Monday, July 28, 2008

A close encounter with one from The Upper Classes

I know I have talked about the man who cuts my hair before. I have known Nick now for well over half my life. He works in his back bedroom in a street of terraced houses once built for the workers in the shoe factories which once upon a time were at the end of every street in Northampton. He is a very talented hair dresser (in my opinion anyway ) and in spite of the distinctly unglamorous setting in which he chooses to work, he has a huge range of clients, not all of them related to me – although at least fourteen of them are.

His dad is ill at the moment. Every time I ask after his dad he replies “He’s still alive – unfortunately.” The story reproduced below from August 2005 one part of that family history but remaining focused on the more recent past I was at Nick’s on Saturday afternoon. Waiting for her turn was a posh type of woman. Example of conversation from this woman: When Nick asked her if her kids had broken up yet she replied “Oh, they broke up weeks ago (which means they are at private schools). That was why we could go on holiday before the riff raff (ie – the likes of me with my kids at state school).” And she really did use the term ‘riff-raff’ without any hint that she was trying to be funny.

So it transpired that she was having her hair done as she was going to a polo match the following day. I had never met anyone before who goes to polo matches. Nick asked her what she was going to wear. She explained the dress code was ‘smart casual’ which she had translated as meaning she would be turning out in a Betty Jackson dress and Miu Miu shoes. I have just done some price checks and discovered that a Betty Jackson dress would cost in the region of £350 and the shoes something like £250. Smart casual indeed. I have no way of knowing what her vintage handbag with real ostrich feathers which she described to us in great detail would have cost.

As I sat listening to this I thought about what I was wearing ( shorts M&S - £15, vest top Gap - £3.99) and wondered at the fact that I share the same hairdresser as this creature from another dimension. This morning I am gaining some satisfaction from realising that no matter how expensively dressed she was, or indeed how good her hair looked , it is highly unlikely anyone looked twice at her when the competition included Kelly Brook (complete with legs), and the incredibly beautiful Emma Watson. Does that make me a really horrible mean minded person I wonder?

The old Nick and his dad story….

This morning I went to have my hair cut. Nick cuts my hair. He is the most brilliant wonderful person. He works in the back bedroom of his house. Occasionally – but only if Nick is ill - I go to posh salons to have my hair cut. It is never the same. For one thing it is always much more expensive, for another, Nick never asks me where I am going for my holidays, whereas other hairdressers always pretend to be interested in that subject, and for another, you never get your hairdresser's dad bursting in to the house, with his dog called Kylie in tow, and starting to sob because his 'lodger' had left him.

Nick's dad was married to Nick's mum, but sadly Nick's mum died a few years ago. Nick looked after his dad when this happened. Nick did wonder if his dad just might be gay when he called his dog Kylie, but at the time put that down to mental illness. Then Nick's dad took in the male 'lodger', AGED 19! He met this 'lodger' in a shop where the 'lodger' was working, and the shop was called (oh Thank You God for this bit!) 'It's A Gift'. And he was so besotted he only went and changed his will in favour of this 'lodger', and against poor Nick! So the good news is that it looks like the will will be altered again, but the bad news is that Nick's dad was very upset, and the worse news is, I had to pretend I could wait another week for a hair cut, because one can only intrude to a certain degree on private grief, and I felt the need to get the hell out of there!


Jay said...

Wow - talk about a blog post full of a mix of hilarity and pathos! I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

I take it Nick hasn't forgiven his Dad yet? Is he saying his Dad is still alive 'unfortunately' because he is mad at him, or because his suffering is too great? My, this is like a soap opera! So, does Nick's Dad have another lodger? Is the will still in Nick's favour? Where DID you go on your holidays??

And more importantly, does Nick do home visits to the East Midlands? I need a new hairdresser!!!

Seems I'm settling for laughter. LOL!

Oh, and no, I don't think you're a horrible person. I think the 'upper class' person was horrible for being so insensitive.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Who is that dolly bird in the photo? Whooah! Lucky Reidski!

J.J said...

Oh Jay - well first thing is that I think Nick basically hopes his dad dies soon as he get son Nick's nerves! Awful but probably true.

There have been no more 'lodgers' - thankfully.

Will is still in Nick's favour.

And Nick is well worth travelling to - people come from all over the country to him - and he really is cheap as well as bloody brilliant at doing hair.

And you are right about that woman. That type don't do 'sensitive'.

YP - I actually logged on with the intention of getting rid of that photo of me squinting at the camera. Now I don't know what to do!!

Gill said...

A good hairdresser is above the price of rubies- you can tell Nick that. Mine is having time off to have a baby, how could she? She should just squat down amongst the hair clippings, give birth and get back with the scissors. Mind you it's never as interesting as Nick's place in her salon.

Nobody uses the word riff raff- the woman was obviously a spy, report her to the home office at once.

ps the pic looks fine to me!

Karen said...

I always imagined you with shoulder length hair for some reason... but that style really suits you!

Jay said...

Well, I dont' blame Nick one bit. Sounds as if he's not awfully close to his Dad, and with good reason. Sadly Northampton is a tad far to travel, but my hair does desperately need attention. *Sigh*

Moo said...

Love the hair sweetie...I'll be up in Market Harborough at the beginning of Sept so I'll will be in need of a hair cut and also a drink with you and Reidski will be in order too x

marc said...

'Lodger' -- new pc euphemism? Love it!!

Great stuff -- keep the Nick bits coming.

J.J said...

Gill - bloody selfish of your hair dresser I must say. I feel your pain.

Karen - I always wanted long locks. Unfortunately I look bloody awful with long hair.

Jay - keep him in mind if you are ever passing our way!

Moo - thanks darling,and make sure you let us know when you are up this way.

Marc - plenty more where that came from!

Arthur Clewley said...

that Rushdie's an old dog. i must get around to writing that award winning novel about indian independance I've been putting off