Prior preparation and planning

The 30th birthday cycle continues. This Saturday – the first celebration of my academic year and thus the beginning of an intensive season of 30th’s – brings a classic themed party. Literally classic, as my friend’s returning to the 1930s and hosting a black tie themed event. A perfect excuse to dress up. (Next weekend brings another 30th, this time wine tasting – also excellent.)

However, when you think about it, the 1930s is actually a tricky decade to style. The 1920s were distinctive in their flapper dresses; the late 1940’s and early 1950’s were the epitome of glamour. All I can think of in terms of the 30’s is the outbreak of WW2 and uniforms. Still, the beauty of black tie is that as long as you’ve got a fancy dress and the right accessories, the only historic aspect you need to be accurate on is your hair.

Tonight was my first free evening in over a week (and my last in about the same length of time – honestly, my diary is horrific right now, though generally in a good way) and therefore my only opportunity to discover, practice and perfect a decent 1930’s hair-do. So I’m now sat in my PJ’s, sporting a rather elegant hair style that made doing the washing up feel far more glamorous than usual.

It’s all thanks to YouTube and the wonder of hair tutorials – particularly this woman’s. [Favourite moment in one video is an annotation that states “people ask how I manage to keep my arms up so long – it’s because I work out a lot”…] I began withHow to do a pin up hairstyle’ and failed to put enough ooomph into my tresses to get it to work properly. ‘Pin up hair tutorial’ proved more successful (yes, I realise they sound the same, but there were significant differences) but it was still clear I needed more volume.

Thus, it looks as though I’ll be spending a significant amount of Saturday with my head covered in rollers. This wouldn’t be a problem were it not for the fact that I’ve got a meeting in central London from 10.30 till 4pm – still, I’ve travelled on the tube in rollers before, no doubt I can cope with doing it again.

I guess what this post really needs is a photo of the hair. Thing is, hair photos are always tricky – even with the  iPhone 4’s double facing camera – so this is the best of a bad bunch:

The fact that the bags under my eyes are so noticeable in this photo terrifies me. 
Clearly the effects of no two-day weekends for weeks & weeks are beginning to show.

Those hair combs are today’s Primark acquisitions – along with some pseudo pearl bracelets & necklace, a brooch and some shoes – the beauty of being able to stock up on a vast quantity of ‘vintage’ accessories for a lot less than £20! All I need now is a final decision on the dress (not that I’ve got many to choose from) and some seriously red lipstick…

Northern discoveries

I made a couple of amazing discoveries up north this weekend.

1. You can buy simply gorgeous cocktails for under £5. [Truly a revelation for a London resident where such beauties are easily £10+.] In fact, another discovery (though not an amazing one) is that I can actually tire of drinking cocktails – only managing three before I longed for a Diet Coke to cleanse my pallet.

An elderflower mojito, something containing Earl Grey tea & tequila and my utterly delicious Bourbon Cookie with an actual bourbon biscuit on top…

2. Pubs, restaurants and other such establishments have slightly odd facilities in their ladies’ toilets. [Actually, they might have them in the men’s toilets, but I didn’t check.] Witness:

Yes, those are hair straighteners…in a toilet…in a venue where people drink. Any possible health and safety issues there?

Oh, and just in case you think I’m generalising, here’s another – so at least two separate establishments had them:

Clearly having poker-straight hair is of immense importance to ladies in the north-east – I wonder if it’ll catch on down here?

3. You can’t buy black opaque tights there, or any tights in fact. At least, it would appear that one can’t, given that I saw no one wearing any while out on Saturday night. But I think I’m going to return to that topic tomorrow…

Bad hair day

This morning I was rather late for work. [Actually, I’m pretty much always late for work to the extent that it’s stopped being late and is now the time I arrive.] Today’s lateness was proper lateness, partly the result of turning off my alarm before I was properly awake (thus returning swiftly to sleep, re-awakening at 8.15 – the precise time I ought to leave to be at my desk by 9am) and partly thanks to unwieldy hair…

Women will understand this predicament. It’s a regular occurrence, no matter what you try, your hair just will not cooperate. My hair hadn’t coped well with a curly hair day yesterday and spring showers – it was wild, bushy and virtually untameable. But, inspired by a video on one of my random blog feeds, I thought I’d try a new ‘do.

The video below is genius, illustrating a wide variety of styles at speed – very clever. (Rather addictive background song too.)

I was hoping to accomplish the first, except I’d forgotten about my swept fringe (which thanks to yesterday was just frizz) and also didn’t have hair long enough to hold one side in my mouth whilst twisting the opposite. That would be another pro in the reasons to grow my hair long again list, but I’ll try again on another occasion when my hair’s a little happier. Because of my failure, 9.03 this morning saw me giving up on any kind of hairstyle other than the emergency ‘pile it up on top of head, stick numerous hair pins in, add Alice band and pray that it holds’ technique. At least it looked moderately dignified/fairly intelligent on a day that was ending with another important meeting!

This woman’s blog is an inspiration. With three boys aged three and under, she manages to have a phenomenal amount of fun. I’d like to be a mother like her when I grow up (hmmm, she’s younger than me, oh well) – lots of fun and craziness.