Families, Inspiration, Laughter, Motivation, real life, social media, Uncategorized, Whatever, women

People watching

My favourite pastime, people watching. Although I’m sure the people I’m watching, are watching me, watching them!

I could be anywhere, sitting on public transport, watching the non- communication of travellers, head phones on, phone in hand. I’m wondering that they are listening to. Listening to the newest songs on Spotify. Perhaps they are listening to the same as I am? Now that would be a coincidence! Or reading – a furtive message from a loved one, someone they didn’t want to leave in bed this morning, that little knowing smile turning up the corner of their mouth, forgetting they are on a crowded train, still imagining the duvet snuggled around their shoulders. Or the usual message about being on the bus/train, and a countdown of minutes till they get to their destination, looking up at the station sign, following the same journey day-in day-out. 16 ½ min to their station. Positioned themselves in the 3rd carriage along, in the optimum place to alight by the station exit doors, 25 pounding steps down to the entrance, one swipe of the train ticket and out into the fresh air! Or an angry message to someone who has annoyed them. You’d read that in their faces, angry eyes, scrunched up at the corner, tapping furiously on the imaginary keys on the screen. Using both thumbs to get the message across quicker. Angry, angry, angrier.

Now the coffee shop is a place for serial people watchers, you can look out of the window at the people scuttling past on their daily journey never making eye contact. That would be too much to bare, if they did, they would have to stop and buy that creamy hot liquid gold latte. No time, too much to do, can’t carry a coffee, 3 shopping bags, 1 phone and concentrate on the list in their heads. You can see them looking around, getting their bearing, wondering what shop next to go into? The concentration etched on their faces, oh why did they leave it to the last minute to get the elusive gift for the friend who is so very demanding. Or those with more time, and less shopping. Contemplating the warm drink to sustain them as they flit from shop to shop, feeling the fabric of the shirts and coats, scarves and smelling the leather of the handbags. Or is that just me? Am I the fantasy of every people watcher, as I pick up warm cotton checked shirts eyeing up the colours. Feeling the material falling through my fingers, wondering if the hues of blue and green match the newly purchased bracelet of glass and silver beads. The look of curiosity on my face imagining if the cut is too tight and figure hugging, the thought of popping buttons makes me wince and quickly hang it back on the rail. I love looking at the fittings in a shop, rough wood, and cold metal bars, or glass and sleek white wood. All a great contrast against the fluffy clothes and shiny leather. Do others look at my face as I see my reflection in the mirror, and catch the thought going through my eyes ‘ I wonder if I need to put more lipstick on, I’m looking a tad pale’ or the look of shock when I’m realising my hair is messed up after trying the wide brimmed hat on? Or is that the look I see in the faces of other shoppers on the high street?

I never make eye contact when people watching, or ‘being people watched’ if that is a new job description. The eyes are the road to the soul, why would I want someone following me down into my place of sanctity!

My favourite place to do this – the hairdressers, when they sit you on one of those lovely comfortable ‘watching’ chairs looking out of the window. You can be anonymous. A faceless person on a chair, no one will ever know who you are with a towel half covering your head. You see the couples walking past arm in arm, purposeful and determined. Groups of young people milling and laughing and joking with one another, full of hope and enthusiasm, often with the glint of young sex in their eyes. Men in suits, white shirt cuffs and sparkly cufflinks peeping out from beneath double buttoned jacket sleeves. An impossible to recycle, take away coffee cup grasped in their sweaty little hands. Imagining they look cool and trendy, when in fact they actually do! Little men with little dogs on long leads, stepping briskly around to avoid street furniture and rubbish bins.

Hungry boys, hands holding paper napkins and blue and white bags – you know the kind- filled with warm pasties, or sausage rolls, eating with enthusiasm and greed. Girls equally as greedy, munching sandwiches of salad and chicken, on brown rye bread with green leafy salad peeping out between thick crusts. Always followed by those hungry pigeons, hippedy hopping after the food…never the people, we just happen to be carrying their lunch!

The blues rinsed, cardigan wearing older ladies and gentleman, holding their green carrier bags like shields and warriors going into battle. The battle of the youths crowding the pavements, the dog leads, and the discarded coffee cups. Who will win? Maybe them, but more likely to be the young families in mismatched colours, young who have dressed themselves in favourite wellies and summer coats, beany hats with bobbles, stripes and dragon tails swinging down their backs. They will win the pavement war. Buggies like tanks, pushing their way through the hordes of shoppers.

And cars parked on yellow lines, tucked away at the end of parking bays. Drivers furtively waiting to be pounced on by traffic wardens, enviously watching parking meters ready to swallow up shiny coins and click and clack so that they can park without fear nearer to the shops. Not everyone is successful in shopping and parking!

You see why people watching is a skill to be practiced whenever possible? You will never know how much fun it gives. Time and again.

Inspiration, real life, Whatever, women

Me, my hair and I.

Today I went to the hairdressers. That’s not unusual, I go on a regular basis. I just love sitting there being pampered. Zingy upbeat music, and stylish surrounding, not forgetting a cheeky little head massage and the evocative perfume of the hair products. Fresh coffee and if I’m really naughty one of those little biscuits they leave on the saucer.  Together with some glitzy magazines to read – not my usual read, I’m not a celebrity chaser, but there is always something there that’s interesting. Today it was Angelina Jolie and her recent health scare. And Prince Charles and Camilla, and how she is now more accepted by the British public.

Anyway back to the hair. I go to a high street hairdressers called HeadMasters. Full of young girls who dress in Black and White, often with stylish multicolored hair, trim figures and always what seems like a bright and cheerful outlook on life. I love my hairdresser, I have known her for about 7 years. She knows my family in side and out, what my sons and their girlfriends do, my job, and the fact my hubby loves shopping, but hates wearing long sleeves on a shirt. You see the kind of relationship we have? I feel I can share anything with her – well almost – there are others listening, so we don’t get too personal!

We have matured together. I can sit down and tell her what I want, well what I think I want. And she guides me into having what will suit me. As individuals we often see things on other women, but then forget it may not look so good on us! My face is round, if my hair is too fussy, it looks like a meringue on a cake! Not a good look for someone the wrong side of 50! And of course over the years time has taken its toll, its not that lovely lush auburn it was in my youth, I like to think its more like a silver fox now. But its not so thick, and it breaks easily, so she reassure me the wispy bits at the fringe will grow back. And reminds me how quickly it grows in the spring and summer, it puts my mind at rest. She shows me how to dry it so it sits just right, and talks me through the colours that will enhance the white streak at the front of my fringe, without making me look like a zebra as it grows out. And when I want a little variety, she does it with enthusiasm, and always without fail makes me look like a million dollars as I walk out through the door.

I know lots of people don’t like going to the hairdressers, they are afraid of mistakes, and having someone messing around with their hair. I can appreciate that, but surely if you go to a reputable company, you are less likely for this to happen.

But what I don’t understand is that this company, and probably lots of the high street chains, are missing a trick.  I never see any promotional photos in the windows of anyone other than young people with healthy looking hair. Not one with thinning locks, or grey around the edges. And that’s such a shame, because we older ladies are as likely to have a disposable income as much as the youngsters who these salons are trying to attract.  The salons need to say – we can cut, colour and style your hair as well as we can style the hair of young people. Why don’t you come in and try us, and see for yourself?

We see so much advertising used by companies, slim girls and women, airbrushed & flawless. And the other brands who are challenging this stereotyping by using ‘normal everyday’ women are so few and far between, but to me these are the ones who are so refreshing to see.

I’m an ordinary woman, a little overweight, not very stylish but it gives me so much confidence knowing my hair is enhancing my look. Let other women like me know you are there for them, because unless you tell them, they wont be able to guess it from your advertising campaigns.

To these organisations I say – don’t forget us as we grow older, we still deserve to be valued as individuals.