Tasty Tuesday: Prawn & Chorizo Spaghetti

This month Family Green have totally fallen in love with a new dish that initially we found through using a company called ‘Hello Fresh.’ Since we tried it, it has been a weekly addition to our menu! It’s a prawn and chorizo spaghetti dish that is so simple to make but the taste is out of this world! Here is a quick run down of the recipe – honestly, you need this in your life!

For 4 people:

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4 garlic cloves
350g king prawns
4 large vine tomatoes
360g spaghetti
1/2 tsp chilli powder
parsley – optional
pack of chopped chorizo
500g passata
1. Peel and chop the garlic, finely chop the parsley and chop the prawns into chunks. Cube the tomatoes and boil a large pan of water for the spaghetti.
2. Cook the spaghetti for 11 minutes.
3. Whilst cooking the spaghetti is cooking heat 2tbsp of olive oil (we use a few sprays of 1cal spray instead) in a separate pan and add the garlic and chilli for 30 seconds before throwing in the chorizo to cook for 2 minutes, keep stirring.

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4. Then add in the prawns and mix for a further 2 minutes.

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5. Next add in the tomato passata and let it bubble for 5-8 minutes before popping in the chopped tomatoes for a further 5 minutes.

6. Season with salt and pepper.
7.Drain the spaghetti and sprinkle in the parsley and stir.

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8. Drop the spaghetti into the tomato mix, stir and serve up – perfect!

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A totally delicious meal for four, honestly, the best thing we’ve made in ages and I think you’ll love it too!

Happy Tuesday!

#hairlesshannah

My top 10 Valentines films

I love watching a good film, and maybe it’s because I’m a single gal but nothing makes me happier than to watch a well made romance film to fill me with hope. It is inevitable that tears will flow and that realisation will whack me around the face like a wet fish that this is the land of make-believe but you know what – a girl can dream so leave me alone!

I haven’t ranked these films, I love them all equally – well, maybe some more than others – and there are many more that I haven’t listed in my top 10, they just missed out like being picked for the team in PE lessons at school – soz about that! However, I won’t leave them on the bench completely and will list them at the end, see I’m a nice single girl, not a mean girl in the slightest!

(imagine Top of The Pops music playing now)

In at number 10 we have Bridget Jones’s Diary. To be fair, all 3 Bridget films should be here – especially the new one, simply because it’s hilarious! I have many similarities to dear old Brig, not just that I share her birthday but I also write a diary, I slam my weight, I’m unlucky in love and have crazy friends! But this film gives me hope that along with my granny pants I will eventually meet my very own Mr Darcy and not live happily ever after like in the films, but live a normal life with him loving me for who I am. Heaven.

Onto number 9 where we have the classic that is Ghost. Yes it is unrealistic, yes it is cheesy beyond words, yes it make me bulb like a baby every single time BUT it also demonstrates how strong love can be and how it continues even after death when you have that true bond with someone. Whoopi Goldberg makes this film for me, you need that hit of humour amongst all the grief and anger and let’s be honest, my main reason for loving this film is the Swayze. Swoon. No wonder the somewhat rude pottery scene is so infamous – but who wouldn’t want him coming along to help you in that situation?!

Next we have my number 8, Dirty Dancing. Lucky ol’ Patrick gets two films in my top 10 romantic films. Anyone that knows me, knows how much I adore a dance film so dance + Swayze + romance = the perfect loved up film for me. It bears a slight resemblance to an updated Romeo and Juliet – Baby and Johnny from different backgrounds, parents who don’t think he is good enough for their little girl…but luckily instead of loads of deaths and a tragic ending, we can revel in many mega dance routines and end with Baby being removed from that corner and being thrown around a dance floor like nobodies business. How lucky is she?! He loves her, they are at Summer camp and I believe they lived out a truly happy life after the credits rolled.

Number 7 introduces another love of my life – Channing Tatum in Dear John. Magic Mike didn’t seem quite romantic enough somehow so I just had to settle for this one instead! This is a film that is more likely not to have been seen by many of you so I won’t say much. It involves, war, autism, letters, dreams, love and heartbreak – go watch it!

Finally at number 6 I have my first comedy – Bridesmaids. It is just brilliant, the first time I saw it I belly laughed at so many parts and still do now. The comedic genius by the eclectic cast is spot on, the emphasis is shone on the love of girlfriends to get you through relationships, especially in the lead up to a wedding. I love it, you’ll love it, if you haven’t seen it, go now, don’t even finish reading the blog…this’ll be here later for you to continue!

Next is a Christmassy number 5 but I’ve thrown it in anyway because although set at Christmas, it is ALL about love. Yes, it’s Love Actually. I adore the start of the film in the airport, I guess because I’ve now experienced an ex-pat life so get the whole sadness of leaving and the sheer joy of returning home to loved ones. No matter what’s going on in the world, airport arrival lounges show you that love is all around. It’s my ultimate place to people watch, it always brings a tear to my eye because I know what it means to be reunited with people after a long period of time. This film combines love in almost every situation imaginable with comedy, heartbreak, hope and Hugh Grant so you know it’s going to be a romantic film winner.

Number 4 is Notting Hill, I figured I’d stick with Hugh for a while. I love the quintessential Britishness of this film plus it has my favourite actress ever, Julia Roberts. The Welsh comedy brought by Rhys Ifans sets it off for me, he brings tears of laughter every time. Romance and love can and often do happen in the least likely circumstances when you are least expecting it and this film highlights that and I love it.

Julia enters my chart again at number 3 with My Best Friends Wedding. This is my go to happy loved up film (along with Eat Pray Love which I idolise and have watched far too many times – actually, why isn’t it in my top 10?! I’m kind of including it here in this super long bracketed sentence because it is am amazing film. Woman splits from relationship, gives up everything to travel round the would to eat in Italy, Pray in India, Bali,  and find love along the way – this film is my everything.) …I feel I should start that sentence again….My Best Friends Wedding is my go to happy loved up film. So many of us have promised that if we don’t find love we will marry our best friends and that’s the basis of this film, although Jules actually realises she loves her best friend but it’s too late because he’s now set to get married – let chaos, hilarity and Cameron Diaz ensue. The soundtrack is immense and leaves me with a happy feeling in my stomach unlike any of the other films on my list.

In at number 2 is the epic film with my teenage crush of all crushes, Titanic. Leo swept into my life and in some ways was my first love. He danced, he drew, he looked hot in a tux, he had great comebacks and he loved Kate no matter that she was from a unreachably different background. Again, this film does end tragically but you kind of know that from the title. But again, it teaches us that no matter how short-lived a romance can be, it can still be the love of your life and leave you with memories and emotions that transcend death. I am one of those losers that sees Kate and Leo together now at awards ceremonies and my heart does a little flip because it’s like Jack and Rose have been reunited – I love it and I love the movie.

And finally, although there is no order here, this film is the only exception because it is my number 1 romance film. It is the ultimate love classic, The Notebook. There are no words really, it just epitomises love and relationships – the ups, the downs, the splits, the arguments but ultimately the bond that keeps you together, the passion and the love that builds the strongest marriage. Again, I won’t ruin it for those of you who haven’t seen it but if you haven’t, WHY?? There are no excuses, so don’t talk to me again until you have been and watched! You’ll cry, laugh and end the film hoping you are lucky enough to find love like that.

So there you have it, my top 10 and now here is a list of those that didn’t make the 10 but are blinking good follow ups so watch them too!

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A Walk To Remember, Pretty Woman, Sleepless in Seattle, 10 Things I Hate About You, Four Weddings and a Funeral, West Side Story, PS I Love You, While You Were Sleeping, The Holiday, The Bodyguard, 27 Dresses and Beauty and The Beast.

Let me know what you’re favourite romantic films are and any recommendations – I love new films to watch and rate!

See you tomorrow on the actual love day of the year!

#hairlesshannah

Single & ready to mingle

Todays blog is a combination of anonymous contributions from some of my single friends. When I decided to write about my single life and what I’m looking for in a man and a relationship I thought it would be interesting to do some wider research and see how many of my preferences were the same as those of my friends.

For me, what I look for in a man and a relationship at 30 is very different from what I wanted in my teens and that is what the majority of my friends have said as well. When I was younger I definitely focused more on materialistic things and appearance – as one friend said; “Gone are the days when I was searching for a rugby star. The one who would pick me up in his flaw 4×4, pay for dinner at the expensive restaurant and then propose to me as we’re on our way to New York City where he’s bought be a penthouse apartment – obviously!” She says here how she cringes at how shallow she used to be but if we are all honest, in our teenage years I bet we all had thoughts about our favourite celeb crush whisking us away and treating us like a princess. Movies and magazines romanticise relationships and as you grow older you begin to have the realisation that real life is far from that and that’s okay but you have to adjust your expectations!

We’ve all noted how most of us have our parents to look up to, wanting a relationship like theirs BUT we have grown up in a totally different generation. “I don’t think my Dad was snap chatting other girls whilst seeing my mum! He was cultivating a life, working and providing for his family.” Trust was on every single one of our lists, social media and dating apps make the ‘numbers game’ very easy to play these days and many of us have been affected by this.  We all want someone who we could meet and build a life with who we trust totally. Lots of things are easily disposable these days, helped by social media and dating apps “It makes it easy to connect and just easy to disconnect. You need to play the odds to even get a date and that’s before you negotiate the tactics of messaging! A fine balance between flirty and witty and not too desperate and aloof – it’s a minefield!” Seriously, trying to wade through single life can be readily hard!

single

We would like someone who has a good occupation, who can support themselves financially and support us if and when we have a family. Someone we can have interesting conversations with and who can challenge us, not letting us win every argument or allow us to make all the decisions. A partner who has knowledge of the world, has good manners and will agree that we should never go to sleep on an argument.  Someone decisive but who can be swayed on occasions because he loves us! Someone whogets who we are and loves us for that, who doesn’t want us to contour our cheeks and filter our photos – who will love us with no make up, in our pyjamas having a cosy night in. Independence came up lots too- sharing a life together and having fun with our friends as a group but who enjoys time out doing what he loves and lets us have our girl time and isn’t possessive. That way you will always have things to talk about because you do things separately as well as together.

As we grow older life experiences have a major impact on our outlook on life and as a result change what we feel we need from a man and relationship. Feeling safe and supported is key because life isn’t always easy and to get through the peaks and troughs you need someone stable who will help you. Who will share cooking the dinner, doing the washing and changing the bedding! Someone who will help you look after your family when they need it and who genuinely gets on with your parents and would spend time with them just because. Simple things like a man who will carry your shopping bags and walk on the road side of the pavement to make sure you’re protected feature more highly than anything else, we want to be looked after.

We all listed that we were looking for someone who is totally committed to our partnership – best friend as well as partner. Then comes the fun part – it’s so important to be with someone who makes you laugh and equally finds you funny! Humour gets you through both the good and bad times so you need to have that together.

It seems we are all people who like to travel as most of us would like a partner who wants to travel and explore the world and explore different cultures. We have also apparently reached an age where we want to enjoy a night out dancing and drinking but more so going to the theatre, comedy shows and enjoying low key date nights at home with a take away and TV!

Then comes the romance. The difference I noticed in our lists here is that the romantic expectations are much more discrete than what they may have been years ago. Someone who looks at you in the way you know means he loves you in a crowded room, who takes your hand when you’re walking. Who knows you well enough to know that the smile you are wearing is fake and that you actually need a huge bear hug and some chocolate! You need that sexual compatibility too but someone who kisses your forehead or comes up and gives you a hug when you are cooking the dinner is needed as well. No one listed over the top gestures of romance, posting pictures online to share declarations of love. The romance list was simple, special and meaningful.

Now I will list down the bits that made me laugh out loud because all my friends have been so open and honest in their responses! Women are picky (if you couldn’t already tell) but we all vary in the finite details of what we are looking for:

  • non smoker
  • has tattoos
  • DIY skills would be a bonus
  • not too short
  • not too large
  • not too toned
  • well dressed
  • nice teeth
  • not a billy big balls
  • good forearms
  • nice to old people
  • dark hair
  • not too needy
  • good banta
  • not a sulker
  • not lazy
  • not messy
  • spontaneous

However, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, it seems we are all aware of our age. Amongst my friends responses there was an underlying desire to be settled down, married, with a house, children and security.  Most of us haven’t found the things that perhaps would make is feel more complete. Not that we need men to make us complete, I’ve got very good at being single and there’s even a part of me that worries about finding someone now because I’ve been single for so long! Having to share space, share my bed, my wardrobe – that will all be a huge shift but one I would happily make because that person will bring so much into my life therefore making it feel more complete. All of my friends are fiercely independent but that doesn’t mean we don’t all want someone to share our lives with.

As one friend commented, “the most important relationship is the one I have with myself.” We have to start here because if we don’t love the person we are, how can we expect someone else to? Dating these days is hard and you do have to get yourself out there and you have to brush yourself off when things don’t work. Try not to question every little things because if he doesn’t text back, if he is liking other girls posts and not yours  and he doesn’t return your calls it probably means, quite simply, that he is just not that into you – go and watch that film too, it’s brilliant! Instead of doubting yourself, you have to turn it on its head and think – if this is how he is acting now, would you really want to be in a relationship with him? No!

I know if you’re a single man reading this blog you will be freaking out but when it comes down to it, really what we are saying is we want someone to give back to us what we can and would want offer to them in return. And I’m sure that if men are honest too, a lot of what we have said, they would be looking for too.

So here’s to single life, for now we will just have to keep kissing frogs until we meet our Prince Charming.

See you tomorrow,

#hairlesshannah

#hairlesshannah on dating

This month I’ve decided to mainly dedicate my blog to the theme of love. This coming week we will find ourselves dealing with Valentines Day or as I know it, happy singles day! It is also half term so I will be posting daily this week with crafts, recipes and blogs relating to love, dating and relationships! Daily blogging scares me a little bit but I want to give it a whirl!

To start with I thought that I’d let you revel in the fun that is my dating history – there’s not much of it but what there is, is quite entertaining! I can’t believe I’m actually going to tell you some of these stories but I am nothing if but honest!

Dating was something I was always nervous about, I went to an all girls secondary school so to some extent boys were aliens to me! But when I was 16/17 I went on my first proper date, a guy I met when buying a pair of shoes in Dune. That date went quite well and I saw him several times after but he was older than me and was heading off to uni. Because he was the first guy I had ever dated, I was filled with the idealism of movie love so of course, I decided to write a letter to him declaring how much I was falling for him before he left.  If I remember correctly, I decided to include some song lyrics for effect because in the films this works right?! – literally cringing as I confess to this! Later that week I received a text from him saying he got the letter and had to pay for the pleasure of reading it because I’d forgotten to put a stamp on it hahaha the shame! He didn’t mention the song lyrics thank god and we stayed in touch for a while but needless to say, it went no further!

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Then there was the blind date with a friends boyfriends best mate. This was never going to go well because in the lead up we had text a lot and through text we got on really well. But as soon as he picked me up I knew it was going to be a disaster. He was so nervous and on edge and obviously not the person he portrayed via text – that was the trouble then, we hadn’t sent photos, or Skyped or checked out each others face books pages, so it had been easy to construct messages and carefully think what to say. It was one of the most awkward dates in history – he talked about cars, mechanics, bikes, football – like I was one of his blokey mates. It was so bad I even said I was too full for a pudding in order for it to be over quicker! Main course and home please! Then he tried to kiss me in the car when he dropped me off, if you’ve ever tried to dodge a kiss, you’ll know how cringe worthy that situation was and needless to say we never spoke again.

Luckily after those two disasters I met the man that I would come to be with for nearly five years, I won’t go into it because we obviously aren’t together now although we stayed in touch for years after. He was the one that made me believe in love, trust and romance and I have the best memories of our time together.

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Very unprofessionally I then went on several dates with one of my trainee teachers brother, to be fair she set us up! She is now one of my best friends and we laugh about this situation lots. I got on really well with him but we weren’t compatible, it’s funny how you discover what will put you off someone – in this case it was him biting his nails through the entirety of the film we went to see. I can’t even remember the film title because I was just fixated on the biting situation! Awful.

I then tried internet dating. Even then there were proper idiots online only after one thing and not interested in anything else. But I did find one gem amongst them all. This was whilst I was on jury service and he was a well needed distraction from everything that was going on. We talked on the phone a lot, text, emailed and met up several times. After a few dates we agreed there was no physical attraction there but we got on so well that we became really good friends. He loved travelling, cricket and Strictly – even did some dance lessons and loved the old ladies he got partnered with. Although I only knew him for a year, he was one of the good guys. Tragically he was killed, hit by a car, just a few months before he was planning to go travelling around Australia. Luckily, although I hadn’t met them, I connected with some of his amazing friends who met me for lunch one day which I will always be grateful for. He was proof that internet dating can unveil some pretty amazing people who you can make connections with, romantically or not and I will be forever grateful to have had him in my life if only for a little while.

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Then I entered the phase of being set up on several more blind dates. All made possible by my very own Cilla – the ‘best!’ friend who has the nail biting brother!! Two set ups actually came to fruition, one that should go down in history as the most cringe worthy date EVER!

We met at Bluewater, I’d made an effort as one does, to look nice. He on the other hand, for some unknown reason, chose to wear a t-shirt bought at Sea World with a dolphin photograph on, hence why he will be forever known amongst my group of friends as dolphin man! I couldn’t not mention it and commented on how I loved dolphins and had also been to Sea World, to which to replied by pulling on the bottom where the SeaWorld logo was and proudly stating he’d been there too and it was the best day of his life! We then sat down for our meal, conversation didn’t flow too easily because he did most of it, which if you know me is a little unusual! Between main and pudding (yup, we made it to pudding here!) he took out his phone and asked me to choose which set of his photos I wanted to look through – sunsets or cats! I promptly told him I wasn’t a cat lover so sun sets would be my choice. He looked like I had punched him square in the mouth, he was disgusted that I didn’t like cats but still handed over the phone and I dutifully scrolled through the HUNDREDS of sun set photos while he talked about where they had been taken!

I somehow managed to move the conversation onto family and friends and I think I spoke a few sentences before we lent forward across the table, looked at me meaningfully in the eyes and asked, “have you suffered any bereavements lately?” I mean….what the actual…?! I said luckily not recently but he then went on to talk for about half an hour about the loss of his mum, how she suffered, died, the funeral… the whole shebang. I felt so uncomfortable but I guess he needed to vent. Luckily pudding arrived at this point although that didn’t stop him talking about other past bereavements he’d suffered!  At one point I stopped eating my lemon tart to have a sip of my drink and in slow motion styley he took this opportunity to lean over the table once more and take a huge swipe with his fork at MY pudding and gleefully chow down on it!! “I hadn’t finished that!” I said, “I know, but I thought we were at the sharing stage!” Seriously, how did you reach that conclusion??

The bill then arrived to my delight (by this stage I have been pinching myself to stop the giggles coming out at the pure insanity of what I was experiencing) but no offer came of bill paying..maybe that’s my fault, old fashioned first date rules? So not only had I had to endure that shocking date, I also had to pay half the bill for the pleasure! Now comes the piece de resistance, we come to say goodbye as our cars, thankfully, are parked in different directions. I went to kiss him on the cheek and say goodbye because after all. at heart I really am a nice person!  However, he put his arms around me and held on far too tightly and for far too long, nuzzled in, found my ear and whispered in a kind of serial killer way, “You’re exceptionally beautiful.” And kissed my ear, cheek and even tried for the lips. I think he could tell by me leaning back so far that he needed to let go at this point!  In any other scenario, on a good date, with attraction, that type of comment would be greatly received but in that way, with that man, with that t-shirt, no. Just no. After retelling this story to my friends and family, ‘Cilla’ then tells me he was also wearing that t-shirt when she met him at the BBQ – seriously??!! Why did I then let her set me up again?!

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Next time I decided I needed support so we set up a group situation – a pub quiz with two of my friends and two of his. To be fair, it was a fun night but they were a bit laddy for me, I know, I’m picky eh?! It just wasn’t my kind of banta – “what’s your best naked uni story?” just isn’t my kind of conversation and maybe I’m odd, but I didn’t actually have one to contribute to that discussion! Then they wanted us to pull sickies so we could drink more wine and get bladdered – again, just not my cup of tea! Nice guys, just not my type of nice guys!

And since then, apart from a few Tinder conversations, dating has been put on pause. Especially since becoming ill and bald, dating seems like a far away planet that is out of my reach. On top of all the usual dating woes, I now have to overcome the issues of fatigue and baldness. Now just isn’t dating time territory for me. I need to concentrate on me, but at 30, that makes me so sad. In many ways I’m glad I’m not with anyone because I would be no good as a girlfriend at the moment and I wouldn’t have coped well with being dumped because of being ill and bald. But then there are so many times when I wish I was with someone who I could confide in, have a cuddle with, be taken care of. I know I’m lucky to have my friends and family around but it’s a different kind of love and care with a boyfriend. I think being ill has heightened my wishful thinking for that life I’d planned for myself – finding someone to settle down with, build a life with, travel with, have children with. I worry that that is something else that is unachievable now but along with everything else I am hopeful about, this is still on the list. One day, maybe, hopefully.

So there you have it, it’s not extensive like some others would be but that’s okay. I used to feel ashamed by that, not having a big dating and relationship history but I’m not now. I made an amazing friend, I had one long, treasured relationship and several funny experiences. Yes I may be picky but I am a strong minded woman who knows what she likes and doesn’t like in a man and that’s okay too. I’d rather be selective and wait for the right one to come along and that’s just my preference.

I bet you all have some funny dating stories –  I’d love to hear them, comment below but keep it clean people! See you tomorrow, have a fab day.

#hairlesshannah

 

 

One Lovely Blog Nomination

Hi everyone, me again for the second time today! Just as I was about to turn out the lights I saw that I have been nominated for the ‘one lovely blog award’ … It’s such a lovely idea and I’m thrilled to have been nominated by Katie Blogs it all, make sure you go and have a look at her blog too: http://www.katieblogsitallblog.wordpress.com

one-lovely-blog

Rules

  • Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  • Post about the award
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate at most 15 people
  • Tell your nominees the good news

Seven facts about me

  1. My favourite flowers are sunflowers
  2. My favourite smells are freshly baked bread,the ocean and Light Blue perfume by Dolce and Gabana.
  3. I got up to my teachers stage in tap dancing
  4. I failed my dissertation at uni
  5. I was on TV when boy band 5ive split up
  6. My favourite Disney film is The Little Mermaid
  7. My ultimate dinner is fish pie

 

My nominees are: helplesswhilstdrying.com apunkwithms.wordpress.com simply-ellen.com  3citygirlsnyc.wordpress.com blondeseekingambition.com itsahairthingblog.wordpress.com perksofbeingabaldgirl.wordpress.com tipsforme.wordpress.com

Thanks again Katie!

#hairlesshannah

Bedside manner

It’s unusual for me to write an unplanned blog but today my fingers just needed to let loose on the keyboard to get out of my system the hate, hurt, anger and upset that’s  setting in. Even though I posted yesterday, I hope you don’t mind this unscheduled rant! It’s all too easy on social media to portray that life is peachy but sometimes we need to be honest because we can even trick ourselves into really believing the “I’m fine” business. Although that’s the path I’m happier to tread for the majority of the time, sometimes I find myself in a space that is so catastrophically not fine, that I can only be true to myself.

This blog is aimed at anyone in a job that holds any kind of human interaction whether that be face to face, via email or over the phone. It’s a blog to remind people that whoever you are interacting with, they are human. They have feelings. They may have their own problems that are hidden to you. I’m not particularly religious but at this moment in time, all I keep thinking is – treat others as you’d wish to be treated.

Earlier in the week I finally experienced my first decent phone-call with someone at the DWP. She didn’t talk to me as if I was a piece of dirt on her shoe, she didn’t judge me, she didn’t tut at me or make me hang up the phone and crumble into tears. At the end of the call I asked for her name and thanked her for allowing me to ask the questions I needed to without being made to feel belittled. Unfortunately, although she was pleased to be thanked, she said that it’s all too often she hears that from people and assured me that the position both she and her colleagues hold is not one of seniority, they are there to help and reassure people in order to ensure they get the help and benefits they need and are entitled to. How sad it’s taken four months for me to finally be treated this way.

And this leads me on to other experiences I faced this week. A letter arrived last weekend from the dermatology department, I’d had to reschedule an appointment in early January as it clashed with a neurology appointment but they had obviously overlooked that. Therefore this letter outlined the results of my skin biopsy and recent full blood tests. Luckily – well not really for me – most came back clear, but what if this hadn’t been the case? I would have found out via letter? And then I came to the last paragraph; a short, swift sentence saying they agreed with the diagnosis by my GP, that my ‘hair loss’ was linked to that and therefore they had referred me to a psychologist. I’m sorry, but had you forgotten that I am a human here? This is my life, my hair, my situation? And yet you are bluntly wiping your hands of me because, why? My case is complex and might take extra time and money? Why am I not worth that? But anyway, after another cry and feelings of deep sorrow and frustration, I dusted myself off, plastered on my “I’m fine” face and focussed on the fact I could discuss it on Thursday at my next appointment.

Fast forward to Thursday. It took a lot for me to get up to Kings for 9.30am yet ten o’clock rolls round and still we haven’t been called in so I approach the desk to enquire about how long the waiting time will be. It’s then that I am told the specialist I am due to see is on annual leave and the stand in Dr is not yet here and they can’t get hold of him. I’m sorry but, why were we not a) informed she was on leave prior to today or b) told when we arrived that this was the case? It doesn’t take a lot at the moment to make me cry because although I manage to keep it in most of the time, I feel like I’m constantly on the edge. So there I am walking back to my parents in a full waiting room, crying. All because my doctor isn’t there – stupid but it tipped me over the edge. Does no one actually care about me? I had a text the day before my appointment reminding me that a missed appointment costs the NHS £160 but hey, if a patient is stood up, never mind, come back another time right? No harm done!

To be fair, the receptionists were amazing and it really wasn’t their fault. After they did some calling around we were told the stand in Dr had been on nights and had apparently cancelled his day appointments but the message hadn’t got through. The next available appointment would be March. But at that point, eagle-eyed mum saw the senior dermatologist come in and asked the receptionist if she could see if he would see us. Long and short is, fair enough, he did. But I wish in many ways he hadn’t.

He is the lead specialist in the dermatology department so you would hope that his bedside manner was outstanding eh? I understand and give some leeway to the fact he wasn’t expecting to see me but that doesn’t excuse the next ten minutes in my eyes. He didn’t have any notes so was obviously working from memory from their meeting after the case conference but he proceeded to tell me that actually their diagnosis was that my hair loss was more than likely untreatable and incurable. Bang, just like that. I cried and he just commented, “no tissues – sorry, NHS.” No worries that I’ve just told a 30-year-old girl that her hair may never grow back, no biggie, you can cope with that.

After I gathered myself I managed to question him, I was angry and in all honestly did not trust what he was saying. In the letter I received, statements had been made about other things which he then did explain to some extent but also tried to wiggle out of. He also stated that dermatology don’t really know much about hair loss and alopecia, he shrugged his shoulders a lot and leant so far back on his wheely chair, at one point I cruelly wished he’d keep going so it toppled over. He was abrupt, insensitive and uncaring, I was so stunned and shocked and felt harmed by someone I didn’t really know. He did explain why the psychologist had been suggested, if I deal with any stress internally then my body may start to heal from the inside which in turn will help the outside – or something like that, I must admit I had started to zone out a little by this stage. I asked him why I had follicles that weren’t growing – he responded with, “pffff, we don’t really know.” Mum pushed him to say that his referral meant that there was still some hope to which he said yes, but in all honesty, by this point I didn’t believe much that was coming out of his mouth.

After that appointment I reacted in a way I hadn’t before. I didn’t want to talk, I didn’t want to be around anyone, I didn’t want to ‘be’ really. In that instance I felt I had no fight left, nothing, zilch, I felt done. I wanted to run away, not have to face any of it anymore, I felt like I had reached crisis point and all because of the way that a specialist of the NHS had spoken to and treated me.

He is going to refer me to a specific hair loss dermatologist at Guy’s which I will go to and I will attend the first psychologist appointment but after a restless night and thoughtful morning I have come to a conclusion. I do not need to be cured in terms of my hair. My lack of hair is not offensive contrary to some socially inept people, it doesn’t make me any less worthy of love or affection. Like I’ve said before, I miss my hair every single day and I hate the person that stares back at me just as much as the day I shaved my head. But the conclusion I’m coming to is that maybe that’s because I haven’t allowed myself to accept it because I’ve constantly been looking for a cure. I’ve seen my hair loss as something disgusting and something wrong with me. But actually, I don’t need to be cured. I don’t have hair. I’m HairlessHannah, baldblogger. This is me now and hair doesn’t define me, I don’t need a cure. It’s not disgusting, okay it’s not something we see often but it’s not harmful to me or to others. That thought is actually quite freeing, I’ve never considered it that way before.

The rest of what I’m going through DOES need a cure. I cannot live the rest of my life in pain, with constant fatigue, noise and light sensitivity,  in isolation, not driving, socialising, working, earning. I cannot live with pins and needles from the neck up for the rest of my life. All of that needs a cure. Not management, a cure. And if a cure for that is found then MAYBE my hair will grow but MAYBE it won’t. If the rest of it is cured, I will be able to wear hats and wigs if I so choose, I can wear make-up and jewellery. I can make myself feel more feminine again but my hair doesn’t need curing.

So, I will see this other guy, I will try out the psychologist incase it will help with my illness but apart from that, hair wise I’m done. I’m done with trying different treatments, herbal remedies, seeing different “specialists” because I simply don’t need their lack of bedside manner. I am taking back the control again. I don’t need their opinions. The only opinion needed in terms of my hair, is my own. So from now on, I am bald, I have alopecia and I am proud. My hair may grow back one day but it also may not and I need to start  accepting that. And as I cry whilst I type this, I know that this is the first step towards starting to love myself again which, as my dear friend told me during our reiki session this week, I need to be able to do that again because it’s actually more important than we realise. Hate in any form isn’t healthy so self hate can’t be doing me or my recovery any good.

As a teacher, no, as a HUMAN,  I always strive to treat every child, every parent, every person I come into contact with, with the utmost respect, care and kindness. I imagine how I would feel if I was receiving the news being delivered to me. I go out of my way to help people and to make sure they know how much I am investing in them. I know the NHS is under great strain at the moment but if the bedside manner isn’t there, that’s when patients start to lose faith. That’s when patients walk away from any potential help that could be available. That’s when the system fails us.

So regardless of your job, just remember that your job as a human is to treat people how you would want to be treated. Everyone is fighting something on a daily basis so be kind, be mindful and think before you speak.

Have a lovely weekend.

#hairlesshannah