Saturday, 7 April 2012

My fabulous new haircut and why I can't bring myself to like it

I got my hair cut today. It's quite a rare occurrence for me since I'm usually either too lazy to book an appointment or too skint to go. But this morning I awoke to the greasiest most uneven mop of lank locks dangling uninspiringly from my scalp and decided that today had to be the day.

I tried my usual salon but they had no available appointments until the end of next week (a sure sign that it's a good salon but didn't help me in my impulsive hour of need), so I found a salon in the student quarter which had a cancellation I could take. I explained to the stylist what I was after - a tidy up of the style but one which takes no maintenance. Now when I say no maintenance I MEAN no maintenance. If it involves anything more than pointing a hairdryer in its general direction for more than 10 minutes it's too much effort. I don't want to put any product on it and I don't want to have to faff about with brushes and straighteners, I just want to wash it and dry it - end of story.

The stylist seemed to understand what I was after and did it - no blunt lines, heavily layered, fringe just short enough to skim my eyebrows - job's a good 'un. I thanked her and reluctantly handed over the £30 for the privilege of her mad skillz (my usual salon is less than £20, how does a salon in the student quarter get away with charging 50% more?).

Now that I'm home I'm checking it in every mirror I walk past and just can't quite bring myself to love it. It's exactly what I ask for in a style and everyone will probably think it looks great but somehow I just can't love it myself.

I put this inability to love it down to the fact that I'm incapable of thinking I look good full stop. No matter what I wear, no matter how my hair looks, no matter whether I've been to a professional stylist or make-up artist and have been glammed up for a photo shoot (never happened) I will still never think I look good. It's just the way I am.

I want to love my haircut, I want to swoosh it about in front of the mirror and flash myself a winning smile knowing that I look like a presentable member of the society in which I live. But I can't at the minute. I'm overweight and underfit and it's dragging down every ounce of confidence Gordon has helped me gain in the 5 years we've been together.

On Wednesday I start something new - I take up running. I'm joining a beginners running group organised by Active Newcastle in the desperate hope that it will change my opinion of myself. I don't want to have to put more effort into my hair, I don't want to have to start wearing make-up, I don't want to suddenly start forcing myself to wear dresses and heels every day to make me feel more confident because that's just not me. I'm not really interested in changing the things about me that everyone else sees (although shedding a few stone would be more than welcomed), I just want to not think all day every day about how much of a mess I look. I want to be more interested in doing something which takes my mind so far away from what I look like and makes me feel great for a completely different reason.

I want to go to my usual salon, only pay £20 for a haircut then not think about it for the rest of the day. Wish me luck.

Friday, 6 April 2012

School's Out

Well. That’s me finished now until October. No, seriously, I had my last lecture a couple of weeks ago and don’t have any more until Michaelmas term. I have two summatives to hand in on 2nd May but I don’t have any more attendance at Durham this academic year. This probably sounds a bit strange or confusing, but the reason is pure and simple – it’s because I’m a part timer. The trouble with this course is that it’s not really a part time course – it’s a full time course which I’m ABLE to do over 2 years instead of 1. This means that during the summer term the full timers are busy doing their dissertations so that leaves me as a part timer with pretty much nothing to do until the NEW full timers start in autumn.

Before I get lambasted, I’m certainly not complaining. But I don’t plan on wasting my summer. A fellow classmate has offered to give me copies of the reading lists for the modules I’ll be taking next year so I can get a head start over the summer (as well as having Open University study to carry out too), but it gives me the opportunity to do a bit of extra reading as well.

For now though, I have summatives to think about and oh boy, it’s all I’m gonna be thinking about until they’re handed in. Luckily (for my studies that is, not for me), I have 3 weekends in a row of pure study potential – my better half is at work Saturday and Sunday for the next 3 weekends so that’s my chance to hit the library and get 14 hours of study and revision in. 14 hours of pure uninterrupted study is a LOT for a part timer but in truth it’s still not really enough. I just need to make sure I make the most of that time and try and fit in a bit of extra study/think-time alongside it. I’m absolutely determined to do well.

So Durham will be without me for 6 months and it will seem strange since I was only just starting to get used to the twice-weekly pilgrimage. Not to worry though, on the plus side it means I’m better off financially as it means I don’t have to take unpaid leave from work to get to lectures for the next 6 months, I don’t have the 120 miles worth of fuel to account for each week and I don’t have the £4 of parking charges to fumble about for either. I know it doesn’t sound like much but all-in it equates to about £50 a week on top of the cost of fees. Actually, when I look at it that way this MA is costing me a bleedin’ fortune! Makes me all the more relieved for my 6 months off.

Although I say '6 months off' but it's not really the case. I have 2 Open University modules starting up at the beginning of May to keep me occupied, and either excitingly or stupidly enough I've just reserved myself a place in the Great North Run in September so considering the fact that at present I can't run for more than about 30 seconds I have a LOT of training ahead of me. More details to follow on that, but for now I just wanted to reignite the blog and say hello - I'm still here.