Bowery Mural

My New Hair by Jones and Payne

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Before I set off on my trip to London last Wednesday I went onto the hotel website I was staying at. The Hoxton in Shoreditch. A lovely hotel by the way. More on that later. On the website is a Hoxton guide. I nosed about the many bars, restaurants, clothes shops, things to do and then... hairdressers. Those who know me know that i struggle when going to the hairdressers. I have only ever found one girl who cut my curly hair nice. I've only ever been happy with my colour a handful of times and it has been nearly one year (June 2010) since I had my hair cut or coloured. When i got it done i thought it was pretty nice but seeing an old photo from back last year I realised the blond highlights were quite unnatural looking and a bit too harsh for my complexion. We live and learn though.

My hair was long, away down my back and was catching on everything. By that I mean when i put a jacket on it'd get stuck in there. Sitting back on chairs felt like someone was tugging at it. And it was jut too long, although I did manage to figure out how to do a high bun! So I'd been thinking about a hair cut for oh at least 5 days or so. Now, since I've had a lot of hair disasters (drama) I'm a bit of a hairdresser phobic but after doing some research on the web about a salon just minutes from my hotel, I decided that now was as good a time as any.

I checked Twitter (like you do) and found them on there and boldly sent a tweet to Jones and Payne in Shoreditch. The next morning I was due to get the train at 10:30am and by 8:30 I had a reply saying I'd be best to call the salon for a chat. As I stood on the train platform I plucked up the courage and explained I was coming to London for a visit and would like a cut and colour if at all possible. I was given a consultation appointment for 5pm that night and felt better about the experience.

I arrived at Kings Cross about 3:45 and was at my hotel by 4:15. Pretty good going. The journey had been fairly relaxed and the sunshine when i arrived was a tonic. I headed around to the salon for 5. It was pretty impressive. Bright and modern with great vintage touches such as old chairs with great footrests, gilt gold mirrors and wooden floors. Small touches like a hook underneath the shelf/tables to hang your bag on. Talking of shelves. A good sturdy substantial shelf with enough room for magazines, mobile phone, drink, brushes and my glasses. I liked this as normally in other salons I've been left to hold a cup, magazine and my glasses as the shelf is nothing more than a 12 square inch of glass. A bonus were the staff I came across, all very friendly. Normally I get intimidated going into a 'fancy' salon let alone one on a huge city like London so to have someone say hi and smile is a nerve settler. I was offered a drink straight away to which i declined. I didn't think I'd be staying that long. A few minutes later Charlotte came up the stairs introduced herself and we chatted away. She asked me what I wanted. I explained I wanted rid of the harsh blond rooty mess. I'd also quite like my silver hairs(!) covered but not with an unnatural brown colour. And that I actually quite liked the grown out subtle colour hairdo's that seem to be popular just now. After a chat she knew what I was talking about but then i explained I was only here for a few days and wasn't sure if she'd have time to do it. She went to reception then came back to say she could do it there and then but that i could come back the following day for my cut. I agreed and was happy.

We went downstairs where she matched my hair up with the colour swatches and explained a bit more about what would be done and then went to mix the colours. I was brought a drink, still water, as it was very hot. hen Charlotte got started. I was a bit nervous but I remember thinking that I was confident she would give me what I wanted. After about half an hour the colour was on, some freehand paining on was done i think. Then I was left for another 20 minutes or so until the colour developed. Magazines and another drink was brought but to be honest the music that was playing was really very good. Think we were on a bit of late 90's early 2000's trip down memory lane with some very old thrown in. My feet were tapping. All around me people were coming and going and having their hair washed. Downstairs was where the wash basins were, behind a curtain of black string.

This is me waiting before any colour is applied. See me blonde grown out hair? eesh!

When my hair had suitable coloured I was taken to have it washed. Man I'd give anything to have a head massage like that at least once a week. Bonus klaxon alert number 24: the chairs were massage chairs and an excellent point to note here was that for the first time in a while i was comfortable leaning back against the sink to have my hair washed. You know that neck pain you sometimes get because the chair is at the wrong angle for you leaning back? didn't get it here. Comfy as anything.

She scrunched dried my hair and then began to curl it onto loose waves with skinny GHD's. It was so cool, even if i do say so myself and the colour?! Well it was perfect and exactly what I was looking for. She showed me the back via a mirror and I was so pleased with it. Charlotte was very lovely by the way. I paid my bill and left with a smile and swished it about all the way back to the hotel.

Swoosh, swoosh

The next day when i woke the curls were still there sorta and had worked their way into a kind beach style wave. I wandered about London and the Tate Gallery until it was time to head back for my hair cut. I arrived again just before 5 to another warm reception. There were a few more people waiting on appointments. I was taken after a few minutes and this time it would be Lewis who would cut my hair. Again after a little chat about what i did and didn't want we headed downstairs again where my hair (and those lovely loose waves) were washed and massaged again. My hair had never had a treat like this in a while so I soaked it all in. Upstairs Lewis worked magic and cut a couple inches off the back then layered it. He then curled it in a way I'd never have thought of and it ended up lovely. He showed me the back and the freshened up layers seemed to show off the coloured ends pretty well. I was a happy curly girl when I left again.

Overall I loved my experience at Jones and Payne. Right from when I tweeted and got a prompt reply through to walking out with my freshly finished hair. If only there was somewhere like that close to home. I have two stamps on my loyalty card now though so who knows, I might take a trip back again in a few months for a top up!

Huge thanks to Charlotte and Lewis, and to Stewart for fitting me in on my short trip to London. Excellent service. I hope to be back!

Angela x

In the area? hit Jones and Payne up on Facebook or Twitter.


London - the prologue

Thursday, 21 April 2011

I sit here in the lobby are of The Hoxton Hotel in London where i've been for a few days. It's nearly 11.30pm and the place is buzzing with people still. Just wanted to check in and let you know i've had a great couple days so far and i'll be giving a few more posts on this here London trip when i get home on Saturday night.

A highlight so far has been that i finally took the plunge and got my hair cut and coloured while i've been here. It was done at a lovely salon just round the corner from the hotel called Jones and Payne. I thoroughly recommend them if you're in the area. I'll give you the full story on how i came to London and got new lovely hair!

Another highlight was i walked along the southbank this morning and visited Tate Modern again. I wanted to catch an exhibition this time and lo and behold there was a Joan Miro exhibition that has just started. I love Joan Miro's work. Some of it a bit off the wall but i generally like it as there's lost of colours and something to keep your eyes amused. I also saw the Ai Weiwei seed installation. Strange one. There must be millions there in the Turbine Hall, i wanted to grab one but of course you aren't allowed so i didn't risk it.

Aah I'm so tired but check back at the weekend for my London trip posts.

Angela x

Irn Bru Summer - Phenomenal

Friday, 15 April 2011

This has been a week of ups and downs. The downs being i've had a sinking cold since Tuesday and it's only now i think it's beginning to lift. I've persevered and went to work not feeling my best but there was work to be done as it was busy with loads of essays and dissertations being submitted. I just couldn't take a sick day this week. I was thinking too that i've not had a cold nor a cough like this since i came back from Nepal which, as it happens, will have been two years ago tomorrow! How time flies. I've been keeping tabs on teams who are now making their way up the Khumbu valley in the Himalayas in the hope of summiting Everest. Good luck all.

An UP of this week was when i attended a preview screening of the new summer IRN BRU advert. I was invited along with a few other bloggers and podcasters to One Devonshire Gardens to a BBQ (on a wet Wednesday afternoon) but the place was brightened by the all familiar blue and orange colours of my favourite drink, IRN BRU. We were given a nice BBQ and cuppas and then shown the ad a few times. I have to say it's very fun, cartoony, fast-paced and to top it off the music is 'pencil full of lead' by Paolo Nutini which suits the pace of it down to the ground. The idea is a typical Scottish summer, you know, people shaped lobsters frying on a beach, midges, music festivals, mud, and of course Irn Bru. You can see it tonight on tv and also over on the Irn Bru website. I'd like to thank the girls from Burt Greener for inviting me. My goodie bag was loaded with summer accessories like a beach towel, beach ball, sunscreen, drinks plus more. I had an enjoyable time but was glad to be home when the chills and shivers started to set in.

Angela x


Awkward and Awesome

Friday, 8 April 2011

Woops! i totally forgot about Awkward and Awesome Thursday post. That's because my blogging challenge finished i think. Anyway, here goes...

  • Getting a virus on my work computer and my profile having to be deleted and now things fell different. It looks different too. Hmmm.
  • I made cupcakes for my sisters birthday ad mothers day last Sunday but they didn't turn out the best. I ran out of caster sugar and the buttercream icing was too runny. Next time they'll be perfecto!
  • When the bank phones your house with an automated message to say there is suspicious activity on your account. Your mum panics but it turns out it's only the pair of shoes you've ordered from a site in the USA. (another pair of Toms). *smileyface*
  • You're at spin class and a mature lady sits on the bike next to you. She stops and starts all the way through class and you're dying to fling her off the bike or shout 'pedal' to her. You know fine well if she stops pedalling without proper cool down her legs will cease up later on. You don't shout, you leave her but scowl because it's putting you off your stride. Grrr..

  • My red Toms shoes. I bought them last weekend in Glasgow as I wore a pair of pump shoes which were digging into my feet and making them red and sore. So I hopped into Office shoes and bought the brightest shoes I could find. I did want another pair of Converse but these Toms were so so comfortable, slipper like. They've been getting a mixed reaction, mostly 'are you wearing slippers?'.
  • I spent nearly a full day in Glasgow last Saturday. Just wandering and shopping and people watching. It was good, plus I threw in a little cinema visit too. Saw Source Code. Okay film but not fantastic. I'd heard the chemistry between Jake G and Michelle M was 'sizzling'!! Err I didn't see that at all. She's ok at rom coms but not this kinda movie in my opinion. I'd give it 3 stars out of 5.
  • I got a fantastic invite through email. I'm not sure I'm allowed to say what it is yet but it's in a very posh hotel next week. I'll blog afterwards and try to get loads of pictures.
  • I'm making more plans for my trip to London and am way too excited.

Angela x



Sunday, 3 April 2011

I took a little Twitter break last week. It was partly because I wasn't feeling at my best and we all know there's some on Twitter who'd rather you didn't talk about the sometimes rotten things in life because it upsets their equilibrium when they're high from winning that new job or taking delivery of their iPad2, that sits well on the desk at home along with their iPod, Shuffle, Macbook, iPad1, iPhone 4, MacBook Air and their 27" iMac. But also because I couldn't be bothered with the moaning of some folk.

I did observe a lot though. I learned a lot of things. That some (whether they wish to admit it or not) are using scheduled tweets. Some will *never* say anything remotely down incase it has a negative effect on their brand, personal or business. (I ask though, is that being real? I mean is it??...). Some have the monopoly on the woe is me syndrome and they use it to full effect every day, sometimes every hour - tedium. Some people are genuinely funny and tweet great tweets, magical tweets that I'd like to have the imagination to write. Some are genuine real nice people. They stick out like a sore thumb in an increasingly tough environment where lots seem to be fighting to impress with every tweet. There's the shameless pluggers who are trying to get you take up their services. I'd give them a brief sentence of advice - LESS IS MORE. Too many plugging tweets and it begins to look a bit desperate. If your product is that great why do you need to keep pushing it and using tricks to fool people into thinking that someone very famous uses your service and when they click the link said famous person clearly does not use your product. There's the bloggers i like to follow who are creative, imaginative, not overly pushy and best of all they are the real people who inspire me because usually they're doing a job out of love and not out of making as many bucks in as quick a time as possible. There's the parents with children that you occasionally get a glimpse of but you almost always get an idea of how their days have gone. There's the forty-somethings who flirt their way through the stream. The people who RT their pals, not because they have something good to say but because it's their pal. The wonderfuls who take pictures of things - I love seeing other peoples pictures. Their's trusted friends who actually remember that they haven't seen you in a while. There's tried-hards that try too hard. The people with social media in their job titles who post blogs on the same old stuff but regurgitate it in their own way. Much like the folk who take a story and post it to their blog, tweet the link to it and ... well you know the rest. The people who live their whole lives on Twitter. The gurus who are trying everything to convince you they aren't gurus, usually by criticising folk who have the audacity to use it on their bios. Makes me laugh.

Thank goodness for the good ones though eh.

What things do you observe on Twitter?

Angela x


A Blog Each Day in March

Friday, 1 April 2011

April first marks then end of my personal blog each day in March challenge. I did it. I stuck to it. Granted, some days were light on the words but then you're probably glad of that.

What have i learned? Well it's given me the impetus to keep blogging regularly so i shall be. Maybe not every day but every other day, certainly. I've learned that I should keep two posts as a back-up as there were a few days i had to call on help for topic ideas. I actually quite liked the challenge. I was dreading it a bit when i started but i did find stuff to blog about each day.

During this time i was trying to think if my blog fitted into any category, because recently I've found lots of nice blogs to read which are mostly fashion ones. And i definitely don't fit into that bracket - fashion. I definitely don't want to be a social meeja blog. Can you imagine? Regurgitating what everyone else is writing about that day and trying to be the first to hit the publish button. No thank you. Although I'll probably never shut up about Twitter and this here Blogger platform as I'm sure big things are gonna happen soon.

No, I think I can only say that my blog is about me and all aspects of my life and I'm not sure what category that fits into. Actually, I don't want to fit into a category and be labelled. Labelling is limiting. I'll just be me, it's all i can be and hope that you stick around for the journey.

In other news, it's been two years, yes TWO WHOLE YEARS since the trek to Nepal. I'll have more to say on that soon and a book about it. Yes, you heard right. A book about the trek and everyone on it. Stay tuned.

In other 'other news', I got an interesting email from someone the other day about another blog i write for. I am being invited somewhere! I will have details from said person soon. It's all very exciting and intriguing and I'm not sure I'm going yet (I want to wait to see what it's all about), but as you know, I will blog about it. If i'm allowed.

Peace out
Angela x