It’s raining, it’s pouring, it’s August, it’s Britain. The wind blows, the trees sway, the sky is grey… and I sit inside lumbered with a kidney infection so painful that if childbirth were to be any more painful than this, you may as well just zip me up now and start calling me the Cat Lady. Yes, this is the epitome of a perfect Summer’s day. Who needs strawberries ‘n’ cream when you can instead have the gourmet lunch of Diclofenac ‘n’ Cefalexin tablets?
There are a number of things I feel I could write about today, so rather than write about just one, I thought I’d do some shorts instead. Enjoy:
R.I.P Amy Winehouse
Last week, I was shocked to receive an instant-message from a friend informing me of the death of Amy Winehouse, 27. I can’t pretend I had ever enjoyed her music, and I had never really found her personality too appetising either, yet despite that, I was genuinely rather sad to hear the news. To me, it is a sad reflection of the ‘other side’ of fame and fortune. Without knowing myself what the celebrity culture is really like, or knowing Amy personally, it would be naive of me to speculate what exactly caused her to start suddenly rolling down the hill of drug abuse, but the biggest shame is that her death appeared to happen just as she was starting to get her health and personal life back in check. I hope that wherever she is now, she is at peace and rest.
In the meantime, I cannot help but laugh at portions of the British press and public, who were more than happy to slate and ridicule her whilst she was alive, only to now place her on the pedestal of being some kind of demi-goddess now that she is gone forever. Such hypocrisy and mawkish sentiment is nothing if not cringeworthy, and you could even draw comparisons between this and the precedent death of ‘The Peoples Princess’ some 14 years earlier. One can only hope that, unlike with Princess Diana, the press can leave Amy to rest without needlessly regurgitating aspects of her life years down the line in order to ‘make a good story’. R.I.P Amy, you leave behind a legacy of a music enjoyed by many, but if the world can take anything from your story, please let it be the lesson that drugs are not the answer to either a problem, nor a need for ‘fun’.
Putting the ‘poo’ in ‘shampoo’
Owing to a recent move a couple of hours South, and a lack of money not helped by the extremely frustrating rarity of available work in the area, I have had to temporarily go to a different hair salon that’s more local for my usual cut and blow-dry, until money becomes available to me again and I can go back to Watford for one. It’s always strange going to a different salon when you’ve been used to attending the same one for three years, and as with any kind of ‘replacement’ you cannot help but critically compare it to it’s predecessor.
There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with my haircut itself, rather, the strange experience had whilst my hair was being washed and shampoo’ed. As I lay back with my head in the sink, trying to relax as advised by the stylist – a spindly young man in his late teens with bleached blonde hair – I closed my eyes and tried to think about soothing images to go with the gushing water trickling down my neck. For a couple of minutes I was at complete peace with the world, until the stylist started speaking; “I had to get the train to work today, and Sittingbourne Station smelt of poo. Then I got on the train, and that absolutely stank of poo too…. I wonder where it goes? Do you know where it goes when people poo on a train? Like it must just go straight onto the track or something. Ewww.” I grinned, politely, not really knowing what else to say, and the young man continued his story. By the time we had reached the second rinse, I had heard all about a school trip he had been on as a 12 year old, when the coach got stuck in traffic in Paris and a fellow pupil had thrown up into a sock because there was no toilet on board the coach, and how the coach had also smelt of poo. Something tells me that the editor of 2011 edition of, “The Hairdressers Handbook” tried to aim for an innovative new approach when it came to conversational tips. Long gone are the days of being asked if you’ve booked any holidays, or whether or not you watched Eastenders on Monday night, faeces-focused folktales are here to stay!
Memories in Waves
On Monday evening we went to the beach at Tankerton for sunset and dusk. This is the beach at which we used to own a beach-hut, some 10-12 years ago, and being back on those pebbles, looking out over that same patch of ocean I used to take my dinghy out on back in the late 1990’s, I felt a strange shiver down my spine. For fleeting moments, I felt as though I was 13 years old again – short bedraggled hair, fringe, braces. I remembered what my personal sphere had been like back then – school, lessons, teachers, my Backstreet Boys posters, my 8-strong group of best-friends. I remembered all those pre-teen dramas, some of which would be playing on my mind during our weekends by the sea. Why did so-and-so sit on a different table in Geography class – I don’t think she wants to be friends with me anymore. What will happen if I can’t find my piece of homework about Mughal India, will I need to re-do the whole leaflet? What if my felt-pens ran out? When will I next see that cute boy I sometimes pass on the way home from school? Have I been invited to Rupal’s sleepover this year?
It’s funny how when you look back you wonder why you spent so long worrying or thinking about particular things that nowadays seem so insignificant. I probably did see that cute boy again on the way home from school, but that’s all that would ever become of him – just a stranger who’d walk the Whippendell Road at the same time as me. And it was never worth me losing any sleep over my piece of homework about Mughal India – I did end up having to re-write it, and as far as I recall I got a ‘B’, but it wasn’t a piece of work that would ever had any bearing on my future.
I compared my personal sphere then to the one I have now and marveled about how life is an on-going process of change. My home has changed, my career direction has changed, my best-friends have changed. Worries have come and gone, people have come and gone, jobs have come and gone. Life is a transient motion which does not stop, and it fascinates me no end. It can also be pretty intimidating to think that things you put a lot of focus an emphasis on now may one day, 10 years down the line, mean less to you. Maybe things cannot be forced, maybe they can only be. I just don’t know, but still, it interests me… what do you think?
Song of the Day: Super Furry Animals – The Turning Tide
In line with my third point, this is an amazing little song about the fascination of change by legendary Welsh rockers, the Super Furry Animals.
“The service was slow, my eyes began to grow into telescopes, that are looking out to a world of quick-sand-castles on their keep, still waiting under siege for the turning tide. Need some inspiration, time to hitch a ride on the turning tide”