin I have behind my right ear.

Jonathan, however, was a delight for them. As well as a haircut that involved lots of discussion about how to look after it and help it grow, he had a straight razor shave and had his eyebrows tidied up by a woman with some wax. The haircut was good, even if the man cutting it styled it as though all his clients wanted Princess Diana bouffe and the shave almost as good as Jonathan could manage at home, assuming Jonathan wasn't allowed to use his hands and I switched the light off in the bathroom. The eyebrow shaping wasn't bad, either, but I guess I'm really not as much of a pampergrooming person as I thought.

Every time they said Grooming Salon, I kept expecting to find Maddie in the piles of hair on the floor and heard "Baby P!" in my head in the kind of Scottish Accent that's not been heard enough since Absolutely ended and there was no more Stoneybridge.

Anyway, with hair on my forehead and just-waxes pink patches looking like eighties eye-shadow on Jonathan, we went shoe shopping in Westfield as soon as we'd nipped back to the new flat to sort out the bouffe. We could have done with one of those carpet bashing things, would have made the job easier!

When I say we went directly to Westfield, what I mean is that we stopped at Maison Blanc for pastries and a pot of Earl Grey while chatting to a local friend about electric cars, but that's about as quickly as I expect anything to happen once we've moved into an area full of such delightfully pretentious distractions.

Westfield was incredible. I hated it at first, but that was because I had forgotten to bring painkillers with me so my arm seized up, then my shoulder and my hand, so I was stumbling around looking for a pharmacy and then begging them for anything with codeine in it. Oddly enough, after necking half a pack of Paramol, the experience became a lot more enjoyable. Habitat focus on the final syllable in their name more and more, so we gave up on looking at home furnishings and instead went shoe crazy. After being told that Converse boots do not come in a 12 by a snippy woman in one shop, we then spent about an hour in Schuh giggling with the assistants and trying on a series of increasingly ridiculous shoes. I got the size 12 Converse boots I was after and these lovely beauties and Jonathan also left with two pairs of trainers. I've got total shoe envy at his blue adidas shoes so I'm not showing you a link in case they make me cry.

New shoes and then new jeans from UniQlo and then up to meet a bunch of mates for a booze up in Shoreditch. We went to a couple of pubs, got rained on very heavily so my lovely shoes now look properly in need of some TLC and then wound up back at the Joiner's Arms, which was fun after about four pints, which was enough to mask the smell in there. Lots of fun people and good music, so I might have to overlook my natural dislike of the Hoxton Fin to go back there some time when it's not pissing down.

We got offered Khat by a strange man who was selling it for Fifty quid then offered it for eight when we said no. If only bathroom bartering were so easy. I grabbed a taxi and went to join Jonotron at a party in Bromley-by-Bow which was a lot of fun, but I'm slightly baffled at why you'd need an ever-flowing supply of cocaine and ketamine and vodka when all you want to do is stay up late and chat about Madonna. Nice guys, but I'm not sure I was in quite the same zone as them so fell asleep on the sofa after the taxi had driven the wrong people home and snuck out in the morning to forage for hangover food.

Wound up back in Shoreditch for cramped Sunday lunch that failed to magically undo the damage done by the pints at the Joiners' Arms and then went for a strange wander into the twilight zone of gay London on a Sunday, watching a very drug-fucked man on G slobbering over an old man who kept whistling through his dentures while saying dirty things to him, had a tennis player en route to a tournament in LA tell me he thought I must work out a lot because I'm so firm to the touch, which I didn't mind as he showed me his hairy six-pack and let me poke it until I couldn't stop giggling and then I figured that I'd managed an appropriate amount of crazy fun for a weekend that would otherwise have been spent thumbing the Ikea catalogue and playing the new content for Fable 2.

So clearly, now it's Monday I'm going to play Fable 2.

Enjoy!

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