Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Hair Cuts, Parent's Evenings and Long Tailed Tits

I don't know about you, but I am Pretty Rubbish when it comes to remembering to get my hair cut.

I leave it until it resembles a straggly mess, the sort even a bird would seriously think twice about and then only nest in if it were desperate. Only when it reaches that stage do I book it in for a chop. This is despite telling myself every time that I will be more organised next time.

My lovely hairdressers (Sam and Sparkle) must despair of me, but are always too kind to say anything. Anyway, today was Chop And Highlight Day, so now I look respectable and neat and shiny again (for the next month or so anyway, before rats tails become the Order Of The Day again...).

The Hair Cut was a tad rushed at the end because L arrived in the shop telling me we had approx 5 minutes in which to leg it to school for parent's evening. This meant Cutting Short my one-and-only-catch-up-on-the-gossip-mags-time. I was forced to leave before discovering whether Katie Price's most recent marriage is going to last (oh, how will I cope, not knowing that? I hear you cry. Or scream. Or laugh).

We ran the half mile there (while L arrived out of breath, I - thanks to all the running - was smugly (and to be frank slightly astonishedly) puff-free, something I made sure he noted) only to discover that the first teacher on our list (English) was running 15 minutes late.

It is Fairly Safe To Say that I am Not Generally Known for my patience (unless it be with unwell people or wild things) so I sat quietly fuming in the library trying to force my face into an expression of Calm Serenity while the people in front over-ran their allotted time by a further 10 minutes which annoyed me All Over Again and brought on Murderous Thoughts of tipping them out of their chairs.

When we finally sat down, Mr M (teacher) proceeded to talk to L and ignore me. Eventually, fed up with this (especially seen as I'd cut short a Very Rare Haircut to get to him on time only to have to wait while he Prattled On), I forced him to look at me by asking him how my son was doing.

"Well," he said, promptly returning his gaze to L (who was sitting still and upright doing a credible impression of someone who was Paying Full Attention, even to the point of wearing an expression that to other people said: 'I'm listening avidly to every word you say and Inwardly Digesting It Piecemeal' but to me who knows him well really said: 'I may look like I'm listening to you but in fact ALL my thoughts are focused back home on minecraft and my imminent return to it- the teacher was fooled, you could tell) "your handwriting could be better, couldn't it?"

Determined not to be relegated to the status of Insignificant Parent I agreed.
"Yes" (I said loudly), "I often tell him it looks like a drunk spider's knocked over a pot of ink and waddled incontinently across the page."

The teacher gave a nervous little laugh before glancing round to ascertain that none of the nearby parents had heard this Reckless Remark, before giving me a Look that clearly said: 'that isn't an appropriate comparison to make to a child's handwriting'. He reinforced this in a tone I would only describe as Deeply Patronising if I were being generous: "Well, I don't know about drunk, but it is certainly spiderish."

Judging that a retort of 'Oh, Lighten Up, for God's sake' wouldn't go down well, we escaped and went to Geography, where we again waited 20 minutes only to find ourselves getting up again after our bums had barely touched the seat.
"Handwriting?" I ventured, after the Shower Of Praise for L's attention span in class had faded away.
She waved us briskly away.

I was then briefly accosted  by one of the senior teachers (whom we all call Mr Sausages because his real name is almost unpronounceable, and also because Mr Sausages is just more fun). He has what is politely described as a 'naughty glint in the eye.' We laughed jovially about the ever-escalating waiting times, despite the fact that I was secretly hatching plans to set off the nearby fire alarm thereby emptying the hall of everyone else, grabbing our three remaining teachers and forcing them to sit down and talk to me, while dicing with certain fire-related death so we could be done and dusted in 15 mins....

Mr Sausages Moved On.

After that we had Science ('he is excellent at asking and answering a lot of questions'), Maths ('one of my best students') and History ('very attentive and well-informed and I have added a book he recommended to me to the reading list for the class' - The Children of the New Forest, by Captain Marriott in case you were wondering).

I was Numb With Shock by this time.
Perhaps they'd mistaken L for another child. It wouldn't be the first time. I once had a primary school report for him where his teacher referred to him as Mary...

Feeling that it probably couldn't get any better, and could perhaps turn to rat shit poo at any moment, L tugged me by the arm and dragged me from the hall. On the way out we bumped into L's Pastoral Care Leader, who proceeded to envelope him in a bear hug and tell me they all loved him, that he was bright and cheerful and polite.

'Bloody Hell," I said, as we walked out of the hall in a daze,'"how on earth did you manage it?'

'Money,' said L, grinning.

The Long-Tailed-Tits are Still Around and ambushing the feeders in ever-increasing Gang Numbers...(OK, so there are Only Three in these pics, but take my word for it, there were thousands earlier today).

And we have Rats In The Garden. To be fair, they've always been there. Show me a countryside garden that doesn't have rats and I'll show you one that's pretending. They are everywhere. I've grown Quite Fond of ours (and before you tell me they carry Wiles disease and other horrors, I know all that, but at present there are only a few of them, we have a big garden in the middle of no-where and they're doing no one any harm).

  If it makes you feel less Ewwwww, here is a lovely picture of our robin. You can't beat a robin in bamboo....

Pops went on her first Walk Down The Lane With Ted this afternoon. She loved it, but was terrified of cars, and then slept soundly for an hour with Ted on his blanket when we got back. Love Them...

And finally, I thought you might like to see what my Writing Area looks like when I'm blogging. So, just for you, here is Chez Countryside Tales Computer Blogging Station (take special note of the almost-empty glass of wine and the biscuit perched within easy reach jauntily on the laptop)

Hope you are all well and enjoying the week. Not long till Crimble now! Is anyone else feeling Utterly Knackered? I have a theory it is because these are the Darkest Days of the year when most sensible things in Nature have Slowed Down, whereas us Foolish Humans keep going at the pace we've lived at all summer. Time to STOP...

CT :-)


  1. Still no LTTs here, can't be cold enough yet.
    My blogging area looks virtually identical. No biscuit, but my glass has more in it!

    1. Hope they turn up soon for you- I guess it would be warmer further West?

  2. Love seeing the cute little robins of the U.K. ( always have adored them and lucky enough to have lived there and met them in person) , the robins in the U.S. are huge in comparison.
    Oh yes I have been tuckered out lately, actually I had an afternoon nap today !

    1. It always surprises me when you see species you're familiar with looking different in another country. Glad you enjoyed the pic- there will be many more as I love Robins!

      PS- tuckered is a great word and one I think I shall adopt :-)

  3. Well done to L! My computer area is usually a cuppa and a few biscuits, a hair clip and my glasses. Ratty is rather lovely I have to say, and I like you would not be alarmed at having one or two in the garden. I can remember rats all around us growing up in the city, we often saw them when out playing. They knocked a factory down near our house and the rats came out of everywhere-we even got a few in the house. Although this sounds terrible my parents were quite calm, no-one screamed or was frightened. Amazingly the cat and dog worked like a perfect hunting team and caught and dispatched them very quickly-job done!
    I book all my hair appt in advance, every 6 weeks-could not bear to go any longer as it starts to look fizzy and wild.
    Yes I'm quite knackered too-did not help that I had a minor operation on Saturday, so am supposed to rest and not exercise-two things I'm not good at.

    1. Hope you are OK after the op and managing to take it easy. I'm the same about resting- find it very hard. My usual compromise is to have a quieter day at home but I almost never stop and rest completely unless I'm too ill to get up! x

    2. ps- did you see Brixham on the foodie prog last night? Heston B was there cooking all his weird stuff!!

    3. We recorded it, so will probably watch it tonight.

  4. Great to hear L is doing so well at school and that you have so many LTTs, we have a few here, too - a good sign for them.
    I like your theory about midwinter. It does make sense that our energy levels are less and so we should be doing less. So this must be why - at a now-frantic time of the year - we're often exhausted and stressed. No doubt our ancestors had more sense. They probably all huddled around the fire, kept warm and waited for a change of season - like other creatures.

    1. I'm really proud of him. It's always lovely to hear good things from other people about your offspring.

      I'm a huge believer in following nature and am making a conscious effort to slow down a bit and pace myself- it seems to be working!

  5. Love the Long-tailed tit photos - we have a flock that visit the garden each day but only occasionally come to the feeders.

    I wouldn't dare show you a photo of my computer desk - its piled high with books, magazines, files, folders etc. etc. - can only just see the screen :) Though glass of wine often around in the evenings :)

    I never go to the hairdressers these days - got so fed up with them refusing to cut it the way I wanted so OH trims it these days and it saves loads of money :)

    Glad to hear L is doing so well at school :) Thank goodness mine left school several years ago - your great post reminded me of the worst parts of parents' evening especially all that perishing queueing and parents in front of you constantly over-running their slot :(

    1. I got really close to one LTT this afternoon- he didn't realise I was there and very nearly landed on me!

      You are a brave woman to let hubby near you with a pair of scissors- M often offers but I always say no, fearing the outcome if I let him :-)

      I suspect parent's evening over-running etc is a theme that has always and will always be. Worth the wait to hear the praise this time though :-)

  6. Congratulations to L! Love your nearly empty wine glass and the Long Tailed Tits are gorgeous....not as gorgeous as a certain puppy though.

    1. Thanks Em. It came as quite a surprise because homework is always a hideous battle and I just assumed that extended all the way to school. Quite a significant relief to discover that it doesn't! X

  7. Aahhhh, Parents' Evening! I have sat both sides of the desk on this one and I know which I prefer! I had a colleague once who used an old-fashioned desk bell to time her appointments. Every five minutes precisely you would hear it go 'DING!' and she would stand up, proffer a handshake and say, 'Lovely to meet you, but my next appointment is waiting!' A bit extreme, maybe, but she always got away on time unlike us other fools who were still sitting in a cold hall at 10 p.m!!

    And I am all for starting a Hibernation Campaign. All this getting up in the dark malarkey - ridiculous...


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them. CT.