on the straight path


male hairIn recent months there has been a real push for Libraries to maintain relevance by becoming maker spaces, a place to do as well as be. A worthy cause.

Our library accommodates lots of activities including Career Fairs and Science Fairs. There is also the odd impromptu event that pops up from time to time during breaks.

This week, two students garnered a bit of attention, by pulling a chair out and plugging in a hair straightener, as one student set to showing another student how to straighten hair.

The interest aspect was that it was two male students and a small male audience. It was a really powerful moment as not one negative comment was heard. I expect the sale of hair straighteners jumped at the local supermarkets too!

Flow it, show it, Long as I can grow my hair!

Hair cut 1

I know this will bring the green eyed monster out in many of you, but I am used to stirring that emotion in others, goddess that I am.

I found the hair stylist of my dreams! It is not just students who line up for hair cuts before school starts (next Wednesday for teacher me!)  but teachers as well. Having left my regular stylist far behind in the city and not quite desperate enough to drive well over an hour to continue having her cut my hair, I tried one of the local stylists for my first “country cut”. I was less than impressed.

However, just 10 minutes drive to the shopping centre outside of the Village where I buy most of our groceries, there was another hair option and I struck gold.

It wasn’t long into the cut that the stylist commented “goodness your hair is thick” and I did the old reply “yes, if I could bottle the secret I would make a fortune, ha ha ha.” Disappointment was fleeting though as she continued, “I love thick hair, I love to cut into it and style it. I get such a sense of achievement taming it!” Be still my beating heart.

She excelled far beyond my city stylist! A country gem.

So, I am one more session away from achieving the look above (top layer not quite long enough at the sides yet so six weeks will do the trick), except in grey, because I no longer colour my hair. I look so scintillating. In fact, I am so fantastic that I even make myself jealous!

quote coco chanel

not so gentle reminders

I was reminded of a couple things today.

The first thing was that Mr FD can still outsmart me on the odd occasion. Mr FD wondered aloud why his wife/slave was not making him a Saturday morning breakfast and was answered with “because I am working again.” He appeared to accept the answer and wandered back into the kitchen to cook some eggs.

A few minutes later he called from the kitchen requesting I watch his pan while he made an urgent visit to the bathroom. Assuming his eggs were in danger of burning I put down my book and grumbled my way out to the kitchen.

I found a frying pan heating on the stove, but there was nothing in the pan! Mr FD could simply have switched the stove off until his return. Instead, I ended up cooking his eggs, which just happened to be ready and waiting when he reappeared.

I didn’t tell him what I may, or may not have added to the cooking eggs…but if evil thoughts could end lives, Mr FD may not last the night.

The second thing I learnt was at the hairdressers. I don’t know if they over booked, or simply mistimed things, but they were already running late when I arrived for my appointment. I waited to be taken in, then when she washed my hair she parked me for another 20 minutes while she finished another customer’s hair.

I was getting a little annoyed, well a lot annoyed, but decided there was nothing I could really do so tried a few mediation techniques and calmed myself into the moment. When the stylist returned she proceed to give me an extra long head massage when I really wanted to say “skip it and get on with the cutting”, but politeness won, if only just.

So three hours later I am at the desk making my next appointment, ready to flee like a giselle from the salon and reclaim what was left of my Saturday, when the stylist starts to thank me profusely for being so patient and not complaining and how she appreciated me waiting so calmly for her. She then gave me a $20 discount!

The day’s lessons weren’t over yet, dear friends.

Mr FD brought home a copy of Dr Carole Hungerford’s book Good Health in the 21st Century last night (it is one of the book titles we stock on our website, and he had been to the warehouse and picked up a copy). Just reading it while I waited at the hairdressers made me feel not only optimistic, that I was doing something positive with my life, but I also started to think of some healthier versions of the meals I was planning to cook this weekend.

Stopping at the supermarket to collect a few things I found myself buying organic meat and produce despite the extra cost. A Flamingo Dancer deserves only the best of course! Standing at the checkout, I was feeling really good about myself, and that is when I had another lesson, for I reached over and purchased a cloth bag for my groceries. I have a pile of cloth bags at home, but if I forget to take them to the supermarket I usually just accept plastic bags. Today I paid for yet another bag, instead.

My healthy food made me feel happy about myself, and in that state of mind I was more thoughtful of the earth. My joy is joy to the world (yes, I can hear the music too).

So, what did I learn?

Well, from Mr FD that sometimes you just have to admit defeat and retreat, to return to fight another day! One thing about marriage is that you know that there always will be a chance for revenge on another day!

My hairdresser reminded me that what goes around comes around. And maybe the meek really will inherit the earth, or at least cheaper hair cuts! I have to admit that I did get some quality reading time in too!

And that led me to my third lesson and perhaps the most important, and that is; when I care about myself, I care about others. Feeling happy, positive and proactive about my own life made me consider my environment as well, and that is a win, win for everyone.

Not bad for one Saturday, I say.

long, beautiful, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen…

I had cause to go to the hairdresser. Hair that grows tends to force such action on a fairly regular and annoying basis. I also had the now requisite waxing and plucking of eyebrows, lip and chin. Menopause and fading eyesight has me paying for extra maintenance services these days. I know men get nose hair and wispy bits sprouting from ears, but somehow it doesn’t seem quite so troublesome to them. Somehow the hair has gained permission to be on their male faces, but not on the female face. No guesses as to who made up that rule.

Once I had a boss who always had a couple of hairs sprouting like wire bristles from the ridge of his nose. Why he didn’t shave them off with the rest of his facial hair, I have no idea, but it was a constant distraction when speaking with him. Don’t look at the nose hair, don’t look at the nose hair, but of course I did. Always.

I like driving to my hairdresser at she is in the university district. I started going to my stylist several years ago as she was convenient when I worked at the university. Now she is a habit, and I am afraid I would offend her if I ceased going to her. And bless her, she never goes on about my thick hair until the very end when she expects me to fall to the floor and kiss her feet for bringing some order back to my hair. If I went elsewhere I would also have to apologise for making the stylist work for her money and also experience the sensation of being made to feeling like a reject with a social disease for having thick hair that grows very quickly. I don’t have the energy to train a new stylist.

Anyway, that is not really why I like driving to the salon. I like driving to the area where the salon is situated. It is in the university district.  It is always so full of life, especially during the week, with students coming and going, lots of energy. And crazy clothes. Once I passed a monk in a brown habit walking home after the night before. He wasn’t a real monk, I suspect he had been playing monks and nuns and was just contemplating whether he was going to hell in a hand basket for what he had been doing a few hours before. He looked hung over, but satisfied, if you know what I mean.

Today, I passed an apartment block and over the balcony of one apartment was a row of flags. I only recognised the Australian flag, and can only guess that the other flags were various African flags as they were very pretty and African nations always seem to have lovely colours in their flags. The flags made me miss… I don’t know… everything? Youth, hopes, another world?

Shortly afterwards, I was a little miffed as I couldn’t park right outside the salon, as usual. I think it is exam time, and most students are not at lectures, and so many cars were parked on the street, as they rent 32 students to an apartment. I had to walk down a hill to the salon, and you know what that meant don’t you? I had to walk back up the hill on the return trip. Not happy, Jan. I don’t like unexpected or unplanned exercise. Heck, I don’t like exercise at all. Sometimes I will move from one end of the couch to the other and that is enough excitement for one week.

The salon is a little too pink, white, black and Parisienne for my tastes, but they treat me well. If I say I don’t feel like talking they will leave me stew. They make me coffee on their whiz bang coffee machine, even if they sprinkle way too much chocolate over it. Luckily I am sitting in front of a mirror and so can lick the chocolate powder off my top lip. Or chin.

While I am getting my hair washed they turn on their massage chair and so I get a pseudo back massage. I also get a head massage between the conditioning and rinse. I can trot off to be waxed and tortured with the foils in my hair, so all the red blotches on my face from where the wax is ripped away, is faded by the time my hair is styled and I am jettisoned out the door. All in all, it is a pretty good experience.

However, I find it utterly exhausting as I have to be nice for a solid two hours, and that is just about the maximum level of endurance for a Flamingo Dancer of any colour. Two hours of polite, small talk. Two hours of pretending I am nice to my husband, that I have a social life and that I care about others and their lives. In fact, that I am like all the other women who appear to have no issue with hair salon socialising.  Hard work.

I always need a little lie down when I arrive home. This is kind of a shame, because I have just had my hair styled and it ruffles my hair. However, needs must win, and so I have a little cup of tea and a good lie down before going through the regular routine of explaining to Mr FD how a “hair cut” can cost $155.  If I was a half bald man with little more than a ring of hair above my ears, I am sure my hair would only cost $25 too, but then he might not be pleased to be married to a half bald man with little more than a ring of hair above his ears. Perfection requires detail, I say, but he still doesn’t understand.

It is the game we play, husbands and wives, men and women. Just one of many, but there you go. Life is like that.

And so was this day.

Saturday was a bit hairy

I went to the hairdresser today, for the usual style and highlights, plus the add on waxing and tweezing. In all, it was about 2 and a half hours out in the big world. I was utterly, and completely exhausted by the time I returned home. I think it is going to take some time to get my full strength back after this illness.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I am having lunch with 6 of my closest friends from High School. Perhaps an early night so I can last the distance.

hair to dye for

salon de beauté day

Today was salon de beauté day. I use the French term because I do not go to your everyday beautician, oh no. My salon de beauté, situated in a leafy university suburb is of the French persuasion. Well, the  décor is anyway, a riot of pink, and white and black and all things French. Or rather what the buyers for local design and gift shops want us to think is French style – small replicas of the Eiffel Tower, pink and white stripes, a black top hat on a shelf sitting beside a pink rose, toile fabric screens, So fru fru that it is the type of place that shouldn’t be approached on mornings when one has a hangover, for certain!

 I go there despite the décor. It is a long story. Daughter1 went to a salon when she moved to Brisbane and she took me along when I moved to Brisbane, then the stylist moved to another salon and I followed her, and upstairs was a beautician and I thought, how convenient as I can no longer see to pluck the feathers from brow, lip and chin and so I combined two appointments in one stop. Then, the beautician moved to her french salon de beauté and so I was having to go to two different places, streets apart. However, the plot turns; I did say this was a long story. The beautician lured the stylist to the salon de beauté and so now I have both in the one place again. The salon de beauté, Parisian style.

 Its one décor saving grace is the large poster on the wall that declares, Goddess Adoration. So obviously meant for me, a calling from high so to speak.  

 As I am starting the new job next week, I thought it best to defeather some of the trouble spots for a woman of my …um… life experience. I also got more highlights added to my graying tresses.  The goddess came forth once again.

 The stylist offered to turn on the massage chair as she washed my hair, and always one to be pampered I agreed. It was quite soothing, but it got a little more interesting when the stylist paused to massage my head. Interesting from the point of view that I had one massage rhythm working on my back, while the nimble fingers of the hair maiden were kneading to another rhythm. It  was, in fact, akin to patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time. It was not as soothing it should have been, due to the two unaligned massage rhythms.

 I kept wanting to say, wait a moment until the chair gets to the left side and then you massage in unison, but even a Flamingo Dancer knows when one is potentially become too demanding, so I remained silent.  I was quite pleased when the head massage stopped and my hair went into the rinse cycle.

 As you know, I am a believer that a woman, or man for that matter, should lighten their hair as they grey. To me nothing looks worse than a person with striking artificially dark hair. I tried a dark red/auburn for a few years but grew tired of the constant root retouching, so opted to go grayish with blonde/brown highlights. Many people commented that it took years off my face and I believe them.  So much easier to care for, and I have noticed that a number of women of my acquaintance are following suit. Freedom for the grey haired set. Viva la grey liberation!

 So one of the things I have learnt is to lighten my hair color gradually. There is no worse give away than jet black hair on an aging dame!  It makes one look older, not younger. One needs to face maturity with grace and style, not a neon dye bottle.

  If your hair doesn’t start to grey, offer thanks to the god of genes! Obviously there was some confusion in my gene pool, as I missed out on the nongreying gene, but damn, I look hot in a pair of jeans! I have a bottom to die for! You win some, you lose some, but I always make the most of what I have!