Lost in London

A look at London and life in general through the eyes of someone who sometimes can't bear to watch.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Right hair, right now

This may sound dramatic, but I don’t know what I’d do without my hair. Although it was late arriving- I was practically bald until the age of 3- since we’ve been together we’ve been inseparable.

My hair is no particular colour at all. Dishwater brown would be the best way to describe it. I dyed it for a year or so as a teenager: jet black was my colour of choice and it looked horrific. Thank goodness for photos: looking at them ensures I’ll never make that mistake again. There are now hints of grey and my natural highlights seem to be dulling, but it is still thick and around 24 hours or so after washing it, becomes somewhere near manageable.

My obsession with my hair comes from both parents, I think. My mum hasn’t given her natural hair colour any opportunity to make a reappearance since the late 1970s and used to spend for ever getting it ‘just right’ in front of the mirror, regardless of whether she was going anywhere. My dad is constantly heading off to the hairdresser and agonising over what style to get and whether it will look right. My parents are frustrated gay men. My father went grey shockingly young; he was badger-white in his early 30s but still held onto a luxuriant mane. I only ever think about my encroaching strands of grey when I’m in the bathroom at my mum’s house. She has a mirror in front of the window that reflects the light in such a way that I look as if I have milk pouring down my locks. I try to avoid this mirror at first but then find myself wide-eyed in fascination at the refusal of my 31-year-old hair follicles to keep in line with my 22-year-old brain.

I have had just about every hairstyle it’s possible to have without growing your hair overlong or ten feet tall. Hardly a product in the world exists that I haven’t tried in an effort to control my wayward barnet. Like a king of a far-off fairytale land interviewing suitors for his princess daughter’s hand in marriage, my hair has entertained mousses, gels, waxes, pomades, sprays and creams from all over the world, eaten and absorbed them whole, the result looking no different. When I get my hair ‘done’ somewhere new, the stylist will inevitably offer me the chance to buy some product or another and I will give a hollow laugh. Occasionally I give in because buying product from a hair stylist is one of my favourite pastimes, but regret it instantly as I realise the product only works within the confines of a salon and in the hands of a slightly effeminate, perma-tanned man with MTV hair. Sigh.

So, hair, while we haven’t always got on and we might be going through a few changes that I’m not thrilled about, I’m very glad you’re still here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

No news is good news

Has it really been so long since I last blogged? It would appear so. I imagine the last of any readers I may have had have deserted me, but in case there is someone out there, I shall carry on. How brave of me.

I have spent most of the last month rolling my eyes at yet another mention of Amy Winehouse in the news. Whether she’s popping to the shops for some Bernard Matthews turkey ham or sitting in A&E with her arm hanging off, a picture of Miss Winehouse is big business and I find the inevitability and predictability of it all very wearing. I almost want to curl up in a duvet and pretend she didn’t exist, but if I did that I wouldn’t have her two album and they’re very good, so exist she must.

Another woman who’s been getting the shit kicked out of her in the press is Britney Spears. I was about three days late to the ‘Britney VMA fuck-up’ party, but when Id did finally watch the performance, the best reaction I could give it was a bored shrug. Was it really that bad? Her dancing wasn’t great and she mimed, sure, but it was hardly the huge dramatic shambles I had expected. I work in online media and appreciate that what makes it work is its easily-updateable, instant quality, but when a whole load of nothing is presented as news and its audience whipped into such a frenzy, I almost want to wrench the plug out of the modem and launch it across the room.

Joining Amy and Britney in the not-as-popular-as used-to-be stakes is the hyphen. The OED has decided that because most people don’t use it, it should be consigned to the dustbin in many cases of usage. I don’t have any particular feelings about hyphens themselves, but I do quite like the word ‘hyphen’. Apparently hyphens are on the way out because of email, or e-mail if you prefer, so that’s another reason to reach for the modem then.