Sunday, 21 October 2018

Charlie Cairoli

My new job is a short term solution to a few problems
It stops me from thinking too much.
It eases me back into the saddle of work ( without the considerable pressures of an Intensive Care Unit)
And hopefully fairly soon it will allow me to pay for the rapidly arriving  vets bills post ear infection, skin irritations, minor strokes and tumours!
Like I said, I'm not intending to stay very long,a better paid job is more the ticket..but who knows what is going to happen in the next few months.


I worked a twelve hour shift over Friday night and was in charge of 19 elderly residents. Now one lady I have gotten to know , knew my mother and father  many moons ago now. She is an old colonial sort who spent an idyllic childhood in India. Polite , positive, and a tiny bit gung ho, she is physically frail now , but retains a sort of robust lets-make-the-most of things attitude which is so common of her class and position.
I liked her immediately.
I'll call her Miriam
Now I respect the Care home as it is not one that insists that residents are woken up at some ungodly hour in the morning. Before we go off shift , it is only expected that perhaps a handful of early risers are helped to shower, so inbetween blood sugar checks and medications, I get to do some hands on care.
Now women's make up is an anathema to me. Me looking into a make up bag is like a man off the street twiddling the knobs of an itu ventilator , I haven't got a scooby do. And so when Miriam asked me to outline her eyebrows for her with what suspiciously looked like a child's crayon I balked slightly
" The carers usually help with with my eyebrows" Miriam instructed me " I do the rest"
I had parked Miriam's wheelchair in front of her vanity mirror with a huge selection of potions and brushes and powders in front of her and really needed to get on, so I took the pencil and asked what to do
" just outline my eyebrows" she instructed and taking a deep breath I did just that.
Moments later were were surveying my work in the mirror and thank goodness both of us burst out laughing like a pair of naughty schoolgirls
" I look like Charlie Cairoli " Miriam quipped
And agast I could see the resemblance
You have to be of a certain age to remember Charlie Cairoli

90 comments:

  1. I suppose the only thing for it is to get your own crayons and practice on yourself at home!

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    1. Do I have to shave my existing ones first?

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    2. I haven't the foggiest idea, currently having less experience than you with these matters!

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  2. Morag2:08 pm

    How good was that to have a laugh about it? I have alopecia in my left eyebrow and my hair. Both hidden by a wig with a long wispy fringe (bangs to our Transatlantic friends). It's the best hair I've ever (never?) had! And no bad hair days :)

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  3. What a funny and sweet story John!Miriam sounds delightful, it's nice that she found it humorous instead of getting upset. Applying make-up well takes a long time to learn, hopefully it's not something you're asked to do often.It was kind of you to try at least,I imagine looking her best makes a world of difference to her while she's living in that situation.
    -Mary

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    1. I would have made a pub ugly woman

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  4. You can do my makeup for me,

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    1. Now that would be a girly night in

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  5. She sounds great! I like that not everyone has to be woken up earlier whether they are ready to be up or not. -Jenn

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  6. Oh dear, a bit over-enthusiastic, were you?

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  7. I don't recall the eyebrow shaping classes in nursing school. If you looked at my face, you would see that even though I am a woman, I would have had no clue either! But you are so sweet to have done your best to make your patient comfortable and happy.

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    1. We had ballroom dancing lessons in my psychiatric nursing school

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  8. Great story. I'm glad she was a good sport.

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  9. Miriam sounds adorable! I am a woman (allegedly)but I don't wear make-up. Mainly because if I do, it looks like I did it in the dark, with my toes. Have a good remainder of Sunday x

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    1. Will do I'm sitting down to watch the newish magnificent seven

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  10. You need to practise your make-up skills. There are a few basic rules to follow and you will find training videos on YouTube. I advise that you buy your own little make-up kit containing eye shadow, lipstick, rouge, mascara and an eyebrow pencil. Try things out on your own face first of all.

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    1. Anonymous2:56 pm

      'Rouge' YP? You're showing your age there, it's blusher these days!

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    2. Maybe practice on Mary and Winnie !

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    3. Winnie would look like ET

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  11. Oh my . . .
    Loved this . . .
    I love your stories . ..
    You write with zest and style . . .

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  12. Barbara Anne3:32 pm

    John, you're blessed with the ability to see these "old people" for who they are as individuals and they are all the better for having you as their nurse.

    In the hospital-based nursing school I attended, we joked our motto should be "Adjust, Be Flexible, Utilize Your Time, and Choose the Best Answer" as we heard those admonitions all too often. You did a bang up job of being flexible and I'm so glad you made Mariam laugh!

    Hugs!

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  13. I really enjoyed this post. Make-up totally baffles me as well. I bet you are an excellent nurse.

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    Replies
    1. And I couldn't teach 12-15 year olds mick

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  14. If and when I get to this stage of decrepitude John I hope I too can retain this sense of humour.

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  15. Did Charlie Carioli perform with the White Clown? The lady sounds delightful. I hope I retain my sense of humour when (as) I get older.

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  16. At 80my aunt had her eyebrows tattooed her explanation was that when she got older and her eye sight waned she will be able to follow the tattoo lines and her eyebrows will be straight.

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  17. One time when my mother was in the nursing home, the aides got her all dolled up for a Christmas party. One of them did her eyebrows (what was left of them) and I swear she looked just like Faye Dunaway in "Mommie Dearest." I expected her to say "No wire hangers!"

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    1. Yes Faye did come to my mind

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  18. The story was great, but the addition of the photo was not only clarifying but out loud laughing for me! You have a gift blogging John!

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  19. What a lovely reaction, she sounds a hoot. Good luck with the work.

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  20. I have trouble doing my own eyebrows, so good on you for helping Miriam with hers. Seeing the eyebrows of many female celebrities these days, I'd say the Cairoli look is still in fashion!

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  21. Tell her that big eyebrows are a fashion statement!!! :)

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    1. Big black ones with white hair arnt

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    2. Alright. Tell her she is a trend setter then! :)

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  22. I think I'll be smiling all day because of this post, John! Thanks! xox

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  23. New skills to learn. I can think of a couple of us who could show you how it is done. The only makeup I have ever done was clown-face.

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  24. Love the tale. I rememeber Charlie Cairoli. As a child I went to the Blackpool Circus with my brothers. Each year all the local children who's parent/s worked at ICI got to go (in the early summer) instead of a Christmas party. In my opinion he was the best clown ever.
    Carolx

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    1. I vaguely remember him,

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  25. Bette Davis said that Joan Crawford's eyebrows were like “African caterpillars.
    When I was home last, everyone referred to them as Liverpool eyebrows :)
    I'm tickled that you gave 'em a go...…
    Hugs,
    ~Jo

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  26. Glad that you gave it a whirl. And that you were both able to laugh.
    Make-up is a mystery to me too.

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  27. Just a really nice story and it is always good to expand your work skill set. All the best John.

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  28. What a great story! When my dad was in the nursing home, the carers were, for the most part, full of life and fun, and it really helped to pick up his spirits. He joked back and forth with them and gave as good as he got. Their favourite saying was "no fools, no fun."

    When you figure out the eyebrow thing, could you please do a video? My eyebrows are fading to nothing and I could use a lesson or six :)

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    1. I'm delighting the job next time

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  29. I can remember being totally terrified when I had to shave my first male patient, with a cut throat razor no less!I'm pretty good at eyebrows though.

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    1. Do you rememberpubic shaves?

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    2. Oh yes, I became quite expert at it.



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  30. That's a great story. I think Miriam will be a good friend for you.

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    1. I love people who exhibit the spirit-that-won-the -war

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  31. Sweet story John laughter sure makes the day.

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  32. My mum was in the ballet at Blackpool Tower Circus at the same time as Charlie Cairoli was there. He apparently kept his make up on all the time and the only time my mum saw him without his makeup was at a wedding they went to. I loved your story. x

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  33. I do and I feel old, only 56

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  34. I'm surprised that a nursing home will hire a registered nurse (as we call them in the States)--here the standard is one for the whole establishment and not always at night, all the other carers are less well qualified (therefore much cheaper) and the RN mostly just bosses them around, from what I've seen.

    Whatever you do, I know you're a boon to those you care for, and they're lucky to have you.

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    1. If you have a nursing home in the uk you have to by law have a registered nurse in charge. Residential homes you do not

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  35. What a lovely story. I hope this job is a good transition for you xo

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  36. You need to go on YouTube and look under "drawing my eyebrows in"......you will be a Beauty Guru in a flash and perhaps have you own Beauty and Dog Channel !!! I will watch it for sure ... give you a "like" and subscribe too :)

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  37. You mean you never watched your sister's doing their make-up? Shame on you, John Gray!! Every good gay who has a sister has always done this!! lol I did!

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    1. I've never so much as picked up a mascara wand
      Drum me out if gay club

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  38. My grandfather was briefly a strong-man in a circus. Not a lot of people know that. I bleedin' hate clowns, but who doesn't?

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  39. Strong men vers clowns
    Strong men win every day
    Strange eh?

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    1. Not strange. Strong men don't like funny men. It's their weakest point.

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  40. Do suggest having her eyebrows tattoed. She sounds game. It is becoming quite the thing. My 70 yr old friend has just had them done, she suffers from hair loss, and they look fabulous. I've done the gamut, acute care, high risk, community but loved the nursing home best. So much inspiration and wisdom. I gave my best but I'm sure I received more.

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  41. Top story! Miriam is gonna be asking you for eyebrows every time now, just for a stir

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  42. Debbie11:25 pm

    Bless her heart! I love it when we can laugh at ourselves.
    Debbie

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  43. It may be a temporary thing, but you will, as usual give it your all. And the clients will love you and there will be many laughs

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  44. Amazing how important eyebrows are to these elderly women! My 96 year old, dementia suffering Mum loses/ hides her eyebrow pencils and regularly can't find any so then merrily uses red or blue biro to sketch them on. Quite a surprising effect I can tell you !! I soon get notification from the Nursing Home and send her 5 or 6 which last for a couple of weeks before they too disappear.

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    1. OH MY. Red or blue - very edgy!!

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  45. I saw Charlie Cairoli at the Blackpool Tower Circus sometime in the 1960's. It seems that I am of "a certain age" then.

    On the same trip to Blackpool with my parents I saw Ken Dodd on stage. Both performers must have been amazing because I still remember them almost 50 years later!

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  46. I think this is a good thing - yes?

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  47. That I would have loved to have seen! Miriam is a good sport!

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  48. Great post today, love Miriam.
    My eyebrows are barely there and my eyes are a bit sunken in. No brow pencil but a some mascara and tinted lip gloss.Tinted sunscreen for my face. that is just about it for me.

    cheers, parsnip and badger

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  49. I'll come round and you can practice on me .... as long as only Winnie gets to see the finished results :-)

    I bet you made Miriam's day, a good laugh first thing in the morning is better than most tablets.

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  50. I've never even heard of Charlie Cairoli, but given the photo I can certainly imagine what your handiwork looked like!

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  51. You never cease to amaze me John Gray :-)

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  52. I never got to meet Charlie but I did interview the guy who worked with him as his ringmaster, Norman Barrett. He had performing budgies...

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  53. Miriam sound like fun. Eyebrows are very tricky to draw in and tend to be overdone. I still can't get mine to look right. You are learning new skills every day!

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