My Hair Piece (not Herpes)

Dear Friends,

Apologies for the delay to the avid readers who can’t wait for my next instalment: I’ve been on the “outernet” whilst moving and awaiting my re-entry into the internet. There’s been lots of web spinning and building and now I’m back with you. Clever stuff, eh? I continue to take technology for granted and have a very black-box approach to all things interwebby. In fact, my black-box approach means I appreciate instruction books more than on-line support, and I particularly like people who come and sort out black boxes for me

I’ve been going round and round in circles about my Hair Piece. Given how that sounds when I read it back, perhaps I should say my “Piece of Writing About Hair”, to make it clear that although I may have a brain tumour, I don’t have Herpes. Well, I don’t think I do. If I did that’d be itchy or nasty and sore, right? My “Hair Piece”, isn’t about the wig the NHS kindly provided me with (which I haven’t worn in public yet I hasten to add, as it makes me feel like a fraud), it’s a piece of writing I’ve been thinking about and playing with for a while, about the Value of Hair.

I’ve surveyed friends, whose hairstyles are different to mine, wanting to calculate the cost (the fiscal impact as H.M.’s Treasury would say) of cuts, colours, tints, high-lights, low-lights, products, and styling accessories. Then add to that the cost in time, the man or woman hours spent on hair washing, conditioning, and in front of the mirror being coloured, cut, dried, straightened, curled, clipped and gripped.  Then add to that the cost to the environment, the pollution to our water systems with the ammonia-based colourants, the sterates and other chemical stuff that doesn’t just vanish when we wash it down the sink. Then add to that the cost in terms of energy for the hair dryers, heating tongs and straighteners. What does it cost our Nation daily for us all to have our hair done? Probably a bit of a worrying one to consider just as we have the drought appeal launched for the Horn of Africa.

I was well on track for a real rant about the financial, environmental and time costs of something that is after all just hair. But then, again, I was called “Sir”. It wasn’t the first time, or the second. It was the third time in the last 3 months, and it totally pisses me off. Just because I have a hair-do, I won’t call it a style, that is not typical for women or ladies, they see the short crop, and look no further and assume I am male. All of the defendants have been men, and they have omitted to notice (a) my breasts, (b) my earrings, (c) my make-up albeit subtle, and (d) other girly bits, like hand-bags, sunglasses, rings and things. My boarding-pass name and passport, with my on, perhaps a clue to my gender? I’ve not yet come up with a reply that I can deliver as a timely response whilst I shrivel-up inside and curse them silently. I need to find one, and practice my comeback. Your help would be welcome, as being called “Sir” renders me speechless, aghast with frustration. It reminds me of that song “I may not be a lady, but I’m all woman…” who sung that? Answers on a postcard please.

 So, I ask myself, why is it necessary to assign a gender to someone when unsure? Surely in this 21st century, where we have all kinds of sexual diversity, same sex couples, cross-dressing, gender changes, the traditional “his” and “her” roles, styles and titles are becoming obsolete. Back to my point: so, from cursing the financial, environmental and time costs of hair in one breath, and then cursing the mistaken gender assignment in another, I realise that hair is a huge part of how we make gender assignments, first impressions, how we judge others on how kempt or unkempt they are, where they sit on the sliding scales of clean to grubby, softie to hard-man, high maintenance to low maintenance. Then my neighbour’s little boy, all 3 years of him, the littlun who asked “why does Vicky have tuna in her head?” several months back, he asked his Mummy “Why has Vicky got a boy’s hair cut?”. I laughed when she told me. Then I resigned myself. I must make a hair appointment to have it cut into a more feminine style when it grows and warrants it. No more DIY-hair-cuts with the clippers for me.

So, I think I’ve gone full circle now. From hair piece and herpes, to my unwarranted Knighthood and my realisation that hair is an expression of ourselves that says lots about us without words. As I have very little hair at the moment, I have to compensate by using more words. Can you tell?!

I’m doing well thanks, in good spirits and fighting form, relatively speaking. No surprise I am hammering Chemo in the Tournament still, with my Phil and Eric being well practiced at finding new friends now that they are into Cycle 5.  If Vix were a tennis player, she’d have surely lasted longer than my fellow Scot Andy Murray did at Wimbledon. The Chemo Tournament score-line is 116-20 with 136 days of play so far, and it has to be downhill from here, surely?  There’s been some fatigue and I’ve been taking things relatively gently, but no infections or bugs. So, despite what people say about public transport as breeding dens for germs and bugs, I seem to be pretty resilient given that I am carless. My move went smoothly thanks to a very able Father and Brother moving company. Being home definitely feels like the right thing for me. Being with neighbours and friends, able to enjoy the garden and go into the office for work may seem dull to some, but it feels great to me. I’ll be back up to Glasgow for hospital visits and to see friends, but it feels very good to be home.

The fundraising exploits: I am quietly planning (and not training) for my next venture: VixBigHalf. I am hoping to complete the Dingle Half Marathon in September, joining my utterly amazing friends Lindy and Lisa who are on their own fundraising mission in the US. I played rugby with Lindy in my Leicester Stoneygate RFC era, and we’ve remained great buddies. My good fortune is that I’ve made great friends though her too. I love that friends-of-friends thing, where you become instant real friends by association, and it’s nothing to do with Facebook! That’s how I know Lisa. Lindy and Lisa are doing an event a month over the summer, totalling a 10k run, two half marathons, a triathlon and a 6 hour relay, to raise funds and awareness of two charities that are close to my heart, in the USA, Smith Farm centres which are akin to Maggie’s in the UK, and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure.  They seem to have heat-waves over in the US, so they get to really sweat for me by proxy, by the bucket load whilst wearing lots of rubber and lycra. I’m sure they will bring good weather to Dingle for the finale Half Marathon in September. If you fancy a BigHalf, do join us in Dingle, Co Kerry, Ireland:

To find out more and support these amazing ladies, have a look…

Lindy and Lisa’s summer of Living, Loving & Laughing (and sweating) for Vix:

A massive thanks to the fantastic rugby players and coaches at Richmond WRFC where I used to play when I was fit and strong enough to compete in the Premiership and International rugby scene. Richmond WRFC celebrated 25 years of being a few weeks back. An evening which I unfortunately couldn’t be at, but no doubt resulted in some classy hangovers if leopards don’t change their spots. I was delighted to hear that they their raised their glasses and several hundred pounds for my chosen charities. Rugby Club spirit is truly wonderful.
Just as a gentle reminder for those who need it, VixTryAgain on 9-10th June 2012 will be your opportunity to make your debut or hone your skills as a triathlete. If you say that you are part of a bigger group (Team Vix) we will hopefully get to start in the same wave. Here’s the link: Don’t be shy.

For some silliness, let me know if you fancy having a go at this in the garage?

I continue to be humbled and eternally grateful for your continued support and positive vibes and well wishes and silliness. Take care of you and yours, and do let me know your news.

Live, Love and Laugh, with extra big kisses and bone-crunching hugs

Not Sir, not Lady, just….  Vix   xxx

P.S. Do let me know if you are going to the RWC in NZ later this year.


One thought on “My Hair Piece (not Herpes)

  1. Hi Vix. I used to play rugby at Old Leamingtonians and got your weblog from Janine McComiskey. My wife had a brain tumour too. The rugby community is amazing and the club have been fantastic with support and raised money for us to do a few final trips as well as in Jane’s memory for the hospice that cared for Jane in her final days.

    Good on you for doing all these fantastic fundraising things.
    I am ashamed to admit that I know “All Woman” was a Lisa Stanfield song….
    When people call me Sir, I am known to simply pull up my shirt and flash my boobs. That usually does the trick. Or, if in too public a place, I shake my boobs. That works too 🙂

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