The Jonkheer 'volunteered' to take a photo, too. (Confidential to Army Betty: I never did explain what you kept calling him and why.)
|Army left, with A Secret Infatuation; van den Betsy right, with Damsel in Green.|
And then, Army Betty followed up with this delightful note:
My British Army neighbor stopped by this morning. ("Can you break from your telecommuting for elevenses, my dear?) She was supposed to come by on Halloween (I'd hoped you'd get to meet her), but the Colonel was "under the weather and not to be left alone".
So I asked her again about the whole tying your hair back with a piece of string bit:
Margaret: You do recall that the term could refer to an office rubber band?
Me: Even when she says "bootlace" or " a piece of twine" or "a handy leather thong"?
Margaret: Well, that is a different kettle of fish entirely.
Me: So how does one do that?
Margaret: You Yanks with your squeaky clean hair might have a bit of a tough run with it. Didn't your Betty start writing in the 70's? Even Yanks didn't wash long hair daily in the pre-blow dryer age. I do recall you mentioning hair-washing as a rather big deal involving towels before the fire until it's dry enough to plait?
Me: Well, yes.
Margaret: A clear indication that hair-washing is not a daily event. Well, then, assuming one does not have slippery squeaky-clean American hair, here's how you go about it. Gather it all up into a ponytail and give it a bit of a twist. Ensure about an inch of the ponytail closest to the head is twisted fairly tautly. Take your string or cord or whatever and leave enough room at one end to tie a bow or slipknot and hold it fast under one thumb, against the twisted hair at either far edge (I find the outer edge to be easier) of the twist. With your other hand, wind the string round the hair at least 10 times, tautly. Then tie the two ends of the string together. It takes practice to get it right, easiest to practice on a small hank of hair toward the front till you get the hang of it.
Me: Is this a common practice?
Margaret: Not anymore, one can purchase hair ties quite cheaply these days.
Me: And by hair tie, you mean...
Margaret: (Deep sigh) Yes, I mean hair elastics.
Me: So let me ask you about the Belgians.
Margaret: A topic for another day, my dear. Elevenses are usually a quarter hour and we've been idling for twice that at least. Sherry is in order for such a trying conversation, I'll pay an afternoon call one day.
And with that she briskly departed.