Just call me q

A woman contemplating life, incognito

Hey, Three Year Old, Thankyou For Dissing My Hair…


born with messy hair justcallmeq Q queline

I was never happy with my hair. I think it’s because – when I was born  the nurses (apparently) flocked to see my mass of wavy locks because “it looked so unusual,” said mum. “Odd,” confided dad when I was older and out of earshot of mum. And at school my hair styles were never conventional. I did short and cropped; I did fierce and ‘mohicaned;’ I did permed, shaggy, straight, shaved, curly, crimped, you name it, I did it; all in an attempt to hide my natural look which was… ‘messy.’ But nothing worked. My hair, it seemed, was always in a permanent state of dishevelment and it bothered me.

hairstyles messy curly permed straight crimped shaggy shaved short justcallmeq Q queline

And it finally came to a head (my head) shortly after I’d signed up to do a spot of part-time nannying for an agency.

My first assignment was to a mum who’d just given birth and wanted help with ironing and with occupying her three year old son. This sounded right up my street. So I went to the house, I knocked on the door and it was opened by a perfect mother with perfect hair wearing perfectly ironed clothes who then proceeded to lead me into a perfectly styled lounge to meet her perfect little baby and three year old boy. I felt like I’d stepped into a ‘Hello’ magazine.

perfect hair justcallmeq Q queline

Anyway, I introduced myself, I made friends with my charge and then I began to carry out my duties. No problem. And all was going (I don’t want to say ‘perfectly’ but it was so, do you mind if I do?) perfectly until the boy suddenly blurted out:

Why is your hair so messy?

messy hair cartoon justcallmeq Q queline

Well, I tell you, for a split second time stood still. And then a tidal wave of feelings swept over me. I felt embarrassment and anger; I felt inadequacy, helplessness and confusion.

Why do children always have to say it as it is?” I thought. “It was bad enough the time that little girl told me I had a yellow tooth in the middle of the check-out queue at Sainsburys. Why, oh, why do these things keep happening to me?”

yellow tooth cartoon justcallmeq Q queline

But then, you know, a strange thing happened. As the wave gently began to recede, acknowledgement, acceptance and – very slowly – gratitude began to reveal themselves to me. I suddenly realized, as I stood there on this woman’s pure white carpet trying hard not to simultaneously cry and stress-wee, that resistance was futile. I would always have wayward follicles; it was my fate. So why try to fight it? And so I stopped. And from that day on, ‘messy’ officially became ‘a style’ in my books.

And I didn’t say it at the time (because he were only small) but, “thank you, three year old boy for dissing my hair. You helped me learn to love it.”

cartoon justcallmeq Q queline


6 Reasons Why Blogging Is Hard


1) You have to know stuff about computers or else you won’t know if anyone has looked at your work. (I have a ‘technical man’ who helps me do this.)

cartoon picture of two people and a computer with speech bubbles

2) Sometimes no-one looks at your work (apart from you and your ‘technical man’ and he’s only looking ‘cos you pay him.)

cartoon picture of two people and a computer with speech bubbles

3) You have to be consistent with your blog-posting ie: weekly/monthly/bi-monthly (even if 2).

cartoon picture of two people and a computer with speech bubbles

4) You have to sit on your butt quite a lot which can lead to a big botty… unless – of course – it was already big (see http://www.justcallmeq.co.uk/me-and-my-big-botty/) in which case I mean bigger.)

picture of outline of pink glittery bottom

5) You don’t know if people are looking at your work because they’ve a) stumbled across it by accident or because they were b) purposefully looking for it (see 4). (Your ‘technical man’ may be able to help you here but I would strongly suggest ‘having words’ if he sniggers when doing so.)

cartoon picture of two people and a computer with speech bubbles

6) You may get a lot of spam (see 4) by the people mentioned in 5b. (Again, if your ‘technical man’ sniggers, as did mine, feel free to administer those strong words unless his snigger turns into a full-on laugh. If it turns into a full-on laugh then do what I did… sack him!)

cartoon picture of two people and a computer with speech bubbles

Spring Cleaning


Sprucing Up The Panes

Cartoon picture of lady staring at dirty windows and speech bubble saying "oh, I just know that cleaning this window will set off a chain of events that'll lead to nothing short of disaster..."

If you get the urge to do a spot of spring cleaning over the coming weeks do not, under any circumstances, attempt to clean the inside of your windows. No, because it will set off a whole chain of events that’ll lead to nothing short of disaster. And how do I know this to be true? Well, because that’s exactly what happened to me when I decided – a week ago – to spruce up my panes so that the window-cleaner would know exactly which was his dirt and which was mine the next time he came to visit.

Deep Joy

Cartoon picture of a view of a neighbours' conservatory from a window with man in conservatory saying "Oi! What you staring at, luv?"

Oh, don’t get me wrong, the results (which took just over a day and a half) were spectacular: glistening glass, deep joy and a clear view of the rear neighbours’ conservatory, but it then meant that the frames had to be done to match. So I opened the windows – in order to access all the hidden surface areas – but there was so much dirt, dust, spiders and mud lodged in the recesses that I was forced to spend a further day and a half hoovering that out too.

Bottle Of Cif

Cartoon picture of Cif cleaning agent and a toothbrush.

And it didn’t stop there. Oh, no. Because some of the dirt had become so ingrained I had to go in with a wet toothbrush and a bottle of Cif to finish the job off.


Cartoon picture of ladie's head and diary with speech bubble saying "Oh, it's no good. I really must get a twelve year diary next time..."

Anyway, in the end the whole process took six days and on the seventh day I re… What? No, of course I didn’t rest, silly. I’m not God. No, on the seventh day I realised that, after twelve years of accumulated dirt, it would have been a lot simpler to have just moved house than to try and clean it, and so I made a note in my diary to contact the Estate Agent in 2031 so that I don’t have to go through the whole flippin’ rigmarole again.

I Love Ballet…


cartoon picture ballet shoes

I love to watch ballet. The grace, the poise, the elegance of the dancers; it’s so mesmerizing. But anything that involves me moving, well… then you can count me out. Yes, because movement means being noticed; movement means all eyes on you; movement means  every part of your physique being scrutinized, assessed and critiqued and I absolutely hate the thought of that. Make me the centre of attention and I freeze; I become conscious of every molecule in my body.

Are they too red? (My cheek molecules.) Are they in the right place? (My hair molecules.) Are they strong enough to hold in quite a large amount of liquid? (My bladder molecules.) It’s exhausting, I tell you. Simply exhausting.

embarrassing molecules cartoon picture

And as for getting me up on the stage? Never. Me in a tutu with a spotlight trained on me? You must be joking. Looking all serene and floaty in front of hundreds of people? Not in a million years, my friend. Oh, and then on top of all that you expect me to move? I’m sorry, but it’s just not gonna happen. No, I’m serious; my molecules simply wouldn’t allow it; they’d go rigid. In fact, you could probably tuck me under your arm after the last act and carry me off horizontally  ‘cos my body would be that stiff.

cartoon picture carrying someone horizontally under arm

But like I just said, that’s not going to happen. So I can book tickets to see Swan lake or The Nutcracker or some other suitably seasonal performance safe in the knowledge that I will be in a seat… and not moving. But just in case they decide to haul someone up from the audience (yes, alright, it’s not Panto but you never know) I think I’ll book the back row. I’d feel a heck of a lot safer.

cartoon picture of a stage

Keratosis Pilaris Part Two: The Gift That Keeps On Giving



Having Keratosis Pilaris (or ‘chicken skin’ as cruel people like to call it) is a curse – make no mistake about it. But, sometimes – and I feel a bit strange saying this but nobody knows me so it doesn’t matter – I actually quite enjoy having it.

Yes, because when there’s not much on the telly, and after I’ve fed the cat and put the chickens to bed, I love nothing more than to sit with my legs propped up – a pair of tweezers in one hand and a hot chocolate in the other – and to hunt for any lower leg hairs that have become trapped, through no fault of their own, under my skin.


cartoon picture of plucking leg hair with tweezers


And, you know, I can’t tell you the amount of hours that I’ve idled away carrying out this quite gross but actually extremely necessary activity (it’s probably double-figures) but I never tire of it… because no hair is ever the same.

Sometimes I get a long one, sometimes I get a curled-up one and sometimes I hit the jackpot with a ‘doubler.’ Woo-hoo! Two for the price of one.


cartoon picture of hair follicles


And what can I compare the pleasure of plucking to?

Metal-detecting, I suppose… yes, it’s exactly like metal-detecting. You go over the same area a couple of times – “blip-blip” nothing – and then “bleeeeep” you get a doubler. It’s so exciting.

And when I’m done I always feel a slight sense of sadness… but not for long…

because Keratosis Pilaris is the gift that keeps on giving and I know that, provided I don’t use my skin-mitt or flannel or skin-brush for a week or so, they’ll be back and – yeay! – it’ll be ‘tweezer and hot choccy time’ again. I can’t wait.


cartoon picture of woman with hot chocolate and pair of tweezers


10 Valid Reasons Why I Choose Not To Exercise Today


cartoon spider

1 – There’s a spider in the corner of my bedroom and I won’t be able to concentrate on my star-jumps.

2 – I noticed – when I bent down to take my tights off – that my toenails need cutting.

3 – I’m wearing a cape. It’s going to be tricky… especially the roly-polys.

4 – When I look at myself in the mirror, without my glasses on and in semi-darkness, I don’t actually look that bad. (Admittedly, I am still wearing the cape.) 

 5 – I ate two custard doughnuts and a box of Maltesers last night and I know I’m gonna do the same tonight so what’s the point?

6 – I’ve got three episodes of The Apprentice to catch up on.

7 – I’m cold.

8 – I’m tired.

9 – I’m hungry. (Is it too early for a doughnut?) 

10 – I just lay on the floor ready to start my ‘floor warm-up’ and all the bones in my spine clicked into place and that is enough.


bones in spine cartoon

I Am Staying Indoors Until Someone Invents A Pair Of Slippery Woolly Tights



I’d like to say that I welcome each coming season equally and with open arms… but I don’t. Because, you see, whereas Spring makes me zing,


spring flowers grape hyacinths daffodils cartoon


Summer makes me smile (and, admittedly, sweat)


sweating in the summer sun cartoon


and Winter is just wonderful


cartoon snowman in snow globe


– autumn, for me, is just a complete nightmare.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I rejoice in the changing colours of the falling leaves,


cartoon tree in autumn


I relish the wind whipping through my (already messy) hair


messy hair in the wind cartoon


and I love to watch with wonder as the squirrels sprint around collecting nuts for winter


squirrel pushing an acorn in a trolley cartoon



how can I be expected to put one foot outside my front door when – thanks to my very warm and fashionable (but very rough and fuzzy) woolly tights – my A-line skirt insists on riding half way up my legs* to reveal the chubbiest set of knees this side of the Northern hemisphere BEFORE I’VE EVEN MADE IT TO THE END OF MY DRIVE?


chubby knees in woolly tights cartoon queline justcallmeq Q


Exactly. I can’t. And so that is why I am staying indoors until someone invents a pair of slippery woolly tights.


woolly tights and chubby knees cartoon



*And, yes, the legs still look like root vegetables. Thankyou for asking.

I’ll have the one that looks like a mole please…


I know it’s nearly winter but the other day I bought an ice cream and – I’m not joking – it had a face.

Here… look:

cartoon comic mole justcallmeq Q queline

Yes, I’m looking up at MY right, but YOUR left. Don’t ask me why; it just feels comfortable…


I mean, are manufacturers even allowed to sell products like these? It could scare children. Goodness knows it frightened the life out of me.

And I’m not being funny but isn’t putting a face on a choc-ice cruelty to animals in a strange sort of way? I’m a part-time vegetarian and even I felt a bit queasy when I opened the wrapper and out popped this:


cartoon comic mole justcallmeq Q queline

No-one has ever seen the underbelly of a real mole this close up before. Not even David Attenborough (I don’t think)…


As I scrutinized its chocolatey exterior (looking for fur) I wondered why on earth a manufacturer would actually want to take a short-sighted, cylindrical-shaped creature with large claws, small eyes and a penchant for worms and turn it into a frozen treat.

Did they have a mole-shaped mould lurking in the back of their stock-cupboard that needed using up?


cartoon comic mole justcallmeq Q queline


I knew that I’d never be able to answer such a myriad of questions before my icey subterranean mammal-on-a-stick melted so I did the only thing that I could do: I ate it. But it felt wrong.


cartoon comic mole justcallmeq Q queline

Sometimes moles and choc-ices get confused.



Are these trousers or my legs?





I have decades of cake-eating under my belt…

and it shows!


root vegetable legs thighs cakes weight big botty bottom justcallmeq Q queline


(See? Told you it was 12 words…)

Oh, no… now it’s 19…

No, it’s not; it’s 24…

No, it’s…

Oh, this could go on forever.




My Third Post: The first thing that came into my head…




I’m going to stop numbering my posts…


justcallmeq Q queline


It’s getting a bit repetitive.