Sunday, 9 May 2010

Seizing the opportunity!

I decided that Friday was the day to brave the hairdressers’ once again as the roots were beginning to be a bit too evident. But the volcanic ash cloud brought rain with it on Friday morning and there really is little point in getting yourself all dolled up (hacerse guapa as they say here) only to go and get the new hairdo rained on. But it had stopped raining after lunch, the sun was trying to come out and so I sallied forth.

Hairdressing salons are strange places at the best of times: odd cocooned little worlds where split ends and broken nails are the biggest disasters imaginable. From the hair colour and often extravagant coiffures of some of the stylists you visualise them filling quiet times by experimenting on each other. Anyway, off I went to what has become my regular hairdressers’ here, where they have my chosen hair colour on record and always find it strange that I am happy to keep to that colour and have not yet chosen to do something more adventurous. My stylist this time was Elena, a large girl whose hair is somewhere between aubergine and cerise in colour.

We had our usual discussion about whether or not I was having my eyebrows dyed to match my hair. No, I am quite happy with my eyebrow colour; it never has matched my hair. Worrying about my eyebrow roots showing is a problem I really don’t need, thank you very much. This was followed by offers of un tratamiento (standard stuff really, a sort of super-conditioner, a facemask for your hair), a manicure, ceramic nails, eyebrow plucking.

(Linguistic note: the Spanish have a verb aprovechar whose basic meaning is to profit from, to take advantage. However, like many Spanish verbs it is very flexible in its use. It can mean to exploit but it is also used in the expression ¡Que aproveches! = Enjoy your meal! (Literally, may you benefit from it!) Now, my hairdresser used it over and over to offer the various services available. ¿Aprovechas para …. hacerte un tratamiento/ cortarte el pelo/ hacerte una manicure? She was using it as you might say, “Will you take the opportunity to ….etc?” )

About an hour and a half later I emerged with my hair colour sorted, my eyebrows tidied up (but definitely NOT dyed) and my hair, as usual, rather shorter than I had intended. Nothing drastic but decidedly shorter than I had planned. Now, what is it with hairdressers that changes “Just trim the split ends off” into “Take about an inch off”? Actually I think it’s a kind of revenge for my refusal to read more than one gossip magazine – when really can’t read more than one account of the romance of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the antics of the Monaco royal family, the elegance (?) of the Duquesa de Alba and the scandal about numerous celebrities without your brain atrophying – or to have ceramic nails, even as a freebie!

And that was Friday afternoon over and done with and into the early evening. Before we knew it, it was time to watch La Noche en 24 Horas on TVE which had taken fresh-faced Vicente VallĂ©s to London to cover the British elections and the non-result. Not surprisingly, when it came to seeking the opinion of the man in the street, they were unable to find a single Londoner who spoke Spanish. You would have thought that in London it would be possible! Apparently not! They did find some Spanish tourists who were willing to give their view of things. The first couple they spoke to came from … wait for it … Vigo and the second from Ferrol. I believe I may have said already that Galicia is the centre of the universe!

Later on La Noche en 24 Horas they consulted pundits from Spanish political parties, notable PSOE and PP on their reaction to the British election result situation. The PSOE man was lean-faced, bearded, and very earnest. The PP man could have been a bog-standard British Conservative: round, well-fed looking face, blondish locks combed over to one side, smug expression. Forget about the Celtic genetic connection; there must be a strong Conservative gene around.

Yesterday was a bit of a washout: torrential rain, ordinary rain, a dry spot which I exploited (aprovechar) to nip to the shops, more rain and still more rain. So once again I watched a little bit of TV and saw a short report on the Lehenderaki, the President of the Basque Parliament and his attempts to eradicate the terrorist violence that has dogged his region for so long. Victims of said violence are invited to speak to school children about their experiences, reinforcing the view that terrorists are not necessarily heroic freedom fighters. The report included a Basque poet, Kirmen Uribe, who writes his poetry and reads it in public in both Basque and Castellano. His linguistic stance is that the two languages are not in confrontation but complement each other. Now, I can think of some determined gallego enthusiasts who could benefit (aprovechar) from thinking that way.

Today, Sunday, is dry (so far) despite the forecast rain. The usual sailing school has been out on the bay, with a little motor launch playing sheepdog to the two or three little boats who strayed away from the main flock. Down at the breadshop, my panadera’s husband was trying to persuade an old lady that the volcanic dust cloud really is responsible for the grey clouds in the sky. It was only when he went on to say that of course the cars go faster when it’s windy, provided the wind is behind them, that she began to doubt his word.

In the newspapers online I read that a woman in Italy has been fined for wearing the burqa in public. Her husband has declared that he does not want other men looking at her so, if she can’t wear her burqa, she will just have to stay in! It sounds rather extreme but then I see pictures of the British political party leaders trotting out their wives as electioneering aids and wonder who is the more exploited!

And finally, I wish King Juan Carlos a speedy recovery but feel quite sorry for him. Poor man, he has had to put up with President Zapatero visiting him in hospital today. Heaven forbid that I should ever have a politician call on me in my sickbed!

1 comment:

  1. They would have probably been even more surprised to find a Londoner who could speak English!