Well, this is my interpretation of a Roman goddess for the 2015 Texas Renaissance Festival….or it’s just a slut with a snake. Either way, I was having fun! We were desperate to go to the festival this year but the weather has been wet every weekend. Finally, I checked the weather forecast and Sunday was cool but sunny. We asked our newly single friend if he would come with us (he and my husband are having a wee bromance) and we happily set off early on Sunday morning. It should have taken us an hour to get to Plantersville, (back of beyond), north-west of Houston but there were two fire engines, one ambulance and THREE BLOODY TRAINS on route. I don’t know if it is the same all over the states but here the trains are carrying everything from cars to rocks from the port of Houston to the rest of the US, and it can take 20 minutes or more for one train to pass a crossing.
Anyway…2 hours or more later we finally arrived at the site. We are usually too cheap to pay $10 for the premier parking but our friend wisely suggested that he did. It was so busy that we might have parked in another county (really). Let’s call our friend, Travis. Travis had been there before with other friends who had children. Big mistake – that means you can’t watch the filthy shows. Our favorite is the Fakespearian show, Sound and Fury, and we love the puerile, college humor. By the time we ate Ye Olde fish and chips, posed with snakes and started drinking mead, the light was beginning to fade.
My husband and I normally go early, leave while it is still light and dress a bit more casually. I felt I had to step it up this year because we had company, so got the cleavage out and fishnet tights on albeit with flat sandals. Oh my, there were some interesting propositions! I suppose we looked a bit strange – two men with a woman? First we met some friends of Travis – a nice looking couple in their late 30s with children. They were very charming and the man kissed my hand as we left. I remarked on that to Travis and he replied, “Oh, they swing”. I think he should have told me that before I outrageously flirted… Immediately after I saw one of my favorite contractors, in a kilt, and ran up to give him a hug. It was only afterwards that I noticed his wife giving me the ‘look’. ‘WTF’, said her eyes. I stumbled over my mead ridden words, explaining that I didn’t normally dress like that. Truth be told, I usually wear something revealing to get the best price – works every time.
Towards the end of the evening, Travis said that he NEEDED to see some belly dancers, so off we went. As they were watching the show I went up to get some food and drink and got chatting to a barely dressed handsome gladiator standing next to me. He was admiring my crown or something and he told me all about his costume that he had made. Then he pointed out the scratches that his wife had made to enhance the effect. Without skipping a beat he said, “If you let me kiss your husband, then I will kiss you”. Chatty Kerry was struck dumb but then recovered enough to say, “It has been really nice to meet you”. I think he thought the young one, Travis, was my husband… As I turned around his wife also gave me the evil eye. ‘What?’ I thought, ‘I am drunk, dressed like a slut and so are you’! Click on the red link to see some more fun photos. ROMAN BACCHANAL, click here
I think the word ‘hero’ is over-used today but my eye doctor really is one. Like many medical professionals, he started his career in the military – let’s say it was the Army. In the years, that I have been torturing him with my neuroses about my eyes, I only recently noticed either a certificate or medal of valor on his wall. When I queried this, he told me that he had noticed something was calibrated wrongly affecting the effectiveness of the sharp-shooters sights. This made a huge difference to their shooting ability. He shared that not everyone was happy about his discovery because a predecessor must have calibrated it incorrectly. Not every hero, in the military for example, has to be parachuting into enemy territory and carrying wounded comrades on their shoulders. Think of the importance of the work of the female covert operative who doggedly pursued the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden from a desk.
I see this eye doctor very regularly because I don’t follow any of his advice (using saline and anti-histamine drops on a regular basis), wear the wrong kind of make-up and then sleep in it… I also develop little blocked cysts along the eye rim if I wear oily make-up. On this occasion, I had flown for two days from my regular trip to an Alzheimer’s Unit in Scotland. In a vain effort to be upgraded (it has worked before), I had worn make-up, a revealing top, drank too much and fell asleep. I woke up looking like a panda and my eyes were gritty. So, two days later my eye is bright red and nothing is bringing the inflammation down. He looked in my eyes and said ‘there is something sparkly on your cornea…” I don’t wear sparkly eyeshadow much anymore. In case you think it is all neuroses, I do have a Pinguecula, which sounds kind of cute – maybe black and white? This is what it really is – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinguecula Recently, he found tiny, baby cataracts – not quite so cute.
Once he was comforting me about how uncomfortable one of my many eye problems was but I heard him say quietly to the assistant, “it’s just some inflammation”. He is a sweetie-pie for taking into account my anxiety. Then he prescribed a specific treatment that he wanted in ointment form to soothe my poor big blue eyes. When I went to the pharmacy, the assistant said to me, “I don’t know whether this is in liquid or ointment formulation?” I pointed out that it was definitely ointment because he had written ‘ung’ an abbreviation for unguent. She looked at me as though I was speaking Korean and I told her that it was a Latin word meaning ointment. Finally, the pharmacist came along and said, “Yes, it is an old-timey word for ointment”. I was flabbergasted and didn’t know who I was more annoyed at. The pharmacist (who I like) should have used it for a gentle training session. I would have explained that some pharmacy terminology is based on Latin and we would learn some more later. Look in the dictionary – unguent is still there in both US and UK versions.
Now I am sounding like an old-timey crabby lady who learned Latin at school… So, on a much lighter note, you might see that I have downward sloping eyes and a slight epicanthal fold from my Native ancestors. For years I struggled to find mascara that wouldn’t smudge the second I put it on. Some of the waterproof ones work but I am allergic to the heavy duty removers. Finally, it struck me that other people with epicanthic folds might have figured it out and found my first fabulous Japanese tubular mascara that never smudges and comes off with hot water and friction. They were quite expensive though I have recently found a fab inexpensive range made in Korea which is sold in most pharmacies and large supermarkets – http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/. Now I hope they sent me a free box of stuff. 🙂