During Lockdown, I suddenly felt the urge to start writing about my life to date. I had, and still have, two other large writing projects in the mix, which should be taking priority. It was was a surreal time, which presented us with so much time to reflect and to reminisce. Lockdown concentrated our minds on what we want to do with the rest of our lives and brought back colourful images of our halcyon days. Those memorable holidays in far-flung places, going to the theatre and being a part of the beating heart of London’s vibrant West End, or even an evening with friends in the pub. We are not out of the Coronavirus Woods just yet, and the continuing threat of succumbing to COVID-19 has galvanised me into recording some the events in my life to date, for posterity.
I’m not someone who has left glittering gongs in my wake, nor have I led an intrepid or inspiring life. I don’t intend to blame my parents for my ineptitudes and failures – not even my mother, who was the root of all my major phobias. I consider I am a reasonably intelligent person. However, some might say, I’m delightfully vague, but I have always been quite capable of cocking up my own life, without parental intervention or outside influence.
My Life to Date and How I’ve Survived It is not all about me! It will be a fly on the wall documentary, focussing on the people whose lives have touched mine. People who coped with all manner of adversity and not only survived, but excelled. It is important to me that I serve it up with a slither of satire and a touch of farce, which makes writing it more palatable and, hopefully, from the reader’s perspective, more appetising.
I was born with a full head of hair which, much to my mother’s disappointment, was dead straight. So, I was traumatised from a very early age by rag curls and flamboyant hair accessories (see above). My mother had dreamt about giving birth to a girly-girl, and despite inheriting 50% of her genes, it was never going to happen, but she never stopped trying.
When I was five-years-old, my mother took me to the hairdresser to have my hair permed. It wasn’t a happy experience, although my mother took great delight in me looking like a mini her post-perm. The smell of 1950’s perm lotion was stuck up my nostrils for weeks afterwards.
When I was eight-years-old, my mother Carmen-rollered my hair, and one got stuck. I was hysterical after she’d tried to unravel it for what seemed like hours, and my father was wheeled in to cut it out. Initially, as an adult, I suffered from hairdresser phobia, amongst others.
My mother’s obsession with, my thin, straight hair never stopped. Long after she gave up lambasting my Doc Martens 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 – my father’s I’m guessing – intended.
My Life to Date and How I’ve Survived It, is an ongoing project!
© 2020 Sally Edmondson