Officially Christmas Now. 13th December

Sovereign Wharf to Tramway


A window of opportunity opened that we could fill at Tooleys this morning. We were told to be there at 10am, we managed to only be a few minutes late, we live at 3mph so our few minutes was guaranteed to be stretched out longer by the boat yard before they started work. A chance to finish the breakfast cuppa before I could get out the back of Oleanna, where we’d moored was across the entrance to the dry dock so the stern was the best option to reach dry land. I headed off into town leaving Mick to wait and watch.

Another look around the charity shops for Tilly’s Christmas present came up trumps this time and some extra lights were bought for the Christmas tree. Our now three year old tree quite liked this summer and has grown somewhat, so I’ve treated it to some more decorations. A few bits and bobs and my festive shopping was complete. With at least another hour for Oleanna at the boatyard I could get Christmas properly started and get my hair cut.

Banbury is full of barbers and hairdressers and I’ve spent quite a bit of time deciding on which one would receive my money and half my hair. Only having my hair cut once a year means I can afford to spend a bit more on getting it cut, but some of the prices in this town! Blimey!!! Giselle in Scarborough charges me a fraction of any of the prices I found here, but to reach her it would be a big rail fare. So it was The Cutting Bar for me in Castle Quays.

I actually hate having my hair cut, I’m not a normal woman. Giselle has cut my hair for over ten years in Scarborough, so we know quite a bit about each other and last years hair cut took a very long time as we were too busy nattering away catching up on two years worth of events. I’d rather not have to talk inanely about subjects I now have less interest in than I did when I lived on land and all I want is my hair washing then a cut that will last me at least six months with an option of extending that period to a year, a straight line and none of the spray or faffing that turn you into a lion with a rigid mane.

It started well, ‘a wash and cut please’. I had a choice of lady to do the job, Fatima would be fine. My hair had a very thorough wash then I was escorted to a seat. One lady was being finished next to me and during my haircut another three were seen on the other side for a spraydown haircut. A check on length I wanted my straight line cutting and Fatima was off. Lengths of my hair were pinned up, combed, snipped this way and that, a straight line involved an awful lot of different directions! I sat and watched thankful that I hadn’t chosen the stylist next door, I haven’t watched I’m a Celebrity for years and she most certainly wouldn’t have been able to persuade me to have my grey hair blended in.

A years worth

Eventually all the snipping finished, marvellous I was done. That is when Fatma spoke for the first time, ‘A little drying’,more a statement than a question. ‘No thanks’, ‘But it’s cold outside’, she was right there. Okay just a little drying, I knew this would cost me extra, but just to get the damp off would be a good idea. But my idea of a little dry certainly wasn’t Fatimas! Oh well, you never know I might really like the outcome and rush off to buy a travel hairdryer to try to recreate the bouffant she was creating. This went on for ages, I was committed now and saying in my head ‘just because you’ve always done things one way doesn’t mean there isn’t another way to do them.’

She walked away, came back and before I knew it there was a spray above my head. Hairspray!!! That was one step too far!

A bit more faffing, an offer of more spray which was very quickly refused and I was set free from her hair dressers cape. As I stood I tried to tuck my hair behind my ear, bad move. All that blow drying had made what little of my hair that wasn’t rigid very very static! I paid, the full price, there went her tip.

Around the corner I caught a glimpse in a shop window, my hair had started to fight back. My parting wanting to show itself was cracking through the hairspray, my follicles now wanting to lie flat in the right direction, strands of hair heading for the ceiling like a  balloon that had just been rubbed on a jumper. I now knew that this wouldn’t be my new look and as soon as I reached the boat a damp brush would be put through it, bouffant would be flattened, parting reinstated. All I would have lost was half an hour of my life and a fiver I didn’t want to spend in the first place. My fleecy hat went on top to try to contain my new look.

Stuff and thingsJobs to be done at Tooley'sBack at Oleanna the engine was running and Matt was still in the engine bay. A last bit of tidying and topping up was happening. It was still going to be a little while before I could get inside, it was cold so I took refuge inside the chandlers. Two cable ties and half an hour later the engine board was laid back down and Mick went inside to check we were getting hot water. We were and I was about to use some on my hair.

All done and paid we decided to move down to the Tramway before having lunch. We’d leave filling with water until tomorrow as there were already two boats at the services. By the time we’d eaten lunch and then popped over to Morrisons for the things we’d not added to our food order (as we thought we’d be in Banbury til Saturday) it was getting too late to move very far, so we stayed put. I had a shower to rinse off any remaining hairspray and applied a lot of conditioner to try to counter act the static. Thank goodness it worked. I can now declare that it is officially Christmas.

2000 hours

1 lock, 0.86 miles, 1 lift bridge, 15 litres antifreeze, 15 litres water, 1 filter, 1 thing of grease, 1 Tilly present, 3 secret things, 6 inches less, 1 straight line, 20 minutes drying! 1 squirt too many, 0 tip, 1 flattening down, 1 wash, 1 short haired Pip, 1 lesson learnt for next year, 2000 engine hours, 2 pizzas to celebrate.

4 thoughts on “Officially Christmas Now. 13th December

  1. nb Chuffed

    You're quite normal to me, Pip! I have trained my hairdresser Des, wet cut and rough dry and don't pouffe it up!!! no spray!!! I'm sure it grieves him, but at least he doesn't suggest colouring or similar rubbish. I let him get away with wax, or it may be gel, I've no idea – I can say I like it without my nose elongating! I have bought some Dreamies for my son's cat – thanks Tilly or I would never have heard of them!Have a lovely Christmas, and I hope there is some turkey reserved for TillyDebbyPS have you thought of offering an article to Canal Boat? You don't see haircuts written about much do you? 🙂

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