Mar 26, 2014
Today was the most stressful day we have had since we arrived in France some three weeks ago. Apparently there is a list of things that are considered the most stressful and the top three are considered to be public speaking, the death of a family member and moving house. Well, I've got news for those who developed this list. As far as I can tell, for women at least, there is something that tops the list in spades. It occurs when women try to get their hair cut, coloured and styled in a foreign language and a foreign city. Believe me this is a terrible experience and no husband in his right mind will ever be present when this takes place. The worst time in this process is when everything is complete, since only then does the disaster become fully apparent and there is no acceptable answer to the question 'What do you think of my hair?' You are on a hiding to nothing no matter what you respond.
The day started badly with World War III about to break out when we arrived at the address of the hairdresser only to find that it was seemingly in a private house. Unfortunately we were at the wrong Avenue du Parc and the one we needed was some fifteen kilometers on the other side of Toulouse in Blagnac, near the airport. The reason we had to find this particular hairdresser is because according to our web search, they are the only one in the whole of France that appeared to use Goldwell hair products which were required to match the colour formula that we had carefully brought from Melbourne. It then turned out that they only used certain Goldwell hair products, none of which were the ones we needed. It also turns out that Goldwell hair products, which are common (or should I say popular) in Australia are available in America, United Kingdom and other parts of Europe (and may even be in Africa and Asia) but they are not available in France. The anxiety began immediately but nevertheless we were reassured that the same thing could be achieved with a far superior product from Wella. So we made an appointment for later in the day and went for lunch whilst they were closed between midday and 2.00 pm.
We had lunch at the Blagnac Commercial Centre, probably four times the size of Doncaster Shopping Town. The second reason for coming to Toulouse was to purchase a black jacket because, in spite of packing enough clothes for four months in France, there didn't seem to be the precise clothing options that would be necessary to wear at a dinner in Oxford. Fortunately we had to get back to the hairdresser so the time available for any purchase was limited. After a few false moves we came across a place which looked to have something suitable and the highlight of the day was the purchase of a black jacket and white shirt.
The hair appointment proceeded and I think I have described the nature of this process already and I don't need to go into the precise details of what took place. From my point of view, however, the result was highly successful and I thought Jenny looked terrific.
We drove into the centre of Toulouse, had an aperitif in the Capitol square and attempted to drive home. We drove in circles for about an hour, constantly visiting the center of town and various freeways before we finally managed to find our way out of Toulouse to Mazamet. I think it was on the third occasion that we drove past the statue of Jean d'Arc that World War III finally broke out. We then drove to Mazamet in silence for the end of a most stressful day.
One day we will return to Toulouse to see some of its treasures!