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All posts for the month August, 2012

Bad hair day?

Published August 28, 2012 by KalamityK

My hair doesn’t suit me. It’s past shoulder length right now but there’s just not enough of it. I want curls! I want volume! I want to be tousled dammit!This isn’t me or my hair.

People with thick or curly hair moan that they can’t control it but I still want it. Everyone girl wants what they haven’t got in the world of hair and I’m no different. I want uncontrollable hair! I want hair that you can twist and pin up and it’s a lovely big messy updo with escaping straggly bits that frame your face. My face usually looks quite nice with a frame. If I pin up mine, it looks like I’ve given myself a Croydon facelift but that’s the only way it goes up. I can’t even get big hair if I back-comb it. It’s so damn fine (and not in the good way) that any back-combing just unknots itself and falls out within half an hour.  

To start with, as a baby it took me AGES to grow any hair. Then when I did finally acquire some hair worth mentioning, it was dead straight. No need for straighteners even if they had existed back then. Nowadays it has a slight unstraightness to it but it’s certainly not enough to be classed as ‘wavy’. I dye it to make it more interesting to look at in the mirror. In real life my hair is dark brown. You couldn’t get a more boring hair colour if you tried.

 

Blondes have an automatic reputation as having loads of fun, even if it is entirely  undeserved and in reality they’re manic depressives. Ok, so the downside to being blonde is the reputation for not being especially bright but who cares if you’re a bundle of fun!

Redheads have a reputation as being fiery and vibrant. To be honest, most of the redheads I know definitely have a hint of fiery. Two of my closest friends are redheads. This rep is not entirely undeserved.

 

If you talk about black hair, people instantly think ‘Goth’ or ‘Ethnic’.

What birthright do brown haired folk automatically inherit? None! Nothing. Brown is average. It feels like someone invented the word ‘Brunette‘ to make themselves feel better about not being blonde. 

I don’t really mind being brunette though, to be honest, because I can always dye it. So I always dye it! I’ve done a lot of different colours over the years and I’m currently ginger but I’ve never gone as bright as I’d really like to, partly because dark brown hair doesn’t dye easily without bleaching. Constant bleaching ruins your hair. Next time I’m thinking of bleaching and going pink. Or purple. The problem is that I’m no good at maintenance. I just can’t be bothered to colour in the roots every two or three weeks and it ends up looking messy. I’d have to be dedicated to touching up my roots on a regular basis and I’m just not that conscientious. Can you imagine upkeeping this? 

All I want is thicker, curlier hair. I’ve permed my hair so many times but it just falls out within a couple of days so I end up looking more like a used mop than Barbra Streisand did in the early 80’s. 

I won’t give up though. One day something will come up and I’ll get my tousled head of curls.  

Or maybe I’ll just buy them on Ebay. 

A Typical British Summer

Published August 25, 2012 by KalamityK

It was just another average British summer’s day as I was walking up the high street with my parents in a random but lovely little Sussex town, eating lemon flavoured ice cream… in the rain.  By the way, lemon flavoured ice cream is AWESOME! 

Anyhoo, it got me thinking about a favourite British summer holiday. CAMPING! It was the rain that made me nostalgic. It ALWAYS rains when you go camping in the UK. Every year for probably 90% of my childhood we went camping. This wasn’t ordinary camping though. Oh no. This was Bible Week Camping! And I LOVED it.

In the Beginning, there was Dales Bible Week (aka Gales Bible Week).

This was the year it didn’t just rain, but it poured…. And poured and poured and poured. I think I know how Noah felt. The ‘rents had gone to an evening meeting leaving my big brother in charge, although as he was only about 8yrs old at the time I’m sure there was an adult around to keep an eye on us. Well, that’s all well and good but when the heavens opened and the winds started up, it got pretty scary! The adults in the meeting hadn’t realised how bad it was but tents were being unpegged by the wind and blown away like paper as the rain lashed down around us. The designated adult was busy trying to save tents and no doubt see to other kids and no matter how loud we cried and yelled for help no one came. It was all we could to hold on to our A frame tent for dear life! A lot of people had to sleep in a barn that night. Luckily big bro and me were absolutely fabulous and managed to keep hold of our tent. No stinky old cow barn for us!

After Dales was Downs Bible Week.

For many years we went to Downs Bible Week. It was a lot closer to home, being held on the Sussex Downs. Downs was the scene for many an adventure, particularly with the crowd from Hastings when we met up each year, but  I won’t go into those stories cos it wouldn’t be fair to traumatise the ‘rents so many years after the events!

In the early days there weren’t too many rules and this resulted in more than a few tents being accidently razed to the ground. They were too close together so a rule was introduced with a minimum amount of space between each tent. This helped not only lower the tent burning incidents but also the tripping over guy rope incidents. One kid ended up in hospital because she fell over one guy rope, landed on another and split her chin open. If you forgot your torch, you took your life in your hands trying to get back to your tent. It was like an assault course. Survival of the fittest!

By this time us kids went to our own meetings which were much more fun but still the weather was an issue. Every year it rained. Even if it was just one or two days, it rained but sometimes it just didn’t stop and someone always got flooded out. I don’t remember too many actual disasters at Downs although I’m sure there were some. The worst year weather-wise is now only ever referred to as Drowns by anyone who was there. Ok, it wasn’t as bad as this pic… but it was pretty bad! I’m sure there was a year where tents got blown away here too. 

I didn’t really mind the rain too much, being a kid an’ all. I just walked around barefoot, squelching my toes in the mud, quite happy to look like I’d been dragged up in a mudpuddle. The adults weren’t so keen to walk around in bare feet so boards and hay were strewn around in a vain attempt to make certain areas walkable. It was a bit of a pain when you never had any dry clothes but seeing as we only lived a few miles down the road it wasn’t too bad. If it looked like there was no end in sight for the rain, one of the ‘rents would take our clothes home, wash and dry them and then come back. Sorted!

After Downs was Stoneleigh Bible Week

By this time I was an adult. The manchild was just a baby, one year old. He was walking already so to stop him wandering off I bought an extendable dog leads. I attached one end to his reigns and staked the other end in the ground in the middle of the surrounding tents. Who needs a playpen?! Job done.

We had a variety of interesting summers there. The following year it was so unbearably hot that I would go into the shower fully clothed to cool down and literally within 5 minutes I was bone dry again. It was the hottest week EVER. . Walking inside a tent was akin to putting a pork joint in a preheated oven. Your skin started to crackle!

Another year almost everyone onsite was getting flooded. It reached a point where everyone was moved into the onsite buildings for safety. It was a squeeze but if there’s one thing us Brits are good at, it’s pulling together and making do. My sis in law was running around barefoot trying to help organise people and provisions. She’s good at that. As she hurried around the corner there was no carpet and where her feet had gotten wet they slipped on the tiles, flew out from under her straight up in the air which threw her whole body backwards. She landed on the back of her head with such a thud, knocked herself out completely sparko! She wouldn’t wake up for ages and had to be taken to hospital. Still, somehow she managed not to drop the walkie talkies so that was good! (She was fine in the end but we did have to keep an eye on her for the remainder of the week as she wasn’t entirely sure whether she was coming or going for a while.) 

The final straw for the ‘rents was the year mum had a teensy bit of an accident involving a gas lamp and their trailer tent….

There’d been a strong gas smell lingering and suspecting it might be the camping fridge, mum took it outside, cleaned the pipes, brought it back in and relit the pilot light…  WHOMP!

A flame erupted and shot up her trouser leg! It wasn’t the fridge. It was a leaky gas lamp in the little closet area next to the fridge. When she lit the pilot, it ignited the ball of gas that had been trapped. She quickly tried to put out the flames and I ran outside, tried to soak a towel and ran back in with it but it was barely wet and did nothing. Instead of running out of the tent, we kept trying to put out the fire. A neighbour ran in and grabbed up the little manchild who had only just been put to bed, and whisked him out of harms way. We just had to leave the tent to burn. There’s something rather silly about watching your underwear drying  on a clotheshorse, through the sides of a burning tent. But guess what? Although it was a little breezy and some sparks floated off towards nearby tents, no other tents burnt down! That minimum space rule really works. And something unexplainable happened that day too. Almost everything in the tent got damaged by the heat or flames; everything except the bibles. There must have been at least 4 or 5 bibles in the tent all in different places and not one was burnt. They were wet from the fire brigade hoses and smelled a bit smokey but mum separated all the pages with tissue paper and they dried out  absolutely fine.

 Mum wasn’t really keen to ever go camping again. As for me, I woke up the next morning with tonsillitis from all the stress but I still love camping. 

After Stoneleigh there was nothing for a while. Now they do bible week for the kids. 

5,000+ teens all meet each year for NewDay and it’s a fantastic atmosphere. I’ve gone a few times as a volunteer, helping to feed a churchload of hungry teens and workers. The pink tent was mine. Cos I’m cool!

Although it has rained at Newday most years, I don’t know of any major disasters… unless you count 2008 when the manchild got kicked out and sent home for breaking all the rules! I know I smoked at camp when I was a teen but never INSIDE the tent anywhere near the grown ups, you dozy boy! I think he got it mixed up with Glastonbury.

Left on the shelf? No, I like it here!

Published August 10, 2012 by KalamityK

I’m 40 and still single. Didn’t find the right guy. If you did, you’re lucky and this post isn’t referring to you. But feel free to carry on reading!

Considering my dating life for the last 10 years has mainly involved internet dating, it’s not exactly a surprise that I’m still single.

What IS surprising is that a part of me likes it. If I’m being honest, I expected to be married at this point in my life but I didn’t have a script to show me how to get to that ending and this is where I find myself. 

I don’t know what people see when they look at me. I think people who don’t know me very well see a slightly sarcastic unmarried fat woman who sometimes lacks confidence. They’re right. I am a slightly sarcastic unmarried fat woman who sometimes lacks confidence. But that’s not the sum total of me. I’m occasionally funny, a bit complex and sometimes moody. I’m also strong; mentally and physically, and occasionally I’m wise, like an owl. 

I’ve got used to living on my own. Why on earth would I want to give up my space, fight over the tv remote, faff around trying to share a duvet, get all hot and bothered by a fella who thinks I’m his perfect pillow and then have him snoring his head off stopping me sleeping?  Nuh-uh! No thanx! I’m not doing that unless I’m completely smitten.

*Married woman = shared bedroom

Me = double room to myself and STILL not enough room for all my junk. There’s no space for anyone else’s stuff!

Over the decades I watched friends and family marry for a variety of reasons. Not always for love, even if they told themselves it was. Some are now divorced. Some are still married. Some are ‘surprisingly’ still married!

I’ve lived with 3 boyfriends in my lifetime. The last one was the manchilds’ dad 19 years ago. Since then it’s been just me and the kid. I’ve had other relationships but they haven’t worked out because it turns out I’m attracted to bad boys and idiots. I figured this out years ago but still couldn’t manage to change it. The reason I’m not married isn’t because no-one ever wanted me. It’s because I didn’t want to marry the men who asked. If the right fella came along then great but he’s not arrived  yet and I’m not settling. 

I came quite close recently to getting married but as it happens, he was an idiot too. I’m not saying I’m perfect… far from it. I’m just more perfect than them 😉 

Despite it being 2012, there is still an inbuilt fear for women of being left on the    shelf. Seriously. That’s so sad. Girls,  change the way you think. Don’t see it as a negative.  Enjoy your singleness while you have it. There will be times you’ll miss it once it’s gone. Yeah it’s nice to be in love but if it aint happenin’ then why not enjoy where you’re at? 

You know what? Leave me on the shelf. Please! All those other women who jumped off too soon for fear of being left behind have left me loads of room. This shelf is nice and comfy now and it has books.

It’ll take some super special man to entice me off it. 

Earlier today I was making a list of attributes that would make the perfect man for me. I decided that as I like it here on my shelf, I’d order exactly what I want or I’m staying put;

  1. Tall, dark and handsome with smiley eyes and a nice bum. He doesn’t have to be perfect, just perfect for me. 
  2. Solvent with a good job
  3. Hard working but not a workaholic
  4. Likes camping/picnics/walks on the beach
  5. Is good at DIY
  6. Likes a cuddly woman, preferably me.
  7. Enjoys cooking (I hate it).
  8. A non-smoker who isn’t tee total (last fella was tee total and it’s BORING!)
  9. Likes to be tactile but does NOT  want to snuggle all night (I’m a fidget until the coma hits). In fact, wants to live in separate houses (next door?) or at least have separate bedrooms
  10. Can SING like Andrea Bocelli  (I’ve never had a fella who could sing and if I’m ordering, I want a singer)
  11. A driver who likes motorbikes and will buy me one  for Christmas
  12. I can’t write this one out loud cos my mum n dad read this but … yanno!… A man’s gotta have skills! Know what I’m sayin?! 😉
  13. Ideally, he’ll be a bit of a romantic soul
  14. Should be funny but not too sarcastic
  15. Into Sci~Fi and gadgets
  16. MUST BE SINGLE (you’d be surprised how many blokes on dating sites don’t understand that concept)

Is that too much to ask for?!!!! Anyone know him? No?……. Then excuse me whilst I make myself a lil more comfy up here on my shelf! 

*For married, read also – living with a partner. For you lot who might need clarification.  

Virgin, you SUCK at customer care.

Published August 7, 2012 by KalamityK

As this is my place to rant, I’m gonna rant right now….. before my internet provider cuts me off, which is probably just hours away from happening. I imagine I’ll be cut off by morning. They’ve already restricted my landline. 

I’m late paying my bill. I’m always late paying my bill and it’s on principle. I’ve been a customer with Virgin for at least 15 years, probably longer. When I moved home two years ago, I stayed with Virgin. What happened was that they changed me over from Virgin Media to Virgin National. I didn’t get a choice. Since then their customer service has been shockingly bad. I don’t give a stuff which department takes my money. As far as I’m concerned as a customer, it’s all Virgin. The bonus goes to Richard Branson, end of.

The problem with Virgin National is that they claim they are trying to be a paperless company, so they don’t send out bills. I always got one with Virgin Media. I want a bill! I could go online to view the bill but I ALWAYS have problems signing in on their crappy website so now I’ve given up trying. It’s too much aggro. I’d even accept a bill via email but despite being adamant that they DO send me an email with the bill every month, I’ve yet to receive one. They do however, send out a reminder letter every month telling me that I haven’t paid my bill and telling me how much I owe, plus I get  junkmail every bloody month without fail from them. Virgin, don’t go on about being paperless all the time you insist on sending crap I don’t want through my letterbox. If they can send out a letter and junkmail EVERY month then they are NOT paperless, so why not just send a bloody bill?  It doesn’t make sense! When I get that letter with the amount on it, I then phone up and pay my bill. Every month. Without fail. For the last two years.

The letter didn’t come this month. Now I’m screwed.  I pay my bills with cash or I use my top up credit card to pay over the phone or online. It’s perfect for me.  Now they’re telling me that my services are getting cut off and won’t be reinstated until I set up a direct debit. I haven’t paid anything by direct debit for over 5 years. I don’t use the kind of account that I can do that. I tried to pay my bill today but they sent out the next bill yesterday (except they don’t send out bills) so my outstanding balance is now over 100 quid. I don’t have the funds to pay two bills at once so I’m screwed. I’ll soon have no services, am in debt to the tune of over £115 and will continue to get NO services until I set up a direct debit, EVEN if I pay what I owe. They’re telling me to set up a DD via a family or friends’ account and then cancel it two days later. That’s absolutely stupid. Why should I have to involve other people who are nothing to do with it? Just change the damn system. You managed to sort it in order to keep me as a customer two years ago Virgin so why not now?

The thing is, everything they’re telling me is in the terms and conditions so I haven’t got a leg to stand on. I just think they should take better care of their customers. There should be more than one option to get people reinstated, particularly taking into account the  amount of time I’ve been a loyal customer and the fact that I’ve paid my bill every month and never missed a payment. It just  feels like they don’t give a f*%&. Let’s face it, they don’t. I’ve just realised I can probably set up a direct debit on my top up credit card. It runs out next month and becomes null and void so good luck trying to take an actual payment from it. Looks like I have no option. But I still can’t pay them what they want for another two weeks. 

Shame on you Virgin!  As soon as I’ve paid them off, I’m leaving. They can kiss my derrière if they think they’re getting another penny out of me. It’s just a shame my pathetic few £s each month isn’t gonna put a dent in anyone’s bonus. They won’t even notice it’s gone.   

On top of all that, that bloody manchild has drunk my last bottle of cider! Is it too much to ask that my one treat is where I left it when I get home from work? You want cider, go out and buy your own! Grrrrrrr. It’s not even Monday. 

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