9 July 2011


Dear Sophisticated Ladies

 Before I slip away for a sophisticated sun soaked vacation I thought I had better say au revoir. Preparation for going away can so often be traumatic in the extreme but I have somehow managed to pace myself this time. Let’s face it after the last couple of months of kitten stress anything else was going to be a breeze!

 I really hadn’t appreciated quite how on edge I had been or how shamefully I had allowed such a small thing to dominate my life. Life was a bit of a stretch of the imagination towards the end but I am pleased to report Arabella has settled into her new home; sigh of relief all round!


The highlight of the week has been finally taking the plunge and allowing the locks to be shorn away (see for photographic evidence). I confess I was shocked to see the amount of hair on the floor when the procedure was finished! The surgeon was delighted at being allowed to get rid of quite so much weight ~ when I said what I had in mind he responded (by text) ‘about time’.


More shockingly was his insistence that I look at the back of my head with a hand mirror (no ladies not that kind of hand mirror)! You look so much younger he continued with rather more animation than was frankly necessary. He then rather coyly asked what I thought of his new look; he had shaved his head completely. I forget what I answered as I was too busy caressing the back of my neck whilst pondering factor 50!


Further appointments this week included a half leg wax (Arabella damage permitting nothing above the knee) and a chest x ray. In the busy schedule I could so easily have confused the two resulting in a bemused doctor faced with an ankle bone instead of a chest cavity. On the subject of doctors or rather local hospitals I was supposed to go for a blood test; one of those monitoring regimes associated with prescription medication.


In Barry one turns up at the hospital takes a ticket as if queuing for the deli and waits to be called. 8.30 am until 4 pm on weekdays. It wasn’t top of my priority list but by Friday I thought I had time to go if I went first thing. As I walked into the entrance I was thrown by being facing with a heaving foyer with standing room only.


I approached the kiosk window and asked the woman who lurched in front of me if everyone was waiting for a blood test. Yes she said and handed me a ticket. I looked at the number and at 910 am I was number 57. I said oh I don’t have time to wait (I had an appointment in Canton at 1015). To which she said oh well I’ve have your ticket then and snatched it gleefully out of my hand!


The state of which ever organ the doctor (surly locum) was interested in will have to wait. I had only gone for a repeat prescription and I had a medium length list. I sat down and rattled off my requests. She looked flustered having remembered to apologise for keeping me waiting but omitting to tell me her name. With a withered look she turned to me and said can we deal with one thing at a time? I didn’t apologise as I was suppressing a smirk. I should be kinder as at 1110 am she looked exhausted. But as sympathy or empathy was nowhere in sight she was annoying me. I had been going to ask a question but thought better of it as pushing her into a corner where tears could easily have followed seemed unwise.


Mother is in a perpetual state of irritated anxiety as she has been called for jury service. She went to do a dry run so she could work out parking etc ~ she has been called for August and I pray the City Council don’t arrange road repairs necessitating a re think as the Court Officials will not enjoy her having difficulty parking! I remember one Easter Sunday when mum, brother and I were on the way to Church and she got caught speeding. The policeman booked her and then said ‘Do you have anything to say Madam?’ to which she responded ‘yes you’re made me very late for Church!’ I don’t remember if she put anything in the collection plate that day as children we given Crème Eggs by the Priest.


I have decided to pack my bag downstairs rather than risk carrying a heavy bag down the stairs. My right arm is still agony when I attempt to lift anything heavier than a cigarette ~ thank you Arabella. As a consequence I have been up and down the stairs about 25 times this morning. Initially because I had forgotten things and then to return things I didn’t need in such multiples. And then having weighed the bag – as best one can on bathroom scales – it is a lot lighter than the allowance and there is space still. So then I went to get more things and then decided to leave it to mull things over. One always takes too much and regrets the one thing one didn’t take. You may remember I said I was confident that I would find some of the weight I had lost. Well I have already! Wasn’t that clever of me! I am hoping that being on holiday will allow me to rest and swim a lot thereby perhaps misplacing some of the weight I have found.


As I was going away my fridge has been a little bare so I have eaten a lot of cereal. Special K Red Berries to be precise and for a change Peaches. I blame three for the price of two as I guess the weight loss thing is limited to eating a small quantity 2 or 3 times a day; not (on one day) a whole box! I have taken to the bars that come in the range too and I quite like them.

 Not everyone else shares this enjoyment I discovered when the hair dresser initially declined a bar and then when I left it on the counter bit into it. The look of disgust on his face was hilarious! I said don’t eat it if you don’t like it (as if to a child). He held it in his hand and looked at it. It’s just got a strange taste when you bite into it he said before thrusting it in my direction! Boys!


Anyway ladies I must go and select items from the library to take away. A balance of erudite learning (Vita Sackville West autobiography) and Virginia Woolf a Writer’s Diary plus a few murders and cute foreign fiction. Oh and a Dorothy Parker novella. I am enjoying   Doris Lessing as it reminds me of growing up in Africa albeit that in the time she was writing Malawi was still Nyasaland.



Revised September Salon Date – 26 September NOT 14 September. Claire Curneen has kindly given me another date that the restaurant is available. So if you could pop this in your diary that would be wonderful! On my return I hope to get two more dates so i can announce the Autumn Season. I am toying with the idea of approaching Woman’s Hour as they haven’t done a feature of Contemporary Spinsterhood recently!


So there will be no missive until my return – the week of the 25 July.  Enjoy yourselves in my absence and darlings don’t pine too much!




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Filed under Musings of a Contemporary Spinster, Sophisticated Salons

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