January 2011 Archives

Samples

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He looked harried, standing there in the middle of the street, with a suitcase at his feet and a laptop bag slung across his shoulders.

He held a dozen little white strips of cardboard, which he was sniffing, one by one. Perfume samples, from a beauty shop just a few steps away.

Was he on a business trip, trying to grab a last minute gift for a loved one - his partner, his secretary, his mistress - back home?

I smiled at him as I walked past. He glanced up at me, then went straight back to sniffing his perfume samples.

Sylvain is heading to Sweden again in a few days. When he comes back from this type of trip, he brings me delicious oatmeal biscuits. Smoked salmon. Cheese. Fluffy blankets.

I prefer to choose my own perfume. Bring me back food and locally made products any day.

Although I suppose if I lived in another time, in another place, perfume from Paris would be pretty darn special. Maybe just as special as smoked salmon from Sweden.

Journals

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I wrote journals throughout many of my high school years. My dad told me that he has most of them shrink-wrapped and sitting in the attic. "Do you want them?" he asked, when we were home over Christmas. "No, keep them there, I don't want to read them." I replied, very quickly. The idea of exploring my teenage head is slightly nauseating.

At lunch today, I circled the stand of pens at the bookshop for 20 minutes. I couldn't decide.

I wanted something that writes nicely. Not too big. On the smaller side. One that won't leak all over my handbag if the lid slips off. It has to look nice, but not too girly, and not too utilitarian.

Then there was the choice of a journal. You don't want to know how long that took.

I have decided to write again. Really write. Write more than I can write on here, for many different reasons - to explore my creativity, to experiment with my writing, to exercise my mind, to consider some really personal questions. I want to write stuff that is crap, but to be able to read it over and see why it's crap, without deleting it straight away. I want to write stuff that is good, but to be able to read it over and see why it's good. I will keep writing here, because I think it's therapeutic too, in a way, but I think I really need to sit down and put pen to paper.

I am so used to writing on a computer that I'm expecting some serious hand crampage. But that's ok. I am so used to writing on a computer that I'm not sure how I'll handle not being able to use Backspace or Copy and Paste as I realise that this sentence would be better there. But that's ok too. The goal is to see what sort of adventure this will take me on.

I just couldn't decide on a pen today. When I wrote in my journals as a teenager, I grabbed whatever pen came to hand. My journal pages were filled with blue, black, purple, green. It took 20 minutes for my teenage self to convince my 30-something self that not everything has to be perfect. Perhaps I do have something to learn from my younger self... It's just a freaking pen.

Let's just hope that this time around, there'll be less bad poetry.

Hairdressers

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Mum used to take us to the hairdresser in one of the big towns, about an hour away from the farm. The hairdresser was always very nice to us, even when I cut my sisters hair for her and tried hiding the evidence under the couch. It must have been quite mangled because I have a hard time cutting paper, let alone hair, in a straight line, even now. The girls working in his salon looked so grown-up, I loved the smell of shampoo and other products, and I was always trying to figure out what the mysterious little room with the bed in it was for. It was only years later that I realised it was for waxing and other grooming. Ah, how naïve I once was.

I think I was the only one in my class (of 8 girls, 4 boys) to get my hair cut in the big town. At a real hairdresser. The rest of them got their hair cut by their mum or a relative or by a local lady, on her verandah.

But I always wanted to get my hair cut by the local lady. My female classmates came to school with crimped hair and (what I thought were) the most fashionable cuts. I was desperately jealous and wished fervently that our hairdresser would propose something like this to me one day. When I was twelve, it took all my courage to tell him I'd like to grow my fringe out. I was tired of having a giant and heavy 70s fringe which I felt started right at the back of my head, when all my classmates had tiny wispy fringes which started just at the top of their foreheads. Despite having a giant cow-lick and the hairdresser's advice against it, I persisted. And he did his best with my sillyness.

I know my parents splurged by taking us to get our hair cut. Even if they couldn't afford to put us in the brands of tracksuit pants we wanted, we always got our hair cut properly.

I am sure that the local lady did her best with the tools she had available. But it is only now, when I look back at photographs of me and my classmates in primary school, that I realise how profoundly grateful I am that mum took us to a proper hairdresser.

Crimped hair. Jagged fringes.

*shudder*

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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