Sunday, 20 September 2009

Another brick in the wall

I went and had my hair cut yesterday. Well, it had been four months since the last time. I suppose I am fortunate having hair that doesn't actually need much doing to it, but it does need cutting every so often or I start to look like one of those old statues of Poseiden, all curling tendrils and seaweedy ringlets.

The girl who washed my hair was charming, chatty and friendly, asking me about my plans for the rest of the day, and what I did for a living. So I told her. There was a long pause, then she said "Oooh, I bet you have to read a lot for that, don't you?" Yes, I told her, I do have to read a lot. "And you need to be able to remember things, as well?" Yes, indeed. Remembering things is top of my list of tasks, most days.

I might insist it becomes one of my objectives for next year: Remembering Things. Coming up with some performance measures will be fun. It'll be like a magic show. "So, what was the number I first thought of? Yes! Correct. You have attained your objective, well done."

Anyhoo. She was telling me about a book she'd read, all about some high-powered career woman who loses her memory* and has to rebuild her life. She told me she'd bought the book at the airport on her way to her holiday, as her friend told her she had brought a book to read "and I couldn't just sit on the beach while she was reading, could I?"

She then told me it was the first book she'd ever read all the way through. I was honestly stunned to silence.

I guess she was in her early 20s. How on Earth do you get all the way through the education system, whether you get any qualifications or not, without ever reading a fucking book all the way through?

When I recovered my equilibrium, I asked her if she was planning on reading any more books by the same author as she'd enjoyed that one. She said she might, but the other book she knew about was the one that the film Shopaholic was based on. There was no point reading that, as she already knew what was going to happen.


Other news: I went to the music shop to buy some new strings for my gorgeous Rickenbacker.

Me: Can I have some steel strings for a 12-string please?

Music shop flunky: Um. Let me ask a colleage.

(Conference out of earshot, worried glances in my direction.)

Music shop flunky: Here you are. (Handing me the packet nervously) These are the only 12-string strings we have. Fifteen pounds please.

Me: O-kay. Thank you. Bye!

(Time passes, I wander Salisbury in the hot sun, look at jewellery and don't buy any, go to a few shoe shops but see nothing I like, fight my way through the market looking for cheap fruit to make jam but am thwarted by huge crowds of chavs and nutters, so decide to head back to the car. En route I look again at the guitar string packet.)

Me: (to myself in the street) Fuck it, these are for an acoustic.

(Back to the music shop, where I explain to the crowd of flunkies that in fact I needed electric strings, not acoustic. Sorry, didn't specify at the time, etcetera etcetera etcetera. More nervous conferences by the staff.)

Music shop flunky: We only have those strings. They'll be alright though.

Me: No, they are for an acoustic guitar, mine is electric.

Music shop flunky: (as senior colleague appears in the manner of the shopkeeper from Mr Benn) But they'll be alright.

Me: No, I don't think they will. If you can give me my money back, I'll try somewhere else. (waving the receipt at them)

Senior colleague: What's the problem? (Problem is explained to him) Oh! I can sell you a set of normal strings - you can just double them up!

Me: No, I'd rather get a new set of 12-strings thanks.

Senior colleague (getting more enthusiastic) But I can sell you a single string! Which one is broken?

Me: The B, but I don't want a single string, I could just use one of the spares I have at home if I was going to do that.

Senior colleague: And this is an electric 12-string? Really? They are very rare, are you sure?

Me: (with a touch of exasperation now) Yes. It's electric. It's a Rickenbacker 620/12. I'll find somewhere that sells the right strings, thanks anyway.

(Exit stage left, in a glow of smug fine guitar ownership pride, with my money back.)

They really wanted to make that sale. Must have been a quiet day.

I am waiting for Mr WithaY to return from a diving trip off the Dorset coast. He has suggested that he might be bringing scallops. Mmmmm hand-dived scallops. And if he does, we shall eat like fat greedy kings.

I made a rather splendid curry the other night. You had to put an onion, loads of garlic, tomato puree (although I used tinned tomatoes it as we had no puree), turmeric, chilli, loads of cashew nuts and garam masala in the blender, whizzed it all up, fried it in oil till it made a thick sauce, added diced chicken and cooked till the meat was done. Bloody lovely.

Also, I made fudge. It's very nice, thanks for asking.

*I can't remember what it was called or who it was by, which is rather ironic.


Mr London Street said...

Your day sounds lovely. I am off to Dorset next weekend though I have more chance of becoming a scallop than I do of diving for one.

@eloh said...

I too have been in amazement at how people get a diploma never having read a book (any book).

I hate explaining things to people that are being PAID to know what I'm talking about.

Now I want fudge...badly.

livesbythewoods said...

MLS, give us a wave as you go by. I'd pay money to see a picture of you as a scallop. I feel a whole new category for the virtual Village Fete next year.

Eloh, it is astounding. And the fudge is still lovely.