27 August 2022


Five or six decades ago, it was possible to find women who combined grace and elegance with high intelligence. Such rarae aves are now even rariores; in the street and on the screen are females who have done remarkable things to ... among other things ... their hair. Multicoloured and varied and streaky ...

They have successfully attempted to be memorable.

In Waugh's satirical pictures of the 1930s and 1940s, there is a character, a corrupt member of the upper classes, called Basil Seal. As the urban poor are moved out of range of the London bombing into the suffering countyside, Seal, using the powers of a Billetting Officer, discovers a way of turning billetting into a financially rewarding past-time. Using a revolting and disgusting family called the Connollies, he blackmails his neighbours into shelling out money not to have the Connollies allocated to them. That the eldest Connolly is 'sweet' on him, makes this operation a collaborative enterprise.

"[Doris] disappeared alone into the village, returned with a small parcel, and remained hidden all the morning in the bachelors' wing. Just before luncheon she appeared in the  orangery with her head in a towel.

"I wanted you to see," she said, and uncovered a damp mob of hair which was in part pale yellow, in part its original black, and in part mottled in every intervening shade. ...

"Doris looked only at Basil . 'D'you like it? I'll give it another go this afternoon.'

"'I wouldn't,' said Basil. 'I'd leave it just as it is.'

"'You like it?' 'I think it's fine.'

"'Not too streaky?' 'Not a bit too streaky.'

" If anything had been needed to complete the horror of Doris's appearance, that morning's work had done it."


Has anybody noticed (before me) that what is, in one decade, a risible adunaton, inevitably becomes, nine or ten decades later, solid (if improbable) reality?

It sometimes seems to me that there must be, not one, but (at least) two Providences, each eternally engaged in attempting to out-do the other.

But that's enough Deep Theology for one morning.



Unknown said...

I've noticed that too.
Not nine, or ten decades but the half of that, and even less for some other certain things.


Bfbpuzzled said...

And then there is the Permanent marker of what they call body art favoured by daft young lassies of all ages. Much shall be regretted, I both believe and anticipate almost gleefully…