Yesterday morning was spent reclining in a Spa enjoying a pedicure, a facial and the animated conversation of the proprietor Madame Marcella who was quite bossy. Almost as bossy, in fact, as her sister Marcia. Although somewhat interestingly she spoke in a French accent where her sister had not.
Mum and I were ordered into camp chairs festooned with scarves whilst Marcella bustled about busily ordering us to plant our feet in an enormous bucket of hot water, proferring glasses of ice cold water to drink and tiny bits of cucumber and tomato pierced upon toothpicks as snacks. My request for a cup of tea was waved impatiently away as being unhealthy. I cannot imagine the outrage had I suggested an expresso and a fag.
The slices of cucumber that were not ingested were planted upon our eyes with promises that we would look stunning when Marcella had finished. One look from me and she pertinently added quickly, ”even more stunning that you already do”.
With the soles of our feet squeaky clean and our toes quite pink because Marcella had forgotten to mention that the water in the bucket was hot out of the kettle (she hastily emptied the contents of her iced water jug complete with lemon slices and icecubes in a bid to prevent scalding and permanent scarring) we were ready for the application of nail polish.
Ummm … do you think Amelia’s up yet asked Marcella, briefly forgetting both her accent and her adopted persona.
Why, I wondered, did she want to do Amelia’s feet too?
No, she said, I want to borrow her nailpolish.
Alas Amelia was not up and Marcella/Hat has been exposed to the wrath of a big sister awoken too early (ie before noon) too often to know that it wasn’t worth it, not even to borrow her new nail varnish.
Can I use yours then, Mum, she said a bit sadly. Mine isn’t new.
It’s so old in fact, we had a job soaking the lid off. An ancient bottle of Chanel’s Hot Red (presumably purchased back in the days when I thought I was a bit of Hot Red rather than the Tired Grey I have become) was tossed into now rather cooler water in the hope of loosening the lid. Finally, after both her clients, her older brother and Marcella herself had had a go at twisting the top off a bottle of polish that’s been firmly stuck on since the late 80’s, we had red glue pasted to our nails. At which point, predictably, Amelia arose.
By then Marcella was getting a bit bored. She brushed my hair speedily, commenting rudley on the colour, “I can see the gap between where you’re hair is pretending to be blonde and where it’s dark”.
Clearly it’s high time to do my roots. I wonder if Marcella could pluck another sister from her roomy hat: Marcellina, perhaps, a wizard with foils?