Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The Lost Art of Back-Combing

Life is starting to get busy, which is a good thing, though my mind is not used to being quite so occupied and is begging for its own time again. Yeah, yeah, I hear ya.

Once again, I missed Shabbat, but this time rather than being wasted on drugs, it was in pursuit of pure blast-from-the-past fun. On Saturday morning I caught the train back up to Newcastle, looking forward to celebrating my Longest-Best-Friend's (LBF) 40th Birthday, in pure 80's style.

Although, isn't the phrase 'pure 80's style' a contradiction of terms?

I don't care. I was ready. I bought the super-skinny fit jeans, the "Choose Life" t-shirt with day-glo pink letters, the vibrant pink leg-warmers and sweatbands. I was almost set. Except for the hair.

I pondered the options. My fringe was too long for a purdy cut (circa 1981, with a fringe that with enough hairspray could be lifted free from my forehead like a bird's wing) and it was entirely the wrong shape for a mullet (circa 1983, all photographic evidence recently destroyed). The fringe was too short for a New Romantics "I can't see where I am going" flop and I ran out of time to find a wig.

I was still none the wiser when the train pulled in to Newcastle station. And then my LBF arrived in the car fresh from the hairdressers and the answer was clear - a can of hairspray and a comb.

It's amazing what you can do with a can of hairspray and a comb. I didn't realise my hair could ever get so big - I hadn't back-combed for years. It was a moment to remember as my usually lifeless hair grew in to a style of Banarama proportions.

My LBF had hired a DJ for the night and he played nothing but songs from the 80's. Every time I tried to leave the dance floor, another song would begin, to the cries of "Oh My God! This is a Classic! I'd forgotten all about this!" I danced for 5 hours. The hair survived, losing maybe an inch in height by the time this photo was taken: (that's me in the middle, LBF on the right, LBF's husband on the left dressed as Vivian from the Young Ones)

I wish I had taken more photos, but what's a party girl to do, but dance? Siouxsie Sioux made an appearance, Adam Ant showed up, Limahl from Kajagoogoo, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Kevin Keegan, Del Boy and Morrisey... even the Green Cross Code Man (although I was sure that he was from the seventies - but who cares - the outfit was hysterical). There were shell suits and shoulder pads, plastic beads and legwarmers as far as the eye could see. And most importantly, LBF had a fantastic evening.

Back in the "real world" I had the strangest meeting with my teacher yesterday. After 2 months of depression, facing fears, major realisations, trips in to space, energy pouring out of my spine, I went in to yesterday's meeting not knowing quite what to expect.

He asked me for an update on moving. I told him. He asked me for an update on work. I told him. Then he said: "So, anything else you want to talk about? Anything else on your mind?"
Me: "Errrrmmmm (surely there must be something bugging me?) .... No, I don't think so?"
Teacher: "You sure? Because if not we can study something. Nothing? Nothing that you want to ask?"
Me: "Errrmmm, noooo, not really. I can make something up if it helps?"
Teacher: "No, I don't think we need to go there". He laughed, and went to fetch the Days of Power.

So there is a part of me that is a little bewildered - a little shell-shocked, perhaps, at not really knowing where I am. The past few months came out of the blue and took my legs away, took me to a place that I couldn't control. And now I feel like moving forwards again, ready to start making progress, but I feel as though I am tiptoeing away from a Dragon's Lair, wondering if I have killed the beast or whether it is just sleeping. As if at some point soon I might once again feel its breath on the back of my neck and feel the horror of going under once more.

Well, I can't hang around this cave all day, waiting for him to stir. Dragons are far more likely to wake up if you stare at them. Out in to the wilderness I go, comb and spray at the ready...


  1. the fat that "photographic evidence recently destroyed" is a bit saddening
    but ok

    the question of whether you've slain the beast or if he is simply sleeping is a very good one
    it articulates a fear i think all of us live with at one point or another (or many points for that matter).

    well done

    you look great, by the way

  2. Yes KR you look absolutely brill. The 80s 'style' obviously suits you - ha ha!!

    As for that dragon - nickname him Fiery Ferguson and make him your invisible 'friend'. He's there to help you face challenges - not pull you under. Once you meet him head on (if he ever does awake from his slumber...and no, please don't feel the need to test your 'staring him awake' theory, just let him be) and accept him as the light in disguise - you can just climb on his back and go for a ride. I am sure the rides will then just get shorter and shorter.


  3. jst: Believe me - the mullet haircut is best left in memory only :o) It's good to know that it isn't just me dealing with dragons. What heartens me is that there is always a Knight around when you need one, somewhere.
    And thanks for the compliment too.

    Nicola: Sadly I think the 80's 'style' suits me more now than it did then!

    Fiery Ferguson - what an excellent nickname. FF for short. Or FFF if the ride is too abrupt! x x

  4. Great photo and I think Nicola's on to something about Fiery Ferguson...

  5. e: Thanks! The photo is a great reflection of the fun of the evening. Nicola is definitely on to something with Fiery Ferguson. He's still sleeping like a baby at the moment.