Today's Ramadan Kindness instalment is a bit of a double-whammy so brace yourselves.
If you've been following these blog posts about the acts of kindness myself and my two sons are doing to support the hubby who is fasting during Ramadan, then you'll know that on day fifteen, we had a quiet day making small prezzies to send in the post to special people. Well thanks to the swiftness of Royal Mail, those special folk received their parcels and were kind enough to mention it on social media.
Special Person No. 1
The inimitable Granny Flo
(Lives many miles away from us, the Lads miss her like crazy, a Scottish, dog and cat loving fiend)
Special Person No. 2
The kindly and beautiful Anne
(Also lives many miles away from us, also Scottish, the Lads were very impressed that last year she sent them a cinema voucher at the end of their Ramadan Kindness month to congratulate them on a job well done)
(Both Anne and Granny Flo received a bespoke piece of jewellery which I am sure they are wearing with pride right this very moment. Little Lad did, after all, make sure there was a bead of every single colour on there so the pieces could be colour-matched to ANY item in their wardrobes)
I read out the statuses to the Lads mid FIFA 18 and showed them the pictures. Despite the intense showdown between Arsenal and Tottenham, I'm sure I sensed a little lump in their throats AND a milli-second of silence before the PS4 roared back to life. Boys and their emotions, eh?
So onwards to today. Now those who have been lucky enough to meet my terrifying twosome, may be surprised to know that I do, on occasion take them to the hairdresser's. They absolutely REFUSE to go to a barber's for a short back and sides and this could have something to do with the fact that their Dad looks like an advert for Herbal Essences. So a hairdresser's it is. For a teeny tiny trim.
I take the Lads to my own hairdresser, the brilliant James at Lords and Ladies in Paignton. How did I find out he was brilliant? I did what any self-respecting woman looking for a new hairdresser would do - I spotted a fantastic hairdo in Sainsbury's and asked its owner where on earth it was crafted. And so began the harmonious kinship between James and my ageing, thinning, sometimes greasy barnet.
What is even more harmonious than that, is the fact that somehow, every time my Lads visit James, there begins a kind of over zealous riddle-relay. It started with Big Lad spouting riddles he'd learned from You Tube and challenging James to solve them. James rose to this challenge well and sported an even more impressive talent - creating his own riddles for the Lads to solve. On. The. Spot.
As if it's not enough that James is cutting and combing and snipping and razing, today Big Lad upped the stakes and gave James an actual theme to make his riddles up to, and that theme was, (thanks to too many You Tube videos showing alien encounters and dead people in the background of photos) 'Creepy'.
Before I could even blurt out the words 'Oh come on, give the man a break', James was on it like a car bonnet.
What helps you to move but lives longer than you?
What lives inside you and can get you drunk?
What is a feeling and also where you go to rest?
I mean, come on! How can you not be impressed by that? And telling you what the riddles were does not even give a snapshot of what it's like to witness the complex, psychological struggle of these competitive brothers trying to solve them (I'm SURE there's a weird, reality kids TV show in there somewhere).
Anyway, as soon as we left Lords and Ladies (Little Lad with his waves all bouncy and light, Big Lad with a very grown-up undercut), the first thing they suggested was not to buy sickly pastries from the imminently near baker's (standard), but to get something for James as part of their Ramadan Kindness Calendar. Having just been witness to James's ability to enrapture my children with creepy riddles, who was I to argue with that?
We swerved into a local bookshop on the hunt for a riddle book. Unfortunately no such thing could be found but we bought the next best thing. A book of seriously silly jokes.
We dashed back to Lords and Ladies to bestow our gift before James could properly move on to the next customer (who would hopefully not be as demanding as the last). I love how he now seems to know my Lads well enough that he hardly batted an eyelid at the slightly bizarre present but instead thanked them and mentioned he would now be ready next time they came.
On the way back to the car the Lads swished and shimmied their new hairdos in the sunlight joyfully reciting the creepy riddles to each other. I let them bask in the kindness that they'd shown with the joke book, but also the glow they were undoubtedly feeling as a result of the kindness of one particular hairdresser.