Advent song for December 9: Christmas Lights

I know I’m supposed to hate Coldplay, I just can’t remember why. The closest I’ve ever come to seeing them live was at Glastonbury 2005 (the best of the post-fence Glastonburys), when @och_shona and I got stuck in the mud their fans had churned up as we tried to take a short cut across the front of the Pyramid stage on our way back from watching the Proclaimers in whatever that falling-apart tent on the outskirts of everything used to be. So there’s that, I guess. But I can think of more Coldplay songs I like than ones I don’t (although if I’m honest I can only think of five Coldplay songs), and I like THIS song, and traditionally we’ve always saved Sunday for middle-of-the-road crooners, and they are that, and the video is like the opening sequence of Moulin Rouge! transported to London, and it GOES INTO WALTZ TIME HALFWAY THROUGH and all in all, it’s a yes from me, Simon.

London Bridge (station) Is Falling Down

Caution: Wet Floor sign

There is a stretch of tunnel at London Bridge station, linking the Underground with the Southern Railway platforms, which is lined with half-a dozen shops of the sort that you make an emergency visit to when you are on your way to someone’s birthday party and you have forgotten to pick up a card. It is dingy and badly-lit, and the clock overhead is wrong for at least six months of the year. It is not a place you would choose to linger for longer than it takes to buy a birthday card.

In the last few months, though, it has become even more offputting. Now, as you walk through, you have to dodge large puddles of water, in the middle of which sit optimistically-placed buckets and the odd “Caution Wet Floor” sign. Sometimes, you have to dart at odd angles across the corridor to avoid being dripped on.

Now.  We’ve had a lot of rain this summer, I know that. But it rains a lot in winter and autumn, and it has never caused the roof of the station to develop this many leaks. Call me crazy, but I can’t help wondering whether the 310-metre-high building which has been built inches away from the tunnel could be at least partly responsible for this sudden instability.

If you are an engineer and can tell me why I’m completely wrong, please do, ideally before this evening when I will have to make the journey again. A crowded, sweaty, stinky commute is one thing. One carrying even a minimal danger of becoming crushed in a collapsed heap of brickwork and birthday cards is quite another.

Bad all over

A few years ago, someone published a book called Is It Just Me, Or Is Everything Shit?. At the time I instinctively recoiled from such an ungenerous assessment, and I was pleased a short while later when in response someone else published a book called It Is Just You, Everything’s Not Shit.

(I have never read either book; I think this must all have happened during my bookshop years, which is how I knew about them. I am not wildly into novelty books, apart from One Hundred Great Books in Haiku, which is totally worth the £9.99 even though it only lasts eleven minutes.)

But I am generally in favour of being in favour of things. After all, everything’s not shit. There’s this, for example. And this. I called this blog Glad All Over not only because it’s the Palace anthem, but because I like the sentiment. I even used to have a rule about only posting cheerful things, though that went by the wayside some time ago. You have to be able to rant sometimes, after all.

But today is different. Today I don’t have anything to rant about, specifically. Today I’m just baffled and weary: at the rioters who swarmed and set fire to my city; at what seems to be wilful misunderstanding of the causes of the riots by members of the commentariat of all political persuasions; at the rage and hate that spilled out of Twitter over the ensuing days; at the undignified spat now bubbling away between the government and the Met police; at the sensibility that says we don’t force companies to pay their taxes but we should put a student in jail for six months for stealing a bottle of water; at the endorsement of genuine lunatic Michelle Bachman by the voters of Iowa; at the fact that my season ticket has stopped working for the second time in a week and the man at Charing Cross won’t replace it because it was issued by Southern and he works for Southeastern, and, today, at the fact that I used week-old ingredients to make the salad that I had for lunch, and it was exactly as horrible as you’d expect. It’s all just exhausting.

But there are spots of light in the darkness, even if lunch wasn’t one of them.  For every closed-minded bigot railing against The Youth Of Today there was someone giving a thoughtful and balanced response. There was the father of one of the men killed in Birmingham last week, who has now spoken publicly twice and been extraordinarily measured, dignified and wise both times. There were the people who gave their time to clean up after the riots, and the companies who offered rebuilding and glazing services for free to people whose houses and shops had been damaged. There’s the campaign that raised £35,000 to help Aaron Biber, the 89-year-old whose Tottenham barber’s shop was wrecked on the first night of the riots, and the £22,000 that was donated to Ashraf Rossli, the student whose mugging was caught on camera. For all the horror and the violence of the riots and for all the ugliness of the political reaction, there have been some shining moments of humanity over the last week.

So there you go. It is just me, and everything’s not shit. But I’ll tell you what: I am treating myself to a proper lunch tomorrow.

The lido

Finally recovered from the trauma of last year’s visit to Brockwell Lido, I took myself off there again this weekend. It is a stunningly beautiful place – more attractive in every way than the Endell Street baths, where you’ll more commonly find me – and early on Easter Sunday morning, it was blessedly empty.

The last time I was there, the combined shock of the cold water and the length and depth of the pool meant that I struggled to swim at all, panic overcoming physical strength almost immediately. This time around the water was no warmer, but I’m so much better at swimming than I was a year ago that I managed to fight through the cold and the panic, and about a length and a half in I started to enjoy myself.

In the end I swam ten lengths, which since the pool is 50 metres long means half a kilometre, which doesn’t sound far but is the first time in my life I’ve ever been able to measure a swim in kilometres rather than metres, even if it only was half a one. And it was blissful and gorgeous and I couldn’t believe I was less than five minutes’ walk from home, because it felt exactly like being on holiday, possibly somewhere angular and Scandinavian.

So I went back again yesterday, and it was swarming with children, apart from in the lanes which had been designated for Serious Swimmers (I could tell they were serious, because they all wore wetsuits and goggles and went at speeds more appropriate to motorised vehicles), of which I am not one. I managed two lengths of getting kicked and jostled and splashed on before I gave up and went and sat poolside with a book. And that was just as much fun as the swimming.

So now I have to decide whether I am going to become someone who swims at the lido, where it is bracing and elegant and I feel faintly heroic having swum there, or someone who swims at Endell Street, which is craven and heated and more like having a bath than a swim. I suppose I could alternate, but annoyingly the lido isn’t one of the pools included in my Swim London membership, so it’s a fiver each time I want to go. Am I a woman of action, or a woman of leisure? This summer, I’ll find out.

Talking of things you can do in Brockwell Park, I played bowls yesterday. Or boules, or petanque, I’m not sure, and in any case we played a bastardised version of it because we didn’t know the rules. But it was nearly as much fun as swimming, and a lot more sociable. I foresee more sunny afternoons spent on the bowling green.

Number 22

(In the light of my sniffy comments about The Rosendale and Pizza Express, it seems only polite to record a happy dining incident in Herne Hill.)

I’m not big on seafood or red meat, so my relationship with tapas has been a tentative one over the years. I like manchego, and boquerones, and patatas bravas and tortilla, but show me an octopus or a pork cheek (what?) and I’ll likely run and hide. However, since the Great Cooking Revolution of 2009 I’ve gradually become more adventurous, so I’m a better prospect for a tapas date now than I’ve ever been. And I’d heard good things about Number 22 on Half Moon Lane, even if it does pretend it’s in Dulwich (it is a two-minute walk from Herne Hill station. It is as much in Herne Hill as a thing can be).

Anyway, it was better than I was expecting, and I would be giving it a round five stars (out of five) if I hadn’t been cold all the way through the meal. I am a naturally cold person, which is why one day I am going to go and live somewhere tropical, but I was wearing a wool dress and tights and furry boots and a scarf and I was still too cold; a problem I exacerbated when I ordered the saffron and passion fruit panna cotta for pudding, having gotten my Italian deserts mixed up (I was expecting a pannetone, and by the way, wouldn’t a saffron and passion fruit pannetone be AMAZING?). A chilled pudding is not what you want when you’re too cold.

But rewind, rewind, because I’ve left out all the good stuff. And there was lots of good stuff. The interior is halfway between a wine bar and someone’s living room, with the obligatory bad art for sale on the walls (this is such a feature of Herne Hill eateries that I would feel bereft if it weren’t there). The tables are well-spaced for such a small place, and we had a nook of our own whose only disadvantage was that we had to stand up and wave to get a waiter’s attention, so tucked-away were we. But rather that than one of my pet restaurant hates: the waiter who comes by and interrupts the conversation every few minutes to ask whether everything’s OK, as though you might not have the wit to let them know otherwise. They always seem to arrive just as I’m at the punchline of a joke. I can’t help suspecting they do it deliberately. I’d always rather too little attention from waiters than too much.

But mainly I want to talk about the food, because the food was terrific. We ordered padron peppers and chorizo and potato skewers with bread and oil to start, and then rabbit, clams, seared tuna with fennel and orange, tortilla and deep-fried goat’s cheese for the main course (unlike in traditional tapas bars, Number 22 times everything to arrive together, so they have the dishes divided into appetisers, tapas and extras), but the waitress told us the goat’s cheese was best with the bread and oil and suggested we have it alongside the appetisers rather than with the main course, which we did. I like it when the staff know better than you and politely tell you so.

All the appetisers were good, although if I had to nitpick I’d say that the bread was a bit dull (but then, is Spanish bread a thing? I don’t think it is, really), but the mains were really spectacular. The tuna was cooked in that way that proper cooks cook it, where you just wave it over the heat for a split-second, and I was nervous about eating it because I thought it would be chewy and jellific, but in fact it melted in the mouth like a pâté de foie gras, only more ethical (just). The rabbit was moist and delicious, the tortilla had exactly the right consistency, and the clams, which I only tried out of curiosity, expecting to hate them (I traditionally gag on shellfish), were completely delicious and the surprise star of the night.

It’s not cheap – our bill came to just over £80 with service, and that was without wine, although it did include a bottle of beer and a brandy, and a ginger beer, which I would heartily recommend as a non-alcoholic alternative to dessert wine – but for a special occasion it’s as good a suburban restaurant as I’ve eaten at. Just maybe go in the summer, or pack a spare jumper.

WC2, commuting, and small flats

This winter, I changed jobs. Everything about the new job is an improvement on the old one, but one thing that’s so palpably better that it makes me want to weep with the relief is the location. Until late last year, I was commuting from glorious Herne Hill to the wilderness of White City, a journey of roughly ten miles, all of them unwelcoming and frenetic. In comparison, my 45-minute hop up to the West End on the reliably speedy number 3 bus seems like unimaginable luxury, although I suppose I might tire of it eventually, and since my destination is now only 4.5 miles away my average speed of 6mph could probably be improved upon, unless I’ve got the maths wrong, which no doubt I have.

Whatever, the point is that once I get to WC2 I am in WC2, which is a place of surprise and adventure. It’s an area of London I’ve known for as long as I can remember – what Londoner hasn’t? – but being there daily, and relying on it for my everyday chores and routines and treats, is something else entirely. I have learned which sandwich shops always use fresh bread and don’t charge obscene tourist prices (naturally, I’m not telling you which they are), and I’ve found a friendly and charming woman called Rita who will do my eyebrows, which are terrifying to behold in their natural state and need a firm hand, and I am on nodding terms with an elderly man who lives in the flats that overlook the open-air pool on Endell Street and spends his days in the café where I go for lunch after I’ve been swimming. Suddenly, in myriad small but miraculous ways, this corner of the city belongs to me.

And I love it. Tucked away between Leicester Square and Covent Garden are more shops, galleries and restaurants than I ever expect to have time to investigate. I could eat somewhere different every day. I have read the spines of a tiny percentage of the books for sale in the secondhand shops along Charing Cross Road and already found fifty books I want to buy, although so far I have limited myself to an Agatha Christie and the Observer’s Book Of Weather. I have discovered a gothic church I’d never seen before, two proper sweet shops, the Equity headquarters and a part of Neal’s Yard I never knew was there. And I haven’t even started yet.

But back to that commute. As I mentioned, 45 minutes for a journey of four and a half miles is not, in the scheme of things, an impressive rate of motion. But I’m coming from a commute that lasted 75 minutes and involved a walk, a tube, a change, another tube and a walk, or, if I wasn’t in a hurry, a shorter walk, a train, a change, a tube and a longer walk. Either way, the journey was crowded and unpleasant. So relatively speaking, my new journey is a breeze.

I think it’s impossible to overestimate the importance of relativity when it comes to health, wealth and happiness. I had a horrible commute for eighteen months, so this one makes me happy. If you’re ill, getting better makes you happy. If you’d given me £50 when I was a student you’d have made me happy. Now I’d just think “fine, that’ll go towards this month’s service charge”.

All of which gives me great hopes for the future, because the longer the beloved and I share a flat that’s barely big enough for one, and a bed that was never designed for two, the happier we’ll be when we get to live somewhere that’s properly big enough for a couple and has a BATH. I hope I never get everything I’ve always dreamed of, so I can always gleefully anticipate the day when I do.

Swimming

In an attempt to honour the third of my new year’s resolutions, which was to find a better form of exercise than Pilates, I have been thinking about going swimming. The last time I went swimming in this country was at Brockwell Lido this summer. The water was deep and icy-cold and I lasted less than a length before it started to feel like a struggle. I think I managed a total of three lengths in about twenty minutes, all the while panicking that I’d give up and drown in the deep end, even though I was never more than a few yards away from a lifeguard, and I was one of only three or four people at the pool.

But water does funny things to me. I can’t watch movie scenes filmed underwater without starting to feel nervous, and the anxiety I start to feel whenever I’m out of my depth is not nearly proportionate to the actual risk, although that must be a commoner reaction than I thought, or we wouldn’t use the term “out of one’s depth” to mean “in trouble”. I’m not a very strong swimmer, but I can float and bob around quite happily for forty-five minutes or so without needing to touch the ground, so it’s a psychological problem rather than a physiological one.

The problem is, most pools – especially serious, unheated outdoor pools like the Brockwell Lido – aren’t really designed to be bobbed and floated in. They’re designed for people who want to swim lengths. Frankly, I never want to swim lengths. I want to do star jumps and dolphin leaps and handstands. But if it’s a choice between swimming lengths and any other form of aerobic exercise, I will happily go for the lengths. I have no desire to lose weight (I feel compelled to say this in the light of my second New Year’s resolution, which was not to be bridezilla: I feel quite strongly that I don’t want to be one of those women who suddenly shoot down to a size eight in the weeks before their weddings, and as it happens this sits very happily with the fact that I have no plans to stop eating and drinking exactly what I want, whenever I want it), but I would like to be fitter and I would like to sleep better, and Pilates only offers small consolation in these departments. I need to do something that makes me tired.

So I think I’m going to sign up for a Swim London pass, which is cheaper than gym membership and covers forty pools across London. It doesn’t include the Lido, which is a shame since Brockwell Park is less than thirty seconds’ walk from home, but it does include Brixton and Crystal Palace, both a brisk walk or bus ride away, as well as the Oasis centre in Covent Garden which is two minutes from my office AND has a heated rooftop pool. I may not be able to bob and float there, but at least I’ll be able to swim a length without my lungs closing up in protest at the cold.

Because the thing is that as well as being afraid of the water, I love it. My two most vivid memories of pure physical pleasure in the last year are of swimming, once here:

Outdoor pool in Cyprus

And once here:

Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada

The first is a pool in Cyprus, the second Lake Huron. In Cyprus I swam twice a day, in a pool that was never deeper than I am tall. In Lake Huron I went out of my depth because the water was warm and soft and tasted of minerals and it wasn’t frightening. Actually there is an undertow in the lake, even though there are no tides, and the bottom has sharp rocks along it – a fact that scars on my right hand and knee will attest to. But you see, I wasn’t scared of injuring myself when I injured myself, so I didn’t mind. And when you’re out there bobbing and floating and spinning, with nobody to watch you except a few water birds and the occasional butterfly, there’s nothing in the world like it.

What do you suppose are the chances that swimming at the Oasis sports centre in Covent Garden will be more like Lake Huron and less like Brockwell Lido? Yeah, me too. But I’ll give it a go.

Upselling

Here is a fuzzy view looking east from the top of the Gherkin:

You will start to appreciate the lengths I go to in order to keep you entertained when I tell you that in order to obtain this photo, I had to sit through a half-hour presentation on the benefits of buying land in Brazil.

The beloved, you see, had been offered a glass of champagne at the top of the Gherkin on condition that he undertake a mysterious assignment, the details of which would be revealed on the day. He was allowed to bring a friend, so on Friday evening we duly turned up at 30 St Mary Axe, instantly distinguishable from the floods of people who work there by our absent suits and ties, and awaited further instructions.

After a few minutes, we were guided through an airport security gate and through to the lifts, where we were sternly told not to take any photos. Then up to the twenty-somethingth floor, where we were offered tea or coffee and placed in a sanitary-looking waiting room with some other victims. “Do you know what we’re here for?”, they asked us, anxiously. “No”, we admitted, “but we think it’s safe.”

Eventually we were escorted next door to a room dotted with round tables, at each of which sat a lonely-looking salesperson. We were pointed towards Danny*, whose shiny suit almost disguised the fact that he was barely out of his teens. Danny told us that we’d be watching a short presentation about buying property in Brazil. We asked Danny some questions. Danny didn’t know the answers, but what he didn’t know he made up for by repeating sections from his practised sales spiel.

Then we watched a video, in which an American woman berated us for foolishly keeping all money in the bank (she clearly hadn’t seen our statements) and suggested that the only sensible option was to invest in property. She then explained that it was best to do this in “developing” countries, where land was cheaper and ripe for development.

They stopped the video and asked for questions. The beloved tried to ask about sustainable development and artificial inflation of land prices. I tried to ask about the protection of wildlife. Danny still didn’t know the answers, but gamely filled in the space with more rehearsed lines. He put me in mind of an estate agent, which I suppose is what he was. We watched some more of the video. We decided not to ask any more questions.

If Danny’s sales method was uncompromising, it was as nothing compared to the full-force blast of hot air we got from his boss, who looked like a genuine 1980s car salesman with a checked suit and dyed blond hair and treated us to a full minute of his undivided attention. Any more and we’d probably have given in and remortgaged the egg to buy the land, but fortunately he somehow divined our lack of engagement with the process and left us alone with Danny, who, sensing that his chance had gone, suggested we retire upstairs for the glass of champagne.

Several complicated lift journeys later, we reached the 38th floor, on which lurks a private members’ bar, where we sat and admired the view while Danny ordered the champagne. And suddenly, as we sat and chatted, a small miracle started to happen. It began with a conversation about where we lived, which gradually expanded to cover Danny’s friend’s band, his thoughts on the beloved’s jacket and, eventually, his preference for films about revolutionaries (“I’m not really bothered about the politics, I just really love a rebel”). This corporate robot had quietly turned into a real person, who smiled for the first time as his infectious enthusiasm gradually brought a sparkle to the evening, as well as the wine.

We shan’t be buying any land in Brazil, but when I think about Friday night, I am most pleased not by the terrific view or the adequate champagne, but by the sight of someone slipping out of corporate mode and into human mode in front of my eyes. I imagine his company would sell more property if they allowed their employees to be humans the whole time, rather than only when they fail to make a sale. And just think what a nicer place the world would be if all companies adopted that strategy, rather than having their robots lie to us all the time. Ah well. It was nice to see it once.

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty

Outdoor gladrags

Last Sunday was the hottest of a run of hot days in London. It was also the day the England football team lost to Germany in a 4-1 thriller in the second round of the World Cup, Kevin Pietersen’s 30th birthday, and the third and final day of Hard Rock Calling, the misleadingly-named music festival which this year featured, among other hard rockers, Stevie Wonder, James Morrison, Crowded House, Elvis Costello and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

But it was the promise of Paul McCartney which had me eagerly pressing the “refresh” button on my browser the morning tickets went on sale. I tried to get tickets to see him at the Dome back in December, but the good seats were insanely expensive and anyway, it sold out before I could buy any. Day tickets to Hard Rock Calling are £60 and you get to sit anywhere you like and see lots of other acts, so this was a much better choice.

Well, it was great and the photos are here, but in the long minutes between acts I found myself fascinated by what people choose to wear when it’s hot and they’re going to be outside all day, because if you live in or near London (or any British city), neither of those things is very often true. It’s hot today, but I am spending eight hours of it inside an air-conditioned office, so I am wearing a dress with sleeves. On Sunday, we were all exposed to bright sun and 30C temperatures for about the same amount of time. In those circumstances, deciding what to wear can be quite tricky. So I inspected the choices of some of my fellow revellers, and have come up with some guidelines, which I now present to you for free, with nothing in mind but your welfare and happiness:

1. As in so many areas of life, I agree with Baz Luhrmann. Rule number one is wear sunscreen.

2. With no shade and barely a cloud in the sky, hats are the order of the day:

people in hats
3. Be careful with straps. Straps are good, but ill-fitting or competing straps are bad. However, if you have no choice but to show off your bra straps, do it with chutzpah, so it looks like you meant it:

lady with straps

4. It’s better to wear too many clothes than too few. You recover faster from being hot than you do from being burnt (I have tried both, so I can say this with certainty). And if you wear light, loose clothes you probably won’t be much hotter than you would have been in a bikini. I liked this outfit very much:

5. Do not, under any circumstances, wear a bikini. Bikinis are strictly for the beach.

I should come clean at this point and tell you that I was wearing a jumpsuit.

In many ways they are ideal hot-weather outdoor wear: they are durable, you can sit cross-legged without risking your modesty, and they keep all the ungainly bits covered while allowing arms and legs unfettered access to the air. However, they can be tricky to go to the toilet in. I think the answer to this is to wear a baggy-ish one with no complicated fastenings, and to stay on the fuzzy side of sober. You’ll be pleased to know that I more or less managed both.

However, based on extensive research I have decided that the IDEAL festival-going hot-weather outfit is a strapless top, elasticated shorts, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a wrap which you can sit on when your legs get tired and put around your shoulders after the sun goes down.

Shoes are more problematic: you need something sturdy and comfortable which you won’t get sweaty in. I wore Crocs, but I am the only person I know who looks good in Crocs, and the only reason I think I look good in them is that I never on any account look at them once they’re on. I just revel in the squish of the tread and the swish of the air as it cools my toes. The real answer is probably flip-flops on soft grass and light plimsolls on rough grass. But I will leave that to your discretion.

Sorry for only talking about girls’ clothes. I have no advice for boys, although the hat and sunscreen rules are unisex. If you are a boy, I suggest you dress like this:

dancing man in bandana

I have left the most important rule, not including the sunscreen one, until last. The most important rule, not including the sunscreen one, is:

6. Wear whatever you like. It’s a festival! Go wild.

Lost in translation

The beloved and I took a speedboat ride up the Thames yesterday evening. I would heartily recommend it – it’s very exciting – but it does do interesting things to your hair. There were only six of us on the boat, plus a captain and a guide, and once we got past Tower Bridge we went super-fast, accompanied by the theme tunes from Baywatch and then James Bond. It was brilliant, and I was only a tiny bit scared.

Then we ate at Caffe’ Vergnano on the South Bank. I really like it there, but it’s somewhere I have usually gone before a film or a show, so I tend to go early and it’s always fairly empty. Last night we were there later on, and it was very busy. Halfway through our meal they seated a couple so close to us that it was nearly impossible for me to leave my seat without crashing into their table. It added an element of challenge to the evening, but it also gave us the chance to listen in to their conversation. Actually we had no choice: she was more or less completely silent, but he had a great booming voice that drowned out the sound of the trains just feet above our heads. Sadly they were speaking a language I didn’t recognise – I don’t speak many languages, but I can recognise the sound of a lot of them, and this wasn’t one I knew. It might have been Portuguese, or one of the eastern European languages that has nothing to do with Russian.

Anyway, I don’t know how much I would have enjoyed listening to him had I known what he was saying, but listening with no idea what he was talking about was great fun. He had a peculiarly mirthless laugh with which he punctuated every sentence. Because I didn’t recognise the words he was using, I have attempted to reproduce them phonetically, to give you an idea:

Amazon turquoise Lithuanian bathtub. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Malevolent projector foolproof simian pilot. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Christmas fettucine bones, bananas and bra. Ha. Ha. Ha.

It was disconcerting, but also kind of fascinating, and loud enough that it was easier for us to listen to him than attempt a conversation of our own. She sat in silence opposite him, occasionally joining in with the solemn laughter. I tried to imagine what he might be saying. The tone implied that it was probably something like

We have trapped your father in a dungeon. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. If you do not tell us where the jewels are he will die. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. We will show him no mercy. Ha. Ha. Ha.

But I think that was just the way he spoke. He was probably saying

Look at these jokers next to us. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. They are listening to me instead of having a conversation of their own. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. And they both have hair that points vertically upwards. Ha. Ha. Ha.