chapter 4 part 4

Geraldine handed over the information and made a note on her Jotter of the times. Sorted, bit of luck really, they would never believe it at A Cut Above – she hardly believed it herself, and she almost hoped that she would bump into Richard Tuesday night – that would show him, ha. Tuesday then, she had to be at ‘Snips’ for just before 12, and wouldn’t get out much before 2, and from 2 onwards she wanted to just go home and chill and not get her hair messed.

Next on the agenda was a top up tan. She hunted around under the coffee table until she found the parish magazine. She could just never remember the number of ‘The Tanning Solution’ and they were too new to be in the phone directory, and as for trying to work out what the number was for directory enquiries these days, well that was all too complicated. She had been caught out before. She had not been able to remember the new number of her best friend Anne who had just moved house. Usually you would expect people to take their telephone number with them if they were moving locally, but not Anne. She just had to take over the number at the cottage she was moving to.

“Well Ger darling, the cottage knows its telephone number and the fang shoe is so right with it. My old number is just so wrong for a cottage; I don’t want to upset the ambiance.” Geraldine had nodded and agreed; it seemed the most sensible thing to do with people tied up in the mysteries of feng shui, even if they pronounced it ‘fang shoe’ and tried to correct you every time you said ‘fung shway’. Geraldine never did see the imbalances that had been supposedly corrected by feng shui, and often thought a room seemed colder and certainly more impractical after it had been ‘done’. If she wanted her settee to face the telly, then it jolly well would. And if she wanted the TV next to the aerial point thoughtfully installed by the builders just next to the also thoughtfully provided double electrical socket – then that was where it would jolly well go. A few weeks before, she had wanted to phone Anne but could not remember the number, tried 192 and got a useful message informing her that the directory enquiries number had now changed, but did not give her its replacement number. That puzzled her for a moment, of course she knew that the numbers were changing to 118 some thing or other, but had just assumed that the old directory enquiries would give you the number for the new directory enquiries. Now what? Who do you call for the number for directory enquiries? She had a plan. Sit down to watch her completely un feng shui’d TV and write down the number of the first advert for the new 192. Every time she turned on the telly these days it seems adverts for directory enquiries were interrupted by programmes on how to re wallpaper your garden and re pot the small beech tree covered in Christmas Lights in the corner of the sitting room, all hosted by a man who seemingly could either not afford cufflinks, or whose mother had not taught him the intricacies if their use. The devil knows how difficult they must be to do up if your mother had not taught that small detail to you at kindergarten stage. Several hours of television study later she had known why women cheated on their husband with other men and then cheated on the other men back with their husband, had watched wonderful programmes on beauty, hosted by women who were anything but, dieting by women who were at least a size 18, and had learned from Delia how to boil an egg. What she had not seen was any adverts at all for directory enquiries. True she had spent nearly one hour watching ‘Big Strong Boys’, and they were on the BBC and so of course were never interrupted by adverts, but well, there they were, men who knew how to dress themselves, no need for cufflinks at all. She had suspected that the adverts had all been on whilst she drooled over their pectorals, or all come together and rushed into her TV in the two minutes that she had put the kettle on and nipped to the loo.