Monthly Archives: July 2010

My Nitty Twenties

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to boycott our local chippy. It’s not like we’re regular patrons, but there comes a day (approximately once every month) when I cannot be arsed cooking or washing any plates. The thing is that the man in the chippy has got a problem with Tom’s hair, which is reasonably long and curly.

“Why do you make him have his hair so long?” He asked, the first time. I laughed but he was serious. “This is wrong, he is a boy, his hair should be short.”

That pissed me off, mildly, but I had forgotten about it by the time the next chip day came around. This time he decided to lay into Tom about it:

“You like having long hair, huh?” He asked him, as his wife wrapped our chips. “You tell your mother she must cut it.”

That’s it. No more chip days.

The majority of little boys round here do seem to have their heads shaved.

“Aargh! I mean, what is people’s problem?” I ranted to my friend, “It’s not as though he’s more prone to….


I instantly regretted saying that. I have recounted before here the only time Tom has caught nits, the night before we were due to fly to Australia when he was a baby (the lice survived a rushed chemical treatment, four flights over 36 hours and possibly infected a load of Korean Air passengers who passed Tom round the plane because they thought he looked like an angel.)

Anyway, sure enough, just after finishing school for the summer, Tom appears to have caught nits. I was just combing out the last ‘chicken pock’ from his hair when I spotted something wriggling. I thought it might be a bug from our walk in the woods last night but closer inspection revealed a vile transparent thing full of fresh blood. It took a good load of squashing to kill as well (which was difficult to explain, having recently told Tom to never kill an ant on purpose.) I ended up being late for an excellent writing workshop run by the good people at Creative Tourist and spending the whole session scratching my head and worrying that my hair was visibly riddled. On the way home, I bought a fancy metal nit comb and some tea tree oil

Happily, I appear not to have been infected with the nits. (I am really hoping all the people who were at the workshop today don’t start emailing me complaining that they have them.) And an hour or so of intricate raking unearthed no more than the original lone louse on Tom.

“Why did they choose my head?” he asked, his head on my lap.

“Because you’ve got good hair.”

“Why didn’t they choose someone else with good hair?”

“I don’t know.”

“Mum… Why do they suck blood? If I was a head louse, I would eat apple crumble and drink orange juice. I would still live in people’s hair but I would do nice things like… ummm…  go to the art gallery or go swimming or go to Disney World. I would eat cucumber and drink milkshake. Errr… I would eat and drink everyfin really as long as it wasn’t blood because that’s horrible.”

And it is really.

Damn, he won’t be this innocent forever. The cherubic curls are staying for a bit, nits or no nits.

I challenge you to read this post and not start scratching your head. Especially if you were at the Cornerhouse this afternoon.

The boy and his (not particularly long) hair



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Faffing About

Much faffing about has been done by me as I toy with the idea of closing this blog down altogether, giving it a less offensive (but frankly twee) name or starting completely from scratch. In the meantime I have missed writing about a diverse summer, involving a magnificent trip to Turkey, Glastonbury, the sad chasm between non-parent friends and myself, the beginning of The Book, a job offer that I had to decline (because I got offered an even better one) and a whole load of other stuff which would have probably made good blog fodder.

Summer is always a funny time because I found out I was pregnant on 7th July and I struggle to get past that milestone every year without looking back. Now it’s been five years and it feels like we’re officially up and running and I don’t really want to hark back to all that horrible stuff from the beginning. I used to gaze for ages at 2005 but now I am happy with a quick, cursory glance. It felt as though the name of this blog was something very negative, because it came from that horrible email I got, telling me to enjoy my shitty, snotty, vomitty twenties. The thing is, I suppose the whole point of the blog is that I did get that email and I am enjoying my shitty, snotty, vomitty twenties a lot, thank you very much. So really, it is a positive name.  And they are shitty sometimes, to be honest. And I have just over two years of them left, so maybe I should make the most of being able to write a blog about being in my twenties at all, be they shitty or not, while I can.

Tom is off school with chicken pox. Not a false-alarm, or an allergic reaction, or a heat rash, or a non-specific viral rash but the actual, genuine chicken pox. At last. It really isn’t as dramatic as I remember it being when I was a child. I used the calamine lotion once because it felt like my duty as a mother to douse him in it, but he hasn’t actually complained of itching. The smell of the calamine lotion transported me back to Mum’s grey plastic medicine basket. I remembered everything being calpol-sticky and there never being a plaster the right size for the wound in question. I don’t own a medicine box. Someone told me that bicarbonate of soda baths would fix the chicken pox quicker, so I went to Morrisons and bought four tubs. I kept asking for bicarbonate of sober. My bath has never looked so clean! And Tom’s spots have healed pretty fast too: I think it is time for me to send him back to school for his last week before summer. The living room is littered with remnants of his week off, like his Super Duper Computer (a piece of cardboard folded in half, with keys and a screen drawn on the inside to make it look like a laptop) and plates full of Soreen crumbs. Actually, we have pretty much lived off Soreen recently and a few weeks ago, I turned down a big promotional box of it because I don’t do reviews. Does that count as product placement? It is actually true. I might email the Soreen person again…

I wrote a blog post from paradise (the camp we found in Turkey) in my notebook, I’ll put it up here soon. Until then, here’s a couple of sunrises – one from Turkey and one from Glastonbury. Both felt really good to look at in real life.


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