Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Generous benefits included

I was talking to a friend recently about job perks; as you know the biggest perk to my job is thirteen weeks a year in holiday. Apart from the fact that I also work in a good school with great students (oh yes, and I have a good pension) that is about it. Unless I moved to a job in private education, my benefits would pretty much remain the same, no matter which school I taught in. However, if I changed industry, I could benefit from a little of this. Am I thinking about changing career? No. Will I send my headteacher a copy of the article? We'll see!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Sunday Styling III

This week's Sunday Styling session was put on hold due to my last minute decision to retighten my hair. The trouble is, it's not as exciting second time around - why didn't anyone tell me! I started this section yesterday (foregoing my usual hairwashing routine, I might add) and I still haven't finished it. Admittedly I haven't been the most organised person; I can't find my clips and instead am using a variety of things to section off my hair. I shall persevere and hopefully have it finished by the weekend...

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Twelve, Twenty-Four, Hut-Hut

I'm not exactly sure that these are the words said by American Football players, but that's what it always sounds like on the television! I'd be lying if I said I understood the game; but like thousands of others, I was very excited that it had come to London. The Miami Dolphins and New York Giants played at Wembley Stadium today; this was the first game (regular season) to be played outside of North America. Counted as a home fixture for the Dolphins, I understand that it left many of their fans reeling at not being able to see the game without crossing the Atlantic. I did take a look at it on the tv, but I'm afraid I didn't last the distance; it appears that I only like the sort of football that is played for 90 minutes!

Friday, 26 October 2007

In search of Clooney

With all of the border crossing we did, I could be forgiven for being a bit confused about which country I was in! However, when we headed for Como, I knew we were in Italy and even more exciting, we were near George's lakeside hideaway.
Behind it's city walls are a host of historical buildings, including the beautiful Duomo (cathedral). We were able to enjoy a gentle stroll through the streets, an espresso in the town square and a wander through the Farmers Market. As well as the opportunity to taste lots of wonderful organic food and drink, the market presented us with another unforgettable experience!

We made our way to Lake Como, which is the third largest in Italy (I visited the largest one earlier this year). Travelling up into the mountains allowed us to take in more of the stunning views; Breadfruit was a dab hand at driving up (and back down) the very-narrow-very-definitely-only-big-enough-for-one-car mountain road. Whilst I love living in London and the hustle and bustle of city life that goes with it; I really appreciate times like this when I am able to experience more tranquil settings (and of course fresher air).

I was convinced we'd stumbled upon Mr C's place when we found this house; I was wrong!

This is actually Villa Olmo, which once housed Napoleon Bonaparte.
Apparently the Clooney villa is a little smaller!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

I hadn't really considered it before you asked

The question Anonymous asked in relation to my post was:

If you get Sisterlocks but maintain with a latch hook , Nappylocs tool or any method other than using the Sisterlocks tool, do you still have Sisterlocks?

I believe so!
There are people like me, who have Sisterlocks and have taken the step of teaching themselves to retighten their hair and therefore do not have the SL tool. On the other hand there are those who have paid for the SL retightening class, been provided with the tool and then for whatever reason, they have chosen not to use it anymore. Does that mean we are no longer Sisterlocked? I can't see why it would make a difference.
As far as I am concerned, I have Sisterlocks and will call them that no matter which tool I use to retighten them. I have paid a lot of money for the installation and maintenance of my SL's and I'm not about to call them anything else :-)
I am sure that a lot of you will have an opinion on this question - please share them in the comments!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Sunday Styling II

My Sunday styling didn't quite go according to plan this week. It had been my intention to set my hair on Soft Spikes after washing and I actually gave it a good try. The trouble was that my locks wouldn't stay on the curlers; each time I thought I had a curl set, it would unravel. Now I have thought about this and my conclusion is that my hair was too wet (and possibly suffering from a little shrinkage). I think that at the length my hair is currently, my best bet is to put the Soft Spikes in while my hair is dry and then to give them a light spritz with water to help them set.
So this week's styling option has been the ....erm...very little styling option...otherwise known as the freestyle. I have been enhancing this look with hairbands and hairties; speaking of hairties, I have two new ones that I have to share with you soon.

Monday, 22 October 2007

I like to be in America

Although I am now on holiday from work, I was at school today rehearsing. We have a very big show on in a few weeks (can you guess what it is?) and I still have some choreography to finish. The students were in good spirits considering they're supposed to be relaxing at home, and we managed to get alot done. Actually, I had some help from Brunsli and Breadfruit, who helped me to choreograph the prologue in Italy!

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Look away now, if you don't like things with eight legs

We came across this "little" blighter whilst walking up a hill with beautiful views, near Breadfruit's Mum's house. Unlike me, Breadfruit is not scared of spiders, so he moved in for a closer inspection. Brunsli and I stood about twenty feet away explaining (loudly) why he shouldn't be so close to it!
We had a good look at the picture when we got in and Breadfruit worked out that it was a Wolf Spider. Although I find it difficult to look at the picture, i thought it would be rude not to share it with all of you!

(If you zoom in on the picture, you will see that it has its family on its back!)

Saturday, 20 October 2007

From designer treats to delicious eats

After having a fantastic lunch in Italy, we crossed the Swiss border; Brunsli and I went to a huge designer outlet shopping centre and got stuck into some retail therapy. I was amazed by the huge number of Brits there; they were literally being dropped off by the coachload. I resisted the urge to go mad with the temptation of all the % I would save and made only one (or was it two?) small purchase. We followed our shopping trip with a walk around Breadfruit's idyllic hometown in Switzerland; a real treat for a city girl like me.

We popped over to Italy again, briefly, before going to Breadfruit's Mum's house.
Signora Breadfruit is a lovely lady and she made me feel incredibly welcome in her home. We shared stories about her visits to London and my previous trips to Switzerland AND (drumroll please) she immediately recognised my hair as being the same as Brunsli's!
The evening ended with the four of us going for dinner in a wonderful restaurant, which served traditional Ticenese food. Chestnuts are a local delicacy and during the meal I tasted them in several forms, including the delicious ice-cream pictured bottom left. The region also produces a very nice red wine; a few bottles of which made it back to London.

Friday, 19 October 2007

10 Months!

Wow, it's hard to believe that I'm two months away from reaching my one year anniversary!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Blog Idol - a meeting realised

When I made the decision to get Sisterlocks I wasn't completely sure about what I was getting myself in to. As I searched the net for more information and of course pictures, I came across these things called blogs; among them was a blog that was to become my hairpedia. In the four months leading up to my SL installation, I regularly checked in with Brunsli's Hairstory and managed to read all of the archives! I found the blog more helpful than the official SL site and the insights into the rest of her life were entertaining; along the way I asked her a few questions, which she kindly answered and I also developed my hairtie addiction.
So, when the chance to meet up with Brunsli (and Breadfruit) presented itself, I jumped at it. The rugby (come on England!) and the travel chaos it caused, prevented us from meeting in Paris, but we were able to find a solution with a new location.
I have to admit (and I didn't tell her this, so shhhhhh) that I was very nervous about meeting Brunsli; what if she didn't like my hair! However as soon as we met, my nerves quickly disappeared; she is as wonderful in real life, as she comes across in blogosphere and (I hope she agrees!) we got on very well.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Comfort on a plate

What on earth is going on with the England football team; today's result was so disappointing and very frustrating. To be honest, I wasn't convinced by the appointment of Steve McClaren as manager; he hasn't done much to make me think I was wrong. So now our progression into Euro 2008 rests on the outcomes of matches being played by other teams!
To cheer myself and the rest of the family up, I rustled up this pasta dish.
Following these instructions, I used tomatoes, yellow peppers, black olives, spinach and mozarella for the sauce; which, I stirred into penne pasta and topped with parmesan.
Easy peasy and very tasty!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

That was too easy for you

Who was I trying to kid with that picture? That was indeed the unmistakable hair of Brunsli.
And of course I had no trouble finding her at our meeting point; she was the woman with great locks talking to the man with great locks!

Monday, 15 October 2007

Sunday Styling

As I promised (myself), I made a bit more of an effort with my styling after washing my hair last night. Once I removed the bands (no braiding for me) and separated the locks, I canerowed my hair back - about 8 I think - and secured each one with a small hairband. This morning I took them out and that was it, my hair was done. Ok, ok, I styled the crinkled locks a bit by running my fingers through them, but it really was simple to do.
I don't mean to sound weird but, I looked at my hair today and was so very pleased with my decision to lock.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Your hair looks nice...in that picture!

I was showing my sister and my cousin a few of my picture albums (because of course I only have a few!) this evening. My cousin commented that my hair looked nice in a few of the pictures and she wondered why I didn't have it like that more often. I guess I have just become lazy with my hair; now that I have cut it, it takes a lot more effort to style. I have long been an advocate of freestyling; but on reflection I have to agree with my cousin, at it's current length, my hair looks better with a little styling.
It's not as if I don't have the tools to do it; I have my softspikes, I have a growing collection of beautiful hairties and I have some great clips and headbands. I figure that as Sunday evening tends to be hair washing time, it could become hair washing and styling time; a softspike set (or if I'm pushed for time, plain old plaiting) will give my hair an 'I've made a bit of an effort' look for a few days.
Mmmm, we'll see how it goes; I'll keep you posted...

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

To Hilfiger or not to Hilfiger, that is my question

I'm not sure how or where I got the idea from, but for the last few years I have had in my mind that I should have nothing to do with Tommy Hilfiger products. As far as I and my source (whoever or whatever they were) were concerned he had made it clear that his products had not been designed for black people to wear/own. Someone bought me a very nice Hilfiger top which sits in my drawer, as I haven't had the heart to throw it out and of course have refused to wear. When I went to Austria earlier this year, my friend OP had a Hilfiger suitcase; I relayed the story to her and she was mortified. So much so that when we arrived back in the UK, she took the case back to the shop and demanded her money back. She also told the manager of the shop that as a company they should be ashamed of themselves for stocking these products.
Now, I know a lady that has a handbag shop and she recently had a function at her house for friends and family; we were able to browse and purchase some of her stock at discounted prices. When a few people saw the Tommy bags they too relayed the story, it wasn't long before the house was buzzing with the debate. At the time one of the teenagers of the household was on the internet and not wanting to be left out, she started to search for more information; the first thing she came across was this and then she went to Oprah's website. So then of course everybody was very confused, many people there had been like myself and boycotted his products for years; had we been doing this without reason?
If anyone is able to shed some light onto this story, I'd be keen to hear what you have to say. Although it seemed as if I'd been mistaken, I still couldn't bring myself to buy one of his bags; even though there was one there that I really liked!

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Cioccolato bianco

I met up with my friend and her husband for lunch today; it was great because the weather was nice and we were able to dine Al Fresco. They both helped to lift my spirits; as you know I haven't been feeling well this week and I had to take the day off work on Friday. I rarely take time off and usually push myself through whatever is ailing me at the time.

Over lunch we discussed all of the things we have in common and then we hit a wall; she doesn't like white chocolate. How could this be? I love white chocolate and would absolutely take it over plain, or worst still, dark chocolate, anytime. I'm sure that my friend would have it banned, although I'm convinced my white chocolate cheesecake could change her mind!
Perhaps I'll have to make it for her the next time we meet up...

Saturday, 6 October 2007

More buck for my pound

Super T arrived back home today after his trip to Orlando; by all accounts he had a wonderful time. He made good use of the favourable exchange rate; the near empty case he left with, came back bursting at the seams! I've never been to America; now that I have heard about his adventures, I am even more determined to get over there. I think I will take advantage of the strong pound and start buying my $$$ now...

Thursday, 4 October 2007


As much as I love my hair, there is something (actually lots of little somethings) that is driving me mad. There are follicles, which are highly visible everywhere. Not only can I see them, others can aswell; I know this because people have mentioned them. Until I explain what they are, I'm certain that they think my hair is dirty. The temptation to get the scissors out again is becoming stronger; but it does seem as though removing them will be a very delicate operation. I'm sure (ok, I hope) that I'm not the only person with this issue; so what do you do to get rid of yours?
I'm not sure how clear things are in this picture (I know they are there!)...

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

It really wasn't that bad

I started my hair on Friday and as you know, I managed to complete about a quarter of it. I continued by putting in a few hours on Saturday evening and then again on Sunday afternoon.
By the time we left to go out for dinner I still had a fair bit to do; these two pictures show the untightened locks in big twists. By the time I had got to this point, I was feeling really pleased with myself; the degree of satisfaction felt at being in control of my own hair was immense. I really was trying hard to get it finished before and so continued with the tightening after we returned from our very nice Japanese dinner. It wasn't to be and by the time I went to bed I still had a very small section to finish.

I pinned the front up to go to work on Monday; the section on the left is the bit that still needed to be done. It didn't take me long to tighten that section on Monday evening and that was that, I'd finished! For a moment I couldn't believe it, I'd actually managed to do my own hair. Then (unusually for me!), I couldn't stop looking in the mirror; my SO expressed his pride in my achievement too. We tried to calculate how long I had spent on my hair and figured that it was about ten hours. In the end the latch hook was not too difficult to use, although I will pass on Brenda's advice and say that you should look for one with a smaller handle to the one I have. I would also recommend purchasing the latching e-book; as long as you know your SL pattern, it is really easy to follow. I only did two rotations on each lock as I wanted to ensure that each one finished at the same position (in my case 12 o'clock); this is another suggestion, as I think it makes it easier for the next session - I know that I will start each lock at 3 o'clock.

I'm sure that I will order the nappylocs tool; having used the latch hook, I can see how the nappylocs tool might be easier to use. For example, you wouldn't have to keep inserting the lock into the tool as you move around the rotation; something you need to do when using the latch hook. I think this would mean that it would take less time to tighten...
I did try to make my own version using a hair pin! Don't laugh, it did work!
Having managed it myself, I do believe that self-retightening is an option for everyone. I understand that some people will be nervous, as I was myself, about attempting this without doing the SL class. I guess it's about how much confidence you have in yoursefl; I just couldn't see what they would teach me in the class that I couldn't figure out myself. I know there are many of you that have done the class; perhaps you can share your reasons for taking it as opposed to working it out for yourself.

Monday, 1 October 2007