Sunday, October 28, 2007

time's fool / Ab Fab

1. My PhD student graduated on Monday. She is very gifted and absolutely fabulous and looked lovely even in the heavy golden curtain-fabric gown and silly hat. It is 10 years since she began to study with me as an undergraduate - along with 2 other students who have, since then, been amongst her very best friends, and who were also there on Monday. 10 years which feels like about ... 27.

2. Also on Monday, I took LG along to my hairdresser and paid a worthwhile £28 for a new look. LG had declared that she wanted an "80's" haircut. She said it as if thats a good thing. Aghast. I. Was.

We'd dyed her hair a dark reddish purple a couple of weeks previously. Here is her new colour.

With her new haircut I, myself, would look like Suzi Quattro or Rod Stewart in a Very Bad couldn'tletgoofthe80's sort of way.

Little Gem herself looks great, in a Noel Fielding/Mighty Boosh sort of way. She keeps saying "Don't touch the hair!"

The 80's feels like about 43 years ago, but it looks ab fab on LG.

3. On Thursday I went to a funeral, the 3rd in 6 months. A colleague (and friend) with whom I've worked for the past 10 years or more died completely unexpectedly 2 weeks ago, in her sleep, at the age of 56. No cause of death as yet identified. One half of my brain has been busily sorting out cover for her teaching and thinking through curriculum and teaching implications for the future. The other half of my brain expects to see her walking across the campus next week. At the funeral I met up with some past students who I've not seen for many years. In other, happier circumstances it would have been fabulous to see them again.

4. Also on Thursday a best friend Lucy - RW - arrived to stay for a brief visit. (Far too brief, RW, please take note) Her daughter also has a rather 80's haircut. And also looks fab. RW moved from conveniently just around the corner to Ipswich (only an hour or two away, but thats an hour or two too much) just about 2 years ago. Just at a point where my life began to fall apart in a number of ways. Its 2 years which has felt like 22 years - and, strangely, also like about 2 days.

5. On Friday I went to an ab fab graduation party at my student's house in East London. There was much dressing-up in her doctoral robes (hired, but she gets to keep them for a week of fun and frolic), great food, fine wines, cake, dancing and lovely lovely people. I travelled there by bus, having first crossed the Thames via the Woolwich ferry. We used to travel regularly from South to North-East London when I was a child, to visit grandparents; our usual route took us under the river through the Blackwall tunnel, but for a treat we would come back on the Woolwich ferry, eating chips. I had fun with my camera, of course.

6. A final blast from the past this week was my return trip from the party. A friend gave me a lift back home on the back of his motorbike. The roads were very quiet, it being about 2am. We came back through the tunnel.
I had a boyfriend when I was about 20 who had a Honda 750 (quite impressive in those days). I'd been on the rebound from a disastrously messy break-up and trapped living on campus. He had impressive wheels and offered some escape. I still remember that sinking feeling when he bought me biking leathers for my birthday and the realisation hit me that I didn't want to be with him at all really and would have to try to be both honest and kind. Which proved not to be possible.
But the motorbike was great! The memory now has chilly edges when I think of the way I dozed off sometimes, leaning against his back, at speeds well over the limit. I've not been on a motorbike since then - it was an ab fab way to get home last night.

The helmet, borrowed from my host, had also not been on the back of a bike for over 20 years. Does it look its age? or does it look ab fab?


Shelly Lowenkopf said...

This omnibus entry and the photos provide a perfect example of why memoir has become so popular and why the blog is the ideal spot for memoir. What a splendid view we get from this window you've opened.

Mind, Pod has secreted a microphone. But otherwise, all is quite quite well.

Ab fab, one might even say,

Vintage to Victorian said...

What a week you've had! Mostly good, but sad about your colleague. I heard of a completely sudden death this week, too. It brings you up with a jolt, doesn't it.

Love the haircut. The 80s are back then, are they? In my time clock they haven't left yet! But there again ...

Molly said...

I love LG's hair. It's so cool. You'll have to tell her we love it.

Sorry to hear about your friend though Lettie. It really makes you realise that time goes so fast and you have to cherish every second.

As we were changing the clock this morning, it fell off the wall and smashed. Guess I'll just have to take a trip to TKM to get a new one. Sigh.

Hopefully see you soon.

Country House Antique Textiles said...

What a mixed time you have had Letty. So sad to hear about your colleague.

Love LG's hair she looks amazing!

Yes I wish friends wouldn't move away. My good Devonian friend moved to Italy just as my sh*t hit the fan too.

The last photo made me laugh out loud. It's a bit Barry Sheen isn't it? hahahaha

ramblingwoman said...

hi lettie...well, we talked on Thursday/Friday (still thinking about that lovely Thai meal -bought some thai red paste and other stuff to try and replicate it!)

great pic of you in can keep the helmet for bad hair days!

Antipodeesse said...

What a roller coaster week! I too, loved being "dubbed" on the back of motorbikes.

Am in awe at the shiny glossiness of LG's hair colour....

kimy said...

yes, what a sorry to hear of your friend & colleague's death - what is it with october? I love october for the season, but it has also been the month of much loss in my own life.... but that is our lot - life and loss. 56 so so young!

the helmet definitely ab fab! as is LG's hair....

personally, give me a ferry ride over the motorbike - if for nothing else time for pics! hope this week is better....

tut-tut said...

SL said it quite eloquently in the first comment! Your week encapsulates a long view backward. And seeing LG's hair; well, it all comes back to me as well.

I'm very sorry about your colleague's untimely death. It's never easy, is it?

Akelamalu said...

You must be so proud of your student!

Love your daughter's hairdo, especially the colour.

You're very brave going on the back of a motorbyke I'd be scared stiff!!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Sorry about your colleague, that must have been a shock. LG's hair looks great, is she the one you mentioned in a comment on my blog?

Steve said...

It's rather frightening that the '80s are back in style. Especially since to some of us they weren't in style even when they were happening.

But I agree -- LG's hair is awesome. (Or as Moon Unit Zappa might have said, "totally tubular!" Which does not mean literally tubular.)

Love the retro helmet! Very Evel Knievel!

Reya Mellicker said...

Love the wiggly reflections in the river. Very cool. A helmet with an American flag on it? That's got to be at LEAST 20 years old.

I'm so sorry to hear you're attending so many funerals. The party and bike ride were no doubt therapeutic? At least I hope so.

80's haircuts are very cool again. Maybe they should be called 00's haircuts, though, because they aren't as frizzy or as big as our hair was in the 80's, though just as choppy.

Your daughter is gorgeous!!

Queenie said...

Oh darling you look fab.
Love L Gs hair, mind you she could wear a sack and look great (NOT FAIR).

Lynne said...

fab color; fab cut. Well done LG!

I'm so sorry Letty that you've had yet another loss. 56 and no known cause ... how scary ... I am fast approaching that age ... yikes ... makes me all the more adamant not to waste whatever time i have left.

Your helmet is very much 80s as well ... or is it more 70s? very American! :)

xx, hope you're okay

Pod said...

i loved the 80s and all the crap it had to offer. i inadvertently found myself in a club the other week, and felt like i was in 'desperately seeking susan'. i needed that helmet. but i did dance to 'relax' with gay abandon. i am growing my hair as we speak. can you hear it?
funny hair is innit?
later rod, i mean letty

Mike M said...

Tag!!!! You're it! Come see

John Eaton said...

Totally ab fab, Lettie.

John :)

Shelly Lowenkopf said...

See, I warned you: Pod has the place bugged. Watch also for spy cams.
Today, being The Day of the Dead, should be the day for elections in 'Murica.

lettuce said...

glad you enjoyed the view Shelly. Lets hope pod will enjoy the tapes. i've been wearing a bag on my head just in case of spy cams.

V2V, it does. Quite a jolt.

I'll tell her Mols. Hope you are better. Let me know when you'll be in TK, I'll meet you there!

CHAT - Barry Sheen! hahaha.

RW not a bad idea re the helmet.

antipo now its been cut, its less glossy and more full of "product" :o/

kimy it is a season for remembering the lost, isn't it?

TT its hard to get a balance sometimes between the look backward and the look forward

KLulu I am proud of her! :o)

CGP (could be crafty guinea pig?) I can't remember my comment, must re-visit! but yes, I have just the one.

Steve - Evel Knievel, what a guy!

Reya, you always make me laugh. 00's haircut! yes, she is.

Queenie, you're back, yay! hope you are well.

thanks lynne. You too. xx

pod. Accidental clubbing? gay abandon? hmmmmmm. Watch your goldilocks don't turn into a mullet behind your back.

mike. Um. I'd say thanks, but that might be reckless. I will come and look.

ta john.

lettuce said...

PS everyone, my days are a bit dark and dismal at the momdent, but your comments make me smile, thanks.

Joyce said...

ok, WHAT? they are asking for 80's haircuts? I'm sure our mothers warned us about this sort of thing. But weren't the eighties about four years ago? doesn't it take a little longer than that for trends (bad ones) to reappear?

(BUT she looks so, so gorgeous.)

and I'm so sorry about your friend. That's just wrong.

Queenie said...

Lettice if you get chance nip over to me and see my new family addition, you never know he might make you smile....(((hugs))))

trac said...

Crikey - you are brave! I haven't been on a back of a bike since the 80's - 4 years ago! :O)

Shelly Lowenkopf said...

You are so a writer. Ask Pod. He'll tell you.

Gary said...

Well, there you have it - life in six steps. The joys, loves, accomplishments, loss, death, memories, longing, beauty, reflection, celebration and fashion. A beautiful mix of gifts don't you think?