Thursday, 26 August 2010


Madame la Moue writes:

Have just had a facial (no haven't won lottery, had a voucher). It was wonderful, especially the head massage part of it. She actually held my head in one hand - so relaxing having your head supported- and kind of cupped my ear in her other hand, as though her hand were a shell, and then gently pinched all around the edge of my earlobe (with the hand that was cupping the ear that is, she didn't have three hands or anything). Odd feeling, but wonderful. She then did some fabulous head massagey stuff and smeared loads of different goops all over my face.

The only thing that marred this wonderfulness was that at the beginning of the treatment she asked me why I was having a facial; what were my 'problem areas.' Well, as I was only having the facial because I had a voucher I did not really have a reason in mind and didn't really feel I could say, 'um...cuz it's free?' So I just mumbled something about dry skin/thorough cleanse AND THEN - here comes the horrifying bit - she said, '....hmm you have very bad dark circles under our eyes, do you drink much water?' The thing is I drink LOADS of water. I practically drown in the stuff every day. So I told her that and then she said,' well I imagine you must have had a few late or sleepness nights recently then,' NOOOOO!!!! I haven't. I have been stress free and sleeping like a baby -the full eight hours a night - for weeks. So then she said, 'hmm well in that case I can't explain it, it is probably a sign that one of your internal organs isn't working properly.' WTF!!!!!! Is she some sort of shaman or what? She is beauty therapist for f**k's sake.

So having dwelt on this news about my ghoulish eyebags throughout the treatment (as if I really need a new complex about my body to fixate on) I thought I would just clarify with the shamen what she actually meant - just in the vain hope I had misheard or something. So I said to her whilst indicating the shadow under my eye, 'is it just this little bit that is bad?' to which she replied, 'yes, there and also here and here, yes it is usually a symptom of dehydration so I don't know what it can be in your case.'


Cockatrice is in love.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Golden Fleeced

Madame la Moue writes:

This morning I spent £47.50 on hair products.  Seem excessive?  Let me explain.
For the past few weeks my hair has been breaking off in chunks.  For this I blame the stupidly expensive hairdresser whose name almost rhymes with Toffee Sorbet.  I went in there for advice on my hair colour and ended up with a 12 year old (it seemed) boy plastering bleach to my scalp.  Having suffered excruciating scalp burn for an interminable 50 minutes with only HEAT as distraction, Little Boy washed it off.  As he did so, I noticed a significant change to his formerly over confident demeanour - and pallor.  He was ashen, the colour, ironically, that my roots should have been.  He reminded me of how my own little boy looks when he has done he shouldn’t have – shifty, I think, would sum it up.  

It turned out my roots were not the desired ash blonde but a rather drab shade of orange.  NOT GOOD.  This is what the hairdressing world calls a BIG *FUCK* UP.  Well they might not call it this, but if they don’t they should.  However, such was the pain of my scalp and the boredom of being in that Godforsaken hairdressers, I paid up like a fool. £60 BTW even though I could actually see another ‘stylist’ gesticulating to Little Boy that the bleach should have been left on for longer.  They noticed me noticing them and both had the good grace to blush.  
Little Boy kept saying, whilst simultaneously chivvying me out of the door, ‘if you have any problems do come back to me’.  We both knew what he was getting at.  I did not go back, I couldn’t face it, and as I said my hair orange and white striped hair has been breaking off in chunks ever since.  

So anyway this morning having brushed out several handfuls of hair and unable to bear the thought that I might have to go for a pixie crop (although actually thinking about it Brix Smith-Start works the blonde pixie crop quite well), I went into a different hairdressers for advice.  After lengthy discussion with another little boy- this one had such a huge hole in his ear I could actually see daylight though it, and I mean A LOT of daylight - I bought the said expensive products for the said exorbitant amount.  I know.  This is most of my holiday spending money – mah, who am I kidding? I don’t have holiday money I just have debt.   

Anyway interwebnet, the question is have I been fleeced or will my hair become smooth and silky in the style of the woman on that classic 80s Timotei ad?  (This reference to a TV ad won’t mean anything to Cockatrice, who sadly was brought up in a shed in Wales with no electricity or telly, only candles and books – poor thing.)

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Teatro del Sale

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. I have just had a week en famille in Tenby on the Pembrokeshire coast. Very pretty, but cold and rainy and sans interwebnet, sadly. And yes, I do realise that I STILL haven’t told you about what happened when NR came to Florence...

SO. I was very slightly trepidatious about spending a whole week together so early in our relationship, although I needn't have been. I am going to sound like a sentimental halfwit now, but it was like being in a film where everything has been made perfect just for you: sitting in pavement cafes under the full moon on balmy nights... eating the most divine food while accordionists serenaded us... I'll stop now before you have to break off reading to vomit, but suffice to say it was pretty damn wonderful.

We happened upon one of the highlights of the week by complete serendipity. Looking for somewhere to eat, we stumbled across an establishment called Teatro de Sale, unsure at first whether it was a theatre or a restaurant.

We were greeted by a larger-than-life chef with a white beard and wild, white hair, then led through red velvet curtains into a huge vaulted room with stone columns, where three guitarists were performing on a stage at the front. We were told that if we wanted to eat, we should come back the next evening and that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should we have any lunch that day.

So we returned the next night, to find that the hall, which turned out to be part of a former monastery, had been transformed into a dining room. One wall was entirely glass, behind which chefs were running around. Through a hatch, the bearded chef was shouting the names of dishes and diners were rushing up to be served.

The dishes were unbelievably heavenly. The highlights included a porcini soup to DIE for, the most intensely caramelised baked tomatoes and these divine porcini mushrooms:
The beardy chef  beckoned us up to the front of the queue whenever there was something vegan. He even made us special portions of this simple but amazing pasta with aubergines, basil and cherry tomatoes, causing everyone else to gaze at us as though we were royalty.

The pudding was also super simple but ambrosial: cherries baked in red wine and sugar, with their stalks left on, so that they could be eaten with the fingers. By this point I was absolutely stuffed and thinking that if I believed in heaven, this it what it would be like.

Afterwards we all cleared our own plates and moved the chairs into rows to watch the performance (another guitarist this time, although it turns out that they put on an amazingly diverse range of theatre, music and cabaret).

After we came home, we found out that the beardy chef is called Fabio Picchi, and is actually something of a celebrity in Italy, with his own TV show, as well as being an internationally famous exponent of Tuscan cuisine. 

I'm kind of glad that we didn't know this when we were there though - the sheer unexpectedness of the whole thing just added to the feeling that we had stepped into some kind of magical fairytale. Oh, I know it's all too sickeningly perfect, but what can I say? Sometimes life just IS sickeningly perfect...