Doris takes a dim view


Doris’s latest letter below refers to information the Crone shared about a particularly new age spa she visited in Scottsdale last week.  You can read the Crone’s letter here, catch up on the whole Doris Brazil correspondence here and learn more about Doris from her own blog, here.

Dear Blabs,

Gracious me what a load of tosh. Here in Appleton Marsh old age is the new new age and there’s no lip print that’s calibrated finely enough to detect my energy levels. Do people really fall for that stuff? If ever show any new age inclinations I have my own personal earth rod called Flo; she soon grounds me. I remember when I bought some ethically sourced tea for the staff room; I’ve never lived that one down. As for scatter cushions, the notion of not placing a cushion into some sort of a geometric relationship with its immediate surroundings confounds me.

Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow. That’s the name of the hairdressers on Appleton Marsh High Street. It’s a truism. Flo says the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is a fortnight. It’s only a rule of thumb and, in the case of Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow it’s simply not true. Last year I had my hair coloured there. I asked for Golden Wave, which I would describe as a champagne tint, but Shula thought I’d said Raven and when I emerged, God help me, I looked like Ronald Reagan in drag. Appleton Marsh’s own Prince of Darkness. Residents of Appleton Marsh are not litigious by nature but Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow sails close to the judicial wind.

I can’t quite believe what a gadabout you are Blabs. Galavanting is indeed the perfect verb to describe your comings and (mostly) goings. I do enjoy following your exploits and living life vicariously. And keep the business recommendations coming. I’m afraid though pedicures are a non-starter. There’s an inch of dead skin on the soles of Flo’s feet and her toenails are marble-like yellow talons. She painted them once; it was like painting bananas, she used two whole bottles of varnish to finish the job. And, somewhat surprisingly, we have never stocked flips flops even though the trade margin on these is very attractive. It’s the minimum order quantity and subsequent distortion to working capital that troubles me.

I’m pleased it’s not just me that purses and curls my lips alternately. We have so much in common you and I.

Much love,


Dear Doris,

I knew you were a fashion maven with a flair for self-marketing, but, until I read your thoughts on beachwear ROI above I’d hadn’t realised quite what an astute business woman you are–although I suppose that it is no accident Doris Brazil Ladies Wear has lasted so long when all around you in Appleton Marsh shops are being shuttered.  Tragically, I am to  entrepreneurialism what Mrs Thatcher was to emotional intelligence–I just don’t get it.  I am one of life’s shoppers not shop-keepers. It’s a conversation I am often forced to have with the Itchy Ankle bank manager after a particularly egregious spell of yard sale binge-buying.

I’m back in Itchy Ankle and working hard to adjust to East Coast time and having to pick up my own clothes, make my own bed, and rinse my own shower after use. Housework is another thing I’m not cut out for. I do envy you your Bissell. I fell for the grey-haired good looks of James Dyson and invested in one of his space-age contraptions. A pivoting ball is all very well but it does feel like a lot of work to lug the thing in and out of the futility room (the room which annexes the kitchen, so called because the washing, drying and cleaning have to be done over and over–a sort of US super-sized glory hole). A Bissell is so lightweight and compact.

The central heating seems to have taken a turn for the worse while I’ve been away. Lots of whirring and sputtering, but no heat as such. I’ll have to get a man in.

Beyond that, very little seems to have changed in Itchy Ankle while I was in the wild west, so I’ll close now and hope for something more exciting to report next week.

Best to Flo,


PS: Good luck with your tabard promotion. No run on them for St Patrick’s Day then???

About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
This entry was posted in Crone as Pen Pal, yard sale and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Doris takes a dim view

  1. RoseMary King says:

    Doris reminds me of my Godmother. She would try her damdest to keep me grounded and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. Her comments on “new age” and “earth rod named Flo” had me in tears. LOL. I will beg to differ with her on haircuts. A good haircut is EVERYTHING!!!! It will make me sing and dance.

    Hope all is well in Itchy Ankles. Give my love to all. Hugs and Kisses.

  2. Doris says:

    RoseMary, You are right of course and I wouldn’t take Flo’s haircut ‘two week’ calibration as gospel. Personal grooming has never much interested my friend and I agree with you about the restorative capabilities of a good perm.

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