Friday, 19 September 2014

Uncle Frank, Aunt Jack and other Wiggery Pokery

I said at the outset of this process that I did not want to wear a wig and I threw everything into the Save the Hair project including two four hour sessions of the incredible pain of a wearing cap full of anti-freeze. And yet the hair has gone the way of many of my battles so far - I am losing it at a rate of knots and comparing it to other folks I know, I currently have more hair than Mr O'Polo but am on a par with Il Presidente of the Cricket Club. In fact, I have the sort of hair arrangement that would make me instantly eligible for any male religious order of the 16th century (before Henry VIII sacked the monasteries and Katherine of Aragon in one fell swoop*).

So on Wednesday morning, we headed off to York (once my favourite shopping place but now somewhere I only associate with pain and distress) to the wiggery nominated by York District Hospital. Parking in the centre is cost-wise like parking in Mayfair on the Monopoly Board but we did it and arrived at the appointed time. Wiggery shut and in darkness, answerphone only on. So we went for a walk and bought a lovely wedding present for my gorgeous friend Sally who is marrying Helen today (massive good luck and love to you both) and walked back. Wiggery shut and in darkness, answerphone only on. And now I am properly cross. Every time I come to York things end badly.

Anyway, I stuck my head (bald) round the door of the shop next door to enquire as to whether they knew when the wiggery woman would appear. Of course, irony of ironies, it's a hairdressers - the absolute last place I want to be. But they were amazingly kind. They sat us down, gave us coffee, explained that the wiggery woman was a tad unreliable, phoned her assistant to try to track her down (who, it turns out, was on a beach in Cyprus) and, just when we were throwing in the towel, took our number in case we had not gone too far to turn back when WW arrived. And as we reached the car, they rang. She had arrived and I stomped off down the street whilst my beloved put another fortune of shekels into the machine in the car park.

She did apologise profusely which was a good thing because I am currently a woman of uncertain temper... And then we began. Now when I told my gorgeous daughters I was making a wig purchase they thought it sounded fun. May I say, it's only fun if you don't have to do it. I am doing this because I do not want to be an object of pity or fun and because I don't think I can rock the scarf look - of which, more later.

The woman looking at me in the mirror finally, after three different wig tries, is something like me. I've only banged my head on the table in front of me once in despair and the decision is made. My beloved likes it and although he will still be going to bed with a slaphead, he won't have to go out in public with one.

Then we move onto (because I won't wear it, or her as she is now named Freda, all the time) other headgear. First the skull cap, I look like Professor Quirrell unravelling into Voldemort from Harry Potter but not as bad as when I've practised at home with scarves. And then WW comes in with one of those scarf hats which she deftly winds round my head and suddenly I'm in either Fiddler on the Roof or Yentl and my beloved and I look at each other and in unison say: "Uncle Frank and Aunt Jack" and if you need reminding of one of our favourite bits of Mrs Doubtfire the link is below. We crack up and anything that makes us laugh in our dark moments is absolutely to be relished.

So since then Freda has had a couple of outings and seems to have been well-received though my critics are predisposed to be kind, I know. I am learning some level of compliance and acceptance and am trying to stop fighting the process at every stage. However, round 3 starts in 6 days and I am dreading it again and hoping that this object lesson in going with the flow will help me through days 1 to 10 without me becoming the wailing axewoman of Burton Leonard - though I can't promise.

Finally, three wonderful things have happened this week - yes, cause at last to celebrate and believe that the tide is turning finally in our favour though I know there is more bad stuff to come:

1  We have a gardener and he is ace. The Amazonian jungle is currently being transformed into Harlow Carr and even if I can't help him, it warms my heart to look at it. It will be stunning in the spring - hopefully, as will I.

2  Number 4 has come home from Edinburgh for the weekend. She is beautiful and perfect and seeing her has lifted my spirits - even if I've only got her till Sunday night.

3  Number 1 has a massive acting role. A just reward for tenaciously battling on when there seemed little hope of more work. More details to come but let me tell you, this is a biggie!

Uncle Frank and Aunt Jack in Mrs Doubtfire

*nice quote from my favourite Shakespeare play, MacBeth, for you literary folks.

Finally, this is dedicated to Kieran who is in St Michael's at present and has made me laugh this week despite her illness which is so much worse than mine - proving conclusively that I am a wuss.

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