After sharing all those photos of pumpkins and happy memories from a life once lived in California, our Halloween this year turned out to be a very quiet one, with only a handful of trick or treaters.
Still, daughter got one or two compliments from a few of the children about her pumpkin carving, one of whom told her: “I like its window mouth”.
So another week begins and here in the UK, we prepare for a celebration on Wednesday, the 5th of November, that sadly, I wasn’t able to share with my children when living in California.
Yet to come is Bonfire Night, otherwise known as Guy Fawkes Night.
This is the night when as kids, we built a bonfire in our back garden, put a ‘guy’ on top (the guy being a ‘man’ made up of leaves stuffed into a pair of Dad’s old trousers and a shirt with a stuffed sack or stocking for a head) and set fire to it. We also let off fireworks.
All to remember a man who tried to blow up the the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Oh what fun!
I didn’t know that one day I would be leaving California to return to England. Life didn’t turn out as planned, in fact it went spectacularly wrong in some ways, but one result of this was that my children got to enjoy American Halloweens and, years later, very British Bonfire Nights. Best of both worlds I would say.
These seasonal memories bring along a few others, some rather painful in their own right. Painful as in ‘Bad Hair Day‘ memories which Lisa has asked us to share in our bite size memoir.
Moi? Bad hair day? No, never. Surely not. Well actually, yes. Too many to count. Who doesn’t want beautiful hair? In my quest to achieve the perfect hairstyle, I have tried everything: long, short, in between and all the rest. Usually ruining it in the process.
Why are we never happy with what we are blessed with? My hair was curly and thick and, as someone once told me, ‘dishwater blonde’. Nice. What I really wanted was long, perfectly straight, gleaming black hair. Unlike my daughter, who by her late teens was experimenting with every colour under the sun, I did not go down the black hair dye route. Instead, I gave up on that dream and looked to another.
In the 1970s, Farrah Fawcett’s hair was ‘it’ thanks to the iconic television show Charlie’s Angels and I wanted hair just like hers. In my feeble attempts to achieve this, I did what I could with the help of a hairdryer (why couldn’t straighteners have been invented then?) and tried to ‘highlight’ it.
During my first trip to America, I discovered a nifty little product called ‘Sun-In’. This was (is?) essentially a bleach product that I applied to my hair and left on while sitting outside, waiting for it to be activated by the sun.
Not long after this photo was taken, my hair was well and truly fried. Your guess is as good as mine as to what I was hoping to achieve with this look:
Here is my bite size memoir in 150 words, no more, no less:
Bad Hair Day
Always wavy and ‘full of body’, by the time I was thirteen my hair was downright frizzy and I hated it. So frizzy, that my nickname at home was ‘Crystal Tips’.
Thinking I had found the solution by going to bed with my hair wet tied back in a ponytail with an elastic band (giving it a smooth bounce, strangely), this soon ended thanks to the ruinous split ends it caused. A session at the hairdressers took every penny I had earned babysitting.
Keeping my hair long until I was 22, I cut it all off after my young husband died. The years went by, I tried everything including going through a ‘Princess Diana’ phase.
But years before that, with my hair as thick and frizzy as ever, I took full control: time for a spiral perm. Forget Lady Di, welcome Glenn Close, Bunny Boiler.
I blame it on hormones.