Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday's Feast. Also a story.

How many pillows and blankets do you sleep with?

One pillow. Sometimes no pillows. I'm very low maintenance. I tend to get quite hot so the fewer blankets the better.

What are you currently "addicted" to?

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. Coffee.

If you could make a small change to your current routine or schedule that would make you just a little bit happier, what would it be?

Small. A small change. I would like to record stuff everyday (singing-wise) rather than only once or twice a week as I'm doing now. One open mic night a week, as well, would be good.

Main Course
Which adjective do you find yourself using often?

I can't think of one that I use more than any other.

My favourite word is still 'resonated', to mean drunk. This is not, however, what the question is asking.

Have you ever picked up a hitchhiker?

No. There are two reasons for this.

Reason One: It is dangerous. The hitchhiker could be anybody! They could be evil, or murderous, or have a disease that means they can't stop singing songs from Barry Manilow's hit musical Copacabana.

Reason Two: I cannot drive.

In order that you do not focus for too long on the fact that I am nearly 24 and cannot drive yet, I am going to tell you a story.

This is not a happy story, so I forbid you to derive any amusement from it.

The Background: David, Rebecca and I are having a housewarming party on Saturday. Tomorrow. (Note to self: Buy alcohol).
The theme of this party is 'C'. For Clapham.
David is going as a Chimney Sweep.
Rebecca is going as a Countess.
I am going as Cabaret. More specifically, as Liza Minelli's character from Cabaret, Sally Bowles.

Things You Need To Dress Up As Sally Bowles:

A wig. Check.
A hat. Check.
A top with the choker things. Check.
Black stockings. Check.
False eyelashes and blue eye make-up. Check.
Black hotpants. Check.

Well, almost check for the last one. I had some grey ones. These do not work, though.

This was the point at which I accidentally mistook myself for somebody who is practical and pragmatic and can do things like cooking and decorating and learning to drive. I am, and I know this really, someone who is good with words, but who perhaps should steer clear of anything that demands too much practicality.


"Easy!" I thought. "I'll just change the colour of them! With black dye!"

I went to a shop. Proud of myself for no fathomable reason, I asked the nice man to point me in the direction of some black dye.

As I surveyed the possibilities on the shelf in front of me I tried to think clearly, to not get carried away by the possibility of me suddenly becoming an arty, creative, oh-what-this-old-thing-yes-I-made-it-myself-from-a-beautiful-piece-of-fabric-I-picked-up-at-a-flea-market sort of a person.

I knew, I KNEW that the best thing for me to do would be to buy the machine wash dye. There was a neon sign flashing away in my brain that told me over and over that SIMPLE IS GOOD, SIMPLE IS GOOD. The thing is, though, I somehow just forgot to take heed of it. So, for a grand total of £3.75 I purchased the hand dye. Very soon you will see quite how appropriate this name was to become.

Last night was Dying Night.

By which I mean I was to dye the hotpants, not that it was the night I would meet my untimely doom. Although, again with the oddly appropriate names, as you will soon see.

It is Very, Very Important that one reads instructions when embarking upon a project like this.

I needed:

The dye.
The hotpants.
A bucket.
Lots of salt.
A container in which to dissolve the dye.
A long stick with which to prod the hotpants while they are swirling in dye.
Some rubber gloves.

Guess which of those I did not have.

Go on, I dare you. GUESS.

You are correct, fair reader, as ever.

The thing is, when you think about it, a plastic bag is very similar to a rubber glove. It is made of plastic stuff can be put on hands.


As I tipped the dissolved dye into the bucket with the salt and the waterlotsandlotsofwater I perhaps dyed the three middle fingers of my right hand.

I perhaps also only noticed this after about twenty seconds. By which time dye, it turns out, is CAST and will not come off, even if you scrub with soap. Even if, after you've scrubbed with soap, you pour bleach directly onto aforementioned fingers and keep scrubbing.

After the bleach did nothing I heard my phone do a pretty little text message song, and, joyous at a distraction from the skin-blistering bleaching, I skipped off to find it.

It was my boyfriend.

I called him.

He was NO USE. What is the point of going out with someone if they cannot guide you through the dark times of your life and offer you helpful hints and advice? If they only laugh at you and suggest that perhaps next time the walk of thirty seconds down to the shop to buy some rubber gloves might not actually be such a bad idea? If, even after you explain that YOU HAD PLASTIC BAGS ON they continue to laugh at your misfortune, albeit in an affectionate manner? WHAT, I ASK YOU, IS THE POINT?

Half an hour later I was still on the phone and sticking my fingers in a bottle of nail varnish remover when David came home.

After he laughed a bit, although he is very nice and so was sympathetic at the same time UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE, we decided to continue with the job.

After we poked and prodded at the shorts for a while we decided they were done, and I lifted them out of the bucket with a long stick* and put them in the sink.

*The long stick, pivotal to last night's operations, was actually found on the street by David last Saturday night on our way home, and is a central part of his chimney sweep outfit. It is now a bit black at the end, but he claims he doesn't mind.

Well, I say I lifted them out with the long stick.

This may or may not have been the second time I tried to lift them out.

The first time I picked them up myself. With my left hand. With my bare left hand.

I have never before heard a male voice raised to quite such a pitch before, and I hope I never invoke quite as panic in anyone ever again as I did in David at that moment.


Which was now a fetching shade of black.

I am not even joking.

Dropping the shorts back quicksharp, I burst into uncontrollable hysterical laughter as I scrubbed my other hand in the sink. Back with the soap, another dose of bleach, more and more scrubbing.

You'll be thrilled to hear that I had then run out of hands, so no more hand-dying occured.

Part of my wrist took a bit of a hit, but apart from that I am my normal pinkish colour all over the rest of me.

I scrubbed, I picked, I scraped. I soaked my hands in a tupperware thing full of nail varnish remover for about half an hour.

I spoke to Euan, who helpfully suggested that I try to use Superglue to remove the dye, but I did not fall for it, because we had no Superglue.

I texted my boyfriend, who told me he will not be seen in public with me with my hands like this, and that when we go out tonight we will have to sit at separate tables and pass notes to one another.

They are more grey, now. I basically look like I have dead, decaying hands. They are also peeling slightly. Bec suggested that this may have something to do with soaking them in bleach. I think it's an entirely unrelated skin disorder.

I have Savlon on. My hands sting.

The worrying thing is that I think it is worth it. For the comedy value.

My priorites are fucked.

"Hello! My name's Léonie. Ah, I see you've noticed that I have the hands of a corpse! Let me tell you the story, come into my cave..."

Anyway, this post is long enough now. I have to go and find some elegant evening gloves so that people will associate with me.

Have a lovely weekend.


Anonymous dave said...

How do I remove dye from my hands?

If your hands are stained you can remove the dye by using hand cleaner with a dye reducer in it like ReDuRan (sold in tubes). You can wash your hands in a very dilute solution of bleach and water. But no matter what, the colors will disappear from your hands in one day with regular washing.

2:51 pm

Anonymous dave said...

and ...

you can buy it here!


2:57 pm

Blogger alana said...

Well if it makes you feel any better, the hand-dye incident totally sounds like something I would have done. And, for the record, I think the plastic bag idea was a very good one, in theory. Perhaps why I should never, ever decide to hand dye a pair of gray hot pants.

Hope your party well well, at least!

2:58 pm

Blogger Dancinfairy said...

Dear god woman. Can you please start posts like this with a disclaimer that reads - careful do not read if you are going to be needing the toilet very soon.

Thank god I am in a room alone not sat at my usual desk otherwise people would want to know what made me explode with laughter and have to wipe the tears from my eyes.

Have a cracking party!

3:30 pm

Blogger Rebecca said...

Thank you for the sensible dye-removing tips, Mr Dave! I arrived home late last night to find Leonie with hands shrink wrapped in cling film because she had taken off god knows how many layers of skin using Bleach!! I gave her my best teacherish talking to.

Nice to know someone else is sensible around here!

But we wouldn't change her for the world.... : )

4:00 pm

Blogger Adz said...

Oh dear - I know you said not to laugh, but I couldn't stop myself, proper laughing at work, people were looking at me!

I'm sorry for your black dye hand, maybe you will become the opposite of Michael Jackson? If I need to dye anything before my 80's party, I will check off your list to the word.

Unless you fancy doing some more dying?

4:25 pm

Blogger Ant said...

I did not derive any humour from that whatsoever.


At all.

*stifles snigger*

Hope you sort it out soon and have a lovely weekend/party... :o)

7:30 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT?? theres a barry manilow musical...seriously...??

i really liked this story, probably because i do far FAR too many things like this.

7:57 pm

Anonymous megan said...

Outside of reason you find experimentation. Yes, quite funny! Thanks for sharing. Thank you MissD for the link.

12:10 am

Anonymous Euan said...

Seriously though - slightly offended you didn't try the superglue :(

If you like I can buy some and we'll try it later :)

12:49 am

Anonymous Adrian said...

Chuckle. Most amusing.

Well you could say to people "it could be worse, you could have dyed, like me"

12:06 am

Blogger Rigmor said...

I think your blog is very entertaining and wanted to ask you the following:

- Is it ok if I make a link to your site on my site and, more importantly

- if you're in London and like jazz, where do you go?

9:17 pm

Blogger Léonie said...

Rigmor - of COURSE you can link to me! Thank you.

In terms of jazz in London there is an amazing place in Camberwell in the crypt of a church, which is very atmospheric and not too expensive. Here is the website:

I went last Friday and it's brilliant. My sister loves it as well, and if she reads this I'm sure she will add her enthusiasm...

3:49 pm


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