First I will update you on the hair situation:
It was bleached for three hours in total and we did get it to quite a good lightish yellow. However, after application of the ash-y tone, it was still quite yellow. I found a darker ash tone, which produced a more believable shade of dark blonde on a strand test. Unfortunately, however, the area on my scalp where I did the strand test (I'd had enough of cutting chunks off on which to perform various tests for the bleaching process) was stinging and there was no way I'd cover the whole head with something that stung. So I admitted defeat and dyed it bright pinky-red. It won't be staying that way - it's just you have to dye it red and then brown, otherwise it will go green. And yes, it has happened to me before. I remember sitting on the beach at Brighton and someone remarking how I well I matched the seaweed.
Please note that the red patch you can see is dye, not a sore patch (I'm very lucky I don't have any of those).
I have been doing some knitting, in between ruining my hair with the bleach: some more socks (I thought I said I was off knitting socks - all that has changed now I can Knit to Fit) in Opal and the stitch is baby cable rib (which is very simple and requires no effort). I cast-on 56 sts again and it seems okay. So far.
Thanks for all your advice on the Bad Word Situation. I'm still ignoring him and will see how it goes.
Must go and stop my lunch from burning.
HAPPY 2007 TO YOU ALL, MY FRIENDS!