Through Rose Coloured Glasses

At the start of our lives, we view the world through rose coloured glasses. We believe and adhere to the pearls of wisdom fed to us by our parents – those halcyon days when everything in the garden seemed rosy enough. As we grow older and start viewing life from our perspective, we rebel.

Me, back in the day, cocooned in my little rose-coloured world.

I was born with a full head of hair which, much to my mother’s disappointment, was dead straight. Not quite the girly-girl image she had envisaged. So, I was traumatised from a very early age by hair accessories.

First up, rag curls.  For those who are not familiar with rag curls, this is the deal.  Get an old rag or towel and cut or tear it into strips, lengthwise. Roll strands of your baby’s hair around the rag, then tie each end of the rag, tightly. Repeat, until all the hair on your baby’s head is firmly bound.

One of the many classic Norman Thelwell images that I grew up with.  A mirror image of how I saw myself! © The Estate of Norman Thelwell
The ultimate tool with which to torture a child – Carmen rollers!

My mother was obsessed with my hair.  Not just curling it but tying on oversized floppy ribbons, some as big as my head, which used to flop out after five minutes.  Perming my hair when I was five-years-old, was bordering on the insane.  The smell of that childhood trauma has stayed with me in my adult life.  I throw up if I go anywhere near perm lotion.

Ah, mama mia, she tried so hard for so long, to turn me into a girly girl. She never succeeded, but her obsession with, my thin, straight hair never stopped. Long after she gave up lambasting my Doc Martins and dungarees, and until the day she died, my hair was the trigger of many arguments between us. My hair now? It’s as straight as my genes intended.

Whatever is instilled in us as children, we take with us into adulthood; the good and the bad. The bad stuff has a nasty habit of revisiting us and, during these bouts of unprovoked nostalgia, it’s good to have an emotional release, such as a punchbag, to vent our frustrations. In my case, I write about them and serve them up with a drizzle of humour.

Tales from the African Bush

Carpe Diem2Carpe Diem



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