Tag Archives: hairdressing

The Importance of My New Hair Cut!

Since every human and their dog is giving life lessons these days, I thought I’d share my latest little piece of wisdom.

Neglect your hair long enough and when you finally get it cut, you’ll look like an absolute movie star!

I should know. My transformation’s been so dramatic, I’m off to Hollywood. Move over Nicole! Trouble has arrived!

Not that I intentionally neglected my crowning glory. Indeed, after all the wows I’d had after my last haircut and being told I looked ten years younger, I can’t believe I let it go. Indeed, I should’ve booked straight in for my next appointment before I’d even left the salon. “See you in six weeks”, instead of turning up six months later.

Why is it so?

Indeed, to be precise…why wasn’t it so?

How should I know? What makes you think I have all the answers? Don’t be silly! I was only given the questions. Someone else, only goodness knows where, has all the answers. That’s their responsibility.

However, there’s one question I can answer.

That is, why did I finally get my hair cut today when I’d managed to avoid it for so long?

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Straight from the salon….an SLR Selfie. Not ideal!

I mean any sane, normal person gets their haircut for Christmas and for my role as Stage Mum. There was her big audition for The Sound of Music, her appearance in School Spectacular (albeit as a speck in a huge choir) and the end of year concerts. Aren’t I supposed to dress the part as well, darling?!!

Well, apparently my script got lost in the mail. Or, so I believe!

My hair was sadly and repeatedly neglected. Indeed, you could say that I barely even knew it was there but I’m sure I would’ve known if it wasn’t. At least, EVENTUALLY!

My justification is that if I could’ve dropped my hair off at the dry cleaners and picked it up that afternoon, I would have done it. Moreover, it wasn’t my fault that my hairdresser moved and I couldn’t quite find her again. As we all know, changing hairdressers is more serious than swapping lovers because nobody else quite knows how to cover up all those things you’re covering up in quite the same way. Do they?!!

Sorry! Yet again, I digress.

There is one very simple reason that I’ve had my haircut this week.

kids school uniform

The ghosts of school years’ past. The kids in their old uniforms.

It’s called the start of the New SCHOOL Year. With the start of the new school year, I’m putting my best foot forward and leaving that other foot well and truly left behind. I know I’ve just given a perfect description of the splits but I’m still hopeful.

As we all know, you can ride your moral high horse through New Year’s Eve and renounce New Year’s resolutions. However, you can’t get away with such outright rebellion or   even apathy, when it comes to your New SCHOOL Year Resolutions.

You see, schools have not only invented reports to test the students and keep them accountable, they’re also for the parents. I’m not saying that you get marked when you do your kid’s project because as we all know, you didn’t do it. You let your kid sink or swim through their own efforts. All you did was provide a set of floaties, a life raft, a bucket hat and some sunscreen. That’s right. You might also have set flags up at the beach and gone on surf patrol. No! You’re definitely not that interfering parent!

No! It’s your job as parent to provide the optimal conditions for your kid to reach their ultimate potential and if you can give them a rocket boost along the way, why not?

However, while you might hear about parents’ hot-housing their kids, what you don’t hear about quite so much is how parents’ sabotage their kid’s future through neglect, disorganisation, mis-management and all the usual things you find in your average workplace or home.

I don’t want to be that parent.

I also don’t want to be that parent who has let themselves go either. Not that I need to be that fashion plate exuding wealth and success but there’s a happy medium.

Indeed, when the kids start at their new schools this week, we just want to blend in with the Joneses…no more, no less.

However, that in itself takes an incredible amount of work behind the scenes and definitely no dashing back into town the night before like we used to.

This year we have lists on lists on lists and yet I still have that awful sinking feeling that I’ve forgotten something.

This afternoon as I was catching the train back from Sydney, I ended up writing about three poems about having the guts to believe in myself. Know I can do this because I can. I know I can! I am prepared. We are prepared and now all we need to do is make the final preparations. It’s not that hard. The kids have been going to school in some capacity for seven years. Although the schools have changed and high school is a whole new ball game, we can do this and I know it. I have to switch off that annoying little voice which keeps trying to undermine me and stand tall. I also have to stop it running completely amok throwing things all around the room and cowering in the corner. Let my stronger, more sensible self prevail.

So, I had my haircut. My new haircut may or may not win friends and influence people but it’s helped me feel better. More organised. On the ball. That has to be worth something.

Now, we just need to get the kids’ haircuts organised. BUT first things first…

I’m sure you know what I mean!

Or, perhaps your kids have never scratched their scruffy heads!

Something to look forward to…or maybe not!

Yet, these indestructible critters seem to be a hidden bonus of “community”. Hugging friends, feeling your child rest their head on your shoulder while reading a book and knowing the nits are on the march but reading on regardless.

They’re a sign of true love!

If you have kids going back to school soon, I wish you all the best for the New School Year!

May the Force be with you!

xx Rowena

May the force be with you

Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady!

Indigant! She was absolutely indignant. There were no smiles for the camera and certainly no smoochy kisses as we gave Lady her first bath and I started recording the moment for posterity. Just the deeply wounded downwards glare which concealed an inner growl: “That ain’t no way to treat a Lady!”

Lady had to have an instant, immediate bath. It was a definite case of do not pass go. Do not collect $200. I couldn’t risk her running into the house and sharing her joy. We’d never get rid of the stench! There was no time to take her off to the Palm Beach dog salon for the full shampoo, blowdry and pedicure! If Lady snuck into the house, my father would metamorphose into John Cleese and I could already hear him now: “Sybille!”

As my Dad looks like Basil Faulty, I’m careful not to press all his buttons at once! Dad has a very sensitive sense of smell and with the dogs not being allowed in the house, I really didn’t want to stretch the friendship. I have learned my lesson. You can’t get anything passed Dad’s very acute sense of smell.

Many, many moons ago, there had been the Schnapps Incident. As a fairly mature twenty something, I’d invited a group of single friends around for a Valentine’s Day dinner party at home while Mum and Dad were out. Two of my friends were drowning their sorrows with shots of Schnapps which all ended very badly when the bloke exceeded an elegant sufficiency and in his disoriented and inebriated state had managed to relieve his agony beside my parents’ bed, all over the fine cane lattice furniture. Although my friend, not the one who’d been sick, cleaned the muck off with an old toothbruth and we’d doused the place with industrial strength chemical cleaners, my Dad still walked in the front door and it was like the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: somebody’s been sick beside my bed.

No! I couldn’t take any chances with Lady. After all, we’re lucky that Mum and Dad let us bring the dogs with us at all!

Lady having a bath. Clearly, she's far far from impressed!

Lady having a bath. Clearly, she’s far far from impressed!

This, of course, meant that Lady’s dignity was mortally wounded as we tied her to the flag pole. With the Australian flag flapping overhead, she received the hose treatment. While this might sound a bit cruel, the same dog had just been running through seawater and I doubt there much difference in temperature. Besides, it was a bright sunny day and Lady was until recently, a farm dog. Surely, she wasn’t used to the salon treatment in between rabbit hunts?!! As much as Lady was a cute little dog who would fit in very nicely with the local designer dogs the Avalon Café set, she was made of much tougher stuff! She more than knew how to look after herself!

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That said, I knew she wouldn’t like the smell of Dad’s shower gel.

Being on holidays, we didn’t have any pooch shampoo so I sent our daughter upstairs to get my Dad’s shower gel. It was a strange choice because we had our own Pantene shampoo but this was a crisis and my poor humble brain was very much in survival mode and I wasn’t thinking clearly.

I don't think washing dead fish smells out of stinky dogs was quite what the manufacturers of Dove had in mind!

I don’t think washing dead fish smells out of stinky dogs was quite what the manufacturers of Dove had in mind!

If you have already read about Lady’s handling of the dead rabbit, you won’t be surprised about the dead fish incident. In fact, you’ll probably blame me: “Really, Ro! What did you expect?” The dog is a veteran hunter. You can take the dog out of the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the dog. She is who she is, after all!

I guess you could just call me naïve. The last time I ventured onto a sheep property, I asked my friend if the sheep bite. That story circulated like wildfire. I was living in Geraldton in Western Australia at the time and they were in fits of hysterics about the girl from Sydney. It had been said that you could take the girl out of the North Shore but you can’t take the North Shore out of the girl. I’d actually thought I’d done a pretty thorough cleansing at the time and had well and truly moved on but apparently not.

Anyway, all this drama which resulted in Lady having a bath was all over a fish…a very simple fish.

You see, when my daughter and I were out walking the dogs today, Lady found a dead fish floating in the water. After the rabbit encounter which I mentioned in my last post, I had simply assumed Lady wanted to eat the fish. I thought it was species known as Leather Jacket which was safe to eat and so I helped her get it out of the water. I couldn’t see any harm in her eating the fish.

So I guess you could say that by providing assistance, that ipso facto makes me an accessory but I plead ignorance. I strongly deny any sinister involvement. As I said, I thought Lady was going to eat the fish. I never thought for a moment that Lady would use the dead fish as a kind of roll-on deodorant or eau de cologne.

As it turned out, that fish was also deader than I’d thought. It had already begun its deadly metamorphosis…especially as it had been drifting along baking in the hot, midday sun. So by the time Lady found it, that dead fish was so dead that it was starting to come back to life again.

You could just imagine the smell!

A very cheeky, stink dog posing as a dead fish...Lady before her bath.

A very cheeky, stinky dog posing as a dead fish…Lady before her bath.

Even after what must have been half a bottle of shower gel, Lady still reeks of dead fish. Somehow, I hope it filters out somehow before the long drive home. Two adults, two kids, two dogs in an overloaded car, there’s no room for the stench of dead fish!

Otherwise, I might just have to pinch a bit of my mother’s Chanel!

Surely, that’s how you really treat a Lady!

Getting the Chop

There comes a time when even the most stubborn and resistant soul finally sees the light.

About 8 years ago, my hairdressing friend first broached the subject of cutting my hair short. Experiencing severe chest pain, chronic shortness of breath and blackouts, I almost leaped out of the chair and was well and truly doing the Harold Holt down the street and was halfway home when she finally caught up with me wielding her snippers, of course.

Instantly, I knew how the three blind mice felt being chased by that mad farmer’s wife with the knife. She wasn’t about to cut off my ponytail. No way! It was me…an inextricable part of myself and all that I am.  I had beautiful long, dark hair…my crowning glory. I’d be naked without my hair…denuded. There was no way on this earth that I was ever going to cut my hair short and she wasn’t going to do it either!

No doubt, my  friend observed these tell tale signs of shock as I gasped and struggled to regain my composure. However, this only fuelled her determination: “When a woman turns 40, she needs to cut her hair.” I don’t recall her exact words but she also mentioned something about needing to lift your face, which along with all your other body parts, was also heading permanently south.

While this all seemed like very sound advice, I was still a youthful 36 at the time and all this talk seemed very premature. Turning forty was a very, very distant shore.

My hair stayed put.

Although I’m what you would describe as “deep”, even I have to concede that your hair is more than just a superficial mat stuck  on top of your head. To some extent, it reflects your personality, values and beliefs and if you have ever known anybody outside the hairdressing fraternity who changes their hair colour like the rest of us change their underwear, it can also be quite  an effective litmus test on the mental health front as well. When people make big changes in their life, it is no coincidence that they often change their hair. High school teachers often pick a new style as the first sign of coming “trouble”.

I turned 40 and somehow managed to dodge the snippers, although my hair was shorter and for some reason had also gone wavy if not outright curly. That was a bit of a surprise  as I’d always had close to dead straight hair. There were no complaints, however. I was mystified but delighted.

No doubt there are some who are confused but the way I see the world, there are short-haired people and long haired people just like there are cat and dog people and a firm line in between.

That makes me a long-haired person. I’ve had long hair virtually all my life aside from a very bad hair stage  at school in the mid-eighties where some kind of madness hit and I emerged from the hairdresser with a permed bob with an undercut. I thought I was the personification of cool until my hair bleached in  the sun and turned orange. Then things went from bad to catastrophic as heartache followed heartache and in bouts of teenaged angst, I cut my hair shorter and shorter in acts of cathartic release.

My hair has never been permed or short ever again!

However,  I recently I developed pneumonia and getting my hair dry was a real hassle. All
of a sudden all that hair felt like a burden, an unwanted nuisance and it had to go. I walked into the hairdresser, walked out with my new short hair and I haven’t looked back. I feel quite liberated.

There was just one thing about my new hair that blew me away.

It was straight. Talk about a blast from the past. I couldn’t wait to get home to fluff it up again.

Short was fine but I’m too quirky to be straight.

PS The kids had quite surprise when I picked them up from school with my new short, straight hair. Mister really didn’t like it and practically said it was yuck and Miss was initially quite positive but has since said that she couldn’t find me and has concerns about how to find me after school now. This new hair isn’t Mummy yet. Geoff is also getting used to it.

The new hair amidst the chaos of Christmas morning

The new hair amidst the chaos of Christmas morning