I sat down, quite calmly, to write – quite calmly – about the excitement of the last few days, hours ago!  Stupidly, I decided to go through my emails first and I came across one apropos the Pilates resistance ring I had looked at on Amazon.  No pause for laughter, I’m too angry!  So … I thought, why not, I’ll just order it for £16.99.  Not that difficult.  Except that it IS!  Seemingly, whether one likes it or not, one is signed up to membership of Amazon Prime and a monthly charge.  Not again.  This has happened to me before and I vowed that it would not do so again – but it did.  Order cancelled; unwanted membership cancelled but I, then, discovered a pending charge of 0.99 to my account from … Amazon Prime!  Ears.  Steam.  Pop would have ‘burst into print’ in the old days.  Now, it’s all about online chat – to a robot, I am convinced.  That being so, I think the one named ‘Sonali’ will have self-imploded following our chat!  The moral?  Do not order anything with Amazon but, if compelled to do so, never save your card details.  That is a gift to them and, unless one is astute – or penniless – and, thus, checks one’s debits, one could, unknowingly, be a fully-fledged member of anything.  The Scottish National Party?  Now, that’s just being silly …

Moving on.  My original opening was to be a question: how?  How is one supposed to continue living and breathing beneath this?  By this, I am referring to a mop of hair that is, already, completely feral and there are another eight weeks to go – up here in Nicola’s country (for the moment, at least).  I had it all planned.  Hair, cut and coloured mid-December, clinging to the hope of going to Austria for Christmas.  Wishful thinking, it looked very nice within these walls!

My next appointment was carefully planned for mid-January and, to be honest, there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t have gone ahead.  The measures in place, in situ, were stringent with absolutely no possibility of infection.  Once again, inexplicable contradictions everywhere as, for one, estate agents are obliged to continue with viewings.  Why?  Are we to assume they are dispensable?!

Back to the hair.  Unfortunately, my ‘gorgeous’ locks grow like wild fire – or, perhaps, Rapunzel!  That said, there have been times in my life – and cracking haircuts – when I have been very grateful for that fact.  This is not one of those times.  Two more months!  It’s causing me heightened sleep deprivation and that’s not because I am frightened of mirrors.  Oh, no!  It’s because it keeps getting tangled round my neck – not that tight – and spread-eagling all over my face when my head hits the pillow.  As for walking on the beach, it brings new meaning to the phrase, wind in one’s hair!  Help.  It is just so annoying.  So much so that the Sound of Music came into my head as I was brushing my teeth, frighteningly in front of a reflective wall hanging.  The scene when the Captain and Maria are in the gazebo and he tells her that nothing was right when she was gone …  Well, nothing is right when one’s hair is not right, believe me!

I can see the route I have chosen, here.  Light and trivial, for the moment.  Oh, joy!  In that vein, I had a phonecall from my old friend, Roddie, this week, about whom I have written before.  Wonderfully eccentric, he and I go back to childhood days and the pony club.  Few can make me laugh as he does.  My reader may not recall, now, but the first time I met Roddie again, after many years, he invited me to a gathering in his flat in Edinburgh.  He loves nothing more than to host and his guests are nothing if not eclectic.  Roddie, himself, greeted us at the door in full Scottish regalia and proceeded to take us on a guided tour of his home, the walls and every surface covered in ancestral paintings, photographs – including his mother with the Queen – and memorabilia galore.  A home befitting the character of its owner.  For Roddie is unique and, in terms of entertainment value, unrivalled.  So it was that, as his guests settled in, relishing the cups of tea and homemade cakes on offer, he appeared at the door in outdoor attire, offering his apologies while announcing he must leave to attend another party.  ‘Lovely to see you.  Do let yourselves out.’  Absolutely classic!  Like a sketch from Monty Python.  Forever grateful.

Hold on, checking my notes, I cannot leave the subject of Roddie – and his aptitude for unique farewells – without recounting his parting quote the other day:  ‘The great thing about the final journey is you don’t have to pack!’  With that, he was gone.  How we laughed.  Everybody needs a Roddie!

As one would imagine, he doesn’t ‘do’ the internet, preferring to spend his days communicating the old-fashioned way – by phone or letter.  He writes in ink – although he was excited to tell me that he has discovered the gel pens which replicate rather well – and refers to the Trish-Trash posts I have sent him as my newsletter!  His advice – which he loves to offer … ‘Go political!  Write something political.’  I can only assume he hasn’t read one word!

Heeding Roddie’s advice, nonetheless …  Today is a big day.  I caught a bit of Alex Salmond giving evidence before the committee, live, earlier this afternoon.  Oh, boy!  I logged on to be faced with Maureen Watt, MSP.  Stumbling over her words, struggling to make her point, it was nothing short of embarrassing.  Is this it?  Is this the face of justice?  Then, there was the convener …  Scotland at its best – or worst.  I would never have believed there would come a day when I was rooting for Alex Salmond but today was it!  I am recording the 6.30pm news, although somewhat reluctant to watch.  Witnessing what I saw earlier, I have little faith in the integrity of the proceedings.  Have I ever mentioned, before, that I abhor white stilettos?  Always have.  Always will.  Sadly, as though cloned, I suspect all women on that committee, today, were wearing them.

A woman with good shoes is never ugly.’     Coco Chanel

It’s a quote!

This is Trish, signing off.