when I was blonde

My Flashback Friday offering. Yes, I know it's Saturday already but I'm behind in everything. My bloglines is exploding, my sewing remains in pieces, I have homework from the CAE camera class I'm taking, the garden is sprouting weeds and I really need to plan out the week after next which is a holiday from work. I keep saying, yes, we'll do that on my week off. That week is starting to feel a bit like the tardis (bigger on the inside than the outside, a comment we often make about the shed). Unfortunately, I am not a timelord. Although tonight, I did get to watch Dr Who on the couch with a glass or two of lambrusco. While G made homemade pizza for dinner. Ah, small patches of blob out bliss. Could do it all night, but I also need that feeling of download that blogging gives me. Meant to do it last night but I was tired and got caught up in the online realestate scene, while compiling my weekly list of houses to visit. More about househunting tommorrow because there are thoughts stewing around my head in that direction too.

Anyway, this is not the best of my blonde photos, there's one I remember as being really fantastic but I think I stole it from mum and then lost it. The one above was taken at christmas lunch at my parents house in 1988. The one below would have been taken at Christmas dinner at my auntie Pauline's old house. It's after I finshed uni but before my parents separated as my mum is in the photo.  She's the only non-blonde. I would have been going through my wannabe yuppie phase. I'm wearing my favourite lime green silk shirt, the one I bought from the upmarket re-cycle shop in Bourke street. I remember it was an expensive men's designer shirt, with the most gorgous pearl buttons. I had a lot of affection for that shop too, and was sad to notice it empty with "for lease" sign in the window on my last trip to town. I've had really short hair several times in my life but only went blonde once and I remember it being much more painful than other colours. And that it needed several top ups of magic silver white.

Standing next to me is my sister Betty, then called Liz. On the other side is my mum, my auntie Pauline, my cousin Susie, my auntie Sandra and my cousin Samantha. I'm the oldest cousin and Suzie the youngest. So much has happened since this was taken. Obviously. As there are seven women in the picture. There's been separation and divorce, death (of one of my uncles in a speedboat accident), all sorts of other loss, mental illness and many other assorted struggles. There's also been university degrees completed, houses built, bought, rented and sold, marriages, re-marriages or de-factos made, careers and business endeavours cast off and started. And all the other trivia in between. Like all families. All of the cousins in the picture now have babies or young children. And all the mothers are now grandmothers.

Betty and I went to visit Susie and her baby daughter yesterday. We haven't been in contact much over the years but she and her partner have moved to a nearby suburb. Now she's a mother too. It was an amazing visit and Grace has been talking about going to Susie's and there being ham and cake and two bubbies!!! two bubbies!!!  Bubbylee and Jessica (which she can't say yet). And I've been thinking alot about our shared childhood history. And about how cool it is to hold a baby on my lap and say to Grace, this is Jessica, she's my second cousin. You and her are third cousins, and Ruby-Lee is your cousin.

You know, I could write a novel from this photo. I'm not going to for obvious reasons, but I could.


  1. It's funny to see you blonde!
    I love these stories and old photos. Must dig out some of mine (I have one on friday flashback over at flickr but that's it).
    Liz/Betty is very handsome looking. Striking and serene in an 80s English popstar way.

  2. I used to wear men's shirts too - in a similar billowing stule, clinced in by the big black belt. My fave was also a hue like yours - it was so unusual, and shiny.
    Came from Man-To-Man though, in a mall, probably Greensborough. Not as classy as Bourke St :)
    I tend to be a loner in childbirth too - this is what happens when your mother has you at 17, and all your cousins are a generation or two behind you. I have no 'peers' in a relative setting.
    Cute photo :)

  3. And did you have more fun as a blonde? I remember that magic silver white from a peroxiding ex-boyfriend.
    I have 25 cousins! So I am wondering in my pedantic way about your cousinly hierarchy. Because if Susie is your first cousin then her bubbies are your first cousins-once-removed and Grace's second cousins. I'm sorry, I can't help myself typing this, I think it comes from having such a large extended family.

  4. I can't remember whether I had more fun.
    About the cousins, I'm happy to stand corrected but I was always told that the children of your first cousins were your second cousins, and that children of first cousins were second cousins to each other. I only have eight cousins but my dad had well over sixty and my mum over forty. Not that that means they were right. I might have to consult the interweb or something....

  5. Stomper you are quite right, I stand corrected. Wikipedia goes into quite a lot of detail, fascinating and complicated.

  6. You changed the photos since I was here this morning!!

  7. yep, I made my mum hand over the one with all the christmas 88 photos and did a wee rewrite. Still missing the best pic though...

  8. Fear not, there is still Retro Star, 1st Floor, Nicholas Building, cnr Swanston & Flinder's Lane. I love that place.
    Burn with me....

  9. Those silk shirts! I loved them in the 80s too. And magic silverwhite got a good working out in my hair too. You look so different as a blonde! I wish I'd had the guts to change my hair colour, just once in my life.

  10. :) cute!! i was a blonde for a while too back in the nineties ;-)