Weekly roundup

My Mum had a massive surprise this week.  She answered the door and her brother and sister-in-law were standing there.  Nothing unusual in that, only they emigrated to Australia 35 years ago and Mum hasn’t seen them for nearly a decade 🙂   They were here to attend a wedding and I went to see them in all their finery.  I opened Mum’s lounge room door and my Aunt was sat on the sofa looking gorgeous.
Me: “Hello!  Oh you look beautiful.”
Aunt: “Oh my goodness what on earth have you done to your hair?”
I haven’t seen her for 10 years and this is her opening line.
Me: “I have hair extensions in.”
Aunt: “No, it’s not that.  Have you changed the colour?  Didn’t you used to be blonder?”
Me: “I’ve never been blond.”
Aunt: “You definitely used to be fairer.  You looked much nicer with fairer hair.”

I never know what my response to statements like this are supposed to be.
“Thanks, it’s nice to know I look like crap.”  or
“Even though I only see you once a decade I’ll rush home and peroxide my hair just to keep you happy.”
Seriously, I would never dream of saying something negative about anyone’s appearance.  What would my intention be?  The only result is to make the person feel shit about themselves and why the hell would I do that to someone I care about?

Of course, my Aunt doesn’t know I’ve lost about 30% of my hair due to my mast cell disease and the rest is pitifully thin so I wear a wig (I tell everyone I have extensions because extensions are acceptable, whereas there is still a stigma involved in wearing a wig).  That’s why my hair looks different.  I can also no longer tolerate hair dye and am not ready to have totally grey hair at the age of 49.  I’m already self conscious about the situation and statements like this really don’t help.  I was brought up that if you don’t have something nice to say you say nothing – I wish more people did the same.

My Camera club don’t meet in the summer, but we get together once a month to socialize and take a few photos.  I haven’t been out socially in the evening since 2016 so on Weds night I decided to go along.  The weather was glorious and we chose a little village with a river, Church and nice pub.  I had a smashing couple of hours and managed to get this photo of some ducklings.  As usual I was the first to leave because I was knackered but I’m still chuffed I managed to attend.

Saturday morning I was walking up my drive when I heard my 90 year old next door neighbour shouting me and demanding I go over “right now”.  I simply didn’t have time to visit her last week and thought she was just pissed I hadn’t been round, but it turned out her electricity had gone off the night before and she hadn’t been able to let anyone know because obviously her phone didn’t work.  She was tearful, stressed and in a bit of a state so I gave her a love then tried ringing her son who lives in our village.  No answer.  So I got in my car and drove up to his house – his car wasn’t there so he was obviously out (I later found out he was on the other side of the country for the weekend).  So I rang her daughter, who lives 350 miles away, and who also didn’t pick up.

I knew the trip switch had probably been activated, but my neighbour’s house hasn’t been rewired for 50 years and doesn’t possess a regular fuse box or anything, so I had no clue how to re-set the system myself.  My neighbour kept telling me to just ring the electric board and get them to come out and fix it, and I couldn’t get her to understand that they don’t fix electricity inside the house just the supply leading up to the house!  I finally managed to get through to her daughter, who agreed it was OK for me to find an electrician to come and look at it which took a while as it was the weekend.  I eventually found a lovely chap who was there within 20 minutes and only charged my neighbour a tenner.  It was the trip switch which had activated and he’s now shown me how to reset it for future ref.

Sat afternoon I’d arranged for a model to come round to try out an idea I had in my head for a photo – the result is below.  Considering many of my pictures are on the freaky side I’m amazed anyone ever agrees to sit for me and they really are very brave to let me photograph them in a less than flattering light!



8 thoughts on “Weekly roundup

  1. Jennifer from CA

    When a more thoughtful person gets hit with a barb by these thoughtless types it can leave us unsure of what is an appropriate response. We aren’t mean so to blurt a nasty response back can backfire and haunt us later. These types of people have no filter between their mouth and brain.
    I have an older sister that can’t understand why no one in the family wants her around. She’s 65 and has never changed. It’s strange behavior to the rest of us but she can’t see it. She can’t cope with the traffic in LA so we are grateful she’s so far up north. Unfortunately her son is close by her and gets all the stress. He’s a big dude and works in a prison and can stand up to badass criminals but is too sweet to be mean to his nasty mouthed mom.
    The truth is we were all cowards when younger and now we’re sorry we didn’t confront her as a family. The only way to talk to this type of person is in a group. Not to be mean but if done one by one they twist the story and deny you said it that way. So they make people tired and we each just gave up.
    After they get older it’s best to just avoid them when possible. Especially if not a well person. The stress can make us worse. I’ve only had to deal with my sister when my brother died and a year later when my mom died in 2003. That was quite enough. I blocked her on Facebook because she’s so stressful to listen to.
    I wear a wig to work so I don’t have to dye my hair every 10 days. When a man said something rude to me at work I just told him it’s a wig and let him believe I had cancer. You could tell his son was mortified by his thoughtless blurting. These people embarrass themselves and people around them know they’re idiots.
    I’m sorry you had to deal with this in your mother’s home. Should be a safe place to visit. You’re right…if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all! My grandma taught us that as kids.
    Thank you for helping your neighbor. When you help the helpless you bless others. It warms my heart greatly.
    Warm regards, Jen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Moises

      you take such lovely portraits, including this one, why adding “skull soup”? lol
      Not judging, just my friendly comment.
      Best wishes


    2. Jak Post author

      Sorry you’ve had to deal with a sister that’s been hurtful Jen, that must have been hard.

      I’m such a ‘nice’ person on the whole that when someone says something that hurts my feelings I find it shocking, as it’s just something I’d never do. I don’t understand what they get out of making other people feel bad 😦 Jak x


  2. danieljuk

    I am glad your Mum saw her long last family members. I think as humans one thing we can learn to do is to not take comments or opinions about us personally, it really represents the person saying it and often they say something stupid because they are nervous or don’t read the body language / emotional signs or really understand the situation. But we hang on to it enraged. But I bet if you discussed it, it would be all be a silly mistake and they were trying to break the ice. Wigs are becoming highly fashionable currently, perhaps not in the older generations but in the younger they are. I saw the backlash when the news recently kept repeating the clip of the Black athlete who lost her wig doing the long jump. People really criticised the “laughing” at her misfortune, in an awful situation. I can see a change there anyway!

    Gawd the amount of older friends my family has to deal with where the kids or relatives are not around in a crisis! Okay in London the kids are most probably working long hours at work but I feel so sad for the person normally on their own. Also whenever there is a situation, they are off somewhere and won’t come and help and it’s not work! We are dealing with someone in a situation at least once a week! I already know I will be the one there for my parents and brother probably not 😦


    1. Jak Post author

      I only have to look at my own situation Dan to know that many people have no conscience when it comes to vulnerable people living on their own. I have 3 brothers and 17 cousins and in my 10 bedridden years not one of them ever even picked up the phone to ask if I needed anything, let alone actually came to see me. And now my parents are both ill none of my brothers have ever offered to do a damn thing for either of them and it’s all left to me, despite the fact I’m sick myself. We really do have an ‘every man for himself’ culture these days for the most part 😦 x


  3. Carmen Snip

    Amazing pictures. Especially the witch. She looks sooo innocent and friendly…. but then the skull…
    No, honestly, very beautiful photographs.



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