Friday, May 19, 2017

I sacked my hairdresser

I've been going to Hairy Mary for about three years now. Despite the fact that having a conversation with her does my head in (she's scatty, very scatty, but lovable), her work on my hair was usually pretty good.

Usually.

Over the last year I've come to have a few reservations about her, however.  When she put foils in, she didn't really do them close enough to the scalp. Of course I wouldn't expect her to get too close - nobody wants to be burned by bleach - but some of them looked a little grown out when she'd put them in.

Then let's talk style. 18 months ago I went from a bob to a funky shorter bedhead cut, done with a razor. All was good for about a year, although it did look a bit too wispy on the ends from time to time. My hair is fine and I don't have a great deal of it, so I loathe the wispy look.

For the last two visits I asked her specifically not to thin out the ends too much, to make them chunkier and less wispy.

Sadly, she ignored me. Too busy talking about sixteen things at once to remember what I'd asked. When the sun is behind me you can see through the ends, and I hate that.

So a month ago I took my head to a hairdresser a short walk from where I live. More expensive, which is a shame, but the foils look sharp and she's helping me thicken the ends up and grow the layers out somewhat. I quite like a few freehand-cut layers for movement, but at the moment my hair has been so heavily layered by Hairy Mary I feel as if I should be wearing hats 24/7 until it grows out.

I don't know how to tell Hairy Mary she's been dumped. I suppose I simply don't. She'll figure out I'm just not going to her place any more. I can't rave about my new hairdresser on Facebook as Hairy Mary is a Facebook friend of mine. I don't want to hurt her feelings.

How many of you have told your hairdresser you're quitting them? Or have you simply jumped ship and gone somewhere else?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Stuff It

This morning while I was making the bed I noticed the drawer on my husband's bedside table was open slightly. I hate that. Drawers which are capable of shutting (which is most but not all the drawers in our house) should be shut or they look untidy. But I digress. This post is not about my OCD-ness regarding drawers.

No, it's about the remembrance day fake poppy that was in the drawer. And other Stuff.

I pondered why he'd kept the poppy. I know he's a Scot but he usually does put his hand in his pocket and buy a new one each year. It's not as if I bought the poppy for him and it has sentimental value (hmm, a $2 poppy).  I think this is what's happened (but I haven't asked him):

He's worn the poppy at the appropriate time, taken it off his suit and put in the drawer. Then he's forgotten about it. Now he doesn't even notice it's there, despite it being bright red.

I used to keep remembrance day poppies too. But not any more. I'd stick them in a potplant with something else such as a violet, just for effect. After several months of them gathering dust there (literally) I'd chuck them out. I mean, they ARE pretty. Too good to simply go in the bin after wearing. I should put them in a box to use for decorating gifts but frankly I'm a lousy gift decorator and I'd forget I had them anyway. So now, into the bin they go. I do it with gritted teeth as it makes me feel guilty.

And there's my problem. I was brought up by a Mum who didn't throw such things out. In fact she threw out very little in case it came in handy or in case there was another Great Depression or because it cost something to buy in the first place or because it was a gift from a friend or family member or ...

You get the picture. I was brought up to be a hoarder, to feel sentimental about things given to me, to not move things on if they were still 'good'.

But now I'm toughening up. I have to. I have a house full of Stuff, some of which I've sold or given away, and still more which I'm selling and which I intend to sell. I do a run to the charity shops with Stuff every couple of months.  I bin Stuff. I give Stuff to friends.

I have had to become unsentimental to a degree. And I'm a horribly sentimental person. It pulls me in two.

But I look around me and see clutter. I need to become more minimalist in order to feel less dragged down by all this Stuff.

As I've mentioned in previous posts Mum left me everything she had. And she had cupboards bulging with Stuff most of which she never used and as I haven't either, a lot of it has been moved on in some way, shape or form. But there's still too much Stuff.

Apparently we only use 20% of everything we own on a regular basis. 20%. That's not much. But when I think about it, that figure seems correct. For example when I'm cooking I usually use the same pots and pans each time. The tagine cooker gets one outing a year and I suspect that sooner or later I'll move it on too, even though I love its bright red colour. I probably don't need all the ramekins I have (two sets) but if I have a dinner party with more than 4 people I'll put them into use for individual puddings.

I plan to go through cupboards again over Easter and see what else I can move on either on eBay, Gumtree, Facebook buy swap and sell or simply give to charity. Although the charity shops are getting fussy now. I tried giving some oldish books to them this week and they refused them as they were foxed, and stated that no charity shop would take foxed or old books any more in case they had dust mites or similar. So bugger, I had to bin the books. Bin them! I nearly cried. I love books but wasn't going to read these again and it made me grit my teeth when I put them in the recycle bin. They weren't interesting enough to try and sell on eBay, either. :-(

My new hardline attitude towards Stuff is saving me money though. No more impulse buys at homewares shops or online. Department stores no longer hold any thrill for me. If I buy something it's to replace something useful which has broken. My rule now is that if I buy something new, something old has to go. (This doesn't apply to animals. Despite bringing a new puppy into our lives last year we have kept our elderly spaniel LOL!)

How I'd love to have a neat house without crap everywhere; like walking into one of IKEA's fake rooms. I'm working on it. The living room is looking more '50s minimalist these days which is a start.

But I can only achieve this if I stop feeling guilty and become unsentimental about getting rid of Stuff I don't use.  For me, it's very hard to do but I do feel a mix of exultation, lightness and some guilt when I achieve a purge of Stuff.

Do you get the guilts when you move Stuff on out of your place?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Throw me a throw

Just because I haven't been on here for a bit doesn't mean I haven't thought about it. I still can't use this particular Google account on Safari for a myriad of reasons, even though I'm running the most current software on my Mac and there shouldn't be a security issue. So can I be bothered to open another browser - Chrome - to update my blog? Not often.

One of the things I'd considered posting about earlier this year was last Christmas. We received a rather hilarious present from The Whingies. It was a fleece throw, which is a good thought as our house gets quite chilly in winter. But it wasn't a throw that in any way matched our decor. It was a throw from Guide Dogs of Australia, and featured a chocolate labrador, much larger than life, as the main element. Our living room is not neutral-coloured where the throw, which is chocolate dog on pale blue background, would look good. It's bright late 1950s pale greens and teals with orange/tangerine accents. Sounds loud but it works. But not with blue and chocolate.

OK, so we have dogs. Two, now, as it turns out, as we brought a beautiful toy Poodle girl into our lives last October. So The Whingies clearly know we love dogs as well as cats.

We pondered about why they would buy us that particular throw. If they donate to a charity it's usually a cancer one, not Guide Dogs.

Then it hit us. They didn't buy it at all. They won it as a prize in a cat show, where a non-dog person must have donated it, presumably as an unwanted gift.

We sat on the floor in the living room on Christmas morning, sipping Champagne and contemplating this thought while peering into the giant-sized eyes of the chocolate lab, and both of us burst out laughing.

Now I'm pretty good at rehoming gifts too, and if I don't have a suitable recipient for something I've been given but don't want, I give it to charity or sell it online. I take into account the person's taste and decor before deciding what to give them. I can't keep things people give me that I don't like or don't work in my house, not any more. I have too much STUFF. Too much clutter. I need to move things on if they're not suitable, rather than, as Mum encouraged me to do, keep This gift or That gift because That person gave it to you, even if you hate it.

We have a tacit agreement with the Whingies that while we give gifts to each other, they will be under $30. It's the thought that counts, it's a token thing, and I usually rack my brains to find something they'll appreciate as they consider themselves persons of high taste. Often it's a plant cutting I've been cultivating (this is acceptable as I receive plant cuttings in return) and this year I gave them a beautiful candle from the stock I sell and a bottle of wine.

So what to do with the throw? We opened it, as we didn't know what the design was, and having opened it and damaged the packaging in the process, can't rehome it as a brand new gift to a dog person. We may be able to use it on our bed as the dogs are - now the Poodle puppy is 7 months old and can hang on all night - sleeping on our bed, to the delight of our Spaniel, who I think has missed it. We certainly didn't miss the heat of them in summer!

It must have been the Christmas for throws. Another couple gave us a throw (clearly these friends all visit in winter where their teeth chatter if they move more then three metres away from the log fire) and the colours are pretty wrong in that one too. White background with orange (nice) and sky blue (doesn't work). That one is still in its packaging. It has gift potential. Not for the Whingies though as it wouldn't match their decor.

In the meantime I found a very cool orange and sage green 60s-inspired throw at ALDI for $16, which I've put on the sofa for the dogs to sleep on should they wish.