The Pursuit of Happiness: Hair

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Picture via Tumblr/Adele’s Instagram

I’ve decided to start my own Happiness campaign which sounds cheesy AF and it is but fuck knows I need it right now.

The concept of happiness to me is ever-changing. Every now and again, and don’t get me wrong I’m not miserable or sad as I type this, I just feel like I need a joy injection. Just a little something that delivers a swift shot of euphoria to keep me going.

This can be in the form of almost anything, from a new lipstick to three great days in a row at the gym (even one tbf). It can be a series of really good #selfies or a drinking session. The point is it doesn’t matter what it is but you’ll recognise it when you see it. Or more to the point, when you feel it.

So I’m going to spend this Summer exploring the things that make me happy. I’m going to start with this post on hair which is a hugely superficial sounding thing but is actually, in many ways, a much deeper topic to explore.

Wondering what the flip I’m going on about? It’s okay, that happens a lot round here. To hair!

I got my barnet cut off last weekend (image in that thumbnail over there on the right). Big fucking deal you might be thinking but I’ve been a long-haired lady for at least the last decade so bite me. I’ve been having it cut gradually shorter for the last couple of months but wasn’t happy with the overall effect (basically nobody noticed). This is likely because I was too scared to ask for what I actually wanted, something I am renowned for.

Eventually I got exactly what I wished for with a new (and amazing) hairdresser who just got me. It’s short man, and I bloody love it!

My husband does not. But that’s okay, it’s a shock to the system and essentially it grows out of my head so I get to choose. He’ll hopefully come round to how happy it makes me and deal with it.

I mean it’s not like he’s gone off me or anything but it has opened my eyes once again to men. The delicate feelings of poor overlooked and misunderstood men.

I’m not attacking my life partner per se but it’s a head of hair for fuck’s sake. Why shouldn’t a woman do what she wants with it? Why is the (mostly male) concept of femininity so wrapped up in the length of a woman’s hair?

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Forever my inspo but also for hair right now ❤

Femininity to me is so much more and sure, it’s hard to define but it’s more than just a hairstyle (and it’s not gender specific either, yo).

We can’t all waft about with Khaleesi locks and it’s okay. Neither could Daenerys if she was doing anything other than breaking chains and fucking about with dragons, she’d at least have it up in a jaunty pony out of the way. But still men expect us to look that way, like a ‘woman’ at all times, comfort be damned.

Truth is, my long hair was cool and all but it was hell and I never maintained it the way I ‘should’ have. It got badly tangled the closer I got to ‘trim’ time and it was humiliating to sit in a salon having someone comb out the knots for 20 minutes at a time. I felt like a horse and not a prize-winning stallion, let me tell you.

So I decided to change it, for maintenance and also to change it up. Looking through Facebook I’ve had the same do the entire time. I want to look cute as much as the next person – and now I think I do.

I look upon my new hair as a political statement (albeit a small one). One in the eye of the men who’ve asked me what I’ve done to my ‘lovely long locks’.

The Italian man in the Co-op whispered about it with his colleague as I perused the sandwiches for god’s sake. How about I’m not your property?

How about you ring up this Cheese & Pickle, my man and shut your damn mouth?

So yes, I’m looking into happiness on the whole. Who knows where it may take me? But for now, I feel great about my new look and can’t stop running my fingers through my glossy bob (or ‘lob’ = long bob). I’d say that’s a pretty good start.

What makes you happy? (You answer doesn’t have to be existential, it can be as basic as you like) ❤

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Definitely May(be) & My June/July Pledge

Artist’s rendition of what Jill and I will look like hanging out

May looks set to be a very packed month round these parts. I’ve already chalked off my first social engagements (which went swimmingly) and can now start looking forward to the arrival of a very special guest indeed.

Clue: it’s not the Queen of England. It’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more exciting than that!

I’m thinking you’ll get a lot of social media updates about the penultimate week in May when Jillian and I are finally together so maybe we’ll get creative on that front and wow you with something different. Or maybe we’ll just eat lots, go and see lots, and watch lots. That’s more likely tbh.

I can’t say much other than I’m really starting to get excited about the whole visit. Although, not so excited about the extensive Spring cleaning I will have to do before our home is fit for guests (You’re worth it Jill).

I’d also like to take a moment in this post to lay down my pledge for the next few upcoming months (if it’s in writing I have to do it right?):

From the 1st of June to the 31st July 2016 I, Christa Bass, will not shop

Since that is rather a bold statement, I will elaborate below.

During the month of June and July 2016:

  • I cannot buy: shoes, clothing, accessories or books
  • I may only buy essentials which include: my base make-up items, shampoo/conditioner, moisturiser and nail polish remover*
  • I can buy gifts for other people but only if required/authorised by my credit card holder (which will be Glynn, who I have chosen as he’s closest)
  • I will remove my credit card details from all my most visited shopping sites which is pretty much just ASOS
  • I will use put money I would ordinarily spend onto my credit card and then into our savings account
  • I am allowed to have my hair and nails done because that comes out of the well-being budget (LOL, loopholes!)
  • Instead of spending money during these months, I will read books from my To Read pile, blog and go to the gym at least 3 times a week

Now I don’t think any of you realise what a profound effect this will have on my day-to-day life as I am such a prolific shopper. Like, I have a very real addiction and I want to try to shake it. I shop alllllll the time and have a package delivered to work nearly every day (if not multiple packages).

I send back a lot of things which is great practice but I do get a big kick out of the initial purchase and receiving of items, which makes me think I need to find another outlet. I don’t know what that outlet is but I’m going to try and find out. I’m hoping it will be working out (for the endorphins not weight loss, yo) and blogging more.

So there you are. An exciting month coming up, with two months of sensible behaviour to follow. I think that’s a good balance.

Until then, my friends, it’s business as usual on the blog and in my life. We’ve had some sad news on G’s side of the family which means we’ll be travelling up north in the next week or so but apart from that, same old.

What are you most looking forward to in May/the Summer? ❤

*Includes female products, cotton wool, etc of course but who wants to list every little thing?

Red or Dead

tumblr_nc72uaorcJ1rlvym3o1_500As with my enormous bottom, I always thought of my red hair as a hindrance.

There were times I would curse my mystery benefactor, the one who bestowed the ginger gene upon me without permission and skipped maniacally into the sunset never to be seen again. His myth was replaced with the one about the milkman and I cursed him for decades.

Aunts and relations I had never seen before, nor since, would come out of the woodwork on special occasions to gush about it.

“Women pay thousands for hair the colour of yours” they would repeat, over and over; and I would stand there with my faux-family smile taped on until it was over.

Nothing if not polite.

I was not what you would consider a graceful young person and my teenage years were particularly horrific. I have hair that can be controlled by no man, woman or warrior and even my mother, in all her glory, couldn’t tame the beast.

While my cousin’s strawberry locks were wrestled into delightful french plaits and swinging ponies, with pretty accessories that made her look like baby Carmen Miranda, mine was as coarse as a horse’s. It wasn’t the kind of hair one simply twisted up and before long I ended up with a very unbecoming crop, courtesy of Mama.

Picture the scene. A toothy ginger girl with an orange short back and sides sent into the world to find her way. It was soul affirming (eventually) but then I felt ugly and unique in a freakish way; absorbed in my own adolescent self-pity.

As I grew up and the reins of control vis-a-vis my head follicles passed into my own hands, I took it through a series of experimental phases as all teenagers do. I regret not colouring it better and am highly jealous of all the pastels wafting around today, but I did visit every possible shade of red from pillar box to maroon. You could say, although I dyed it a lot, I never really veered off the crimson path.

Except for once with the blue-black. We don’t talk about the blue-black period…

My new crazy Brighton life saw it cut into the ‘Kelly Osbourne’ circa The Osbournes and that was lovely. I would slap on Directions hair dye like it was going out of style and our white bath took on a vaguely pink tint as the years passed.

As I travelled and settled then moved on again, as my life took many twists and turns, the one constant was my hair. I would always take the time to keep my colour fresh. When I started talking to my now husband whilst still in Canada, I was working Scarlet Power, a dark red that would glow like lava in the sunlight.

In the end I decided to try my natural shade back on for size. It was a decision fuelled by my age, if I’m honest. I didn’t want to be ‘brassy’ coming into my mid-thirties and I’m not one to go to a hairdresser to have it done responsibly. Plus, I have a perfectly okay colour so before it starts to turn grey, I might as well enjoy the window.

Now I get the same compliments I did as a kid but this time round I can appreciate them. My best friend said I looked like a mermaid the other day, and there’s no higher compliment than that, is there?

It’s taken me over thirty years to be okay with who I really am and I’m going to enjoy it now, dammit.

*swishes hair and flounces off into the sunset*

I ♥ Sundays (and Other Things)

Welcome to my Sunday Appreciation Series, or SAS!

Though the title would suggest an ode to the Day of Rest (hence the addition of ‘and other things’), this is a series of stuff I am currently digging. I love these types of posts from other bloggers and was inspired by Audrey Kitching‘s 20 Things I Love Saturday series.

And while I do love Sundays and have a minor issue with people who don’t appreciate them for what they are (a day off FFS!), not all these things are appreciated on a Sunday.

You with me? Cool.

And so to a few of my  favouritest things…

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My Mad Fat Diary

This amazing comedy drama ended recently and I am already missing it. Based on the true life diary of writer, Rae Earl, it’s the most accurate coming of age tale I have ever seen. Overweight and troubled Rae gets to grips with making new friends, college, family life, self-esteem and first love to the back drop of the best 90’s soundtrack ever.

Since Rae and I grew up in basically the same era, I feel like this could have been my teen life being broadcast. And although my adolescence wasn’t quite as dramatic, I can certainly identify with Rae’s feelings of inadequacy and perpetual awkwardness.

Rae is played by the incredible Sharon Rooney who makes me feel things I thought I had left behind a long time ago (or rather I wish I had). MMFD has everything going for it, makes me laugh and cry in equal measure and features lovely Fit Finn. What more do you need, eh?

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This Hair (Above)

OMFG. Just look at it! Pretty pastel up dos from the Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2014 shows. I want them all for myself.

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Jameela Jamil

Not only is Jameela a total fox, she has also impressed me lately, first with her blog (especially this post) and then in this interview she gave to The Guardian about female empowerment and the reaction she got on Twitter for daring to criticise Miley Cyrus.

New hero.

Running

I am the worst runner right now. Terrible. Embarrassing.

Yet, I feel like a flipping GODDESS for doing it anyway. Sometimes I run for 45 seconds, sometimes 30, sometimes even less. My shins hurt. But so fucking what? It’s still my arse running and my flabby bits flapping in the wind.

I think I’m becoming addicted to the buzz I get after I’ve been out, whether it’s been a short run or a long walk. The times they are a change-ing…

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Game of Thrones Season Four

Winter is coming… and the rest! I cannot wait.

A weekend of recapping Season Three has proven that I’m terrible with names and remembering plot lines. But boy do I love this show more than any other show that has ever been before it. Even The Sopranos.

~

So that’s if for my first SAS post.