Here’s Herbert

Herbert Of Liverpool
RIP Herbert Howe 1944 – 2016

A long, long time ago in a tiny, cluttered office above a trendy salon in Liverpool, I met a man who changed my life. I was working in his office as part of a YTS training scheme – now that shows how long ago it was! There was an attempt to revamp traditional apprenticeships in the early 80’s and they were rebranded as ‘Youth Training Schemes’. Mine was in office work, and the scheme run by Herbert Of Liverpool gave kids a chance to work in hairdressing, fashion, beauty, retail, he even offered workshops where kids could learn about computers and IT – Outstanding at the time, because even in his up-to-date world we were still using electric typewriters in the office. His Aunty Christine was the bookkeeper and office manager and that poor woman went home most days with a migraine brought on by my constant need for Tipp-Ex!

Anyway, this one Monday, I was making coffees out in the corridor and suddenly the air was filled with the most delicious fragrance. I could still hear the rumble of traffic and the street noises outside, but it all seemed so distant for a brief moment when he brushed past me in that tiny alcove. “Hello, who are you?” he said, and I told him my name and what I was doing. And he paused, you have to believe that even a millisecond in his gaze felt like hours. In that moment he saw right into me, completely from head to toe, inside and out he’d measured me up – NOT in a creepy way – he wasn’t that kind of man. He broke the gaze with a blinding smile, “you’re too good for this type of work, come and work with me and I’ll show you the world” he said as he opened the office door then disappeared inside.

I probably did one of those cartoon head shakes, I know I was faffing about for a while finishing up the drinks because Christine said hers was too cold to drink by the time I got it done. Herbert was in the office for about an hour, moving quickly from one pile of folders to another. VAT, PAYE, rent payments etc, he swept through them like a whirlwind until all the decisions had been made and he left…

A couple of weeks later and I was standing at the reception of his flagship Liverpool salon, going through the most bizarre interview ever! He led me by the hand around the massive salon, I think he introduced me as a country bumpkin to all his managers, staff and customers! And I probably looked a lot like a startled deer as I trailed behind, following him through his glittering world. Trust me when I say that growing up in Liverpool during the 70’s was harsh, no-one that I knew had any money, and luxury was a foreign concept. I was one of the more fortunate ones because my hardworking parents had provided us with a decent home, but even that seemed grey and lacklustre compared to the over-the-top glamour and sparkle he was showing me.

I started working with him there and then, and in time rose to the position of managing his barbershop. I let him love me, though I think I loved him more. And the times we spent together will be forever special. I did over thirty years in the hairdressing business before retiring (early!) but it will always be the years I spent at Herbert Of Liverpool that mean the most – sorry everyone else! But you know it’s true – I’ve never met anyone else since that powerful. His charisma was his strength, but he used it like a gift. I learnt early on (and it’s something that I’ve tried to pass on too over the years) that anyone can cut hair, physically it’s just a process or method that can be taught to anyone. The real skill lies in knowing that person, understanding what it is they want or need, and making them feel good. That was his power and strength, even if he never even touched your hair, even if you only met him in a queue at the bar, or in a car park, that brief spark of warmth and joy would be enough to raise your day, and make you want to spread the goodwill to the next person you met. I loved you Herbert and I am so sorry we lost touch, I wish more than anything I’d made time to come and see you before you left. As far away as I am now from the big city we both loved, I’ll never forget the good times 🙂

Adding some sparkle to The Sims 4

I had to do this, and I know it’s not a terrific likeness but the traits work and the little Sim does light up his environment!
I had to run the money and free real estate cheats to get him into one of the penthouses in the fashion district. And I had to do quite an extensive remodelling because over-all they’re not very special. The apartments work well though, and the penthouse is huge – probably too big, because the scale of the rooms seems off. Still it’s a good addition to the game and they can be built on so there’s plenty of room for future content.
There are two companions sharing his penthouse, one to cook and clean, and the other to fix and maintain things and keep the bar stocked with sparkly cocktails. There’s been no romance though! But I think that’s OK, the cowboy has unflirty traits yet Herbert has made stronger friendship bond with him. It’s the little guy that does the cooking and cleaning that worries me the most, he could end up the wrong side of the duvet and as Herbert’s world expands and his entourage grows that might not work so well. I might have to find a love interest for him elsewhere, because the last thing I want to see in the apartment is anger or sadness.
Last time I started a list about all the good stuff I like in the new EP and I completely forgot the games console! I am so happy to see that reintroduced although, none of the multi-player options seem to increase their social levels, and even with all whooping and hollering they don’t seem to interact with each other when they’re playing together. Doesn’t matter though because it’s a thousand times better than the old gaming rig. I also love that high backed loveseat, it looks amazing and very high end. Sadly though, the big, high backed executive desk chair seems to no longer work, even though it slots into the desk with no problem the Sims can’t sit on it, so as you’ll see in the screenshot I’ve had to replace it with another chair. Hopefully that’s an easy fix because I really liked the way it looked.
There is a nod to the Herbert I knew and loved in his en-suite, the real Herbert had a Christmas themed bathroom in his little house in Roby. He used to say it was Christmas everyday in his home 🙂 There’s also a tricked out pink bidet (because why not!) and a large shelving unit ready to be stocked with elixirs and good times potions.
Rose petals around his bed and some of the best looking furnishings yet released.
How can you not love this game?

If you want to learn more about Herbert and see the great man in action – I warn you it’s compelling! Here is a video from the late 90’s, I moved away from Liverpool in the early 90’s and it’s how I remember him.

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