Tools of the trade
The only tool I could claim to have any conversance with is a computer. Beyond that I can just about deal with a screwdriver, an allen key, or some kind of gardening implement, but it always an interaction fraught with potential disaster.
I have had two run-ins already this morning: one with the hoover, and one with the hairdryer.
I don’t really dry my own hair with a hairdryer. I see other women using the things quite adeptly; they do stuff to their hair with serums and mousses and things. My hair is mainly always the same only because I know no other way. I thought, for a while, once I had children, that having a different perspective on the hairdrying process might uncover new potential in me as I dried their hair. It did not.
This morning, with minutes to spare before school, the youngest appeared with wet hair. There was nothing for it, the hairdryer would have to be employed. Mindful that I had knocked my bedside glass of water in the night all over the extension board I use for my panoply of plugs, I turned the hairdryer on, half-expecting an minor explosion.
We were ok in that respect, but it was not long before I was swearing mightily because I had sucked a huge chunk of my own hair into the back end of the dryer (one end blows, the other sucks, in case you were wondering). The smell that it created is acrid and took me right back to the days when I used to regularly get my hair caught in the back of the hairdryer.
Those were the days when Norman Lamont couldn’t stop raising interest rates and I had a mortgage that doubled practically overnight. The hairdryer that I had then had had the back casing smashed off somehow, so the fan that makes the suck and blow was exposed. It was therefore understandable that I was constantly getting my long hair caught and wrapped round the back of the fan. I persisted with the contraption, perhaps enjoying the element of risk to start the day with, I can’t remember. Then one day, I caught not just my hair but my fingers in the fan and cut them into a bloody mess.
Nearly in a faint, I staggered over the road to a neighbour called Ron’s house. He was an 80s sales executive and had not yet left for work in his company car. Ron had a very particular way of parting his hair and his fringe arrangement was definitely no stranger to hair styling product. He seemed just the person who might have what I did not have in that particular emergency: plasters.
As it turns out I have run out of plasters today too. There is still a Ron up the road who might have them, in fact I am sure he would, but he is an elderly gent with a spaniel called Honey and has no need of hairstyling or products. Even factoring in that detail, it rather seems to me this morning the more things change, the more they stay the same.
The hoover is another story. It involves a Phillips screwdriver, a recalcitrant retractable lead and some paracetamol.