How do we know tagged me. The first 4 random Z-facts went up yesterday and here are 4 more.
* I am not a perfectionist. I think somewhere between 80% and 95% is ample and if 70% will do, that’s good enough for me. There is always an exception, however, and any sort of handiwork should be as near perfect as possible because, as long as the work is actually completed, there is very little more work in getting it exactly right than in just wrong enough to annoy you forever.
* My special talent is in keeping small children quiet in restaurants while waiting for a meal to arrive. This does not mean I go round the tables entertaining them, god forbid, I refer only to children who are at my table. I teach them napkin folding – from Mrs Beeton. The two I do are fairly intricate, but attractive. One is a slipper and the other I call a waterlily, although I have a feeling Mrs B. called it a rose and crown or something. The other thing I do is teach them, from The Walrus and the Carpenter,
“The time has come,” the Walrus said
“To talk of many things.
Of shoes – and ships – and sealing-wax,
Of cabbages – and kings.
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings.”
Which takes them ages to learn and entertains them mightily. You might not find these much fun, but small children do and a number of parents have been very grateful to me. As have whole restaurantfuls of customers who are glad to find they are not being disturbed by bored 5-year-olds
* I am not squeamish in regard to creepy crawlies. I will pick up any insect, arachnid, or scuttling creature except cockroaches, which receive no mercy from me and are exterminated at sight. I have not, in fact, seen a cockroach in this country for years (little ones in a hotel bathroom in Chennai didn’t bother me and I didn’t kill them – I was the intruder not they) but one year we had a delivery of coal to my parents’ house which must have contained cockroach eggs, which hatched in the warmth of the coal cellar where the boiler was also situated. They came up the pipes into the kitchen and were the devil to eliminate.
Nothing else bothers me, I’ll pick up slugs, spiders, blackbeetles and mice which I have pursued round the room and trapped under a cushion, anything that, if it bites me, will not cause any particular injury, because that would be unwise. When I was a little girl, I deeply resented the nursery rhyme
‘What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails,
That’s what little boys are made of
What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and all things nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.’
I wondered why boys got the fun things and girls just had to be ‘nice’.
* I miss my long hair. I loved it. I used to hold it against my face and snuggle into it. As a child, I had long, blonde hair and it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I had it cut to somewhere just below my shoulders. When I was pregnant with Ro, I couldn’t bear the thought of that backward lean into the basin, so I avoided going to the hairdresser and it grew very long again. Eventually I had it cut into a bob and, in variations of style and with the addition, a couple of years back, of a fringe, there it has stayed.
I miss being properly blonde. If I had all my hair, it would be, but it needs a few months of growth to make its mind to go to its real colour and so it’s the sort of blonde that looks brown to someone who doesn’t know what they are looking for. I did have highlights put in for a year or two, some while back, but two hours and quite a lot of money to have something done so subtly that my husband didn’t even notice for six months seemed a bit pointless.
Because my hair was so long and I hardly ever had it cut, I was a virtual stranger to the hairdresser for many years. When I did go, I used to fall asleep. The massaging sensation, the stroking and combing, the repetitive snipping sound of the scissors was very soporific. I had to fight an overwhelming urge to go to sleep.
I seem to have ended on a slightly melancholy note, but there we are. Maybe when I am old and have silver hair, I’ll let it grow again and twine it up in a chignon, and brush it out each night lovingly. Until then, it’ll look better short.
I started by thinking that this was impossibly hard. But – or is it just me? – it’s quite easy to write about oneself. I won’t tag you by name, but I have several people in mind* ———-** so, if you have a go, please let me know.
*Yup, you 😉
**yes, you too, sweetie