For Christmas I bought my grandson a book, among other things. I bought all of the grandchildren books. I like to encourage the reading habit.
Choosing a book for the teenage granddaughter was easy - anything to do with feminism goes down well at the moment. Besides, she is a regular reader of all sorts of stuff. She almost always has a book on the bus with her. Her brother is a different kettle of fish, reading well but not at all what you could call a voracious reader.
So, knowing that he has enjoyed books by David Walliams, I picked up what seemed to be a recent book by that author. I should have guessed that it was not so very new as it was in a paperback rather than a hardback edition. Christmas Day came. So did my grandson, who opened his present and informed me that I had given him the same book last year.
Fortunately I had saved the receipt, for once. This was more by good luck than good management. I am notoriously cavalier in my attitude to receipts and need to remind myself to keep them when I purchased something costly or important. My happenstance keeping of the receipt meant that today I was able to go along to the bookshop and ask for a refund. Successfully, I hasten to add!
I think I may have mentioned the repeated present in an earlier blogpost but I wanted to get in the story of the receipt today. So it goes.
I was in Manchester to go to the hairdressers and then to get my eyebrows shaped and threaded, a routine that takes place every six weeks or so. I am amazed at the prevalence of threading, a technique that seems to involve the practitioner holding one end of a cotton thread in her teeth and somehow twisting it around eyebrow hairs to pluck them out.
It never used to be around in my youth. Mind you, I never bothered with my eyebrows in my youth. They were never a problem. Nowadays old age and decrepitude means that they demand attention. Conveniently there are “threading parlours” in most shopping centres. In the last few years I have spotted them in Vigo, Spain as well: depilación con hilo - offered as a new and effective technique.
According to Duck Duck Go (our go-to source of internet info) it is a technique which originated in Egypt, India or/and Iran and is considered a cleaner technique than waxing. Nothing touches the skin but the thread and that is thrown away after use. Okay!
Either way, you have to suffer for your beauty as the hairs are wrenched out by the follicle! On one occasion I sat next to a young, very camp young man who was having his eyebrows done in the chair next to mine. Such a fuss he made! No stoicism! Squeaks and squeals with every tweak, every tug of the thread.
I found myself wondering how he gets on at the dentist, if he squeals his way through having his teeth scaled and polished, a procedure that always reminds me of some kind of torture technique. I would give up any secret the dentist asked me to reveal.
On the subject of torture, my eldest granddaughter (21), having recently started independent living in her own house, proudly told her mother and me that she had hung her washing on the iron maiden before coming out with us the other day.
Life is full of amusement. I have sent her a link to wikipedia’s explanation of what an iron maiden is.