Embrace the kink

Two years ago, I started this post with just the just title.

As a toddler, I was endowed with platinum blonde curly locks. By the time I started infant school they had morphed into straight plain brown.

When the barnet began to feather flick from my ears and extended well beyond collar length, my three years younger brother, and I were marched to a tonsorial parlour at the junction of Northfield Road and Fellows Lane, Harborne.

There in a bay windowed, cream gloss painted room, containing two adjustable chairs, upholstered in deep brown cracked leather, facing mirrors, we were shorn.

The stout balding, cleanly shaved barber, wearing a white jacket, seemed so very old. I enjoyed sitting high up on a plank across the arms of the chair while my mother reminded him, I had a double crown. I have since learned the unruliness of the left side of my head is due to a cowlick.

Each time we went, my brother and I had the same cut. I discovered today, it is called a mop top, although ours was short at the back. The style did not change until I was old enough to go to the barbers alone.

In my late teens, I admired my brother’s long wavy hair, emphasising his bikie, hard rock, and heavy metal persona. Being the eldest, my lot was one of self imposed responsibility. As previously posted, societal conformity was the order of the day. To hide in plain sight, I chose to wear mine off my face in a quasi Simon Templar fashion.

For forty years, I yearned for curly hair, although never enough to try a perm. Instead, I relied on clipped cuts, gels, mousses, waxes, and creams to achieve straight uniformity.

In 2014, hairdresser, James Burrows was the first to talk to me about my fine flyaway strands. He used sea salt spray, comb, dryer, and powder to create the tidal wave like cut in the picture above.

Brisbane or ageing, combined with inclusion of non usual humans have proved to be the catalyst for realising my dream of wavy hair. The current barber introduced me to scrunch drying, reinforced the use of hair powder, and suggested using balm left over from taming my beard to achieve separation of tresses. A day or two after washing, I am now able to embrace the kink.

humanity

encouragement and kinship; life’s gifts


passing; mortality’s reminder


laughter foretime, subsequent silence


heart-strung connections, now memories


warm reminiscing; cold light of day

Those people

My earliest memory of dining out was in a cafe in West Bromwich, UK. The treat ended with my younger brother by three years having a tantrum; screaming and kicking on the floor surrounded by chips.

My addiction to going out to eat formed while undertaking hospitality studies in Worcester and Blackpool, 1980 to 1984. Overseas travel broadened my appreciation of fabulously foreign cuisines.

As a food service employee, I would groan internally about the guests who refused to leave, so that I could clear up and head home to bed.

My husband and I have become those people who literally spend hours chatting and supping over meals in eateries. The latest trend is starting with late lunch and continuing on to dinner. All the better when Stan is able to accompany us. He enjoys the attention from the staff, greeting them like old friends.

Our current favourites for double dining are Marinara Ristorante Cafe, Hawthorne and Patina at Customs House, Brisbane. Starting earlier ensures our departure well before the end of the evening.

Quelle horreur

The thought of being deprived of Google in Australia is monstrous! Fingers crossed we will not succumb to have to Bing things.

On a local level the winds of change grew to hurricane proportions. We signed up with a realtor, booked times for staging, photographs, and the first viewing.

Then the realty of the market dowsed our spirits. Everything is on hold until we can find somewhere suitable to live.

Deciding we will rent for a while, we are well beyond dirty, pest infested, rundown garrets. Is it unreasonable to expect air conditioning, dishwasher, covered outdoor area, space from the neighbours and undercover parking?

There are suitable rental properties however, as in stories of unrequited love, our advances are spurned. Why? We have an ‘inside’ Stan.

Not fast enough

Tightened palate
Tingling teeth
Engine running

Gravity seems stronger today
Moist heat enveloping
Body consuming yawns draw tears
Rocking forward back, forward back

Skipping words, sentences, paragraphs; novel reading

Instagram

SBS, ABC, News

Facebook

Events not happening fast enough to satisfy caffeine fuelled appetite.

New normal breakfast dilemma

The signs in the hotel’s common areas are many and clear. Observe social distancing, sanitise your hands, wait here to be seated, use the QR code to see the menu.

My husband had already experienced four people, millimetres away from him, exchanging pleasantries, while he attempted to eat his poached eggs on smashed avocado and toast.

Almost at the end of breakfast a woman drags a chair over to join a couple behind him. Parked a hair’s breadth from his back an unspoken outrage charged the air. Members of staff engaged with the interloper. Nothing was mentioned of the infringement.

If my husband had said something he would have been the one drawing gasps and stares from onlookers. On this occasion our group of four stood up as one, escaping to the outdoors.

Australia has been largely spared the pandemic’s deathly grasp. I find the flagrant disregard of measures, put in place to protect the populace to be unconscionable, especially in the context of society’s new normal.

Barber conversation

While having my pre-27 years anniversary hair cut on Friday, there was little conversation. I like it like that, preferring to close my eyes and let my mind wander.

My contemplation was suddenly interrupted by the barber asking, ‘Will you have the COVID vaccine?’ ‘Oh yes’, I replied, ‘I have the flu vaccination every year.’

Clip clip, cut cut, buzz buzz.

‘What about you?’, I asked. ‘I just had a vaccination for whooping cough because my sister’s child has it’, she said. ’My arm feels really heavy after it. Good job it’s the left one as I’m right handed. I will get the COVID injection.’

‘Do you get the the flu vaccination?’ I enquired, ‘Oh no, I’ve never had that.’

‘But you work in an industry where you come into contact with different people every day.’ ‘True, and men run their fingers through their hair all day long. You know, they don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet. I then touch their hair.’

I pondered why she was not wearing gloves.

Misguided vanity

As a teenager in the UK, I had a few part time jobs. The first was serving takeaway fish and chips in a timber framed shop with higgledy-piggledy floors, ceilings, windows and doors. It was located in a high street where the buildings appeared to have collided into each other.

The income paid for uniforms, chef’s knives, and books, required for study. Following the start of a two-year sandwich course*, I was informed I needed to get experience working in a more superior hospitality business. I was fortunate in securing the role of banqueting waiter at a half timbered C16th hotel.

The business was purchased by a local hotel group, leading to my first redundancy and redeployment. The new hall porter position was located at a grand C19th mansion, turned hotel and function centre. The group also ran the lido in the town. Each Summer staff had the opportunity of working in the lido kiosk.

As my heritage is more Northern European than Mediterranean, my pasty white limbs would sear to a deep vermilion when flaunted in the sun. In order to protect my fragile ego I opted to succumb to packaged promises of golden to bronzed litheness.

Quelle horreur and indignity I endured exposing the resulting patchy brown reality!

*a training course with alternate periods of formal instruction and practical experience.