Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Zoom, zoom, zoom

Deafinitely Girly did something quite different yesterday and went on a motorbike.

Now, being a mini driver originally and now in another four-wheeled friend, I have never been overly enthusiastic with the idea of getting on the back of a bike, despite all best efforts to persuade me over the years. But what do you know…

I loved it!

It was quite the most unique experience that it’s almost hard to describe, I simultaneously found myself grinning and wanting to kick myself for leaving it so long.

And it’s got me thinking about other things that I assume I won’t like but haven’t tried – even deaf-related things. OK there are some things that I know won’t be fun – such as a Shakespeare play without subtitles or an hour long phone call with a mad jibber-jabbering person…

But I reckon there’s got to be a whole lot more fun stuff out there that I’ve got to give a go.

It even got me thinking about getting a bike of my own. Just imagine Deafinitely Girly zooming by on a pink Vespa. I got lost in the daydream for while until I was informed that apparently a Vespa isn’t a proper bike and I’m not sure I’m quite ready for something with an engine bigger than my car!

As a passenger though, on the bike with an engine bigger than my car’s, I loved that I didn’t feel isolated, because I didn’t have to hear. There was no straining to lip read that you get in the car, no trying to hear from the back seat and feeling left out – all I had to listen to was the growl of the engine – and a very nice growl it was, too.

I hope I get to do it again some time…

Monday, 30 March 2009

Spring forward...

Fall back!

I love that expression, and it’s the mantra that stopped me being early or late once a year for my Sunday job as a ski technician when I was at school.

I also love that when the clocks go forward and back we are offered a consolation each time. Sure, in March we lose an hour but what we get is lighter evenings, more time to sip gin and tonic by the river and warmer weather.

And in October, sure it gets darker, but that extra hour we get in bed deafinitely makes up for that. Maybe it's just me but for the week after I feel like I am having a permanent lie in!

Anyway, Deafinitely Girly is almost on the mend and not quite as Lemsip reliant as she was. I am, however, in danger of being the woman on the bus who goes cough, cough, cough and my head, to be gruesomely honest, is a quite phlegm-filled. And, as a result my hearing is totally, completely and utterly stuffed up.

Everything is muffled much more than usual! Take yesterday when I was in the car with Ex Housemate and Ex Housemate's Boyfriend – he had Radio 2 on and in order to hear anything, even though I was reassured the volume was quite loud, I had to hold my head against the speaker, which as it was by the side pocket of the door, was not conducive to travelling in comfort.

I travelled in silence instead, occasionally breaking into the BBC Radio 2 jingle as if listening to my own pretend radio.

I have to say I am looking forward to this hearing fog clearing. I miss hearing the bits I normally hear and am upset that they have joined the things I normally miss.

If my hearing is back by Friday, I guess I'll know what to be thankful for!

Friday, 27 March 2009

in sickness and in health

Today I am most definitely the former... So it is not a Thankful Friday. I think that the woman on the bus going cough, cough, cough may have given me her germs... Either that or it was Snowboarding Boy, who has been poorly himself recently.

I hate feeling ill, mostly because I am never usually ill. Last year, I got 100% attendance at work...

This year after today, I won't.

But what I have discovered is the wonders of Lemsip! This wonderful potion can have you feeling almost human again for a four-hour window, before it's time to have another! It's a magical remedy.

However, in my sickly brain fuzz, I've compeletly forgotten what today's post was meant to be about.

Guess you'll have to wait until Monday.

DG x

Thursday, 26 March 2009

The woman on the bus goes cough, cough, cough

Sometimes, I am just not deaf enough

*Haha, ahem, sorry, just typed dead, which actually isn't that funny either…

Anyway, where was I, ah yes, not being deaf enough...

And here's why:

Last night I picked the last seat left on the bus and sat down. Everywhere I looked there were tired workers, eager to get home for a spot of TV and a glass of wine.

Then

Cough, cough, cough

The woman behind me clearly wasn't well.

Wheeze, cough, wheeze, choke, sneeze

Seriously, I kid you not, she sounded to me like she was at death’s door. My actually hair moved in breeze caused by it all, and at that point I started to feel glad I'd had my TB jab.

And so she continued and her coughing was really all I could hear – it was a low throaty cough and low frequencies are all I really have left.

Now, I know it wasn't her fault or anything, and to the other people on the bus there was probably a whole other host of squeaks, chatter, creaks and mobile phone tones to add to her choking to death, but to me, that's all there was and it was driving me insane.

But it got me thinking about all the noise I make that I don't hear. Does it drive other people insane? I remember one time at school being told off for clicking the top of my pen repetitively. Apparently it made quite a din and my teacher was close to breaking point.

I also didn't know sweet packets made a rustling sound... cue lots of dirty looks at the theatre. And, when I was much younger and in a music lesson at school, I once spent a full 10 minutes hitting a triangle as I liked the vibration that travelled through my fingers, completely unaware of the noise I was making. I thought my music teacher might actually explode with rage.

Now I am older and wiser, I am better at judging what might make noise but I still wonder, do the keys of my mobile phone make noise as I tap away?

My flute is the weirdest thing in this category of noise I make but cannot hear. Over half of it simply disappears into thin air and yet, other people can hear it clear as a bell. In a flute lesson not long ago, I was getting frustrated as my teacher told me I wasn't getting the high notes on a certain scale – they were coming out as a lower fuzzy harmonic apparently.

But being the most amazingly switched-on guy, he then gave me a tip – to visualise the sound, to see it in my head and then it would come – along with the right diaphragm tension of course. But it worked and I started to get the notes and really feel the music in my head more – it was inside my ears already so it didn’t matter that I couldn’t hear it.

And, do you know what? You can do it with anything. So as I write this, I am imagining in my head the tap tapping of the keyboard, the din of phones ringing in my office and the higher notes of the music playing on the radio. And when I have had enough and need some peace and quiet, I will imagine it all away!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Hello…

This morning I walked to work.

After a pizza with Clever Katie last night, a meal with Snowboarding Boy the night before combined with the closure of my gym, I thought I’d better do something.

It’s 4.7 miles apparently and a lovely walk through the richer parts of London. There were children skipping down the road wearing blazers and berets and all the other trappings that private schools demand. There were windows to peek in – basement kitchens filled the hubbub of morning routines, people making mad dashes for the bus and little dogs in Burberry dog coats being walked by their Burberry-clad owners!

But that wasn’t the weirdest thing…

Nope, that was the fact that people kept saying hello to me. Blokes mainly. It was most odd. I was wearing my gym gear, had my hair scraped back and was being rained on but yet these guys all said hello.

Originally, I thought I’d misheard the first one – he said morning and then turned to look back as I strode past in Rosemary Conley power-walking mode. The second time it happened I actually stopped to check my reflection in the window to see if there was something up – was my top tucked in wrong? Had I forgotten to rub in my concealer? Was my hair particularly eye catching?

But it was none of the above…

I kind of wished I had hearing so I could have heard the comments that went with the hellos and the mornings because as it was I just had to stride on pretending not to hear them – oh the irony.

It was a nice ego-boosting experience but it never happens when I make an effort to look nice. Perhaps I’ll stick to my gym kit from now on!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Writers Block

Help!

Deafinitely Girly has writer’s block! It’s come out of nowhere and hit my creative juices like a juggernaut on an ice rink and, in short, I am struggling.

Anyway, this got me wondering about the expression ‘writer’s block’ and where it came from.

And so, I whacked it into the every-trusty Google and this is what came up courtesy of Wikipedia:

‘Writer's block is a phenomenon involving temporary loss of ability to begin or continue writing, usually due to lack of inspiration or creativity.’

Hardly a groundbreaking definition but then I read on and discovered that writer's block can be closely related to depression and anxiety…

*DG sits for a moment thinking, but doesn’t feel either

Then, reading on some more, I found another interpretation of writer's block, mentioned in the book Silences, by Tillie Olsen. She apparently argues that historically many women and working-class writers have been unable to devote themselves to, or concentrate on, their writing because their social and economic circumstances prevent them from doing so.

*DG checks her FB friend list and internet banking and finds she’s quite satisfied with her social and economic circumstances

And here’s a third interpretation from author Justina Headley who says that for her, writer’s block comes from losing touch with the characters about whom she is writing; and that by discovering who they are again, the block disintegrates.

*DG wonders if it’s possible to lose touch with herself and pinches herself for good measure so see if her touch is lost

While I can see the merits of all these interpretations, I think today I will blame my writer’s block on the fact that I actually don’t have anything deaf-related to moan about, nor do I have a humorous tale of a child licking a bus window, or Araminta’s next bus/holiday installment to tell you about.

But what I do have is a secret or two.

I wonder if they can cause writer’s block…

Monday, 23 March 2009

The wheels on the bus…

Today's blog is being written from a train, a Virgin train to be precise, and it is running 20 minutes late. As a result, there were a lot of passengers on the platform when I arrived who were, like me, planning on getting the train after this one, but as this one is quicker and direct, decided to surge forward and squeeze into the 5 economy carriages at the back.

The front four carriages were 1st class and all of them were completely empty. This meant that we were all squished in like sardines while half the train was peopleless – MR BRANSON, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

It’s clear that when a train ticket costs more than a monthly mortgage payment – which on The Rents’ line it does, people are not going to spend any more than they have to, so why doesn’t some sort of passenger research give Virgin Trains a clue that half the space on their train is wasted.

I think it’s insane,

Anyway, something usual happened this morning – I eavesdropped!

*DG pauses at the enormity of this…

It came as quite a surprise, not least because of what I heard. When I finally made it on the train, I somehow was lucky to see a seat near the door. In the aisle seat was a man and next to him, my seat. I asked politely if I could sit there and instead of getting up to let me in, he scowled and shuffled over. He then said to who I can only assume was his wife opposite him something about pikey people getting on at my station and changing the tone, or dare I say, lowering the tone of the train. Wow, what a nice man!

Anyway, my weekend was jet-settingly action packed. The Rents and I flew to Clogland on Saturday to visit Big Bro. Apparently that morning Mini Clog had announced to Big Bro, ‘Aunty is coming and she's bringing buttons!’

And being Cadbury's buttons I did. Take two as I had eaten the first lot in a fit of Lent rebelliousness!

*blush

He was very happy with his stash, which should last him a very long time as he only gets them as a special treat.

And what of Micro Clog? Well, he is quite fantastically cute and was extremely quiet and sleepy when we were there. I gave him a cuddle and he opened one eye at me as if to say, yup, you'll do for the time being, and then dozed off again.

He only stirred once or twice during the 50 renditions of The Wheels On The Bus that Mini Clog and I performed.

And now I’ve got it in my head I shall probably be humming it all day. Altogether now – The Wheels on the bus go round and round…

Friday, 20 March 2009

Clogland here I come…

Thankful Friday is upon us once again! Today I am most deafinitely thankful for the AMAZING weather… the sky is so blue that even Wise Friend should have no complaints – he’s a blue sky connoisseur you know… one cloud and it’s not nice weather!

I am also thankful for a chance meeting I had with a toddler on my bus home last night – she made me laugh so much I nearly fell off my seat – she actually did fall off hers.

So there I was, sat there, minding my own business when all of a sudden this little face popped up from the seat in front of me, bunches bobbing and the biggest grin you’ve ever seen! ‘Hello!’ she shouted at me and waved too, for good measure.

‘Hello,’ I said back. She then, for the rest of my 40-minute journey proceeded to talk to me, at me, lick the window, play peekaboo, and tell me she’d had chicken and coooouscoooous for lunch. She held court over the entire bus and told me she had only had one finger – she had 10 but don’t think she had quite got to grips with counting yet.

She also knew just how to embarrass her mum, shrieking at the top of her voice about her last toilet break and various other things that I couldn’t hear – thankfully judging by the blushes of my fellow passengers.

When she got off, several stops before me, saying goodbye to everybody individually and waving too, the bus got a little bit duller and a whole lot quieter!

It reminded me how happy I am that I am off to see The Clogs tomorrow – I will be able to meet Micro Clog for the first time and see how much Mini Clog has grown. I will wear a wafting outfit, smell of violets and make sure my cheeks are suitably covered with rouge, and then I will smother them with kisses.

I will never be a sensible aunt…

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Spring in my step

Good morning! The sky is blue, the sun is shining! Three cheers for that I say. This morning on my way to work, I was struck by how alive everything is right now. At one bus stop I came face to face with the most beautiful blossom that I actually took a picture of it on my phone.

I love spring as a season. It's often warmer than the English summer and my favourite flower, the daffodil, is available in abundance.

It's also time for having a clear out – mentally, emotionally and materially – and lately, that's just what I've been doing.

I've taken a big bag of stuff to the charity shop and begun to think about what's really important in my life.

What's great about this is that it provides a new perspective on everything. I have more room in my wardrobe so can see what clothes I have and therefore am wearing things I haven't worn for ages. I've also discovered my recipe books, which were buried under my well-thumbed collection of Katie Fforde and Freya North books, which has given me a new enthusiasm for cooking. Last night Niknak and Country Boy 1 got a taster of exciting things to come! I’ve branched out into brownies – although they still want cupcakes for their wedding.

But even more significantly, I am seeing my deafness is a new light! I have a new enthusiasm for things I struggle with, and just lately I’m less fearful of things. On really dark days, when I’m tired of lipreading, or struggling with something, I often wake up and my deafness is right there, staring me in the face. This morning, I woke up, with my vibrating alarm clock, and greeted my deafness with a smile!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Colourful I love you

Last night I watched Colleen's Real Women, a TV show where Colleen Rooney searches for ordinary girls to go to castings for big brand names.

It's actually quite interesting as very occasionally the brands do veer away from the tall, leggy, and of course skinny, stereotype and plump for someone um, plumper.

Last night a Real Woman did get the job, but she was the skinniest of the lot and the most model like of the three. Now I could get on my soapbox about this but I won’t as I don’t really care about the size zero debate and also because what I really noticed last night while watching the programme was Colleen's accent and how bizarre her lip patterns are.

Now, I pride myself on being able to lipread accents. With the Irish, the lips are almost pulled back into a semi-permanent grin, which affects the vowels – I imagine them to be quite clipped and throaty. With the Scottish accent the lips go the other way, making the vowels rich yet hollow – visually they seem to bounce off the cheeks.

So what of Colleen's accent...

Well if I am honest, it was a bit like trying to lipread someone at the end of a dinner party, when everyone's relaxed and probably warmly drunk on red wine. Seriously, I kept thinking she was going to say, 'I blurry love yur!' at any moment.

I think it's because she's the first Liverpudlian I've spent a long time lipreading that it was so bizarre. The words almost seem to drag her mouth down and it looked like it was an effort to talk. At one point she said the word, ‘girls’ and it lipread to me as yeuch! Go on, try saying ‘girls’ in a Liverpool accent while looking in the mirror, and you’ll see what I mean!

Perhaps the most famous lipreading misunderstanding is ‘colourful’ and ‘I love you’ – but thankfully I have never lipread this one wrong yet. But I think, just to be safe, I’ll wear black on my next date. I mean picture this – Deafinitely Girly meets a guy for a drink wearing a bright pink T-shirt – not unusual for me. He says to me at some point during the date, ‘blah, blah, blah colourful.’

Deafinitely Girly does a runner…

*ponders for a while

Ahhh perhaps this is why I am so perpetually single!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I had a dream

I am writing this post from the bus this morning as it sits in stationary traffic. It's not moving and I have no idea why, but it's bloomin' annoying!

Today is Tuesday. There are four sleeps to go until I meet Micro Clog and five sleeps until I wish my Ma a very happy Ma's Day. And only 1 sleep to go until NikNak and Country Boy come for dinner. Hurrah!

Anyway, last night I had the strangest dream. It started in Japan. I was there with Big Bro, who had his skateboard with him. There, we met Lovely Guy who I hung out with – he also had a skateboard and nice hair. Next thing I know, we're in the Dominican Republic – Big Bro has gone and Lovely Guy is still there, but to complicate matters, there's another guy in the picture – but he's not as lovely.

Anyway, at this point, Ex Boyfriend turns up and tells me to ditch Lovely Guy as he has no prospects and his job is picking up body parts of the battlefields, as there's a civil war raging just across the street from the bar we are sat in. The other guy is apparently a scientist and according to Ex Boyfriend, my perfect man.

And then I woke up!

Now, I could spend the next few minutes deliberating over what the hell that means, but that's not what's actually important.

What's important, is that last night, in my dream, I was not deaf! It was most odd! I could hear Lovely Guy whispering in my ear, the commentary on a video that Ex Boyfriend showed me to try and convince me to break up with Lovely Guy, the conversations of others in a bar I was sat in, Lovely Guy calling me from a distance, and even the civil war that was raging.

But what's even more interesting is I still felt completely lost. Having hearing didn't make me follow life any better! Therefore I can only conclude that thank goodness I have my hearing to blame my ditziness on! If I didn't, I'd have to blame it on my hair colour!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Micro Clog is here!

Deafinitely Girly interrupts her usual broadcast of deaf wisdom this morning to bring you exciting news:

MICRO CLOG FINALLY ARRIVED!!!!!!!

Phew!

He made a speedy entrance into the world after just a 3-hour labour at 12.17am on Saturday 14 March 8lb 8oz. I was watching Comic Relief when I got the text and, as I read it, this film about a woman who had died in childbirth was being shown. It was then I realised how flipping privileged we were that Micro Clog and Maxi Clog were safe and well. So out came my credit card for a donation – apparently my money could save lives – and I like that thought.

Anyway, Big Bro says Micro Clog is absolutely gorgeous and I have seen photographic evidence to confirm this and totally agree. It’s great being a very proud Aunty of two now, and I have a day trip to Clogland with (GrandMa) Ma and (GrandaPa) Pa to visit the Family Clog planned for next Saturday.

Now, on to my weekend and well, I can well and truly confirm that New Neighbours paid me back for the toast-and-tea-up-the-wall and general noise episode from a few weeks ago! They had no less than two parties this weekend – one Friday, one Saturday, and both took place underneath my bedroom.

Now, Deafinitely Girly prides herself at being able to sleep through anything – but this weekend, that was not a possibility. Although I can confirm that they do have the same taste in music in me, so it wasn’t an altogether unpleasant experience.

It was just so loud – me, a deaf person found it too loud! And it wasn’t just the music – there was the endless door slamming and running up and down stairs… not to mention the smell of martini that kept wafting through the letterbox…

On the Friday, I went into the living room for some respite – there’s only so many times you can listen to Womanizer by Britney before you want to throw yourself out of the window headfirst on to the pavement below. There, was New Housemate, lying listlessly on the sofa, also looking like he was about to throw himself out of the window – I don’t think he’s a Britney fan at all!

By Saturday, I had a plan, and plugged my cordless headphones in to my TV – it kind of worked, except it is actually not possible to sleep in them as they’re quite cumbersome – so I kind of had to slump against some pillows like the Elephant man and ride it out.

At 1.30am, the music stopped… I could hardly believe my ears, quite literally – and momentarily wondered if I had gone totally deaf from the violent audio onslaught my ears had been subjected to. But I hadn’t – the party was indeed over.

As I lay in bed, contemplating my new Aunty-of-Two status with only the gentle hum of the traffic outside, I really appreciated that silence is in fact, GOLDEN!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Chocolate tax

Thankful Friday is here again – how on earth did that happen?

Well, today I am thankful for the fantastic evening I had last night with Lovely Freelancer. She’s Deafinitely Girly’s unofficial editor – along with Pa of course – and she comes to the rescue when I make unbelievable stoopid speling mystakes!

Anyway, so yah, we had a fantastic dinner and catch up and chatted about her wedding – the next one on my list I do believe.

She’s worried that I am not going to be able to hear the speeches – what a caring, thoughtful Bridezilla she is! I told her off for worrying about me and told her to get back to worrying about more important things, like drunken guests and inappropriate best man jokes!

I have promised her that I will be on hand to tackle any inappropriate behaviour – although she might have to have a non-deaf person monitoring the conversations as eavesdropping is not something I am particularly skilled at. I suggested that she have a sniper on hand with a stun gun to zap anyone who got out of control. She looked at me like I was insane – once again, a very caring Bridezilla.

If I ever grow up and get married I hope I will be a caring Bridezilla, and not the type who throws a hissy fit because the napkins aren’t folded in the shape of mating swans. Although I do think I may file the sniper idea away, just in case.

This week has been marred by not being able to eat chocolate – I gave it up for Lent you know – and have only failed one, um three times after the temptation of new Toffee Crisp Clusters proved too much. But since then, my resolve has been steely. But then, imagine my horror when I read about plans to put a tax on chocolate – ARE THEY INSANE?

If this happens then there may well be a large proportion of the country who, as a result, actually do go insane. OK, so I know it’s full of calories and that I would happily eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – I so should have been born an Aztec – but the point is, I don’t, so therefore my BMI is spot on and I can get out of bed without the help of the fire brigade – although the thought of a fireman helping me out of bed…

Crikey, my mind is wandering today!

But I am going to hazard a guess and say that I’m pretty sure it’s not just chocolate that is making the nation obese. Factor in all the other junk food available and I reckon chocolate would come out surprisingly well. I mean, it’s the only junk food I eat alarming quantities of, and I have had no crashing headaches since giving it up. Sure I want it – but I want cherries and blueberries with the same regularity, too – and no ones suggesting they are addictive.
(Am sure there's a valid natural and refined sugar-addiction argument that should be addressed here – but I am not going to)

But what I do know is that most humans, when they are told they can’t have something, or something becomes more exclusive, want it more. So taxing chocolate to me, will only have the opposite effect and I will end up spending more money on chocolate than ever before. And if it’s the same throughout the nation then aren’t we going to be plunged further into debt? Surely that can’t be good for Global economy.

Discuss!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Pink drive

This morning, in my sleepy state I unwittingly made a discovery – soluble vitamin C tablets clean tea stains off mugs! I found this bizarre fact out when I popped one into my mug of hot water, instead of the glass of cold water sat right beside it, on arrival at work this morning. It exploded in a shower of hot fizz and threatened to overflow out the mug all over my keyboard. And, on tipping it down the sink, I discovered my mug was shiny white inside – it was like being on a Daz advert.

But enough about that.

Deafinitely Girly went out for dinner with Snowboarding Boy last night and it was lovely to catch up.

I heard all about his latest holiday and my eyes turned green. I miss the snow...

*sniff

Anyway, Snowboarding Boy knows me quite well and is privy to all my computer breakages, tea spillages on keyboard x5, blowing up of CD disc drive etc etc. He was also on hand when my computer hard drive went into meltdown and I lost everything except a Moomins picture I didn't know I had in the first place.

So anyway, as I was saying, he knows I'm a disaster with computers.
Yesterday I was telling him how earlier in the week I'd mislaid a memory card with all my writing on – about 30,000 words in total. I ripped my room apart searching for it and thankfully, two hours later, exhausted and looking at the sheer carnage of all my belongings, I found it, in the first place I should have looked.

'But you had it backed up, right?' he asked me, knowing the answer already.

‘Ummmm,’ was my sheepish reply.
And that was when he gave me my belated Christmas present.

First there was a hard zip case – a good thing for me to own – which when I opened revealed a portable hard drive! Hurrah! But you want to know the best bit? It's pink! Snowboarding Boy did good!

But that's not all! Given my track record of breaking things, this hard drive is called a Tough Drive... It's the Rambo of the hard-drive world, in pink obviously, and the instructions boast that it can fall up to 2 metres onto a flat surface and be OK.

I think that without a doubt going to become the most useful piece of technology I own – or the only piece that I own, as I will probably break everything else!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Hair today, gone tomorrow

This morning on the BBC, amongst the news about the new bout of terrorism in Northern Ireland and a multiple shooting in America, and the subtitles reading as fart instead of far…

Hahahahaha

Ahem, god I am so immature

But that's a whole other story!

…I discovered that Francis Rossi, the guitarist from Status Quo has cut his ponytail off, saying, ‘A few weeks ago it dawned on me that it I looked ridiculous. So I decided to forget clinging to my youth and it was time to grow old gracefully.’*

Not wanting to sound like Janice from Friends here, but

Oh... My... Gahd!

Since when did an ageing rocker's hairdo warrant a slot on Breakfast News?

I guess the thinking behind it was to create a discussion about long hair on men. But it actually got me thinking about long hair on women.

Cast your mind back to when you were at primary school... secondary school even. Can you think of any female teachers, except perhaps your eccentric art one, who had long hair? I can't! Not even the ones who seemed old but were probably younger than I am now.
It seems to me that long hair on adults is something of a current trend. When I look around, I see lots of 20-somethings, a fair few 30-somethings, and even quite a lot of 40-somethings who have long locks.

I have long hair, it falls a good few inches below my shoulders and it would never occur to me to cut it right now. Shakira Shakira has long hair, The Writer has long hair, Fab Friend has long hair, Gym Buddy has long hair – really, the list is endless!

But what worries me is what if I go over the acceptable time limit for long hair? What if I end my days, a batty old lady in a velour bed jacket, 50 cats scattered around my ramshackle house, but still doing a weekly hair mask and getting sun streaks added to my greying bonce?

I mean that scenario is wrong on so many levels, right?

So the endless planner in me is wondering if I should start thinking about styles now... What would suit my, to be frank, quite circular face? A bob? Um, a bit dull maybe. A short gamine crop? Um, only if I am trying to look like Jim from Rosie & Jim. A Pageboy? Hmmm do hairdressers still do them?

Nope, do you know what, I can't think of a suitable style apart from the one I have now. To convince myself this is OK, I've been people watching this morning, to try and glean some info from others. To my left, there is a woman at least a decade older than me, actually she looks a bit like Araminta from last week except she’s meant to be in Malaga.

Anyway, guess what? She's got long hair! In fact I reckon half the women on my bus, old and young have long hair.

When I grow up and become a famous writer, I wonder if I will keep my long hair... I wonder if it will thin out on top and make a ponytail thinner than a pipe cleaner I wonder then if I will make the news when I finally get it cut off!

*Quote from The Press Association

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Brain fuzz

I went to IKEA last night with London Aunt – we achieved a lot and had to sit down and have a rest in the warehouse, aisle 39, section 8. People stared...

and quite frankly, we didn't care.

There's something very weird about that place – I always get really excited about going and then as I trawl around the room views, I gradually get more and more dispirited. By the time I get to the market place my inspiration has gone and I end up putting some napkins and a bowl in my trolley that I never knew I needed. Very occasionally I will toy with the idea of buying a plant... but all my plants tend to die. So I don't.

What I don't understand though is why, at 9.30 at night, there are whole families in IKEA – is it the latest fun night out and I was the last to find out? While queueing for the checkout last night I had to clamber over no less than three squawking hyperactive toddlers while trying not to drop my bowl on their heads – would it be seen to be an accident I wonder?

I then had to contend with an entire family blocking the gangway as they excitedly added ketchup to their hot dogs and claimed their unlimited refills of fizzy pop.

London Aunt and I by this time were starting to lose the plot somewhat so she took me to McDonalds for tea. And it was there it all started to go wrong.

You see, I don't go for Maccie Ds much anymore – all I wanted was a cheeseburger, chips and diet coke. But the guy kept asking me all these questions. Through my IKEA brain fuzz I had absolutely no idea what he was saying and ended up saying pardon more times than I have done in my entire deaf life, which is quite something.

In the end London Aunt stepped in to translate and I finally got my meal...

and felt hungry 10 minutes later...

I know the nutritional answer for why McDonalds never fills you up, but it never ceases to amaze me how you can eat almost your entire calorie intake for one day and still fancy toast 10 minutes after finishing it.

IKEA and McDonalds – two things I don't understand – that look fulfilling from the outside but somehow leaving me feeling shellshocked and empty... respectively.

Hmmm think I'll have a salad for lunch and do some internet shopping.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Le wedding

Gosh, another weekend is over already and another week beginning! How on earth does time move so quickly nowadays? I remember as a kid everything took so long – days at school felt like an eternity, but equally, so did the summer holidays! So what is it about being an adult that makes the clock tick double time?

Anyway, if we pondered on that, we'd be here forever. So let's move on…

This weekend was absolutely fantastic, with perhaps the highlight being Friend-Who-Knows-Big-Words' wedding. It really was the most romantic occasion and she looked truly beautiful! There wasn't a dry eye in the house as her and French Boy promised to love, honour and cherish each other for the rest of their days, and I was thankful that I had put waterproof mascara on the both of us!!!! (I was the hair and make-up lady, you know!)

The wedding was so true to both Friend-Who-Knows-Big-Words and French Boy. There was no big production, no rambling sermons from vicars and, no speeches, which meant I could hear everything and felt like I really knew what was going on. At no stage in the day did I get the overwhelming urge to nod off due to the best man's 40-minute long PowerPoint presentation – mentioning no names here!

Then the partying began in earnest and, at 1am I could be found salsa-ing – badly – and drinking vast quantities of water out of a jug.

*cringe

However, this also meant...

No hangover on Sunday

Hurrah!

This was just as well, too as I was teaching London Cousin 2 how to make shepherds pie, in between bed moving and tea drinking with London Aunt.

Splendid, splendid!

And now the week begins in earnest... hopefully with the appearance of Micro Clog – who is now late. Tut, tut, that’s not very Dutch, is it!? He may take after Big Bro on the timekeeping front! And here we are back on the subject of time – I'm sure I'll blink at lunchtime and all of a sudden it'll be Friday again! Bring it on!

Friday, 6 March 2009

NikNak's fab party

Today is Thankful Friday. But let me get off my chest what I am not thankful for – mainly my red eye...

It seems somewhere between the last time I looked in the mirror and waking up, I burst some blood vessels and now I resemble something out of a horror movie.

OK, OK, I am probably exaggerating but how else do you explain having an empty seat beside me on the bus during rush hour!

*sniff!

And so, moving on – today I am thankful for the utterlly brilliant birthday party that we had for NikNak last night. She’s perpetually 21 you know.
Anyway, we had an entire restaurant to ourselves and it was so quiet and well lit, that Fab Friend and I could follow absolutely everything. The food was absolutely delicious and the service impeccable – right down the the free birthday cake they presented to NikNak. And the best bit – at 11pm it turned into our own private club – we had a DJ, a dance floor and not a single annoying lecherous man in sight!

As Hips Don't Lie came on, Shakira-Shakira did her stuff – most fantastically, too! I swear that the restaurant staffs' jaws almost dislocated as she shimmied her way around the room, hips flying this way and that, shoulders a-shaking. It was a formidable sight.

The Writer did a fantastic Britney tribute while I skipped around the room à la Lily Allen. Quite how the evening ended up being some sort of cabaret dance night I am unsure, but I laughed so much that I am wondering if that's how I burst a blood vessel in my eye!

And now I have the next party to look forward to – Friend-Who-Knows-Big-Words' wedding. Did I mention that she was getting married? Or that I am very excited?

And on that note, have a very nice weekend everyone.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

The art of people watching

This morning I am typing this on my Pinkberry, on the bus, on my way to work, while sat next to a woman who is wearing a dead animal for a coat, velour tracksuit bottoms and Ugg boots.

Then, looking out the window in my morning haze, I saw the cutest thing.

It was a bicycle made for three! There, at the front was a mum and one behind the other sat her two children, all pedalling away as though their lives depended on it, which come to think of it, they probably did, given the large red bus that was coming in their direction.

Um…

Sorry, the dead-animal-wearing woman is momentarily distracting me. She's forcing me to be nosey about the EasyJet boarding pass held in her acrylic-nailed hand. Where is she going I wonder?

*Deafinitely Girly unsubtly cranes her neck...

Ah Malaga, and her name is Araminta. What need does one have for a dead animal in Malaga? Haha, my Pinkberry just did a spell check on Malaga and came up with slags!!!!

Ahem...

Wow, Araminta has the biggest collection of diamonds ever on her left hand, and for the last 20 minutes she's been chomping on Food Doctor nuts and seeds before using her acrylic nail to scoop them out of her molars.

This would probably annoy most people, but because I can't hear the crunching and slurping, I am just thrilled at the chance to people watch her – it really is making my journey go quicker.

I love people watching. Yesterday, Gingerbread Man met me for lunch and a catch up and we sat across from a square near my office, people watching. We saw a famous actress, lots of fashionistas, and the usual array of colourful people that grace my working neighbourhood. It was the most wonderful distraction and was fun to wonder if someone was doing exactly the same to us.

Oop, Araminta has just got her Blackberry out and is busily tap tap tapping away. I wonder what she's saying about me?

Teehee!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Looking back…

Hurrah! We are halfway through the week and I am already getting excited about the weekend.

On Saturday, Friend-Who-Knows-Big-Words is getting married.

Friend-Who-Knows-Big-Words is one of my best friends – one of my ‘Inner Circle’ – if the BBC’s recent report on friendship is to be believed.

We were at school together and part of a group of four – the other two members were Best-Friend-And-Head-Girl and BeeBop.

Anyway, she's marrying French Boy and when she does, I will be the last unmarried one left out of all of us.

But when you look back at our high-school year book, it is kind of what we always expected! Best-Friend-And-Head-Girl 's entry said she'd be a primary school teacher – tick, be involved in the community – tick, be married to a lovely man – tick, and have babies – tick. The only thing that isn't right is she chose to do it all Up Norf.

Now, BeeBop... I think we said she'd get brilliant marks in her degree and then go off and do something totally unrelated – big tick. She's married to a Mr Jones and also lives Up Norf.

Then there was Friend-Who-Knows-Big-Words. We said she'd travel the world and fall in love with a gorgeous hunk called Brad – tick and half tick as I don't really think Brad would suit French Boy as a name – not really Gallic enough!

And then there was me. Well for starters they said my ideal man was Mr Happy... a fat, round and yellow individual... Ummmm… thankfully I haven't fulfilled this prophecy.

And they predicted that I'd be writing for Cosmopolitan from a padded cell. Ummmmm... Well to be honest, and rather alarmingly, that's not too far off the mark! Although you might want to skip the insanity part.

I really love finding predictions like these, made years ago and comparing them to my current situation. Not long ago, I found a notebook at The Rents' house full of angst-ridden teenage poetry from the time I was losing my hearing. It was fascinating looking back at a younger me, at my despair with deafness and almost misery at the situation. But then I found a section at the back, written in 1998. It said that in 10 years time I would be living in west London and working on a magazine. I also predicted that I'd be single...

Tick

Tick

and…

Tick

I love the fact that even though I was in despair about going deaf (haha, ahem sorry I just typed dead), I never even contemplated letting it get in the way of my ambitions.

I also love the fact that 10 years down the line, I'd be wise to take a leaf out of my younger self's book. And so, that's just what I am going to do.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Three cheers for um… the BBC

Do you remember as a child being told by your mum that if you couldn’t say anything nice about something, you shouldn’t say anything at all? This was one of my Ma’s mantras when I was growing up and I do still try and be good and abide by her rule.

However, regular readers will know that I don’t always say nice things about people/companies who I think are failing deaf and hard of hearing people in some way, but usually it’s not without good reason. So I have added a sub clause to this old bit of advice stating exactly that.

But, I also believe that if you moan about something that subsequently changes, then credit should be given – and that’s what I am going to do today.

A while ago I posted my excitement about QI finally having subtitles on the BBC’s iPlayer. With the manicness of work, I hadn’t been back to check the development of this, until today, when I discovered that everything I clicked on was subtitled!

HURRAH!

This really is amazing – all that moaning, emails to the BBC and now look – subtitles. Now, don’t get me wrong – I am not taking the credit for this new development. I am hoping that it’s just a natural progression in the BBC making its content more accessible for deaf and hard of hearing people – but isn’t it great that I don’t have to moan about them anymore?

It gives me hope that in the long run, the battle to get more subtitled theatre and cinema will be won and I won’t have to learn things off by heart in order to follow them.

Take Friday, when I went to see Les Miserables in the West End. I first saw this when I was 17 and must confess, I fell in love with the music more than the plot – partly because I could follow the melodies but couldn’t hear the words. So I bought the music and learnt the words. As a result, when I saw it on Friday, the story unfolded in my head as much as it did on stage. I was almost in danger of singing along!

*cringe

However, I still can’t wait for the day that all the drama unfolds on stage instead. Here’s hoping…

Monday, 2 March 2009

Here comes the sun…

Sometimes I wonder if I am solar powered…

I woke up this morning and it was so sunny I had to shut my curtains to put on my make-up as otherwise I was squinting so much I would have had massive crease lines in my foundation…

Classy bird, me!

So, I pootled off, still half asleep, to the bus stop and sat on top deck soaking up the sunny rays that streamed in through the window.

I didn’t even read, which for me is a rarity.

And, by the time I got to work I was nicely energised and ready to go – like a Duracell bunny, the one in the advert where he’s climbing and has to hoick all the other bunnies up the cliff face.

Yup that’s me… except I am not pink, nor do I have long ears, or big goggly eyes, or batteries strapped to my back…

Umm…

Anyway, it got me thinking. If I am solar powered then maybe my hearing will work better with some more sun. Maybe I am only deaf because my batteries are low on solar charge. In which case I need to book my summer holiday immediately or failing that, stick my head out of the office window to catch the remains of today’s sun, which is quite risky given my known clumsiness and the fact I work five floors up.

Do you know, when I was little, I used to wonder if maybe I was deaf because a spider had crawled in my ear when I was sleeping and it was getting in the way. Sometimes, even though I don’t like spiders much, I used to wish and wish that one day my doctor would pull out this giant spider from my head and all of a sudden I’d hear my violin again.

Clearly now I am a grown-up, I don’t think that anymore, but I like the idea of the solar-powered hearing theory – but like all thinkers, I should try and disprove the theory to test it’s merit. It’s a hard life but someone’s got to…

So now I just need some sunny destinations (and a big, fat wad of cash). Perhaps I should send myself some ideas on a postcard…

Deaf Girly and subitled Mamma Mia: Here we go again

Regular readers and my followers on Twitter will know that recently I've been talking a lot about the lack of subtitled showings availab...