The shearing

Since my buzzcut last week, the next-door neighbours, Palestinian girls, all eight of them, have taken an interest in me. I have been sat down on their sofa, they have sat down on my sofa, and next week we shall all go out for booza (ice cream).

arabic ice cream
O aunt, the scorn you pour on my new-shorn scalp is soothed by neighbour-booza

What they haven’t yet discovered is that my shaved head makes me feel very,very soft, like the inside of a heifer calf’s ear or a 1960s telephone covered in velour. My flatmates know though. Gratifying.

My haircut was completed by a wonderful shaven-headed Dane I met at Snowbar in Ramallah. After her shift as a nurse at a local hospital she dropped by, with confidence and grace and ease and clippers and without ado. I can recommend her highly. She very much wanted me to keep the ‘baby dyke’ look.

“You look very good.”

We talked about being women with shaven heads for a bit then climbed onto the balcony railing to feel the sun and wind on our scalps. From somewhere a youth hooted at us.

I have been wearing a turbanned scarf or handkerchief most times I venture out, though occasionally I forget. I take @saimasmileslike and Lord Byron for inspo.
Saima’s Tutorial on Youtube

I avoid wearing scarves like hijab to minimise confusion over whether I have reverted to Islam. The attention has been wholly positive thus far, particularly from the neighbours, who are lovely girls.

how I see myself nowadays

I am glad they have befriended me, though part of me feels harangued by Simon Amstell to grow my hair out (to stop misleading them).

silk hankie wedding guest look (comes with cheesy grin, not pictured)

One of them confided in me that it was probably their roommate Fatima who was hooting at me on the balcony that day. Fatima was a published author at 17, here she is talking about her book (Arabic only).


In conclusion, my advice for women traveling alone in the West Bank is to shave your head.

possibly the fiercest look I will ever serve

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Patricia Barfoot Saunt says:

    I really like the profile of your face. And please take me to a heifer calf one day. I think i need to feel a soft ear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ambassadresstopantsfeels says:

      Dear Pat,
      What a delight it is to hear from you. I thank you so much for your kind words, though I confess they are of a more personal nature than I have grown to expect from you. I sincerely hope no pressing business with the film company has led you to this need to touch a cow near her face.

      I am now retiring for bed. Sounds of explosions have been replaced by sounds of sirens. Progress!

      Onwards, upwards, fondest regards, to you, Pat.


      1. milwabell says:

        I’m only just picking up the film company reins again after the summer recess. And that’s all going smoothly. There will be a role for you on your return to Britain although you don’t need reminding of that I’m sure.

        Sleep well. And please be careful out there. Sirens are reassuring.

        Go well.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. ambassadresstopantsfeels says:

        Time spent in reconnaissance, my dear friend. I’ve ever half an eye to all the shots and lines we’ll do, cinematically speaking. Found us a doozy of a lead actress too. Think we should sign her exclusively to milwabell.


  2. Mother says:

    Dahling, delighted to see you are making friends! Motherxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Derek and Vinnie says:

    Impressed oh god daughter of mine. Love the hair a true Millwall fan now. Booza looks lush. Stay safe. Much love, your Woolley boys. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ambassadresstopantsfeels says:

      Thank you Derek and Vinnie, both of you have haircuts which have long inspired me. Thinking of the Woolley boys!


  4. joanna goodfellow says:

    Quite beautiful! And happy memories of an all over no.2 when I HAD a profile! xxx


    1. ambassadresstopantsfeels says:



  5. victoria214 says:

    You are indeed brave. Have you kept with the buzzed style since then?


    1. ambassadresstopantsfeels says:

      Cheers! Hello! It doesn’t feel brave, or I make up for audacity by not always managing to leave the house. But I have grown it out and it’s a vibrant red now. May you always have good hair days.


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