OK, can you read on, please, and tell me if this ever happens to you:
1. I decided I HAD to have a new waterproof mascara to take to hospital. As you do. I think I was envisaging brave tears of pain, without panda smears. Little did I know there is no pain in hospital (the drugs are gooooood) but equally, you don’t give a toss what you look like. Anyway ….
2. I ordered the Bare Minerals Lash Domination mascara, even though the reviews said that its one slight problem was that it wasn’t waterproof. But a) I love Bare Minerals and b) there was a free gift of a primer involved.
3. The Lash Domination is a fabulous mascara but, guess what, it’s not waterproof. So the search was back on, with days now until hospitalisation. I used the primer twice and then gave it to Child Two.
4. I found a cheapo Boots No 7 mascara that was a bit elusive about its performance vis a vis water but has a glossy gold tube and seemed effective. Cleverly, it comes off in warm water (in large chunks. But still, off and without one of those waterproof-mascara-removers). It came to the hospital with me.
5. After a week on the highly entertaining surgical ward, I was moved to the totally swanky Simon Lodge, a bijou hotel, but with nurses. Most men’s fantasy, I am sure. Lovely. But I wasn’t really up to packing for the transfer so that was left to my mother and a lovely friend. I went into hospital with one small bag (and my mascara) but by this time, thanks to my lovely friends and family, I had acquired: seven boxes of herbal tea, every current decorating and gossip magazine, a box of Neuhaus chocolates in the shape of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Champagne truffles, ginger truffles, millionaire’s shortbread, chocolate chip biscuits, a bowl of fruit, three vases complete with flowers and a lot of cards. Everything was stuffed into diddy St Thomas’s hospital plastic bags.
6. By the time I unpacked my haul at Simon Lodge, I found I had accidentally acquired the iPad containing a Customer Satisfaction Survey from the surgical ward (yes really, with questions like, ‘would you recommend this ward to your family and friends?’ I think on balance I’d recommend my friends and family NOT to have major surgery). I also had a clipboard, several gowns and a pillow or two that weren’t strictly mine ….. and I had lost my mascara.
7. Naturally, when I was finally discharged back home, the question of getting my hands on a genuinely waterproof replacement loomed very large. Although I had the odd excursion (to the hospital), there never seemed a moment when my energy levels and my yearning for the right mascara meshed. Or, indeed, when I was anywhere near a mascara-type shop.
8. At last, on Thursday, I went to the hospital and had my horrible abdominal drain removed. Yay! Suddenly, I felt a lot more like hanging around beauty counters so my lovely friend, over from Barbados, and I went to Peter Jones. There, I made the acquaintance of Lancome’s Hypnose waterproof mascara. The deal was sealed. But wait, there was one of those freebies – buy two products and get a bunch free. So, £35 lighter, I had an evening bag in unconvincing black snakeskin (which I shall give to Child One), a bright red lipstick (instantly handed over to Barbados friend’s daughter) and some cleansing products for cleansaholic Child Two. Plus the actual waterproof mascara.
9. The Hypnose mascara is great – but it leaves big black smudges under the eyes and the brush is very, very discreet. I had a brainwave, and used the big, bushy racoon-style brush from the Lash Domination mascara in the Hypnose tube. Result – ginormous lashes, though still a bit smudgy.
10. Child Two asked if she could borrow a makeup bag that had been lying on the windowsill, neglected since my return from hospital. I turfed the contents out – and found my original Boots mascara, lying there all gold, shiny and innocent. IS IT JUST ME?